#Local Government
Ramsey County Commissioners
United States of America

Like most Minnesotans, we are Viking Fans. From Fran Tarkenton to Tommy Kramer to Randall Cunningham to Adrian Peterson I have always been a huge fan of the Vikings. That being said, the proposed Viking stadium in Arden Hills is a bad idea for numerous reasons.

The proposed stadium and accompanying infrastructure will cost at least $1.057 billion and will cost Ramsey County residents $350 million with an additional $300 million coming from taxpayers through the state. A total of $650 million in public funds will be used to pay for the stadium. Pushing the stadium at his site at this time is wrong for several reasons.

• To date there has been no official votes on this issue and only one scarcely attended public meeting. The biggest development in several generations is certainly worthy of a series of public conversations before decisions are made.

• Times are tough. With unemployment at 9.0%, gas near $4.00 per gallon and housing prices still sinking, citizens overwhelmingly are very reluctant to spend money on such a luxury item as a stadium. Additionally, with the state’s $5.1 billion deficit, it almost seems surreal that this proposal is picking up steam while extremely tough decisions are being in key areas such as human services and education.

• The “partnership” between the Vikings, Ramsey and the state is extremely one sided in the favor of the Vikings. As an example, if the project came in under budget by $200 million, the team would get $110 million of the savings, the county $70 million and the state $20 million. The Vikings pay approximately 40% of all costs, but get the vast amount of any savings.

• Fiscal issues are not the only area of concern. There are many other questions that need to be answered before the stadium concept moves forward. Issues that need to be researched include:

o Property Values: How does a stadium impact the value of the thousands of homes located within a few miles from the proposed stadium site?

o Traffic: Concern about probable traffic impacts to Highway 96, Lexington Avenue, County Road I/35W interchange as well as many residential streets.

o Noise: Concern about noise – coming from the high traffic levels and as well as the stadium itself.

o Crime: Would a stadium hosting large events increase the type and level of crime in the area?

o Environment: The proposed stadium site is near an extensive trail system and the Rice Creek regional trail. We need to understand if a stadium and associated development will negatively impact this environment.

We, the undersigned, call on Ramsey County, Arden Hills and State of Minnesota to protect the citizens of Ramsey County by:

1) building the new Viking stadium in downtown Minneapolis or St.Paul.

2) having the Vikings and users of the stadium pay for all expenses.

The Viking Fans Against the Arden Hills Stadium Proposal petition to Ramsey County Commissioners was written by Blake Huffman and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.