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Report: Vikings “very, very close” to Arden Hills stadium deal

Metrodome Roof Collapse AP

The latest turn in the long-winding search for a Vikings stadium plan has the team looking to the suburbs of Arden Hills.

Once considered a long shot to be the stadium site, Dave Orrick of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Vikings are “very, very close” to a deal, according to a Ramsey County commissioner.  (That second “very” means it’s serious.)

The news comes as plans for a stadium on the site of the Minneapolis Farmers Market were abandoned on Thursday.  Meanwhile, backers of a new stadium on the site of the Metrodome are scrambling to put together financing.

Florio points out over IM that the previous lack of a local partner was viewed as an impediment to getting a deal with the Legislature.  The prior plan was to not have a local partner identified when the bill was passed.

“We are very, very close to coming to a full proposal with the Vikings,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega.  “We have a few i’s to dot and t’s to cross. The big nut to crack, so to speak, is the transportation issue.”

We’ve been following this issue enough to know that having a few “t’s” to cross means nothing should be assumed.  We do know the Vikings are running out of time; the Legislature’s session ends May 23.

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51 Responses to “Report: Vikings “very, very close” to Arden Hills stadium deal”
  1. thegreenviking says: May 6, 2011 10:52 AM

    Get it done.

  2. jimmysee says: May 6, 2011 10:58 AM

    open air or domed? inquiring minds want to know!

  3. stixzidinia says: May 6, 2011 11:07 AM

    Great, so now we can have another publicly funded stadium that the Vikings will need blackout extensions for in the playoffs (in the unlikely event they ever make it back to the playoffs).

  4. schmitty2 says: May 6, 2011 11:15 AM

    I say build one in the Mall of America parking lot

  5. gdeli says: May 6, 2011 11:28 AM

    nothing like waiting till the last minute cause they do not wanna talk about it. stupid. have wilf pay half. a casino in dwtn will be problems as i agree with the 20 year old who lives down there. people here do not wanna pay for the billionaire/mega millionaire to get richer and you saw how jared allen had to go on youtube to beg people to come to the last playoff game the year before fav-re showed up. We may lose them but the state will cave and raise our taxes to 7.5% or higher. in cali it can hit 8% my cousin said. ouch!

  6. kennyrogerschicken says: May 6, 2011 11:29 AM

    Neat – right across the highway from The Mermaid.

  7. fargovikesfan says: May 6, 2011 11:30 AM

    new stadium will have some type of roof, either retractable or fixed. That is one requirement from the state so it can be used for other things besides football.

  8. gdeli says: May 6, 2011 11:33 AM

    right guys, we may still have blackouts. i do not have the cash or wanna be in those crappy seats. even the suite seats suck. the best part is their intro by led zep’s immigrant song. after that i would rather be in front of my obsolete LCD 46″ and have my freedom to go to the bathroom or get a drink when i want. But put in a retractable roof staium and do it right. the new stillwater bridge would be 700 million for pete sake. MOA parking lot won’t work(i hope you were joking) they are adding phase 2 cause that place makes money. too bad bloomington doesn’t really see any of it. somebody prove me wrong on that last statement will ya?

  9. abengalfan says: May 6, 2011 11:36 AM

    Don’t have a dog in this fight, just know they’ve been the Minn Vikings as long as I’ve been around, (Joe Kapp anyone) would hate to see that change.

  10. clintonportisheadd says: May 6, 2011 11:41 AM

    Where are all the Tea Party types that elected crazy lady Michele Bachman? I thought they all were opposed to “big government” and “fiscal bailouts”?

    I guess those things don’t apply if it’s YOUR team that’s involved….

    The last time I looked (and that was today) the State of Minn is looking at a 6.2 BILLION budget shortfall over the next 2 years. I can see raising taxes for roads, schools, healthcare etc. I can’t see raising taxes so a billionaire can get a handout for his usually crappy team to play football 8 times a year.

    One hopes the legislators look toward long term economic solutions for their state and reject this “bread and circus” bit of corporate welfare.

  11. mattsffrd says: May 6, 2011 11:46 AM

    L.A. Vikings

  12. theytukrjobs says: May 6, 2011 11:49 AM

    If the stadium were downtown, I’d say absolutely it has to have a room. Retractables are a waste of money IMO, especially in a city with terrible weather for half of the football season. Just put a roof on it and use the saved money to make it nicer.

    But if the stadium is out in Arden Hills I’m open to no roof at all. My preference is a roof because I’ve lived in Minny long enough to know that sitting in the cold really isn’t nearly as awesome as some of our rivals try to make it out to be. I get plenty of cold time in the parking lot. I prefer to watch the game in complete comfort.

    With that all said, Arden Hills is out far enough to where I don’t think we’ll be getting Final Fours and stuff as much. Well, you could, but it wouldn’t be as cool for outstate fans than a downtown location. Not that Minny is the most happening city out there, but it has more going on than Arden that’s for sure.

    Overall I’m just at a point where I’d accept anything. If our legislators weren’t such incompetent twits we could have put together a great package and really weighed pro’s and con’s but at this point we are in “just slap something together at the last minute because we wasted too much time” mode, so to speak.

  13. jlcarbone says: May 6, 2011 11:59 AM

    Arden Hills is a awful location. Why not stay in Minneapolis or St. Paul? How about relocating completely and put the stadium in Duluth where football originated in our great state. Have an open air or retractable roof stadium. It could rival the Lambeau with time. Duluth, MN would be the best place for a new Vikings stadium. Spread the teams out in our state. Minneapolis/St. Paul has four major sporting teams currently why not showcase other beautiful areas in MN? DULUTH, MN is the best place for the vikings to play.

  14. minnesconsin says: May 6, 2011 12:07 PM

    This is incredibly misleading. If the Vikings are close to anything its simply securing Arden Hills as their partner and presenting a real proposal to the legislature.

    This is a far cry from having a “deal” in place to actually build the thing on taxpayer cash. This is step 1, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The fact that it’s taken as long as it has just to get to step 1 speaks volumes.

  15. MichaelEdits says: May 6, 2011 12:11 PM

    Arden Hills is insisting on a “no Favre” clause before they sign anything.

  16. minnesconsin says: May 6, 2011 12:12 PM

    Also, it appears the real impetus for finally taking this first step was the fact that Hennepin County officially took themselves out of the picture as a possible partner as of yesterday.

  17. thephantomstranger says: May 6, 2011 12:15 PM

    jlcarbone says:
    May 6, 2011 11:59 AM
    Arden Hills is a awful location. Why not stay in Minneapolis or St. Paul? How about relocating completely and put the stadium in Duluth where football originated in our great state. Have an open air or retractable roof stadium. It could rival the Lambeau with time. Duluth, MN would be the best place for a new Vikings stadium. Spread the teams out in our state. Minneapolis/St. Paul has four major sporting teams currently why not showcase other beautiful areas in MN? DULUTH, MN is the best place for the vikings to play.
    _________________

    Isn’t Arden Hills a suburb of Duluth?

  18. coachstram says: May 6, 2011 12:18 PM

    Shame about the roof……….go topless and they will have instant home field advantage.

    I dont have the figures in front of me, but I wonder what the home December records are in Chi, GB, KC, NY Pitt, Philly and Buff over the last 15 years.

    I’d wager a bratwurst the winning pct is better than the Vikings.

  19. gregjennings85 says: May 6, 2011 12:21 PM

    Keep the Vikings in Minnesota, period.

  20. blaz0037 says: May 6, 2011 12:37 PM

    California already has 15 professional sports franchises, and now MLB and NBA have to subsidize the Dodgers and the Kings. The whole state is bankrupt for god’s sake!

    As a MN fan, I obviously don’t want them to go, but if they go to L.A. of all places, I’m gonna flip a lid!!!

  21. cornellsteelers says: May 6, 2011 12:38 PM

    They should put it next to Lake Minnetonka. Fans could take Love Boat rides while tailgating!

  22. blaz0037 says: May 6, 2011 12:49 PM

    Anyone who says they want an open-air stadium in MN is lying or has never experienced -40 windchill.

    period.

  23. vikescry1 says: May 6, 2011 1:01 PM

    all jokes aside i hope they don’t move the vikings it’s been a great rivalry over the years. second to bears packers(in the division) but the division wouldn’t be the same if there in L.A. so good luck minny

  24. blaz0037 says: May 6, 2011 1:01 PM

    Duluth?

    You are kidding right?

  25. recon163 says: May 6, 2011 1:13 PM

    @ blaz0037:

    “California already has 15 professional sports franchises”

    How is this germane? It isn’t.

    “and now MLB and NBA have to subsidize the Dodgers and the Kings.”

    Not true. The Dodgers are not being subsidized at all. MLB may have to take over the team because of bad fiscal management by the present owner, but then it will be sold and the usual 3 million fans a year will show up. As for the Kings, where did you get that from? No really you need to stop proving your ignorance, we get it.

    ” The whole state is bankrupt for god’s sake!”

    Not true. In fact the State just found a few billion in want them to go,

    “but if they go to L.A. of all places, I’m gonna flip a lid!!!”

    Yeah, I am sure Ziggy Wilf is very concerned about your opinion.

    11 

  26. tremoluxman says: May 6, 2011 1:15 PM

    I lived in Arden Hills for years and went to Mounds View High School, graduated in ’66. When the Army Ammunition plant was up and running during the Vietnam War, my mother and younger brother worked there. I know the site well and it would be an excellent location. It has easy access to 35W and 694 interstates. Plenty of land for acres of parking and the area is ripe for development. And it is not really far from downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. Why should the city centers get all the plum development? They had to shoe-horn the new Twins baseball stadium in to make it feasible.

    Do it.

  27. cusoman says: May 6, 2011 1:18 PM

    Those of you who think the site is a non-starter because of lack of options for staying in the area are VERY shortsighted. The allure of this site for Wilf and co. is that there’s a lot of land nearby for development and that includes things like restaurants and hotels. Remember, Wilf made his billions on real estate, so this is a good fit.

    The site has the interstate road infrastructure nearby and will need to be worked on to accommodate, but that’s where Ramsey County kicks in. Those of us living in Hennepin County are sick of footing all these bills, so it’s good to see them stepping up now.

    7 or 8 years from now, the Arden Hills stadium area will look like an extension of Minneapolis, with a light rail connecting it to downtown. This is a win for the people of that area like my brother who can cash in on the impending development.

    Seal the deal guys!

  28. mvp43 says: May 6, 2011 1:18 PM

    Although I love open air stadiums in football, because of the dollars involved you almost have to put a roof on to attract other sources of income.

  29. cusoman says: May 6, 2011 1:19 PM

    Oh, and lest I forget – this could signal the return of REAL tailgating to Vikings events! Talk about a fan morale booster!

  30. tdk24 says: May 6, 2011 1:29 PM

    I heard Mendenhall tweeted that the Metrodome collapse was not caused by too much snow!

  31. dickroy says: May 6, 2011 1:32 PM

    The only move I would hate to see more then the Vikings leaving Minnesota, would be the Steelers leaving Pittsburgh, though that would never happen.

    And I hope the NFL is never stupid enough to put a team outside the US. But with the greed and idiot Goodell you never know!

  32. tramonisland says: May 6, 2011 1:35 PM

    as a pack fan living in mpls, i absolutely hate everything about the vikings and therefore could not be happier to see this deal get done and keep the purple here. this is an easy 2 wins a year for the pack for the next 5 years.

  33. mikebyrne1502 says: May 6, 2011 1:40 PM

    Don’t be fooled Vikes fans, they say they are saying the same thing down here in SD, “We’re very close to striking a deal with Chula Vista…. We’re Close to stricking a deal that would demolish the ‘Q’ and rebuild at the Mission Valley site….. We’re close to deal on and Escondido site….” and now they apperently have decided to put it in the TAX payers hands and if it’s voted yes, they’ll put it Downtown. Not trying to discourage Vikes fans, like you I’m in prayer that my team stays, I’m simply trying to tell you not to get to far ahead of yourselves knowing that the Idea alone can shut down tomorrow.

  34. lbpackfan says: May 6, 2011 1:41 PM

    Hate the Vikings…love the rivalry.

    Get it done…but please keep the stadium downtown if you can. I live within walking distance in North Oaks of the new site and its an awful area for a stadium.

  35. dogsweat1 says: May 6, 2011 1:47 PM

    Rochester is perfect for the Vikings…

  36. jvibottomline says: May 6, 2011 2:08 PM

    I agree on Rochester, half of viking season ticket holders are from Iowa and Wisconsin anyway. And to the LA defender, California is beyond BROKE and the Dodgers might not draw 1 million fans this year to that hood!

  37. NoHomeTeam says: May 6, 2011 2:10 PM

    dickroy has rolled two issues into one post:

    1) “The only move I would hate to see more then the Vikings leaving Minnesota, would be the Steelers leaving Pittsburgh, though that would never happen.”

    “The only move I would hate to see more then the Vikings leaving Minnesota, would be the Steelers leaving Pittsburgh Browns leaving Cleveland, though that would never happen.”

    2) “And I hope the NFL is never stupid enough to put a team outside the US. But with the greed and idiot Goodell you never know!”

    Why, exactly? How would having a team outside the US affect you in any way? Seriously. Is it that you might have to travel somewhere outside your comfort zone to see your team play a road game in person? How many “away” games do you attend as it is?

  38. purpleguy says: May 6, 2011 2:21 PM

    Man, I don’t want to drive up to Arden Hills, but Ramsey County is the only local govt willing to front one-third of the cost. The best bet would be the Star Tribune property next to the Dome, with the existing infrastructure and no need to relocate for 3 years, but Minneapolis is so frigging tight they won’t cough up any dough with all the “feed the starving family in this economy” baloney flying around. Then again, the Arden Hills site would have awesome tailgating, and plenty of room in the nearby woods to bury unruly Packer fans.

  39. goombar2 says: May 6, 2011 2:47 PM

    Hate everything about the vikes. Their stadium, their dumb dinosaur mascot, the greasey bald loser driving a Harley, the team colors…

    And the rivalry? Until they got Favre I never considered them much… Jimmy loves talking about how they did nothing but pick up our scrubs and it’s true for the most part.

    They could be replaced by the Rams and I’d be just as happy. But maybe the best move is this one – putting the team on an ammo dump.

  40. recon163 says: May 6, 2011 3:00 PM

    @jvibottomline:

    “And to the LA defender, California is beyond BROKE…”

    So? The State isn’t paying for the stadium. And your point is?

    “and the Dodgers might not draw 1 million fans this year to that hood!”

    Wrong again. They have 17k season tickets sold, which means attendance will be over 1 million regardless….

  41. dickroy says: May 6, 2011 3:18 PM

    @NoHomeTeam

    I like the Browns insert!!
    As far as traveling outside my comfort zone, I’ll assure you I have been there. From All over Europe to South America and Australia, because my job takes me there.
    I just don’t think teams should have to travel that far through all the time zones. Would this not add to the owners expenses that they are bitching about.

  42. minnesconsin says: May 6, 2011 3:48 PM

    dickroy says:
    May 6, 2011 3:18 PM

    I just don’t think teams should have to travel that far through all the time zones. Would this not add to the owners expenses that they are bitching about.
    —————–

    errr, traveling to Toronto is pretty much the same thing as travelling to Buffalo or Detroit.

    next?

  43. ruvelligwebuike says: May 6, 2011 4:13 PM

    Arden Hills, Downtown…just get the deal done. I mean, does it really matter?

    The one thing I think we all can agree upon is that no matter what happens, it will be built up and trumpeted beyond belief, and in the end it will be a dismal failure. It’s Minnesota. The truth can’t be escaped.

  44. NoHomeTeam says: May 6, 2011 4:19 PM

    dickroy says: “I like the Browns insert!!”

    Glad you took it the right way. I was, of course just pointing out that any team can be moved if the owner is sufficiently motivated, even if there is a strong fan base in place.

    “As far as traveling outside my comfort zone, I’ll assure you I have been there. From All over Europe to South America and Australia, because my job takes me there.”

    My apologies for being presumptuous about what I perceived as provincialism on your part.

    “I just don’t think teams should have to travel that far through all the time zones. Would this not add to the owners expenses that they are bitching about.”

    You have a valid point. Since federal regulations (and, of course, cost) have rendered commercial supersonic travel a relic of the past, a team based in Europe or Asia would present significant logistical hurdles (although, to be fair, you must admit that would not apply to a team in Toronto or Mexico City, which are two of the most frequently discussed extranational destinations for the NFL) .

    Well retorted.
    (and, for what it’s worth, I don’t want to see the Vikings move either).

  45. nbcwantsitsmoneyback says: May 6, 2011 4:20 PM

    You would think the NFL would be pushing to get the Vikings out of Minnesota so they never have to wind up in their courtrooms again..!

  46. gdeli says: May 6, 2011 4:30 PM

    you packer guys don’t need to comment on our team if you hate them so bad. it’s that easy. the arden hills site has to be cleaned up but that may be good to get something going there and keep the vikes in mn. If they move I am not rooting for the pack. we dislike their colors and those cheesehead thigs on there head. our guy is a cool school teacher that rides the harley and is a man. the pack just has a cool td song. todd rundgren’s “bang on the drum all day”. I wish the vikes had that or something cool like that. oh and some championships too. 0-50. that hurts. no to duluth or rochester but you have a point. there are other areas of mn besides the twin cities for pete’s sake. some people here treat outstate mn like some west/east coast people consider mn/wisc, etc “fly over land”. crazy.

  47. recon163 says: May 6, 2011 6:22 PM

    @ dickroy:

    “As far as traveling outside my comfort zone, I’ll assure you I have been there. From All over Europe to South America and Australia, because my job takes me there.”

    So then you, of all people, should understand the desire to expand globally.

    “I just don’t think teams should have to travel that far through all the time zones.”

    Why not? How many time zones is too many? Are you advocating that all teams be located in the same time zone?

    “Would this not add to the owners expenses that they are bitching about.”

    Not at all. That cost will get passed on to you, the consumer.

  48. locutus says: May 6, 2011 7:58 PM

    goombar2 says: May 6, 2011 2:47 PM

    This guy “hates” everything about the Vikes so much that he feels the need to comment about them on an article that is solely about them. Way to go Goombah! You just won the hypocrite “sour grapes” of the year award. Why the sour grapes you ask? Well, it is because Viking fans have a life and a love of a team that does not depend on the machinations of others, unlike the Packer fans.

  49. mediasloppy says: May 6, 2011 8:09 PM

    Duluth? Who the hell is going to drive up there. The best place has to be the city or someplace close to take advantage of light-rail. The future of downtown is easy access along with cars and trucks. It would be sweet to be able to take light-rail from Mall of America to a stadium and the downtown area.

  50. goombar2 says: May 6, 2011 10:52 PM

    Wow, what a comeback… You have sour grapes because my favorite team sucks!

    Look, I’d be all for keeping the vikes here if they were a competitive franchise with some history, an owner that was at least a fan, or heck – if they didn’t take welfare from the Pack to stay in business.

    But the vikes aren’t competitive and won’t be for the foreseeable future. The vikes have no real history and much like the Tampa Bay Bucs, really won’t be missed. The owner is a Giants fan and just bought the team as an investment and the vikes notoriously are in the red and can barely sell out a playoff game.

    It’s just logical that perhaps a move for this team would make sense for all involved. It’s a business after all, and right now business in Minnehaha isn’t very good.

    Make that as personal as you want, but that’s the TRUTH!

  51. chubrock50 says: May 8, 2011 12:59 PM

    The Vikings have never won a Super Bowl but they are far from a losing franchise. They are at the top with the most playoff appearances in the league, not the top but are up there and they have only been around since 1961. So % wise they may have the highest playoff % with the amount of years they have been around except for the Cowboys. Don’t have enough time to do the math but their playoff appearance % is easily the highest in the NFC North. So talk all you want about them choking in the Super Bowl, it sucks and they seemed cursed, but they are a very competitive winning franchise. Just can’t close out the big one.

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