Arden Hills’ prospects to host the Vikings got a boost in a bill this week from Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, and there may be another nod for the Ramsey County bid in the works.
Rep. Tom Hackbarth says he’s going to designate the Arden Hills site for his racino stadium bill — and up Hamilton’s bid by including electronic pull tabs, as well. Hackbarth says he’s going to reintroduce his racino/stadium bill with the Ramsey County site named as a location as soon as Monday.
“Mine is the racino that will pay for the Vikings stadium, you don’t need a local match,” Hackbarth said. “It brings in $135 million a year. It can pay for a number of other things as well, such as the school payback, the shift payback… It also says we’re going to give some tax relief to the charitable (gambling) organizations.”
Likely House stadium bill sponsor Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, says Arden Hills is still on the table.
“I’ve said all along, I’ve never eliminated them,” Lanning said in an interview today. “If we cannot strike a deal with the city of Minneapolis, then obviously, that’s what we have to do, is look at the Arden Hills option.”
Lanning also said today that it’s going to take some affirmative action from Minneapolis to win approval for its stadium bid at the Capitol. He conceded that Hennepin County won Target Field without a formal vote, but said Minneapolis isn’t going to get the benefit of the doubt.
“It has to be, at the very least, a letter from, signed by a the majority of the City Council, saying that ‘We support this’,” Lanning said. “We need some indication. For us to be putting together something here in the form of a bill, and we don’t know if they’re going to support this or not — pretty risky.”
There’s no sign, though, that a Minneapolis deal is any closer than it’s been for more than a week.