Vikings Stadium Talks Continue

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 7:13 am

Non-stop talks continued at the State Capitol Wednesday as Governor Mark Dayton, Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf and other officials met to come up with a plan on how to pay for a new stadium before a special session is called.

The outlines of a possible deal are beginning to take shape one day after NFL officials reminded the state that the Vikings lease at the Metrodome is up after the season concludes. Those NFL officials reiterating that the threat to move the Vikes out of the state is very real if a stadium deal can’t be reached.

Dayton also stressed the importance of keeping the Vikings, reminding taxpayers that the team has been here for 50 years, and calling the Vikes “a Minnesota institution.”

Gov. Dayton continued a series of private meetings Wednesday. Wilf refused to comment to the media as he left the Capitol out of respect to Dayton and the process.

Gov. Dayton also met with Ramsey County Commissioners, who have committed $350 million for the Arden Hills site. Oddly enough, Dayton also met with developers who want to build a casino in downtown Minneapolis, whose revenue could be used for stadium construction. Those Minneapolis Block E casino developers later told reporters they discussed casino cash, not the stadium, but it’s possible a new casino could also help fund the stadium.

Dayton set a 10-day deadline for all the necessary parties to agree on key components of a deal. The Governor plans to unveil his own detailed stadium proposal for the legislature on Nov. 7. He wants the legislature to debate the plan before he calls for a special session, which has been set to start Nov. 21.

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