Fanning says that the Saints are willing to kick in 50 percent to 60 percent of the construction cost from skybox, parking, and naming-rights revenue. He insists that the team doesn't want tax money to go into the project, and he suggests that one or more private developers could possibly fill the funding gap as part of a larger redevelopment on Harriet Island.
That funding gap, warns St. Paul Deputy Mayor Susan Kimberly, is hardly a trivial problem. "What can I say? There's something missing there," she says. "Our expectation conceptually is that the team can support the building, and that the public's probably going to have to come up with the site."
If the Saints are to achieve their goal of playing in a new stadium by 2003, Fanning and others in the club's front office need to hammer out a proposal with St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman's office by this fall. Fanning and Kimberly say they are optimistic. But if Twins owner Carl Pohlad were talking, he'd probably call that mighty ambitious.