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Dayton, lawmakers to get visit from NFL commissioner on Vikings stadium

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will host an early Tuesday meeting with the National Football League commissioner and sponsors of legislation to build a new Vikings stadium.

Commissioner Roger Goodell is in Minnesota to discuss the $1 billion stadium project, which the Vikings want to build in the northwestern Ramsey County community of Arden Hills.

Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said he and Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, are among those on the pre-breakfast guest list at Dayton's official state residence. It was not clear if others also would attend.

The meeting comes just before the governor's regular meeting with legislative Republican leaders, where talks is bound to center on the state budget with a week left in the 2011 legislative session.

Lanning said among his questions will be how much the NFL can do to help fund a new stadium.

While Lanning and Rosen have authored bills that could lead to a new stadium, Lanning said many questions remain. No committee hearing is scheduled on the plan.

Lanning said a major question is how much road upgrades would cost in the area of the 65,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium. That could make it more expensive than lawmakers and Dayton want to pay; they limit any state participation to $300 million.

Also, Lanning said, he has not heard back from Ramsey County as to just how they would need a bill to be worded. He has waited for days for that information.

The Vikings say they will not renew their Metrodome lease after next football season. While team owners say they do not plan to move the Vikings out of Minnesota, there is a possibility the team could be sold if a new stadium is not built.

A new stadium would not just be for the Vikings. It would be used for a variety of sports and other activities, much like the Metrodome.

Don Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Bemidji Pioneer.