From Tim Pugmire and Tim Nelson
Gov. Mark Dayton says he was very disappointed to learn today that secret negotiations were underway between House Republicans and the Minnesota Vikings on an alternative stadium plan.
Dayton said a Vikings official confirmed to him that the new plan would use general obligation bonds for a roof-less stadium. During an afternoon news conference, Dayton said he thought Republicans were trying to score political points rather than resolve the stadium issue.
“The day after the Legislature was supposed to go home, they come out with a brand new financing that totally revamps it, that totally changes it from what it was intended to be, a people’s stadium, to something else. It’s just really hard to take this seriously.”
Dayton again urged the House and Senate to vote soon on the bipartisan stadium bill that has already cleared all committees.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers, walking into a meeting with Senate leaders, said he wasn’t familiar with the proposal. He wouldn’t speculate about whether it could pass in the House.
“I have no idea,” Zellers said. “This is just another idea. It’s that time of the session. Things, new ideas pop up. I haven’t seen any of the details.”
Senate stadium bill sponsor called the plan “a little bit of a surprise.” She said it wasn’t a viable deal, as far as she was concerned.
“There are some very key parts to this stadium deal. No. 1, it has to have a roof, whether its retractable or its fixed. This is the People’s stadium. This should be able to be used by the high school football and soccer leagues, and the St. Thomas baseball team for spring practice. And we should be able to have a Super Bowl and the Final Four, and all those above. This is truly a stadium that has to have a roof. It could be on a little later, as long as its prepared.”
MPR News did obtain the outlines of the proposal: