When it comes to the Vikings Stadium, the Twin Cities suddenly are behaving as if they’re conjoined.
On Wednesday, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman introduced a wide-ranging plan that would fund a Vikings Stadium that would be built in Minneapolis, not Arden Hills. Per the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Coleman suggests a statewide tax of two cents per alcoholic drink, a 0.25-percent St. Paul sales tax, and a local option sales tax extension in Minneapolis.
While the Vikings would remain in Minneapolis, the Timberwolves would move from the Target Center in Minneapolis to a retrofitted Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
As to the prospect of building a new Vikings Stadium in Arden Hills, Coleman said that plan doesn’t make sense.
There’s a minor hole in Coleman’s plan. Actually, two minor holes. Actually, two major holes.
The Vikings and the Timberwolves aren’t interested.
“We appreciate Mayor Coleman’s thoughts regarding a stadium solution, but we are entirely focused on our partnership with Ramsey County,” Vikings V.P. of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley said in a response posted on the team’s website. “The Arden Hills plan offers the best site for the State, the team and our fans. We have done what State leaders asked us to do by bringing forward an ideal site, a workable finance plan and significant team and local contributions. Our work with State leaders on stadium legislation is ongoing as part of the Special Session discussions.”
Coleman’s opposition to Arden Hills complicates the Arden Hills project because St. Paul, like Arden Hills, is located in Ramsey County. The current proposal to which the team and the county but not the state have agreed calls for a county-wide sales tax, which will impose a burden on St. Paul with no direct benefit.
And so an already complex situation has become even more complicated, and our bad feeling about the Vikings’ long-term future in Minnesota has gotten a little bit worse.