By ROCHELLE OLSON AND MIKE KASZUBA
A new Minnesota Vikings stadium may again be in the mix.
Sources reported Wednesday that stadium negotiators had dropped the cost of the $1 billion proposed project by nearly $200 million, the Vikings had upped their contribution from $407 million and the state, Ramsey County and the team had resolved who would own and operate the stadium in suburban Arden Hills.
In addition, they said, an announcement could come later Wednesday.
“You’re headed in the right direction,” said Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, a Senate co-author of the stadium legislation. Magnus however did not confirm specific figures, but said an announcement could come Wednesday.
Lester Bagley, the Vikings vice president for public affairs and stadium development, said Wednesday “there are no hard and fast numbers. Ideas are being exchanged every day.”
Bagley had earlier this week said that stadium negotiators were close to solving the project’s sticking points, and could have the project ready for state legislators as part of an overall solution to the state’s $5 billion budget deficit. “I think we’re close enough so [if] we were advised to wrap it up, we could sit down and hammer out the final agreement,” he said.
Gov. Mark Dayton, a stadium supporter, and Republican legislative leaders were meeting Wednesday in advance of a state government shutdown that would begin Friday. The governor has said there would have to be substantial progress Wednesday toward solving the deficit in order to avert a shutdown.
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