Tentative Vikings Stadium Deal Is Set
The latest update in 'As The Stadium Turns'. It appears there is a tentative in place but, as you will see, there are a couple big hurdles to overcome before there would be an official green light. Of course, this is an election year too so you never know what crazy things will happen.
Minneapolis, the state and the Minnesota Vikings have reached a tentative agreement on a new, $975 million stadium on a site at or near the Metrodome and on how to divide the costs, multiple sources said Friday.
Under the preliminary deal, the city would contribute $150 million in construction costs to the downtown Minneapolis project. The state would add $398 million, while the Vikings would pay $427 million. The city also would pay approximately $180 million in operating costs over the next 30 years, multiple sources close to the negotiations said.
Senate Majority Leader David Senjem said Friday that if there is an agreement, enough time remains to vote on a stadium funding package before the Legislature adjourns in late April. "I think that we could certainly arrive at a decision on the bill -- up or down -- within the two-month framework," he said.
The sources who described the tentative agreement -- key players in the negotiations -- spoke on the condition that they not be identified. They added that some details remain, such as who is responsible for cost overruns, but said a formal announcement is anticipated next week.
The preliminary agreement would commit the state to nearly $60 million more than previous estimates for a new stadium at the Metrodome, and would have the Vikings pledge roughly the same amount the team had agreed to pay as part of a former stadium plan in Ramsey County's Arden Hills.
Any agreement would be just the first step in the stadium process: The package would need to pass the Legislature and likely the Minneapolis City Council -- neither of which is assured. The National Football League also would have to approve any stadium deal.
Stadium supporters have been worried that with pervasive talk of an early adjournment, they were running out of time in this legislative session. In a Friday morning briefing, Senjem said a special session might be needed.
Later in the day, Senjem disputed remarks by Gov. Mark Dayton that some legislators who face elections in November want to avoid a stadium vote this spring at the State Capitol. "If he's heard that, why, he's in better touch with my members than I am -- and I don't believe that to be true," Senjem said.
Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley declined to comment Friday on the numbers, but said "there is no agreement. Everything is subject to negotiations. We're working hard on an agreement, but we're not there yet."