With Wednesday pretty much in the books, the Minnesota Vikings are down to five days -- including this weekend -- to have their $1.057 billion stadium proposal addressed and approved by the Minnesota state legislature.
The session is scheduled to adjourn Monday, and some of you have asked whether Gov. Mark Dayton would call a special session afterward to address this issue. The answer is perhaps, but as team vice president Lester Bagley said during an interview Wednesday on KFAN-1130, everything depends on the timing of a state budget agreement among legislators. It's unlikely the stadium bill would be addressed before then.
A few Wednesday developments of note:
As expected, the Minnesota Department of Transportation lowered its cost estimate of road improvements it deems necessary around the project in suburban Arden Hills. Instead of costing $175 million, it will take $131 million. Of the $44 million reduction, $20 million came from re-classifying a project previously attached to stadium construction, according to the Star Tribune.
The Vikings issued a statement implying they were in agreement on the $131 million figure and added: "We appreciate the fact that these discussions have lowered the overall project costs, and we look forward to working with the governor and legislative leaders on resolving the stadium issue in Minnesota."
Here's the current problem: Whether the figure was $175 million or $131 million, the team's current proposal doesn't cover it. Ramsey County has offered to float the state a 20-year loan to pay for roads, but Dayton has said that money would be subtracted from his $300 million commitment of state money.
Looked at from any point of view, the sides are now $131 million apart instead of $175 million.
Meanwhile, the Vikings are continuing to confront behind-the-scenes efforts to direct the stadium back to Minneapolis, which made a belated $895 million proposal earlier this month.
Most recently, news emerged that one of the stadium bill's authors was considering the introduction of two parallel proposals -- one with the stadium in Arden Hills and one in Minneapolis. During his radio interview, Bagley said "it's not going to happen." Bagley added: "The solution is not to kill Arden Hills and sneak Minneapolis in the back door."