Vikings Stadium: Questions And Answers

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Political leaders and the Minnesota Vikings unveiled a plan this week to build a $975 million stadium on the current Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis. Key questions and answers about the proposal and its path forward:

Q: So there’s finally a plan! Does that mean a new stadium is just around the corner?

A: Definitely not. Stadium supporters acknowledge a major uphill battle to get it passed by the state Legislature, where it will have to find majority support in probably more than a half-dozen committes and ultimately in the full House and Senate; and by the Minneapolis City Council. The Vikings have no choice but to play their 2012 season in the Metrodome, so a delay until the 2013 legislative session — or later — is always possible.

Q: What exactly is the opposition all about?

A: It’s coming from many directions. Some state lawmakers philosophically oppose public money for privately owned sports teams. Gambling critics don’t like that the state raises its $398 million stadium share with tax revenue from expanding pull-tab games in bars and restaurants. Some Minneapolis City Council members think their constituents should get to vote on the proposal, which taps city sales-tax proceeds. And even some lawmakers who might someday vote for a stadium would rather not with all 201 legislative seats up for election this November.

Q: But supporters point out the plan doesn’t raise new taxes or draw from the state general fund, and that the Vikings are coughing up about half the total tab between construction and operating expenses. So what’s to oppose?

A: Opponents say it’s a case of misplaced priorities. Even with those qualifiers, the plan extracts money from Minnesotans via taxes on gambling and an existing Minneapolis sales tax. Critics say that’s money that could otherwise be spent by the state on schools, or by the city to put more cops on the street, or on other projects more worthy than getting a billionaire’s football team into a new stadium. Those people have even more ammunition with the tight state budgets of the last decade.

Q: Then what’s the case for building it at all?

A: Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, the project’s cheerleader-in-chief, says he hates the economics of pro sports but he fears that a stadium miss will lead to the Vikings moving away. The Vikings’ current owners haven’t directly threatened that, but team officials have said the 30-year-old Metrodome isn’t acceptable anymore. Dayton has also sold the project as a jobs bill, worth up to 8,000 construction jobs and as many as 2,000 permanent jobs.

Q: If the stadium gets built, how long does the team have to stay?

A: They’d have to sign a 30-year lease.

Q: Does the state get anything other than making sure the Vikings stay in Minnesota?

A: Yes. The stadium would be owned by a public authority, which would get the profits from all non-NFL events held there: other sporting events, rock concerts, monster truck rallies and so forth. The Vikings would get all stadium profits raised directly by football games there. In addition, supporters estimate that over 30 years the state of Minnesota would collect about $800 million in income taxes from Vikings players and executives, as well as players and officials from visiting teams. That’s money that would be lost if the team leaves.

Q: What would the new stadium look like? What kind of amenities would it have?

A: That’s not clear yet, and it would ultimately be up to a design firm that’s yet to be hired. But the negotiating team behind the deal used the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium, which opened in 2008, as a model. Current plans call for it to have a fixed roof, although the proposal leaves open the possibility that could be upgraded to retractable.

Q: If it’s approved this year, when would it open?

A: Backers say in time for the 2016 NFL season. Since it’s being built nearly on top of the Metrodome, the Vikings would spend one season outdoors at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Al Freakenstien

    This has no chance of passing the state or city council without a vote by the people. It uses almost 800M of tax payer dollars that could be better used by the people. The days of hand-outs to billionaires, on the backs of the poor and middle class are done! No taxes for a purple palace!

    • ba

      If its so important to Wilf and ohters, why don’t they just pay for it? Money is as cheap as it can get to borrow for billionaires – go get some. I’m just tired of this rich people milkinjg state coffers for their private affairs. This claim of 2,000 jobs is overstated. Most are part-time, one day jobs. No benefits. No guarantee of base salary. Not real jobs.

    • gh

      Al F, I would like to think this is true. Why do you feell this way? I am not optimistic, it will be put to the people of Mpls. without so much as a thought of what should be done.

  • dontwory22

    Minnesota would collect about $800 million in income taxes im not to smart but it cost $975 to build it that’s $195 short HHUUMMM ok who wins in this deal????

  • Dave


    if you would have done any research on this, you would have found out that the state is only paying for 25% and Minneapolis is paying 25% and the Vikings are paying 50%. Do the math. Minnesota pays $250 and gets $800 back. HHUUMMM, think about who wins in this deal.

  • The Editor

    Q: What is wrong with this article?

    A: It is completely biased in favor of a Vikings stadium. The plan is a hoax.

  • Jason

    Not really sure about some of the questions actually qualify as questions. More like talking points vs more talking points

  • Stanley Peterson

    It will not be called the” Peoples Stadium” but the Blood Stadium!, Paid by the over taxed Minnesotan. It’s time to give this money back to the people of Minnesota to help the needy, aged and the poor.. Not, build a Palace to pay back their political contributors?. Govenor Dayton should “be ashamed of himself” He and his friends have enough money to pay for whole damn thing themselves or just add a tax in Wayzata,Minnetonka, Edina, Woodland, St.Louis Park, Highland Park and both sides (in one block) of the Mississipp River down to Cresent! Taxes from those area’s could pay for the “Peoples Stadium. Then have a large picture of “Mark Dayton” hanging under the” Hammer & Sickle” outside when you enter?….The “Peoples Stadium”…Ufta!

  • Jill

    Q: Is Piggy Wilf trying to rob the citizens of Minnesota blind?

    A: Yes.

  • Jim

    Lets be honest, this is simple blackmail. The Vikings hint that they may leave if we don’t give them $548 Million +++. The Vikings want a new stadium so they can make more money which is fair enough, however, they not only want to make more money they want the public to pay for most of the stadium. Its estimated that it will cost $975 million. I’ve yet to see a stadium that has come in on budget. There is no agreement yet on who will pay the cost over runs. Most of these stadium deals underestimate the cost and pass along the overruns to the public. If the Vikings want us to pay for this stadium we should be able to share in any profits earned from our investment. Pro Vikings people argue that this stadium will raise revenue. That’s a bogus argument because if the Vikings left people would spend money on other things like concerts, theater, etc. As far as creating jobs, short term construction jobs for building a stadium for a billionaire and minimum wage stadium jobs aren’t really the type of jobs that our investment should be targeting.

    Personally I think the Vikings are bluffing. The NFL doesn’t want another team in California. They want San Diego to move north and there are few metropolitan areas that will match the Twin Cities. I for one am willing to call their bluff. If they do move another City I can still watch them on Directv anyway. Who cares if they are located in Minneapolis, Arden Hills or Los Angeles. None of their players are from here anyway and they are still the Vikings.

  • Billy Joe

    Q: Are any of the politicians qualified to negotiate a deal of this magnitude?

    A: No.

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