They want to call it a "multi-purpose facility."
They insist, "no state money for schools, roads, healthcare, or any other state programs can be used to build the new stadium."
But state lawmakers pushing a new home for the Minnesota Vikings do indeed want to go to the public trough to pay for the latest stadium incarnation, as outlined in legislation introduced today in St. Paul.
Under the plan outlined today, the Vikings would pay $264 million up-front for construction costs. The remaining $527 million price tag would be financed by taxpayers over 40 years ($31.9 million per year) from four specific annual revenue sources:
- Area hotels surtax: $8 million
- Tax on jersey purchases: $16.9 million
- Tax on rental cars: $5.5 million
- Sports-themed scratch off lottery: $5.5 million
The bill requires that any cost overruns would be paid for in full by the Minnesota Vikings, the team would sign an unprecedented 40-year lease, and a clawback provision that protects taxpayers if the team is sold.
State DFL Rep. Tom Bakk and GOP Rep. Rep. Morrie Lanning are co-sponsors of the bill.
They say the new stadium would not just be a site for eight pro football games annually: High school and amateur sporting events, concerts and conventions could keep it busy for up to 300 days a year.
The Vikings have not formally endorsed the proposal, which comes with only two weeks left in the legislative session. Committee hearings start tomorrow.