Newspaper article

Vikings Stadium: A Regional Problem That Requires a Regional Solution

Newspaper article

Vikings Stadium: A Regional Problem That Requires a Regional Solution

Article excerpt

If the Vikings stadium issue is not resolved in the current legislative session, it may be time for a fresh approach -- a regional approach -- to siting and funding this regional facility.

It makes little sense to expect one city or county to pony up a third of the cost of a sports facility that will benefit the entire metro area, as well as the state as a whole.

Nor does this politically expedient approach produce the best ideas for siting such a billion-dollar facility, as demonstrated by Ramsey County's proposal to build in Arden Hills and the Minneapolis plan to reuse the Metrodome site.

Met Council should be involved

The Metropolitan Council is the logical agency to task with developing a regional solution to the stadium issue.

The Met Council was created in 1967 to plan for "the orderly, economical development" of the seven-county area and to oversee the delivery of certain public services -- including transit and sewers - - that could not be provided effectively by any single city or county.

Later, the Legislature gave the council broad powers to review and suspend projects of "metropolitan significance" -- powers the council has seldom used.

The Met Council wasn't the invention of a bunch of wild-eyed liberals. The idea was pushed by a coalition that included business and civic leaders, groups such as the Citizens League and the League of Women Voters, and suburban officials active in what was then the metro section of the League of Minnesota Muncipalities.

The legislative architects -- Gorden Rosenmeier, Howard Albertson, Harmon Ogdahl and Bill Frenzel -- all were Republicans. And the measure was enthusiastically signed into law by a Republican governor, Harold LeVander.

In appointing the first council, LeVander said it "was conceived with the idea that we will be faced with more and more problems that will pay no heed to the boundary lines which mark the end of one community in this metropolitan area and the beginning of another. …

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