The dust from the stadium unveiling is still settling in Minneapolis. Here’s a roundup of what’s been going on:
Capitol watchers eye gubernatorial bid by stadium bill author
The political cognoscenti that sat down with Kerri Miller for her Friday Roundtable on the Daily Circuit say they think Fairmont GOP senator Julie Rosen might be a dark horse to challenge Gov. Mark Dayton next year. She, along with Moorhead GOP Rep. Morrie Lanning, shouldered the Vikings stadium bill through the Legislature last year:
Miller asked her guests who was emerging as a GOP candidate to challenge the sitting governor. Politics in Minnesota managing editor Steve Perry responded: ““The name I keep hearing in sort of an ‘if only’ vein from Republicans is Julie Rosen.” To which Star Tribune political editor Pat Lopez responded: “Think about how hard it would be for Dayton to run against a moderate, Republican woman. Yikes.” But the AP’s Brian Bakst noted the stadium would likely make it hard to win the GOP nomination, and she’d likely have to run in a primary.
Don’t worry about the air conditioning
Vikings owner Mark Wilf spoke to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk this week about the new stadium. He was pretty circumspect about the most controversial elements of the project, like the financing and the politics of getting it approved.
But he did assure host Mike Florio that fans won’t be “ants under a magnifying glass on a sunny day in September.”
Here’s what Wilf had to say: “The engineers and architects are the top in the land… There’ll be ventilation from that roof, so people can feel comfortable, and we’re comfortable that that’s not going to be an issue at all.”
Parking bids are in
Three companies submitted bids for the parking structure that the MSFA has pledged for the new Vikings stadium. The NFL requires dedicated parking for premium ticket holders, and the request for proposals issued by the authority says they want: “at least 2,000 parking spaces within one block of the Stadium, connected by Skyway or tunnel to the Stadium, and at least 500 parking spaces within two blocks of the Stadium, with a dedicated walkway on Team game days.”
The Strib’s Richard Meryhew says there are three bids for the project, including one from Ryan Cos., the company that’s trying to build a giant multi-use development project on the newspaper’s real estate in downtown Minneapolis.
Packers likely to be opponents at first game
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley told KARE-TV this week that the Vikings may face a familiar opponent for their opening regular season game at the new stadium in 2016. “The way the league is structured, we’ll probably — our very first regular-season game will likely be against the Green Bay Packers,” Bagley said.
Sports Illustrated notes the Packers will undoubtedly hope to return the Vikings favor: The Vikings were Green Bay’s first opponent in 2003, after Lambeau Field got a makeover. The Vikings spoiled the housewarming, beating the Packers 30-25 that day.
Sparse open house
The MSFA held an open house to hear comments on its draft environmental impact statement at the Metrodome this week. Spokeswoman Jennifer Hathaway says the event drew about 30 people. Comments will be included in the final version, due in early June.