There has been a lot of contention in Minnesota about the proposed site of the new Vikings stadium. With the collapse of the Metrodome roof, the Vikings have deemed the Metrodome unacceptable and are ready to build a new Vikings stadium. Currently, the proposed sites for the new Vikings stadium are Minneapolis and Arden Hills.
Vikings owner prefers that the new Vikings stadium is built on the 260 acre Arden Hills site. The proposed Arden Hills location is currently the home of a closed army munitions plant. Since the Metrodome replacement could potentially end up a few blocks from my house, I am particularly interested in the potential outcomes of building a new Vikings stadium in Arden Hills. While a new Vikings stadium could bring new jobs to Ramsey County, it also means a tax hike and a lot of road construction. Here are a few more pros and cons of replacing the Metrodome with a stadium in Arden Hills:
Potential for thousands of new jobs
As mentioned above, a new Vikings stadium in Arden Hills could bring many much-needed jobs to the area and not onlyh in construction work. The stadium would be a boon for the tourism industry in Arden Hills, meaning more hotels, restaurants and shopping locations, which will all require new employees.
The closed down munitions plant has been sitting empty for years, a problem caused in part by the expense of cleaning the site up. Without clean-up help, the Arden Hills site will continue to be an environmental hazard.
Continued Use of Metrodome
While the Vikings are no longer interested in the Metrodome, building a new Vikings stadium in Arden Hills would allow for continued use of the Metrodome by other organizations. The Metrodome has been used for a variety of purposes, including marching band competitions, high school football, landscape shows and more. These community functions would come to a halt for some period of timeif a new Vikings stadium was built on the Metrodome site. Once the Arden Hills Vikings stadium is built, it can also be used year-round, thanks to a proposed retractable roof.
Sales Tax for Ramsey County
The Vikings will only cover roughly 40% of the cost of replacing the Metrodome. The remainder of the expenses will be covered by Ramsey County residents, who will pay a sales tax of a half-cent tax for every dollar. Given high unemployment levels and continued economic hardship, Ramsey County residents may not be eager to pay extra taxes, especially if they do not care for football or the Vikings.
Cost of Road Construction
The current highways and freeways near the old munitions plant are already strained with traffic. If a new Vikings stadium is built in Arden Hills, these roads will need to be redone, a process that is sure to add to the stadium’s price tag.
Lack of Public Support
According to a recent Star Tribune poll, a whopping two-thirds of Minnesotans disapprove of the new Vikings stadium proposal. And three out of four Minnesotans would prefer it if the Vikings remained in the Metrodome. Those against building a new Vikings stadium do not want to pay extra taxes, and feel the money would be better spent on education and other programs, instead of a new Vikings stadium in which the Vikings will only play ten games each year.