Vikings stadium bill is dead
Fans of giving the Minnesota Vikings another shot at the public trough to finance a new stadium saw their dreams die on Monday as the Legislature adjourned for the biennium without moving on a last-minute bill.
Under the plan as it was introduced, the Vikings would have paid $264 million up-front for construction costs. The remaining $527 million price tag would have been financed by taxpayers over 40 years ($31.9 million per year) through a variety of sources.
It also would have required that any cost overruns be paid for in full by the team, which would also sign an unprecedented 40-year lease with clawback provisions that protected taxpayers if the team were sold and moved.
Given a looming $3 billion state shortfall that was only resolved in an overtime session in the wee hours of this morning, there was scant support, from the governor on down for any legislation that involved raising taxes to support the stadium. Indeed, there hasn't been for a while. That reality played out when the bill was taken up by a legislative committee stripped it of most of its revenue-raising mechanisms.
So, the team's Metrodome lease expires in February 2012. Owner Zygi Wilf wants a new stadium. And many Vikings fans are sweating bullets that the team will move out of state if Wilf doesn't get what he wants -- and soon. He'll have to wait for a new governor and Legislature in November to see what happens next.
Here's some video of Pawlenty talking about the stadium bill's demise:
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