Vikings Stadium Funding Approaches “Stalemate”

As negotiations continue about who would pay for $131 million in road construction associated with an Arden Hills stadium, Ted Mondale, who's leading negotiations for the state, reportedly said that the parties involved are "kind of in a stalemate."

The Minnesota Vikings and Ramsey County last month pitched plans for a new stadium in Arden Hills.

Building the proposed stadium would cost an estimated $1.1 billion, plus an estimated $131 million in related road construction.

The plan calls for the Vikings to contribute $407 million and Ramsey County to pitch in $350 million, and the state has repeatedly said that it won't exceed a $300 million contribution.

So who's going to pick up the remainder of the tab? According to a report by the Pioneer Press, no parties involved seem willing to budge.

“The state has been very clear: We'll do $300 million,” Ted Mondale, Dayton's point man on the Vikings stadium funding issue, told the St. Paul newspaper. “It's 300, 300, 300. Nothing more. The rest has got to come from Ramsey and [the team's owners]. And if it doesn't pencil out, I won't advance a bill. There's no other news. The rest is noise. We've been here for weeks now. So we're kind of in a stalemate.”

Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley did mention that the team is examining a “user-based finance proposal” aimed at capturing transportation revenue from the stadium or nearby areas, although he declined to disclose details to the Pioneer Press.

Mondale said that the plan referenced by Bagley could include parking fees and extra money from major events like the Super Bowl, which Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has said he's confident he could bring to the stadium if it's built, according to the Pioneer Press. But Mondale also said that it's premature to assume that such a plan could cover the $131 million in funding that hasn't yet been accounted for.

Discussions about how to pay for the proposed stadium are occurring as Dayton and state lawmakers still haven't negotiate a budget. If an agreement is reached, Dayton will likely call a special session to pass the budget-but Mondale is reportedly concerned that the stadium plan currently isn't ready, even though it would need to be immediately when a special session begins.