Where Does The Vikings Stadium Bill Stand?

MINNEAPOLIS MN - DECEMBER 12: Snow surrounds the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Mall of America Stadium where the inflatable roof collapsed under the weight of snow during a storm Sunday morning December 12 2010 in Minneapolis Minnesota. A blizzard dumped more than 20 inches of snow in parts of the Midwest forcing the NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings to be postponed till Monday and will be played in Detroit's Ford Field. There were no injuries reported from the collapse of the dome. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

Despite the press conference last week, the Vikings stadium is still up in the air. From Daily Norseman:

I just find it amazing that in the span of less than a week. . .not even seven full days. . .any excitement, enthusiasm, and momentum that the Arden Hills plan might have generated seems to have been utterly annihilated.

He puts most of the blame on lawmakers, but the Vikings deserve blame here too. They could have gone with a cheaper site in Minneapolis, but chose the one without any roads in Arden Hills. But the state of Minnesota doesn't have enough road funding as is. From the Star Tribune:

Improving highways for the stadium would mean giving the team priority over other projects when the state faces a $50 billion shortfall in road funding, mostly in the Twin Cities...

State officials estimated that roadwork for the entire project could cost from $175 million to $240 million, depending on the size of the sports complex and surrounding development.

Ramsey County offered a sales tax measure to raise $350 million, and the Vikings followed the money to Arden Hills. Maybe the Vikings had no other choice. Without any local funds from Hennepin County, maybe they couldn't get the numbers to work for the Minneapolis site. The state is committed to $300 million at either site. The Vikings dispute the roadwork costs of up to $240 million, so maybe that's why they thought it wouldn't be a major factor.

They have one more week to figure this out before the state legislature adjourns, but Minnesota has a $5 billion budget gap to close too.

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