Dayton Finds Faults in Stadium Plans, Leans Toward One

The governor appears to favor the Linden Avenue site near the Basilica of St. Mary, although he believes all three of the front-runner proposals have problems that could prevent a stadium proposal from receiving legislative approval this year.

Governor Mark Dayton received a series of proposals for a new Vikings stadium last week, meeting his Thursday deadline-and although he has yet to solidify his choice, he reportedly favors the Linden Avenue location near the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis.

According to a report by the Star Tribune, Dayton said Wednesday that he is leaning toward the Linden Avenue site, describing it as the most workable, but he added that the Metrodome site could serve as a fallback plan.

Dayton reportedly said that the site near the Basilica is advantageous due to its proximity to Target Center, Target Field, and downtown hotels.

Still, the governor reportedly said that all three front-runner plans-the two Minneapolis proposals and the Vikings-backed Arden Hills site-have major problems that could prevent a stadium proposal from receiving legislative approval this year.

Dayton said that “necessary due diligence” has not been completed at the Linden Avenue site for him to give a firm recommendation there, and the Metrodome is the “default” site, but it doesn't offer the same potential for future economic development, according to the Star Tribune.

“Unless the Legislature is willing to change its insistence on a voter referendum before Ramsey County can impose any kind of tax increase, the only two feasible sites become the Metrodome and Linden Avenue, both in Minneapolis,” Dayton said, according to the Minneapolis newspaper.

To learn more about Dayton's take on the plans, as well as input from state lawmakers, read the full Star Tribune story here.

In other stadium news, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) shared the details of a report released Wednesday, which breaks down the details of each proposed site and projects how the team and the state would benefit from each.

The report projects that by investing in the Metrodome site, the state could earn nearly $200 million over 33 years, plus income taxes from the team, players, and executives, and taxes derived within the stadium. Linden Avenue and Ramsey County would generate the lowest estimated return, at about $143 million, MPR reported.

For the team, meanwhile, Linden Avenue and Arden Hills have the most benefit, as each would provide about $30 million in annual cash flow to the Vikings, MPR reported. The Metrodome site, meanwhile, would make the Vikings several hundred thousand dollars less.

Read the full MPR report here.