Countdown To Stadium Hearings At State Capitol

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Senate on Tuesday will hold highly-anticipated hearings on whether to build the Minnesota Vikings a new stadium.

The Senate calls them “informational” hearings, but the Vikings believe the state has all of the information it needs.

It’s asking lawmakers to make a call — yes or no — before the team’s Metrodome lease expires in a couple months, making the Vikings free agents.

“Part of the problem and part of the reason why it hasn’t been resolved is because there has been no deadline,” said Lester Bagley, spokesman for the Minnesota Vikings. “Now there’s a deadline.”

In newspaper ads on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings upped the ante by unveiling a plan to pay for a stadium by redirecting $21 million of state income taxes from football players.

One lawmaker helping to write a Vikings bill says it should be taken seriously.

“I personally think the Vikings will leave at some point if there is not a new stadium,” said Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter. “So to do nothing is to take a position.”

Top Republicans were blindsided by the Vikings’ plan to use tax money to pay for the stadium and some were irritated by the Sunday ads.

One said privately: “It’s a horrible, horrible idea … the worst idea since New Coke.”

The Minnesota Vikings say they will ask the legislature to pick a plan — any plan — before it’s too late.

“This thing is coming to a head. It needs to come to a head. It needs to be resolved,” Bagley said.

Tuesday’s hearing will focus on where a Vikings stadium would go — the Vikings’ preferred site in Arden Hills or three different sites in Minneapolis.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Sandy

    Seriously, and we will have to rely on a corporate buy out for this weeks game…. Get the priorities right here people.

  • The Analyst

    They are looking for information on taxpayer money being used to enrich Zygi Wilf’s bank account?

    I’m happy to supply information:

    There are no economic benefits to taxpayer subsidized stadiums. Anyone who tells you different is lying.


  • NO public funding. What part of "no" don't you understand?

    Never give in to blackmail! Never!

    The answer is “NO!” Lester. 650,000,000 times NO!

    NO public funding for the Vikings. Use the dome we already bought you, fix it up any way you want to on your dime, or get out of town.

  • lawman

    what is it that people want. Everyone complains about not wanting to finance a stadium. Blah Blah Blah. So the vikings step forward and propose to allocate the taxes generated from the players themselves to pay for the stadium instead of using an overall tax increase that would affect everyone and yet people still say no. This step has been used in other cities and it has worked to success. This way the only people paying the tax for the stadium is the players and the people who go see the games. Why can’t people see the sense in that. Stop complaining if you don’t want the stadium because you want have to fund it under this plan

    • Ding, ding, ding ... listen up!

      I’m afraid if we gave you two pennies, you’d have trouble keeping track of them.

      Why is what the Vikings are proposing any different from Target saying “We want to use the money we normally would be paying in taxes and spend it on a chicken ranch in Oakdale?”

      It’s no different, dude. Either way you and I pay for it. Personally, I don’t care if you have to pay for it but I don’t want any part of it.

    • Donald

      So the state give Zygi money.
      Zygi pays his players.
      The state takes money from the players.

      That’s a ponzi scheme you dummy.

  • Count me in on the chicken thing

    I’d be in favor of a chicken ranch in Oakdale.

    Would the eggs have little red bull’s eyes on them?

    Sure would be better than the Vikings.

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