Vikings say Arden Hills site would be “A people’s stadium”

The Minnesota Vikings are working to remind Governor Dayton and state lawmakers that they are committed to building a new Vikings stadium in Arden Hills. Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf sent a letter to Gov. Dayton and lawmakers today highlighting their agreement with Ramsey County. Governor Dayton and state lawmakers haven’t fully embraced the Arden Hills site because of the cost of road improvements.

Vikings lobbyist Lester Bagley says the stadium will meet the governor’s desire to have what he has called a “people’s stadium.”

“This is going to be a multi-purpose facility to host all of the high school and amateur sports and community events,” Bagley said. “All of the events that are being held or have been held at the Metrodome so it’s a replacement of the Metrodome and this is to assure everyone that this is part of our commitment.”

Ramsey County and the Vikings reached agreement earlier this week on building the new stadium in Arden Hills. Ramsey County would increase a half cent sales tax to pay for its portion of the stadium.

But there are issues with the new stadium. Dayton and state lawmakers question the cost of road improvements needed around the site. Lanning also said he wants to make sure that the football stadium is used for more than NFL games.

“This is a facility for the whole state,” Lanning said. “It’s not just a facility for the Vikings. People keep referring to this as a Vikings stadium. Yeah the Vikings will be there hopefully. That’s why we’re trying to move this forward but this is a stadium for a whole lot of other needs as the state of Minnesota.”

Lanning said he won’t hold a hearing on the bill until some of those concerns are addressed. He said he has a Monday meeting with Dayton to discuss the stadium.

  • Juliann

    I live out in rural MInnesota. I don’t want any of my tax money going toward that new stadium. It will not do anything to help our economy out here. I’ve seen 2 more businesses close this past year. My main street is empty with no new businesses coming in. I’m tired of legislature forgetting that there is life outside the metro and we pay taxes and need jobs and businesses stimulated out here too.

  • Tom Mundahl

    The argument that the Wilfs make that this is a “People’s Stadium” is hard to fathom. For, they are going to require “the people” in the form of the State of Minnesota to make anywhere from a quarter to a half-billion dollars in road improvements in order for “the people” (at least those who drive cars) in order to reach Arden Hills. Why not locate in a refurbished Metrodome that features not only surface roads, but also the Hiawatha Line and the soon-to-be-completed Central Corridor light rail service.

    Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the Wilf’s money has been made buildng suburban shopping malls in suburban New York City-New Jersey. Here they go again with another suburban Mega-mall Stadium.

  • Paul

    My guess is that even if the state doesn’t use money for a stadium the 300 million would never make it to the roads or education budget like we think.

    Football stadium or not the roads on the north-side of the metro need some updating.. 694 from Rice to 35W. Even that part of 10 from 694 over to 35 past 96.

    Another road that comes to mind is 371. Love to see that go 4 lanes up to Cass lake I believe it goes back to 2 lane by Nisswa. But the people in Bemidji would love to see Hwy 2 over to Duluth get widened.

    I’m sure people down in southern Mn have some roads they’d like updated to.

    As for schools, Should we consider dropping some sports to save money ?

    Here’s to the Vikings playing in the Dome for another 10 years then see how the state is doing..