There was a mix of optimism and skepticism at the State Capitol yesterday as Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke introduced his idea for a Vikings stadium site at the intersection of Highway 169 and County Road 101.
Along with Republican Senators Claire Robling, of Jordan, and Mike Beard, of Shakopee, Tabke presented his suggestion to Mark Dayton just 24 hours ahead of the governor’s deadline for stadium proposals.
Tabke displayed several geographic renderings of the 130-acre site with an adjacent 109 acres of city-owned park property. The proposed stadium would sit less than two miles from both Canterbury Park and Valleyfair, and would be accessible by several major access points.
Despite critics who think Shakopee is joining the game too late, Tabke insists his plan has fewer problems than the downtown and Arden Hills proposals. Due to its location in an industrial park, the Shakopee site would not have major environmental or infrastructure issues like its metro counterparts.
In response to questions about whether Shakopee would legitimately receive attention as a proposal due to its last-minute submission, Tabke suggested that even the Minneapolis sites, which are now getting serious attention from Vikings officials, were not being considered several weeks ago.
Angie Whitcomb, president of the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce, said the area business community was excited about the prospects of having such a large enterprise come to town.
“You know, there’s one thing about attracting new businesses to our town, and there’s going after the Vikings,” Whitcomb said at the Wednesday Press conference. “I guess we’re a little town that likes to think big.”