Shakopee, out of nowhere, announces Vikings stadium bid
Zygi Wilf stays up late dreaming about building something like this in suburbia, but he never had Shakopee in mind.
Maybe the the mayor of Shakopee simply misread his calendar by a year.
That's because today -- one day before the Governor Dayton-imposed deadline for final stadium proposals -- Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke plans to hold a news conference at the State Capitol to announce the suburb is "going after the Vikings."
What does it mean? With little time on the clock, the Vikings stadium drive has a long way to go before reaching the end zone.
After working around the clock this weekend, Mayor Tabke has put together a proposal to build a Vikings stadium at was was supposed to be the ADC telecommunications headquarters near highways 169 and 101.
Shakopee Mayor Tabke with two of his staunchest supporters.
SavetheVikes.org founder Cory Merrifield told MPR that initial estimates put the cost of the project at just over $900 million, which would make it the cheaper than the options provided by Minneapolis or Ramsey County. Proceeds from casino games at nearby Canterbury Park would help fund the public share of the stadium. No tax revenue is involved, unlike the Ramsey County and Minneapolis proposals.
Strong public opposition to kicking in $350 in Ramsey County funds for a $1.1 billion football cathedral in Arden Hills seems to be stymying the Vikings quest to build there. In recent days, the prospect of building a new stadium on the Metrodome site has gained momentum, but yesterday the Vikings quashed that by wondering publicly whether TCF Bank stadium, where the Vikes would play for a few years while construction takes places at the Dome, is suitable for the NFL. In addition to the fact that TCF Bank has less seats than the Vikings do season ticket holders, the team believes bringing the stadium up to big-league standards would cost an additional $67 million, bringing the total project cost up to as much as $962 million.
So while the Shakopee mayor may be facing a fourth-and-long in his quest to bring the Vikes to the land of Ren Fest, it's not like St. Paul or Minneapolis only have an extra-point kick between them and a new stadium. We'll see whether Republican Rep. Michael Beard of Shakopee or Republican Senator Clair Robling of Jordan -- both of whom plan to join Mayor Tabke during today's news conference -- can catch Shakopee's Hail-Mary pass and haul it through the legislature and into the end zone.
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