Koch open to using Legacy funds for stadium

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said Thursday she would consider using money from the state's Legacy Amendment for a Vikings stadium.

"They're certainly a part of our history and our heritage," Koch, R-Buffalo, told MPR's Morning Edition. "That's something that I'm sure we'll be debating."

Using Legacy dollars for the stadium is a proposal some Republicans have floated. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton hasn't ruled out the option, but won't release his stadium proposal until the week of Nov. 7.

On Thursday he planned to get an aerial tour of the Arden Hills site, which is where the Vikings want to build a new stadium.

Legislators are scheduled to meet Friday with Dayton to talk about the options for a new Vikings stadium. It's been almost two weeks since their last meeting, but little progress has been made towards a deal.

Koch said without a specific plan, it's hard to gauge whether there is enough legislative support for a new stadium.

"The folks want to hear an actual proposal," she said.

Koch said she's open to the Legacy proposal but has ruled out some ideas already.

"At this point I'm not saying except for some sort of statewide tax, tax increases, or using money out of the general fund. Those are no's for me. And I'd like to see a referendum in Ramsey County, but other than that, I'm trying to keep options and an open mind," she said.

But she said finding consensus will not be easy.

"Anything will be a tough sell, and it should be. These are tough times, people are concerned," Koch said.

Still, Koch said it's worth trying to keep the Vikings in Minnesota.

"I think they're an asset," she said.

(MPR's Tim Nelson and Cathy Wurzer contributed to this report.)

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