Lawmakers and Minnesota Vikings management are closer than ever to an agreement on the location of a new stadium, the Star Tribune reports.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Governor Mark Dayton, and a few other lawmakers discussed the plan for a new Vikings stadium during a three-hour closed-door meeting Wednesday morning.
The Vikings and state officials have been butting heads for more than a year over the location of a proposed replacement for the aging Metrodome. Wilf and the Vikings have been pushing for a new stadium to be built at the site of an abandoned ammunitions plant in Arden Hills, where they would have more control over parking and surrounding developments. Lawmakers prefer instead for the replacement stadium to be built on the current Metrodome site, which would be a boon to urban development.
Now it seems that Wilf and the Vikings have softened their stance on the current dome site after Wednesday's meeting, though they have not committed fully.
"Arden Hills is not out of the picture. We would still like to explore, but we would leave it up to the legislative working group to decide where they would want us to work hardest at, " Wilf told the Pioneer Press. "We're very excited that we're getting closer. A lot of hard work's ahead of us, but we feel optimistic and confident that we'll get something done."
The Pioneer Press also reports that the proposed stadium at the site of the current dome would cost around $915 million, making it the least expensive off all the stadium proposals. The current proposed plan finds Minneapolis, the state government, and the Vikings each contributing about a third of the cost.
Although Governor Dayton's goal for Wednesday's meeting was to bring Wilf around to the idea of building on the dome site, he is similarly optimistic about finally coming to an agreement.
"I think we made excellent progress today," he said.