Plan would put new Vikings stadium near Metrodome

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Gov. Mark Dayton, political leaders and the Minnesota Vikings unveiled a proposal Thursday to build a $975 million stadium for the team in downtown Minneapolis and called for quick action on the plan before the Legislature adjourns this spring.

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The plan would put the new building nearly on top of the current Metrodome site. It calls for $398 million from the state, $150 million from the city and $427 million from the Vikings for upfront construction costs.

The state's share would come from an expansion of pulltab gambling games to add an electronic version, while Minneapolis' share would come from redirecting existing convention center and hospitality taxes.

"Now the real work begins," Dayton said.

The plan was rolled out at a Capitol news conference with Dayton joined by top legislators and team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf. Dayton has pressed for action on a new Vikings stadium for months, fearful that the team may leave the state without it as the Lakers did long ago.

"This is an exciting day, because the dream of keeping the Minnesota Vikings here for generations to come is close at hand," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said.

Dayton and political leaders have touted the project as a "people's stadium," to be used by colleges and high schools and for special events. Dayton said it would create jobs, too: as many as 8,000 construction jobs, 5,000 related jobs for suppliers and others, and 2,000 permanent jobs after that.

Supporters said the Vikings' share of the stadium costs would amount to just over half because the team would commit to paying some operational costs over time. But much of the money for those costs would likely come from stadium revenues earmarked for the team, and the proposal outlined Thursday gave no details on revenue distributions.

The Vikings have lagged at the bottom of the league in annual revenue in recent years at the Metrodome, which opened in 1982 as the quintessential multipurpose facility.

The team has refused to acknowledge interest in moving while confirming previous contact from interested groups including developers in Los Angeles. The NFL's deadline for relocation application already passed for 2012, and Commissioner Roger Goodell recently stressed the league's desire to put an expansion team in Los Angeles rather than one in an existing market.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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