Suggesting any state government support for building a Minneapolis soccer stadium would be politically unpopular, Gov. Mark Dayton once again Thursday said he considers it highly unlikely that he or state legislators would provide subsidies to the emerging effort.
"I just think politically -- I think the term 'stadium fatigue' describes it," Dayton said Thursday, running through the last decade in which lawmakers approved major state funds to build Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium and the Vikings stadium now under construction. "That's with the Legislature, myself, the public. I just don't think there's any public appetite for taking on the financing of another stadium."
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber was in Minneapolis a day earlier announcing the league's plans to move into Minnesota. A private group led by former UnitedHealth CEO Bill McGuire has set its sights on an site near downtown Minneapolis, but so far has declined to say whether the investors would seek a public subsidy.
Dayton said it's hard for him to comment on any prospect of a public subsidy. "I don't know what the ask is," he said. But as he did a day earlier, Dayton said the only sort of state response he could foresee would be in making routine transportation improvements to the site, which is near Interstate 94.
"If there's an exchange that MnDOT's involved in, that needs to be expanded, or there needs to be a new exit ramp" or the like, "I don't want to put myself into a corner and say none of that would be considered," Dayton said.
The governor said he was personally excited by the prospect of a new sports franchise. But he also said he didn't attend Wednesday's event because he didn't want to create the appearance he might be willing to back a major subsidy.
"I've tried to be very clear, in the indirect communications I've had with a number of principles, that in my view there's not going to be public support for subsidizing a new stadium," Dayton said. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges have also spoken against the prospect of a subsidy.
"It's great you're coming. It's great you're trying to bring this franchise and excitement and opportunity to Minnesota," Dayton said. "But this time you're going to have to go it alone."