The Minnesota Vikings are standing their ground as the stadium debate grinds on: in a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton just released by the team, they say they’re sticking with their plan to build in Arden Hills.
Period. End. Of. Story.
But if you read between the lines, there’s also an out: Following their pledge of “more than $400 million specific to the Arden Hills location,” the letter says this:
“Any other location would not justify anywhere near the level of commitment we have made in Arden Hills. By building at this site, the State can leverage the maximum amount of private dollars toward this publicly-owned project.”
For the record, “anywhere near the level of commitment” is not zero.
The Vikings have actually mentioned a number at an alternative site before. At his Nov. 1 press conference at the Capitol, team vice president Lester Bagley said the team had discussed a contribution of “$250 to 300 million” when they’d been talking with officials in Minneapolis about sites in that city.
He wouldn’t say whether that offer still stands, or whether anyone in Minneapolis even countenanced such a deal.
But as Ramsey County plans to put a purchase agreement for the Arden Hills site to a vote on Tuesday, the Vikings seem to be penciling out a price — at a minimum — for what will happen if the Ramsey County plan fails.
They also sent along their latest stadium renderings, which we’ve posted before. We invite you to have a look again and try to determine what kind of a roof they might have in mind. Fixed? Retractable? None? Click for a larger version.
Here’s the letter the team just sent: