Mpls Council Opposes Stadium Deal Without Referendum

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – There was strong opposition to a Vikings stadium Thursday in a place the Vikings can least afford it.

The Minneapolis City Council is opposing a stadium deal without a public referendum. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said getting city council support to spend money on a Vikings stadium is “tough, but doable.”

He’s absolutely right about the first part. The city council making it clear: this is far from “doable.”

Council members didn’t hide their frustration with Rybak, and a football team they think are trying to do an end run on them.

“Right now the calls are coming into my office 10 to 1 against, and people are absolutely indignant about this situation with the charter,” said Lisa Goodman with the Minneapolis City Council. “It makes me cry when I see you are trying to get around this. It makes me say why am I even here?”

The Minneapolis city charter limits the amount of money the city can spend on a sports facility, and a majority of council members said they won’t support one without a public referendum.

“Looking across the street at Occupy Minnesota and thinking about what’s going on in our country right now, some of the discussions that are going on relative to government. Can we trust them or not, I can’t countenance going around that referendum,” said Council Member Sandra Colvin Roy.

Even the council president, who supports the stadium, complained about the city picking up a stadium tab the rest of the state should share.

“They’re not willing to raise their hands and say I am willing to tax my citizens to keep these professional teams in Minnesota,” said Barbara Johnson.

Rybak’s warning: Time is running out.

“Let’s get real with ourselves here folks. This is a risk, but there’s also an enormous risk of doing nothing,” said Rybak.

Despite the strong opposition voiced at the council Thursday, Rybak told reporters there will be no referendum on a stadium in Minneapolis. He said the only referendum will be when he runs for re-election two years from now.

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  • gh

    No to this staduim being paid for by folks in Minneapolis. There is a limit to how many things we as property owners can take, the money has run out. They are the Minnesota Vikings, not the Minneapolis Vikings.

    • Jason

      @ gh Yes the money has run out along time ago. Minnesota has 0% ownership of the vikings. They should be called the Zippy Wilf vikings, or the nfl vikings.

      • Right On, Right On, Right On

        “calls are coming into my office 10 to 1 against”

        • Mayhem

          pffffffffft, whatever…….

          “calls are coming into my office 1000 – 1.5 for”

  • stung4ever

    If you oppose government funding for a stadium, fine. That’s a perfectly legitimate view.

    However, you should also oppose all government funding for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Museum, the Orpheum, the Guthrie, and all other programs for the arts.

    Because, like it or not, sports is just as much a part of our culture as the arts.

    • Brett

      I did, and I do. I also opposed the stadium for the twins. Rybak thinks he can pull off an “opat” on this one.

    • Jason

      I oppose a government that thinks I am stupid to spend my own entertainment dollars. You may be too stupid to spend your own money, but the rest of us are just fine. The government should not be picking and choosing what art and music to support.

    • Frankie

      @ stung
      Minneapolis arts institute is owned by the non profit fine arts society. It gets some grants from the art boards but funds itself through donations. The Wallker is self funded, started bt the TB Walker foundation. The sculpture garden is on Minneapolis property, Together they have more vistors per year than the Vikings do for the regular season
      The Orpheum is part of the Hennipen Theatre Trust. A non profiit that bought theatres that Minneapolis owned. Could find no record they received money from the state. They are paying off the debt for the restorations.
      The Guthrie is funded through donations. It received a one time grant of 25 mil for the 175 mil building. The total attendence has been consistantly over 400,000 per year.
      If the Vikings operated as the arts do then building a stadium would not be a problem.

    • Jason

      @ stung the three you bring up are owned entirely by the state. Or am I wrong?

      • stung4ever

        Couldn’t tell you.

        But the Dome is owned by the government. I would have to assume the new stadium would be too.

  • Too Bad

    “Rybak’s warning: Time is running out.”

  • Jill

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, etc.

  • mordacai

    Rybak’s comment about no referendum is every big as arrogant as Zygi’s belief that he’s entitled to be first in line for $650+ million of taxpayer money.

    Rybak won’t hold another public office in Minnesota. He’s cut his own throat with his actions on this issue.

    It doesn’t look like the city council is going to let him bully his way around them either.

    • mordacai

      big s/b bit


      • RT

        I think Rybak has done great things to bring life back into Mpls. Building that Twins stadium where it is was the best thing that happened to the Warehouse District.

        • Jill

          If by life you mean creating traffic gridlock every time there is a game, I agree.

          • Frankie

            If you want to live in an empty downtown I would advise you to move. An empty downtown would mean there was no business going on. That would be counterproductive. Maybe you need to have a bright orange car that has a sign on it that says move out of my way, I am self important.

            • Sarah

              Great straw man argument.

              Next time don’t post unless you have something intelligent to say.

              • Frankie telling Sarah off

                As if you had anything intelligent to add. Somebody whining about traffic because there is an event. Events are what brings people to the downtown. Look most evenings in downtown St. Paul. Dead. Would you rather have a vibrant city or a dead one? Strawman hardly, calling out someone, yes. Perhaps you might want to add intelligence to your list of things to do.

  • richard

    Another bunch of clowns who are going to be saying WHAT DID WE DO WRONG ??well at least they will have GOOD REASON TO RAISE TAXES TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TAX MONEY WHEN THE VIKES ARE GONE

    • Susan

      Wait, they have to raise taxes to keep the Vikings and if the Vikings leave they’ll have to raise taxes?

      Oh Richard, you need to Google this: Publicly financed stadiums.

      • Jason

        @ susan, did richard just make his render his point irrelevant?

        • Jason

          @ my last post , srry last comment didnt make much sense. Getting late putting kids to bed.

  • Huh?

    vikes? What vikes?

  • DJones

    You people complain even if you have a good solution to making something happen! Its to bad that the very individuals that run your state do not want to create jobs that the stadium an other things involved would do. The funding source is there its racino,pull tabs ,vikings scratch tickets. State run casino lets put this to a vote it would pass so fast your head would spin.You want to vote on a referendum against the stadium . lets vote on something that would not only help build a stadium ,fix roads , help schools, and many other things without using tax payer money.

  • Lenny

    “Rybak told reporters there will be no referendum on a stadium in Minneapolis”

    What an arrogant piece-of-.

    Here is the mayor’s contact information:

    Phone: (612) 673-2100
    Fax: (612) 673-2305
    Feedback form:

  • Drop Kick

    Money talks, BS walks.
    The 99% never get a voice.

  • das14

    So the sky is blue. Yes. It’s blue. So it’s blue. Yes it’s blue. So is it safe to say it’s blue. Yes. It’s blue. Ok. Blue. Yes. Blue. So then it’s blue. How many times are they going to say the same thing and do nothing. Vote it down already or have the referendum. DO SOMETHING! Instead of just going in circles.

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