FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
YouTube – Save The Vikes
Media Alert: City of Shakopee declares interest in being new home for Vikings stadium
Press Conference Wednesday, January 11th at 4pm, State Office Building-Room 181
City Officials and State Legislators to discuss plan before submitting to Gov. Dayton
Shakopee, Minn (Jan 11th, 2012) – Brad Tabke has been the Mayor of Shakopee for exactly one week. In that time he has declared Shakopee open for business and he is trying to reel in his first big fish – the Minnesota Vikings. Mayor Tabke will be submitting a plan to Governor Dayton that he would like to be considered as an option for a new Vikings stadium.
Sitting between Highway 101 and 169 are 130-acres that have existing infrastructure, several routes in and out of the city and no environmental cleanup needed. Mayor Tabke feels it could make a great home to the Vikings and make Shakopee the “Entertainment Destination” of the Midwest.
“Shakopee hosts 6 million visitors each year at ValleyFair, Canterbury Park, the Renaissance Festival and many other attractions,” says Tabke.” We are excited to introduce our plan for adding the Minnesota Viking to the list of great reasons to visit Shakopee.”
“The Vikings clearly want a site with options, and the Shakopee site provides that,” explains Tabke. “There is room for a 75,000 seat stadium and 22,000 tailgaters. Land is also available next to the proposed site that has lake access, park access and more.”
Businesses in Shakopee are also excited by the proposition. Shakopee Chamber and Visitors Bureau President Angie Whitcomb say business owners large and small welcome the team with open arms. ”Business owners see this as a tremendous opportunity that will bring people from all across the Midwest,” says Whitcomb.
“The Vikings mean business, and Shakopee is open for business,” Says Whitcomb. “650,000 more people coming to Shakopee every year for the Vikings means added business to our community. Shakopee can accommodate an added ten percent influx of visitors.”
Mayor Tabke also recruited Shakopee native and SavetheVikes.org Founder Cory Merrifield to help with the plan. “It started with a tweet,” says Merrifield. “He asked if I could assist him with pulling the plan together and of course I jumped at the chance to have the Vikings in my home town.”
Merrifield feels this plan shows that Minnesota communities value the Vikings and want to see them stay. ”You have several communities standing up asking to be the new home of the Vikings. The team is doing everything it can to find a stadium solution – everybody is acting on this and it’s the Legislators’ turn to move forward with a solution. With the lease expired, they can’t punt on the issue any longer.”
Two legislators that have been working towards a solution support the Shakopee stadium site. Local Senator Claire Robling (R-Jordan) stands behind the Shakopee proposal saying, “We’re looking for solutions. This is a good solution for a site and using Racino as a local funding source makes sense. People should take a serious look at this.”
Representative Mike Beard (R-Shakopee) shares the sentiment, “we are working to find a way to get a yes on the Vikings stadium.”
“Shakopee has a lot to offer that is equal or better to the other sites,” says Beard. “I am proud of my home team in Shakopee; we look forward to welcoming 65,000 people every other Sunday.”
Mayor Brad Tabke, Shakopee Chamber and Visitors Bureau President Angie Whitcomb, Rep. Beard and Sen. Robling will be available for comment and question at a 4:00pm press conference at the Capitol in the State Office Building, Room 181 Wednesday afternoon (1/11/12).
Some facts to consider regarding the Shakopee Site:
130-acre lot, four times size of Metrodome, three times the size of Farmers Market and Linden Ave sites
Adjacent City owned 105-acre lot zoned for park and recreation contains lake, room for parks, trails and overnight camping.
Nine hotels within a five mile radius
South five miles on 169 from Winter Park, between Mankato Training Camp and Vikings HQ
Entertainment Corridor in Shakopee with ValleyFair, Canterbury Park, Raceway Park, Murphy’s landing and minutes from Mystic Lake and 3 of Minnesota’s best golf courses
Existing infrastructure (Electrical, Water, Sewer, Communications)
No environmental cleanup needed
Room for fan plaza, tailgating, trailgating and railgating
Total cost $920 Million – Second largest site, cheapest to build
Financed with user based fan fees and Racino
SavetheVikes.org is a grassroots, nonpartisan group dedicated to securing the Vikings a new home in Minnesota. The group is open to many forms of stadium solutions and financing, and is an advocate for keeping the Vikings a Minnesota team. Founder Cory Merrifield created SavetheVikes.org to be for the fans, by the fans. The group is not owned or operated by any company or political organization.
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