ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings had a tepid reaction Wednesday to an unexpected late bid from a suburban Minnesota city looking to host the team's desired new stadium.
Officials from Shakopee, about 20 miles south of Minneapolis, threw themselves into the stadium sweepstakes just a day before officials from Minneapolis and Ramsey County were expected to submit their final stadium pitches. Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers who support a public stadium subsidy for a replacement to the Metrodome set the deadline as they push to resolve the issue in a legislative session that begins in less than two weeks.
Shakopee's new mayor, Brad Tabke, said a 130-acre site has benefits lacking in both Ramsey County's suburban proposal and three possible sites in downtown Minneapolis. The site, near the ValleyFair amusement park, is between two state highways and has existing infrastructure, and carries no cleanup costs. He estimated it would cost about $920 million to build there, the cheapest of all the current proposals on the table.
The Vikings have been seeking a new stadium to replace the Metrodome for nearly a decade, with team officials calling the 30-year-old stadium no longer sufficiently profitable compared to newer stadiums around the country. The team's lease there ran out at the end of the just-concluded regular season.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press