It’s official. Sort of.
Though the clumsy-at-times press conference conducted by Ramsey County powers-that-be had an air of finality, a new Vikings stadium has not yet received a full green light. For now, the franchise has picked a location, and Arden Hills will be the home of the new Vikings stadium.
If, that is, the Vikings and Ramsey County can persuade the Minnesota Legislature to pass a bill that would contribute a large chunk of the funding for the total project.
Assuming that the elected officials elect to pass the bill, the Vikings will have in roughly three years a $1 billion facility, for which the Vikings will contribute $407 million.
“Reaching an agreement with Ramsey County as our local partner is a major milestone in our efforts to finalize a long-term stadium solution, and we are pleased to have found such a strong and forthright partner,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said. “While we certainly appreciate the proposal by the City of Minneapolis, as well as the recent efforts by Hennepin County, we believe the Ramsey County site offers the most benefits to our fans, the team and the State and is the ideal site for a new stadium.”
The new stadium, if it’s built, will sit 10 miles north of the Twin Cities. It will have a retractable roof, and the parking lots will bring back to Minnesota the tradition of tailgating.
When, that is, 30 inches of snow isn’t on the ground. Or on the roof of the new stadium, which hopefully will be both retractable and non-collapsible.
“With a local partner and a site locked in, we can now focus on working with legislators and the governor to pass a stadium bill that secures the long-term future of the Vikings in Minnesota and supports thousands of much-needed jobs,” said Vikings president Mark Wilf. “We look forward to working with State leaders to determine the State’s contribution.”
As long as that contribution is a lot closer to $300 million than $0.00, it could be time to throw some confetti. Until then, the Vikings and Ramsey County should keep the cork in the champagne bottles.