Anoka County Deal Dead

On the heels of the Vikings announcing that they would explore options for a downtown stadium, their first business partner in Anoka County announced Tuesday that they had withdrawn their offer and pledge of money to a stadium in the northern suburbs.

Late last week, the Vikings announced that they would explore options for considering the construction of a stadium in downtown Minneapolis -- both on the current Metrodome site and at another site nearby the current stadium.

Tuesday officials from Anoka County, which had worked closely with the Vikings on securing a stadium deal as part of a $1 billion complex of stores, hotels and a stadium in the northern suburbs, announced it was withdrawing its offer of financial support.

The county had indicated that, if a stadium was to be constructed in Anoka County, the county would contribute $280 million to the project. That changed abruptly late last week with the announcement that the Vikings and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission would conduct a feasibility study on a downtown location. Anoka County officials viewed the move as a betrayal of trust and gave the Vikings a deadline of noon Monday to return to exclusive negotiations.

Because owner Zygi Wilf was out of town, it was requested by Vikings officials that the deadline be extended one week so the parties could talk face to face, but the Anoka County offer was pulled back and, at this point, it looks like the stadium location in the county has become a moot point.

Anoka County has spent a reported $850,000 in preparation work at the site over the last three years.

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