Report: Vikings Close to Arden Hills Stadium Deal
The Minnesota Vikings may be soon moving out of Minneapolis as reports surface that the team is close to reaching a deal with Ramsey County to build a new stadium at the abandoned Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills.
According to the Pioneer Press, which cited a Ramsey County commissioner involved in negotiations, the team is “very, very close” to reaching an agreement with the county to build a stadium in Arden Hills.
The St. Paul newspaper also reported that Hennepin County Board Chairman Mike Opat has abandoned his pursuit to build a stadium at the site of the Minneapolis Farmers Market.
Road improvements are reportedly the final notable obstacle before the team and Ramsey County can announce an agreement, according to statements made to the Pioneer Press from the team and Ramsey County officials.
The Pioneer Press reported that key players in the stadium proposal met on Thursday at the state Transportation Building to discuss transportation issues for the proposed site, which is located north of the I-694 and I-35W interchange near Highway 10.
The funding plan for the new stadium still remains unclear, according to the Pioneer Press, with several options being considered-including a countywide sales tax increase. Other options include a tax on any hotels and restaurants that are built on the site, and possibly revenue from tailgating on its parking lots.
The construction cost of a new stadium is estimated to be between $700 million and $900 million, not including transportation costs. The transportation costs, in addition to costs to clean up the abandoned site, have also not been finalized. But despite the possible high costs of building the stadium in Arden Hills, the team remains optimistic.
“There's a viable proposal on the table and we're looking at it,” Lester Bagley, the Vikings' vice president of public affairs and stadium development, told the Pioneer Press. “We're trying to resolve this transportation issue so we can stand up and say, 'We've got a local partner and we've got an agreement.'”