Minnesota Vikings stadium proposal published
Here we go again.
Now that the Legislature appears to be nearing the end of debate on some seriously draconian bills that slash spending on education, health and human services, it's going to take up the matter of having taxpayers shell out for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
"While resolving the stadium issue is of secondary importance [to the budget battle], the matter has some urgency" say the bill's two authors, Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont) and Rep. Morrie Lanning (R-Moorhead) in a statement. The Vikings' 30-year lease on the Metrodome ends at the end of this coming season, and the team's owners want a new stadium -- or else. [Read the full statement here.]
The bill will be introduced next week. It doesn't address potential sites, but here are its major points:
- The stadium must have a roof to ensure it's a year-round, multi-purpose facility.
- Those who benefit from the stadium will be expected to help pay for the stadium.
- The Vikings to make a significant contribution and sign a long-term lease.
- The finance package would be developed at the local level, with revenues from hospitality, sales and admissions taxes.
- The state has only limited involvement, and avoids increases in statewide income or sales taxes. Use of General Fund revenues is off the table.
The Vikings official response:
"The Vikings look forward to beginning the public dialogue on this issue," said Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development. "The bill provides a framework to negotiate a deal that will resolve the stadium issue, and we appreciate State leaders' efforts to bring this forward."
Repairs on the deflated Metrodome are already under way, with the goal of replacing its collapsed roof in time for the start of the 2011 season.
Where will the new stadium go, and who will pay for it? Let us know what you think.
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