Coleman: Stadium Plan Does Not Promote Drinking

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman says a statewide booze tax could fund a Vikings stadium and solve future stadium issues. Coleman is proposing a 2-cent per drink tax that could raise $48 million a year.

“It not only finances the public’s investment in a Vikings stadium and treats the Vikings as a statewide asset, but it also provides a lot of opportunities for amateur sports facilities across the state of Minnesota,” Coleman said.

WCCO’s John Williams Interviews Mayor Chris Coleman, Part 1

Those opposed to the idea didn’t like funding a stadium on the amount of alcohol consumed by Minnesotans.

“We’re not encouraging anyone to drink or discouraging anyone to drink,” Coleman said. “Obviously, we want people to drink responsibly and behave. But the fact of the matter is the liquor industry, the bars and restaurants across Minnesota all benefit from having professional sports teams.”

Coleman is suggesting moving the Timberwolves out of the Target Center and into Xcel Energy Center. His proposal will also build a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis.

“We got such a competitive situation between Target Center and the Xcel, we’ve got to have a better strategy in place,” said Coleman.

WCCO’s John Williams Interviews Mayor Chris Coleman, Part 2

Coleman said funding a new stadium shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of St. Paul residents alone, he says it’s a statewide issue.

“I think what I’m trying to suggest is that a half-cent sales tax fund a stadium at Arden Hills is not a good deal for the city or the residents of St. Paul,” said Coleman. “This is a statewide asset and it should be treated as such. It distributes the burden but it also distributes some of the benefits.”

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