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New Vikes stadium could be built on parking lot near Metrodome

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Yet another site is being proposed for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

The new plan would put the stadium just east of where the Metrodome now stands on what is currently a parking lot. Earlier plans to build on the Metrodome site had required the Vikings to move elsewhere for as long as three years, likely to TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.

Ted Mondale, chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, said the plan -- which is still being shaped -- could see a new stadium as much as three-fourths done before the Metrodome would have to be demolished. Mondale said in that scenario the Vikings could stay in the Dome through 2015, with a new stadium complete by 2016.

Lester Bagley, the Vikings vice president for stadium development and public affairs, said the goal is to cut down on time the team plays at TCF Bank Stadium. Playing at the university stadium would also require about $50 million to make the facility NFL-ready.

"It's the dome site proposal but shifting it," Bagley said. "The idea is to eliminate the three seasons we're playing at the university."

Bagley said the Vikings, city and state officials are looking to prepare a funding package for this newest proposal in the next week to 10 days. Bagley said the team isn't convinced the new plan is affordable.

The Vikings have said their preferred site is the St. Paul suburb of Arden Hills, but the site's been ruled out by Gov. Mark Dayton without any clear source of local government revenue. Another site near a historic church on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis has also been rejected.

Stadium bill sponsor Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said a new proposal would have to be ready in the next couple of weeks for lawmakers to consider it this session.

The Vikings have sought a replacement to the Metrodome for nearly a decade, saying it no longer generates sufficient revenue for the team to keep up with other NFL clubs, most of which are playing in new or renovated facilities. The Vikings used to share the building with the Twins and the University of Minnesota, but both opened new stadiums within the last two years.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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