Shakopee is joining in on the bid to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium – but the Vikings and Gov. Mark Dayton’s top stadium negotiator do not seem to be impressed.
The newly elected mayor of Shakopee has called a press conference for 4 p.m. Wednesday to propose a site in his suburb for a new Vikings stadium.
The Shakopee Valley News says that the property owner at the undisclosed location has signed a letter of intent to sell the land to the Vikings.
But the Vikings and the governor's point person on the stadium issue reacted coolly Wednesday to the idea of another site option being added to the mix.
According to the report, Mayor Brad Tabke is expected to be joined at the press conference by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Claire Robling (R-Jordan), Rep. Michael Beard (R-Shakopee), the president of the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce and the founder of savethevikes.org, Cory Merrifield, who lives in Shakopee.
Ted Mondale, Gov. Mark Dayton’s chief stadium negotiator, said he was surprised by the Scott County stadium proposal, and had not heard of it before today. “It’s hard to comment without knowing anything about it,” he said. “We’ll be glad to meet.
”I just think there might be some traffic issues out there,” Mondale added.
But Mondale reiterated that the governor wanted final stadium proposals by 5 p.m. Thursday. Four sites so far are being considered – three in Minneapolis and the Vikings' preferred plan to build a $1.1 billion stadium in Ramsey County’s Arden Hills.
“I think it’s kind of late,” Mondale said. “[But] we meet with everybody.
“We’re looking for proposals by the close of business tomorrow. We’ll see if they put something in,” he added.
Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said the team was not interested in meeting with Shakopee officials.
“Right now, we’re just focused in on the governor’s deadline tomorrow and the Arden Hills plan. We have no plans to meet with Shakopee officials,” he said.
“Given that we’re looking for a stadium solution in 2012, we believe that it’s time to focus on one site instead of [adding] additional sites to the list,” said Anderson.
Ron Rosenbaum, a spokesman for Canterbury Park, the horse racing track located in Shakopee, said he had only heard of the Shakopee stadium proposal last week and said that track officials were not involved in putting it together.
He said the horse racing track did not have a position on where a new Vikings stadium should be built.
Canterbury Park has been pushing legislators to approve racino – putting slot machines at the state’s horse racing tracks. Some racino proponents have said that racino proceeds could be used to help build a Vikings stadium.
“We have not been involved in any way, shape or form in working on the proposal,” Rosenbaum said.
“[But] we’re certainly going to support any effort [by local officials] that brings jobs and economic development to Shakopee,” he said.