Mpls. Officials Back Three City Sites for Vikings Stadium

Minneapolis officials, who have mostly remained on the sidelines since the Vikings announced their support for an Arden Hills plan, are now re-entering stadium talks; part of the mayor's plan involves an increased sales tax.

Minneapolis officials are once again touting the city as the best option for a new Vikings stadium-and the mayor believes the most realistic way to pay for the facility includes a citywide sales tax increase, according to several media reports.

According to the Star Tribune, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson told Governor Mark Dayton that they support plans for three downtown sites: the Metrodome, the Farmer's Market, and what they referred to as “the Xcel Energy site” near the Basilica of St. Mary.

Rybak's proposed sales tax boost would also pay for renovations to the Target Center. Rybak and his staff plan to put together a more detailed plan this week for Dayton, who hopes to call a special Legislative session for November 21, according to the Associated Press. And Johnson made the case that there are enough votes on the City Council to approve a Block E casino, the proceeds from which could factor into the stadium's financing.

Rybak argued that building a stadium in downtown Minneapolis would be cheaper than the $1.1 billion plan to build in Arden Hills, the Vikings' preferred site.

Last May, Minneapolis officials floated a proposal for a new stadium at the Metrodome site, but they've mostly remained on the sidelines since the Vikings announced their support for the Arden Hills plan.

Following Minneapolis officials' most recent pitch to Dayton, Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley told Minnesota Public Radio that there is “one viable plan on the table, and the Vikings are entirely focused on getting the issue resolved in Arden Hills.”

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf's talks about a new stadium, which he shared in an in-depth cover story in the August issue of Twin Cities Business.The issue also includes a story about the viability of the Farmers Market site and a look at some of its supporters.