Taxpayers League's poll says majority of Minneapolis opposes Vikings stadium plan
As the last swing vote, it all comes down to Minneapolis City Council member Kevin Reich.
Would you want to go down in history as the city official known for running the Vikings out of Minnesota? Probably not. But what if a majority of your city's residents stood behind you when you voted "no"?
This morning, just two days before the Minneapolis City Council is expected to rubber-stamp the Vikings stadium plan, the Taxpayers League of Minnesota released a poll showing that opponents of the stadium plan outnumber supporters two-to-one.
Stadium supporters dismissed the poll results, saying the Taxpayer League's 10-day, 1,000-resident survey was "not scientific."
Here's what the Taxpayers League asked residents: "Hi, my name is ___ with Taxpayers League of Minnesota and we are calling residents asking if they support the plan to spend $675 million city tax dollars for a new Vikings stadium?" The survey found that 55 percent of residents don't support the plan, 27 percent do, and 18 percent are undecided.
Residents who said they don't support the plan were then asked if they'd like to be directly connected to a council member's office so they could leave a voicemail stating their opinion. Krinkie said Mayor R.T. Rybak has been emailing residents urging them to support the plan, which Krinkie takes a sign that it isn't an entirely sure thing a majority of the Minneapolis City Council will vote in favor come Friday. Dun-dun-dun!
The stadium plan has five staunch supporters and six staunch opponents on the 13-member council. In late March, previously undecided council members Sandra Colvin Roy and Kevin Reich came out in support of the plan, making the supporter-opponent split seven-to-six. Since the Legislature approved the plan earlier this month, Colvin Roy has reaffirmed her support. But Reich has been more evasive, meaning he will soon have his chance to go down as the man who sent the Vikings on a one-way trip to L.A., or San Antonio, or wherever a city is willing to pony up for Zygi-land.
From a WCCO report published Monday:
Opponents say the best chance of defeating the stadium is switching the anticipated "yes" vote of council member Kevin Reich, who alone among the seven council stadium supporters signed a more vaguely worded letter of support [in late March].
Reich did not return WCCO's phone calls.
However, stadium supporters, including council President Barb Johnson, said Reich is a firm "yes" vote.
"I talked to Kevin just yesterday. We were at an event together and I don't have any indication he is changing his mind, and the mayor has spoken to him also," said Johnson.
The stadium drama could finally come to an end Friday, with the conversation shifting to facility design and construction timetables. Or we could be headed for a major plot twist, with the City Council's "no" vote invalidating all of this spring's legislative wrangling. Which way we're headed probably comes down to Reich's vote, which is almost certainly the most consequential decision he'll ever make.
-- Vikings stadium bill receives final legislative approval; Mpls City Council vote last step
-- Majority of Minneapolis City Council now supports Vikings stadium
-- Vikings, Rybak, Dayton, pro-Vikes legislators finally unveil stadium plan
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