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From left, the Rev. John Bauer, Ted Mondale and and Gov. Mark Dayton left the Basilica of St. Mary office after meeting for 45 minutes on the proposed Vikings stadium near the church on Friday.

Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

Mondale says time running out for Vikings stadium

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA
  • Star Tribune
  • January 21, 2012 - 11:51 AM

Gov. Mark Dayton's chief stadium negotiator said Friday that "time is not on our side right now" for getting a Minnesota Vikings stadium plan through the Legislature this year, although proponents are still pushing for a solution.

With just days to go before the start of the 2012 legislative session, Ted Mondale signaled a new urgency to the situation. While divisions over the best site and financing plans remain, time may have become the project's "biggest enemy" in trying to draw up a final proposal, he said.

The stadium's prospects could change dramatically, Mondale added, should supporters agree on a stadium site and a public funding mechanism.

Dayton, meanwhile, added his own note of caution. The governor said that while it is not his desire, it is a "genuine possibility" that a stadium decision could be delayed until next year.

Dayton said this week that while he leaned toward building a stadium near the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis, all of the proposed locations still have multiple problems. On Friday, he met privately with the Rev. John Bauer, rector at the basilica, to discuss Bauer's objections to the Linden Avenue site.

The Legislature will convene Tuesday, and Republican majority leaders say they want a quick session.

Senate Majority Leader David Senjem, R-Rochester, said this week, "I don't think we can avoid some level of activity'' over a Vikings stadium. "Whether we get there or not, I don't know," Senjem said.

Mondale predicted Friday that the region's top business leaders and labor unions would quickly get behind a stadium drive once a proposal is made final.

"In Minnesota, when business and labor can agree on something that they want, it generally gets done," he said.

Details on three sites offered

This week, Dayton released data for three possible stadium sites: the Linden Avenue one near the basilica; the Metrodome, where the team has played for 30 years; and Arden Hills in Ramsey County, the team's preferred location.

Mondale estimated Wednesday that a stadium near the basilica would cost $995 million, and Dayton said data showed the Vikings would need to contribute $450 million.

The governor said the team would need to put in $428 million toward a new stadium at the Metrodome, which Mondale said would cost $918 million.

The city of Minneapolis would be the local partner for either site in the city, but the City Council is closely divided on the issue and it's unclear so far whether a majority of the council members will agree to help finance the project.

A stadium at the Arden Hills site would cost an estimated $1.09 billion. With a $300 million contribution from Ramsey County, the team's share would be $409 million. The team has said it would contribute $425 million toward that site.

Mike Kaszuba • 651-925-5045 Staff writers Baird Helgeson and Rachel Stassen-Berger contributed to this report.

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