Dayton: Metrodome is only workable site

The Vikings may be forced into their least favorable option for a stadium, the Metrodome site, if Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's words ring true.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton told Vikings owner Zygi Wilf on Monday that the team's new stadium will have to be at the Metrodome site if a stadium bill is to pass the Legislature this year, Dayton's spokeswoman said.

The Vikings have said they prefer a Ramsey County proposal to build a $1.1 billion stadium in suburban Arden Hills.

Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said it's not that the Democratic governor necessarily prefers the Metrodome site. But he believes that the stadium must be at that site if the bill is to pass during the legislative session that convenes Tuesday.

"I can't say this is the governor's favorite (site)," Tinucci told The Associated Press.

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley did not immediately return a phone message Monday night.

The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome has expired, and team owners have said that 30-year-old facility is no longer profitable enough compared with other NFL facilities. Fans fear that no new stadium could drive the team to another city.

Along with the Arden Hills and current Metrodome locations, one possible Minneapolis site for the stadium is near the Basilica of St. Mary Catholic Church, not far from the Minnesota Twins' Target Field. However, the basilica's rector, the Rev. John Bauer, said last week that church leaders do not want the stadium so close to their building and that they are exploring legal options.

Dayton said last week another possible Minneapolis site, near the city's Farmer's Market, is no longer under active discussion.

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