Earlier today, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced that a meeting with legislative leaders had resulted in a conclusion that a proposed Vikings stadium funded in part by a local sales tax won’t happen without a public vote. Some of you have expressed, in strong terms, that this decision doesn’t kill the project.
Unless the powers-that-be can come up with another $350 million to replace the local contribution, it does.
Most telling in this regard is the absence of any statement from the Vikings in the wake of the announcement. Recently, the Vikings had been firing off announcements after every twist and turn in the process.
PFT also sent an email to Vikings V.P. of business affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley (pictured), who has appeared at least three times on PFT Live to discuss the project.
In response? Nothing.
This simply isn’t a matter of finding a forgotten wad of $350 million in an old pair of pants. It’s been a delicate process from the start, and it won’t be easy to replace the third leg of the funding stool. The fact that the Vikings haven’t issued a formal statement on such an important development confirms that.
UPDATE 10:43 p.m. ET: The Vikings haven’t been completely silent. Bagley spoke on the matter today. “We have a local partner, it’s Ramsey County. We have an ideal site, it’s Arden Hills,” Bagley said, via FOX 9. “We have had zero talks with Minneapolis. We have a partner and it’s Arden Hills. There’s time to pull this together. We’re confident our leaders can get this done.” His comment really doesn’t address the elimination of a sales tax as an option for raising the local contribution.
UPDATE 10:50 p.m. ET: PFT has now received a response from Bagley. “We still have a couple months before the lease expires,” Bagley said in an email to PFT. “The good news [is that] all 4 Legislative leaders [and] Governor are working together, trying to resolve it, for the first time ever. Today was mostly about the process moving forward, narrowing the focus. There are still enough revenue streams on the table that would resolve this issue in Minnesota. Replacing $350 [million] from Ramsey County will be difficult. We look forward to seeing the State’s comprehensive finance plan.”