It may be too late. But it’s not too little.
Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak said Tuesday the city would contribute $300 million toward a new stadium for the Vikings, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“We are prepared, with existing revenue streams, to put $300 million on the table,” Rybak said after meeting with the Vikings and Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday. “We do have the plan that will create all of the revenue options that are necessary for the Vikings.”
Rybak’s plan also includes using local properties, such as the Minneapolis Armory, as “event space” on game days. This would counter the reality that the team’s preferred location in Arden Hills, Ramsey County would allow for traditional tailgating.
As a result, the folks in Ramsey County feel like they got the runaround during a Tuesday hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.
“Minneapolis went in with their dog-and-pony show, and everybody bent over backwards and told them how sweet they were,” Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “[Ramsey County finance director] Lee Mehrkens got up there, and he got interrupted four times during his speech. . . . Maybe I’m just a fatalist sometimes, but it looked like a dog-and-pony show to me. It was like watching an episode of ‘We’ve already made up our minds and here’s what’s going to happen. ‘ Nobody asked any questions. He wasn’t given enough time to answer questions.”
There’s still much that needs to be done, including a $300 million contribution from the state government, to go along with the local contribution of $300 million. (The Vikings and the NFL will contribute $425 million, but the Vikings prefer the Arden Hills location.) In an appearance on Tuesday’s PFT Live, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen says he hopes that situation gets resolved, but his gut feeling is that it won’t.
If his gut his right, the rest of his body could be finishing his NFL career in Los Angeles.