Well, Minneapolis officials aren't taking the Arden Hill plan very well.
Not at all. From the Strib:
The push to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium took more frantic twists and turns Thursday as the team suggested critics might be trying to scuttle its plan to build in Ramsey County and influential business leaders worked to swing the project back to Minneapolis.
I find it infuriating that Minneapolis is doing this. It seems they DON'T want Arden Hills to have a stadium...or anyone else, for that matter...more than they DO want one.
More on this political backbiting after the jump.
Lester Bagley, the Vikings point man on the stadium, didn't come right out and call the stadium detractors liars, but he did without using the word 'lie'. Opponents have said that the Ramsey County plan would overshoot the $300 million contribution from the state for infrastructure by $175 million. Said Bagley:
"Twenty thousand cars added to the road system on Sunday [for a game] costs $175 million? It's easy to kill stuff, particularly on stadiums, [but] I'm not casting aspersions."
Okay, he really IS casting aspersions, but semantics. He can't say it, because Bagley, as an official representative of the Vikings, has to walk a political tightrope on this.
But I can.
Minneapolis officials who are trying to kill this bill just because they're butt hurt the Vikings didn't pick their shitty 'Retrodome' proposal did need to back the hell off and get behind a workable stadium solution.
Arden Hills is that solution, and if state politicians would work as hard on the details of this plan as they are on trying to kill it, it could get done before the legilature adjourns on the 23rd.
Another thing I found a little surprising is that 14 of 22 state legislators that represent Ramsey County are against the stadium. St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman has yet to take a stand either way. Their main point, which I can see, is the tax levied on Ramsey County to pay for the stadium, and their point is that there needs to be a referendum of a more equitable, across the board tax that is spread out to more people in the state. I get that, I really do, and I'm not a tax and spend guy by any means. But the economic boon that their area will see as a result of this would seem to cancel that out, wouldn't it?
I would think a smart state legislator could have a town hall meeting and make the case that yeah, there will be a nominal sales tax increse, but the flip side to that is more tax revenue, jobs, which also produce tax revenue, and the ensuing benefits that money could result in. But I'm assuming state legislators are smart, my bad.
I find it ironic that if Minneapolis is working twice as hard to destroy the Arden Hills stadium than they are to get a workable one for the Vikings downtown, don't you?