By KEVIN DUCHSCHERE
Minnesota Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said Thursday that it’s nice to have more than one option, but that the team remained committed to working with Ramsey County for a stadium in Arden Hills.
“We believe it is the ideal site,” he said at an afternoon news conference at the Metrodome. “Ramsey County has a viable finance plan and we have an agreement in principle with the county.”
But Bagley said the team isn’t closing the door on the Minneapolis sites. Nor would he rule out the Shakopee site proposal introduced Wednesday, although he said the team hasn’t had a chance to study it.
Vikings officials met Wednesday with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barb Johnson about the Dome and Linden Avenue site options. Bagley called the latter site, near the Basilica of St. Mary, “intriguing” but that some questions remain about its viability.
The team also continues to also have concerns about building at the Dome site, he said, but the Vikings believe it’s a “workable” solution.
The Vikings said this week that playing in another stadium for at least three seasons while a new stadium was being built at the Dome site would cost it $48 million.
The team’s goal, Bagley said, is to have the field narrowed to a single site by the time the Legislature meets Jan. 24 or shortly thereafter.
He reiterated that there was “great urgency to resolve this issue,” since the team’s lease at the Dome has expired and the debate over a new stadium has lasted several years. But he declined to answer a question about whether the Vikings will be playing in Minnesota next season.
“We won’t sign a lease unless there’s a stadium solution, and we don’t have a stadium solution,” he said.