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Vikings, Ramsey County set terms on stadium proposal

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sports Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ST. PAUL (AP) -- A written agreement between the Minnesota Vikings and Ramsey County proposes a stadium in suburban Arden Hills that would be publicly owned and leased by the team, and have a retractable roof -- unless the team decides it's too expensive.

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The agreement, released a day after the team and county officials announced their joint venture, states that the team could decide to build a fixed roof instead if the proposed retractable roof costs too much. Under the deal, the team would be responsible for some but not all cost overruns on the $1.1 billion, 65,000-seat stadium at the site of a former Army ammunition plant north of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Team and county officials announced their deal Tuesday for a replacement to the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. The proposal splits construction costs between the team, which would pay $407 million; the county, which would pay $350 million; and the state of Minnesota, which would pay $300 million -- but would also be on the hook for transportation costs that could exceed another $100 million.

State lawmakers who support the stadium and Gov. Mark Dayton have said the state won't pay more than $300 million. But the agreement between the team and the county includes the explicit expectation that such costs should be the responsibility of the state.

"Providing these types of transportation infrastructure improvements to state roadways and interstate highways has traditionally been an obligation of the state," the agreement reads.

The deal notes that the Vikings' share would come not just from team funds but also the National Football League and from sale of private seat licenses. The team would also be the beneficiary of private naming rights.

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