Reporting Pat Kessler
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –- There isn’t much left to stand in the way of a new Vikings stadium being built in Minneapolis.
A Minneapolis City Council subcommittee, which consists of all the council members, voted 7-6 Thursday to approve the city’s portion of the stadium deal already approved by the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate, as well as Gov. Mark Dayton.
The City of Minneapolis is being asked to contribute $340 million in operating and construction expenses over 30 years. With interest, that figure jumps to $675 million.
A final vote scheduled for Friday will determine if the plan moves forward.
If the stadium deal passes, it doesn’t just mean a victory for the Minnesota Vikings. Target Center would get $150 million for renovations.
According to a report from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, early plans have the box office location moving from its current location and closer to Target Field. About 1,400 seats would be added to the arena and all the current seats would be refinished. It would also get a new state-of-the-art scoreboard.
The city of St. Paul will also score big. The stadium bill includes $54 million for the capitol city. Officials say it’ll be used to pay off the remaining costs of the RiverCentre.
The deal isn’t sitting well with some Minnesota taxpayers, and they see this week as their last chance to stop it. Opponents rallied outside Minneapolis City Hall Wednesday afternoon.
A new unscientific phone poll from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota found a majority of Minneapolis voters are against the stadium plan.
The league said 55 percent of the Minneapolis voters surveyed over the phone were against the stadium plan. About 27 percent support it and 18 percent were still undecided.