MEDIA Vikings target sharing stadium with U : LUSENET : Purple : One Thread

Published: Friday, March 9, 2001

Vikings target sharing stadium with U

Pioneer Press

---------------------------------------------------------------------- -- ARON KAHN STAFF WRITER ---------------------------------------------------------------------- -- The Minnesota Vikings are focusing on three sites for a football stadium they would use jointly with the University of Minnesota. Two are virtually on the university's Minneapolis campus and the third is in downtown Minneapolis between the university and the Metrodome. Vikings lobbyists showed drawings of the sites Thursday to Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum, R-Kenyon, and House Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty, R-Eagan. According to people familiar with the sites, one is located on the East Bank of the campus in a surface-parking area northeast of Williams and Mariucci arenas. A second is near the Mississippi River on the West Bank, just upstream from the Washington Avenue Bridge and not far from the university's law school. The third is located in a downtown area south of Washington Avenue, east of the Metrodome near Interstate 35W. The university owns the land at the first site, while the others are held by a variety of owners, the sources said. Vikings stadium consultant Lester Bagley said the team is attempting to put together a plan to serve both teams without adding to the tax burden of the average Minnesotan. Under that emerging plan, the stadium would have a retractable roof and cost at least $450 million. It would be built with money from Vikings owner Red McCombs, the National Football League, a variety of stadium-related revenue, and possibly a no-interest state loan of the kind that helped build the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The university is not lobbying for a stadium but would play there if someone else built it, officials there have said. The Vikings think chances of passing a bill will increase if the stadium is for both teams. With many major issues to solve before adjournment, there has been no overt enthusiasm at the Capitol for a stadium, either for the football teams or the Twins. Trying to break through that clutter, the teams say bills likely will be introduced in the next two weeks. ``They're going in the right direction, but we're not about to stop the session, or important issues, for stadium legi

-- Mark (Karch, March 09, 2001

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