FanPost

Early Stadium Proposal Review

CCNorseman has done a pretty good job breaking down the relevant proposals here. So, to the front page it goes. Enjoy! - Chris

I've been checking in regularly today to see what the good folks here at DN have to say about the various stadium proposals, since the deadline was at 5pm today. And after checking various internet sources as well, I stumbled on some interesting articles. According to the Pioneer Press, there were many proposals presented, but the Governor is focusing on two: Minneapolis and Arden Hills. So, a breakdown of those two proposals follow after the jump.

1. Minneapolis

There have been competing venues in Minneapolis, but officially only 1 site has the proposal that was submitted to the Governor. I'll work through each one.

1a. Downtown East. This is the official 4-page proposal, and is the current Metrodome site. It would cost an estimated $907 Million, and would open in 2015. The Vikings would have to play at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of MN for 3 years while they demo the Metrodome, and rebuild a new stadium. They are calling this "The People's Stadium", and would be financed through existing "Convention Center Taxes", which is a combination of a 0.5% citywide sales tax, 3% restaurant/liquor tax and a 2.65% hotel/lodging tax. They would also raise funds from a new Block E casino, and some of the proceeds for this endeavor would go towards renovating Target Center and the Convention Center. There weren't a lot of details in this plan, but through re-allocating those existing taxes, the city can come up with $150 Million. Additional revenue would come from the Block E casino, but there is no estimate given there. The state has already agreed to kick in $350 Million regardless, and Wilf has publicly stated that while he is willing to privately spent $425 Million on Arden Hills, he's not willing to spend that much on Minneapolis. So, there is a shortfall in funding that would need to come from somewhere with this proposal.

1b. Basilica/Linden Ave. The Mayor was quoted as saying that they are "open to and in continued discussions" with the Vikings on this other site. I wasn't able to find a specific proposal for this site, and I'm not sure if the Mayor submitted one. However, since the priest of the basilica is against a stadium anywhere near there, and the cost is $1.01 Billion, I would assume this option is probably a back-up plan at best.

1c. Farmer's Market. There has been no mention of this site by the Mayor either, and it was not mentioned in the proposal. I assume it's no longer on the table.

2. Arden Hills

This is a more seriously fleshed out proposal, and is the one the Vikings support. It is a 148 page proposal will clear plans for cleanup of the old Army Ammunition site, infrastructure fixes with the interstates, and funding packages. While it's a little more expensive than the Metrodome site, the Wilf's are also willing to chip in more private money to make it happen. The estimated costs of this site are $1.111 Billion, and it would also open in 2015 (the Vikings would continue to play in the Metrodome until it is finished). The biggest difference between this site and the downtown Minneapolis site, is the 21,000 parking spaces that would be available for tailgating. While, the current Metrodome site has the advantage of existing infrastructure with the light-rail, interstates, and bus routes, it has the drawback of not having any tailgating space. It also has the drawback of displacing the team for 3 years. The Arden Hills site would be financed by Ramsey County to the tune of $375 Million, raised through a 3% increase in food/liquor sales. The state chips in their $350 Million, and Wilf chips in his $425 Million for a grand total of $1.2 Billion. The major drawback in funding here, is that it requires the Ramsey County Legislature to approve the sales tax increase. Months ago, there was already a public petition gaining support against such a sales tax increase.

3. Other Proposals

The city of Shakopee submitted a proposal at the last minute, but it doesn't seem to have garnered much support from either the Vikings or Governor Dayton. It is only slightly more expensive than the Metrodome site, clocking in at $920 Million, but features many of the same things the Arden Hills site would have: tailgating, infrastructure fixes, etc. It would be paid for by a variety of user fees from Stadium use, as well as revenue from a racino track. It requires $400 Million from Wilf, which might be the dealbreaker. "A number of other plans were submitted", according to the Pioneer Press article linked above, but none of these other proposals were mentioned. Governor Dayton said he would examine all the proposals next week to hopefully have something to present to the Legislature when they reconvene on January 24th.

Conclusion

And there you have it. As I am no longer a resident of Minnesota, I truly feel as though I am on the outside looking in here. There are advantages and drawbacks to all of the proposals, but as a fan, I personally feel as though there are more advantages to the Arden Hills site. If I were a citizen of Minnesota, living in the Twin Cities however, I would probably prefer the Downtown East site, as my tax dollars would go towards a new stadium AND renovating Target Center and the Convention Center. While it would be a hassle for the team, the U and neighborhood surrounding TCF Bank Stadium, it feels like the general public would get more out of their tax dollars (and potentially appease non-Vikings fans a bit) with the Downtown East site. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I would be surprised if the Downtown East site is defeated, despite it being a measly, last-minute 4-page proposal, compared to the detailed, mostly planned, 148 page proposal for Arden Hills.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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