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Vikings, Rybak, Dayton, pro-Vikes legislators finally unveil stadium plan

A rendering of the Vikings stadium plan legislators and the Mpls City Council will soon consider.
A rendering of the Vikings stadium plan legislators and the Mpls City Council will soon consider.

After months of hearing lawmakers carp that they couldn't speak to whether they support using public money for a new Vikings stadium without seeing a detailed proposal, a plan has finally emerged.

During a news conference earlier today, Gov. Dayton and the Vikings unveiled a $975 million stadium plan that would build the Vikings new home on the current site of the Metrodome.

There weren't any big surprises in the proposal -- as expected, the state would use electronic pulltabs to fund its $398 million portion, with the city of Minneapolis repurposing existing taxes to fund its $150 million share. The other $427 would come from the Vikings and other private sources.

According to the plan, a fixed-roof stadium located on the eastern portion of what is now the Metrodome site would open in 2016, with the Vikings playing the 2015 season at TCF Bank stadium. The stadium's design would be modeled on Indianapolis' heralded Lucas Oil Stadium, which hosted the Super Bowl last month. There would be one square block of open tailgating space northwest of the stadium. The stadium would be owned by a stadium authority with state and city representatives.

Interestingly, Ted Mondale, Metropolitan Sports Commission Chairman, said the project would also include a pitch to lure a Major League Soccer team to play in the new stadium.

A stadium bill will likely be introduced in the legislature next week. The Minneapolis City Council also needs to approve the plan, but whether Rybak can secure support from a majority of councilors remains uncertain.

Alluding to the fact that the plan needs legislative and city approval, Dayton said during today's news conference that "much work remains to be done."

Dayton stressed that the public contribution for the stadium wouldn't come from the general fund or increased taxes. He characterized the deal to build a "people's stadium" as a "remarkable accomplishment."

As the Pioneer Press details, under the terms of the plan, 56 percent of project funding would come from the public, with 44 percent coming from private sources. Here's how that split compares with other recent NFL stadium projects:

2010 New York Giants/Jets $1.6 billion, 100% private (not counting publicly funded infrastructure improvements)
2010 Kansas City $388 million; 68% public, 32% private
2009 Dallas $1.1 billion; 41% public, 59% private
2008 Indianapolis $720 million; 86% public, 14% private
2006 Arizona $455 million; 68% public, 32% private

Dayton estimated that the project would create about 8,000 construction jobs and 5,000 jobs on the supply side. Is that enough to win the support of legislators and the  Minneapolis City Council? Whether the Vikings stay in Minnesota past next season may depend on it.


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