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North suburbs' chamber of commerce calls stadium process 'unfair'

Members of the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter to some key state leaders accusing them of holding the Arden Hills site to a higher standard than Minneapolis. They're also questioning why Ramsey County was not invited to tap revenue from electronic pull-tabs and entertainment taxes.
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Members of the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter to some key state leaders accusing them of holding the Arden Hills site to a higher standard than Minneapolis. They're also questioning why Ramsey County was not invited to tap revenue from electronic pull-tabs and entertainment taxes.

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Stadium proposals landed on Mark Dayton's desk Thursday and the governor says he may pick a favorite next week. Minneapolis promised to kick in $6.5 million per year if the Vikings choose to stay in the city. Ramsey County, meanwhile, hiked its contribution to an Arden Hills site by another $75 million and boosted the total price tag over $1.1 billion by including road improvements.

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Ramsey County leaders hope to collect 15,000 signatures to force a referendum vote in November on whether to publicly fund a proposed Arden Hills stadium. The ad hoc group says the effort is in response to elected officials ignoring their constituents and kowtowing to Vikings ownership.

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An exhausted Ramsey County commissioner tells the Pioneer Press they've "jumped every friggin' hoop there is in town" in their efforts to build a stadium in Arden Hills. Meanwhile, the possibility of building the facility across the river in Minneapolis seems to be gaining favor at the Capitol.

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The first proposal would plant the facility in Arden Hills and significantly up the state's contribution, which would be covered at least partly through electronic bingo and pulltab machines, a plan that Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley says might be "viable." Bagley tells the Star Tribune the second proposal, which would have the team and its partners cover 80 percent of the stadium's costs, "would not allow the Vikings to be competitive."

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