DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is none too pleased with the Minnesota Vikings. The governor fired off a letter to the football team's owners Mark and Zygi Wilf today warning them he will fight any efforts to make season ticket holders pay part of the cost of building the new $975 million stadium.
"This private contribution is your responsibility, not theirs. I said this new stadium would be a 'People's Stadium,' not a 'Rich People's Stadium.' I meant it then, and I mean it now," Dayton wrote.
This comes after recent media reports that the Vikings emailed surveys to season-ticket holders to see if they would be willing to pay more for personal seat licenses in order to get the rights to certain seats. Dayton vowed he would urge the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to block the sale of those licenses and "if necessary, I will go to the Legislature next January and urge that the authorization be rescinded."
Dayton also made clear he is not pleased with the Vikings' eagerness to play home games overseas. He said that when the Vikings intially announced that one of their 2013 home games would be played in London, the team said it should not count towards their three-game limit of overseas games over 15 years because the final agreement had not been signed.
Dayton said after his "strong objection," the team reversed course and said it would count as one of the three games, but he noted that the team is already talking about a second home game that would be played overseas.
"The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings are supposed to be working together to build a new $975 million stadium. It would be far more helpful, if the Vikings focused public attention on a desire to play home games there, rather than elsewhere," Dayton wrote.
Local residents will get their chance to weigh in today on plans for the stadium's design. The Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority are hosting a listening session with the stadium architect at 6:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Rochester.
Click here to Download Dayton's letter to the Vikings