Vikings Stadium Bill Far From A Done Deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The plan is in place. Now the Vikings, Minneapolis and state leaders need to sell their new stadium deal.

The bill will likely go to lawmakers next week. It puts the new stadium in the same space as the Metrodome. Governor Mark Dayton called it “The People’s Stadium” on Thursday.

The stadium would cost more than $900 million, but no tax money from the state’s general fund will be used.

In the plan announced Thursday, the state’s $398 million would come from new electronic pull tabs. The city of Minneapolis would kick in an extra $339 million. The Vikings would pay more than half: $754 million.

Even though there’s a bill, there are still three major hurdles to overcome. The first obstacle: State lawmakers.

“I’m a Vikings fan, that’s my preference. I don’t want to see them leave,” said House Speaker Kurt Zellers.

But despite that, Zellers said he won’t be an advocate for this Vikings stadium bill. He said he won’t support it if the electronic pull tab machines which would make up the state’s share take away from charitable pull tabs.

“If it in any way diminishes the way we help some of those charitable organizations, I think that would be a big concern for a lot of people. Not just me, but a lot of advocates for the charitable pull tabs,” said Zellers.

The second obstacle: The Minneapolis City Council.

“I think this plan is on the 5 yard line and there are still 95 yards to go,” said Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff.

Schiff believes this bill is a false start. In part, he said, because it raises the city’s contribution by $25 million and he thinks Minneapolis could end up paying far more than what it’s slated to pay for a new stadium. He wants voters to be able to weigh in.

“This would lock in those restaurant taxes for the next 30 years to pay for a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. That’s not a recipe for economic development, that’s a recipe to kill jobs,” said Schiff.

The third obstacle: Public support. Some Minneapolis taxpayers said they don’t want to see their tax dollars, nor gambling dollars, go towards a new stadium.

“If I had any way of stopping it I would. If it were something that were up for a vote, I would vote against it,” said Beth Thomas of Minneapolis.

“I feel it’s a poor choice for the city, state, or federal to promote gambling,” said John George of Minneapolis.

While the Vikings may be celebrating today, WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler, who’s been following the stadium drive for more than 10 years, believes the future is still uncertain.

“There would be red alert in Vikings hallways if this did not come to pass this year,” said Kessler.

The total price for the stadium $975 million, and the Vikings would pay half. The bill will be introduced next week.

More from John Lauritsen
  • Piggy Wilf

    Don’t worry, I’ve got my thugs digging up dirt on the Minneapolis City council. They’ll cave just like all the other weaklings and fools I’ve duped.

    • Gary Peterson


      • Jury

        Actually – I hope to heck he’s right and the stadium sinks like a turd in the toilet.
        cya suckas

      • Nancy

        Why are you calling Piggy Wilf an idiot?

        He maybe a corrupt sleazy piece of human garbage, but he’s not an idiot.

  • ruben

    THANK YOU council member Schiff! Don’t cave in and let Rybak, Johnson, Dayton and Wilf stuff this terrible plan down the taxpayers’ throats.

    The Minneapolis City Council and the Minnesota Legislature need to tell those people “NO!” in no uncertain terms. The owner is rich, as are the players and the NFL. If they want a new playground, they can pay for it. MN has far more pressing problems to deal with including education and infrastructure repair and maintenance.

    Nobody wins with the current plan, including, for that matter, Zygi. For all practical purposes we would be spending north of one billion dollars to shift a slightly modified domed stadium a few yards to the east. That’s hardly a big enough deal to justify spending 3/4ths of a billion dollars in revenue that belongs to the people of Minnesota.

    The play on words … “using no money from the general fund” … is no different than the much-hated Pawlenty’s garbage about “this isn’t a new tax, it’s a new fee.” One way or the other, it comes from the taxpayers.

    A “people’s stadium” indeed; Dayton, go back to walking your dogs. It’s about the most you can handle without messing it up.

    • Nate

      “Terrible plan” that is your opinion and not everybody shares that with you.

      Yes the owner is rich, as are the players. Would you prefer they pay taxes or make charitable donations elsewhere? You call it a playground but playgrounds don’t employ 13,000 workers to build and operate. How do you propose we deal with education? By spending more money on it? It’s axiomatic that money is not improving public education as we spend over half of our budget on it and it’s ranked in the lower third of the states.

      “Spending north of one billion dollars to shift a slightly modified domed stadium a few yards to the east”? That is a gross underestimate of what the project actually consists of. Revenue generated from people gambling at a bar is the people of Minnesota’s money you’re right but it will always get spent on or donated to something, in this case a possible stadium, or if you prefer they can just give it to the Salvation Army or the wildlife organization that’s trying to stop Stillwater from building a bridge. I can tell you that it won’t go towards education. That comes out of tax payer’s pockets in a much more direct manner than spending gambling revenue.

      I’m not sure you fully comprehend the benefits of having an NFL franchise other than just being able to attend their games. We could be more like Iowa or Nebraska if you prefer

      • mannex67

        The benefits don’t come close to justifying the cost to taxpayers. It’s time to say no to pro sports subsidies. We’re broke and there are higher priorities.

      • CDW

        There are many benefits.. The stadium will be used for High School Championships for Football and Soccer, Concerts, Twins Fest, Circus, Monster Truck Rallies, NCAA Championships among other things besides the Vikings.. Yes the state should help fund it.. The Vikings are paying for more then half.. The state and the City of Minneapolis will profit from it.. The Dome has long since been paid off and now is collecting revenue for the city. Think about the rise in tourism the state will get from out of town fans coming here to see the games. And not to mention a Super Bowl will for sure bring massive amounts of money for businesses here..

  • Bud

    what about 11th ave so?

  • richard

    Lets give the money to the schools so they can buy out more teachers with our tax money and not tell us why !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • tan pup

      Don’t blame the schools, it’s the board. You voted for the school board members, it’s your issue; not the entire state. If you didn’t vote in the elections, again, your own fault – you didn’t pay attention to who is running the show.

      • richard

        Last I checked the board is part of the school

        • The Truth

          Not really sure what you’re babbling about and it’s relevance to this story. Don’t bother to explain, because I really don’t care.

  • tan pup

    It’s interesting that he GOP can find money for the stadium NOW – but before held hard and fast NO TAXES. Yet now they come up with solutions for a billion $ stadium financed over 30 years, but they were determined to CUT funds to almost everything in order to balance the budget. They would NOT consider any gambling or taxes for any programs that actually could help more than ONE person but will tax and gamble for (Ziggy). Oh, and once $$ was fund in the obscure piggy bank, instead of paying the bills the state owes, the GOP wants to GIVE the excess money to Ziggy .If the GOP thinks programs should be cut, tell everyone including cities to live within their means, then tell me why Ziggy and the stadium commission can just slap a price tag on a project and say, “EAT IT PEOPLE”? If Ziggy only wants to put in $500 million, that is how much the new stadium should cost! The dome sucks, but who cares? You paid to see a game, and I guarantee, the seats won’t be any more comfortable in a 1 billion $$ stadium vs. the old, ugly, puffy dome. Ziggy, go, leave, move the Vikings and take the Timber Wolves with you.

    • kp

      this is so true, they had no problem closing down the state and saying no to any new taxes, how are they going to back peddle this. If the Vikings needs help packing just give me a call and I will help. For the people that want a new stadium send the 1.3 billion dollar guy from new york a check.

  • TPaw

    Remember, the threat is we are then considered a cold Omaha if the Vikings leave. Ever been to Omaha? Actually it’s not a bad city. Maybe we could get the colledge baseball world series if we are the new Omaha.

  • Best3800

    We heard the same grumbling when the Dome was built! It cost 55million back in the day,looks like the state got pretty good bang for the buck. With this stadium if you don’t want any money coming out of your pocket,Don’t GAMBLE!!

    • Nate

      The revenue generated from gambling becomes “everybody’s money” regardless of weather or not you gamble. It just doesn’t go back into our pockets it gets spent. It doesn’t necessarily get spent on things that everybody wants, but that’s life. BUILD IT! Get it over with.

    • Allen

      If the Dome was such a good investment why don’t they take all the money it made and use THAT to build a new stadium?

      Hint: You were lied to then and you are being lied to now.

  • DBowie

    Ziggy played guitar…he lets start a band. Bachman Ziggy Over and Done.

  • Not a mathematician

    I’m confused… If the city contributes $338M, the state contributes $398M, and the team adds $754M then that means the stadium cost is $1.49 BILLION… but they’re advertising the project to cost $975M? Some fishy account going on here?

  • kp

    Just reading the Sun Current of Richfield
    headlines says
    Richfield schools to slash $875,000 from budget
    Glad Minnesota is doing so well
    How much money does Ziggy need to build a stadium for H I S Vikings to play 8 games?
    Don’t forget to vote

  • Tom

    The same people who were complaining about Target Field are now complaining about the new Vikings Stadium. And I would venture to guess that some of those who were totally againest Target Field have been to some of the games. And we Know that Target Field has had many many many sell outs!

    • Jill

      Target field is costing each resident of Hennepin county $900.

      The real sell outs were the four Hennepin County Commissioners who took away the people’s right to vote and then raised their taxes so the billionaire Pohlad family could get richer.

      You need to go shopping at the “Clue Store”.

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