A coalition working to block a proposed Vikings stadium in Ramsey County has collected more than 10 percent of the signatures needed to put the issue before voters this November, the group said Wednesday.
The group has collected as many as 2,000 signatures, including more than 1,500 since Friday when a new phase of its efforts began after a previous strategy was short-circuited by county attorneys. The group, known as The No Stadium Tax Coalition, is looking to put an amendment to the county’s charter before voters this November in an attempt to block county backing of a Vikings stadium.
They have until July to collect about 15,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot, but organizers are hoping for as many as 17,000 in case any are ruled invalid.
The announcement came the night before Gov. Mark Dayton‘s Thursday deadline for proposals to be ready at the Capitol and shows that the group has had early success in an effort that even organizers say is still in its early stages. The coalition is still recruiting, training and organizing volunteers, it has said, although this week saw a number of signing events taking place all over Ramsey County.
The announcement also represents the group’s hope that it can influence the debate in and around the Capitol as final plans are readied and debate heats up this coming session. Organizer and Shoreview City Councilwoman Ady Wickstrom had said the group was hoping for a strong showing in its petition efforts to tout before Dayton’s deadline Thursday.
The Ramsey County-Arden Hills plan is expected to be just one of a few proposals submitted to the Capitol by Dayton’s 5 p.m. deadline Thursday evening. Wednesday saw a late addition to the stadium skirmish from local and state lawmakers from Shakopee, while Minneapolis is expected to come forward with a proposal of its own, likely narrowed down from three options the city has been contemplating for months.