Friday, April 1, 2011

Minnesota Vikings Stadium Plan Emerges

This is an important off season for the Minnesota Vikings, in more ways than one. Sure the Vikings need to find a quarterback, improve their defense and get better on the offensive line -- but they also need a new stadium. It appears a solution to the latter may come before the team figures out the rest.

According to two Minnesota lawmakers, a Vikings stadium bill will be introduced in the legislature next week. In a letter written to colleagues, Senator Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont) and Representative Morrie Lanning (R-Moorhead) stress the importance of getting a stadium bill done this session.

"Now the time has come to move forward on a bill that offers a framework for achieving a stadium plan for Minnesota," said Rosen and Lanning.

According to the project's outline, a new Vikings stadium would require:

  • A stadium with a roof to ensure that it is a multi-purpose facility.
  • Users and those who benefit from the stadium to pay for the stadium.
  • The Vikings to make a significant contribution and sign a long-term lease.
  • Allows a local partner to assemble a finance package with local, user-based revenues (i.e., hospitality, sales and admissions tax).
  • Limits the State’s involvement and avoids increases in statewide income or sales taxes and does not use General Fund revenues.
Vikings officials call the outline a significant first step and with 53 days left in the 2011 Legislative Session, they are confident there is plenty of time to get something done.

“The Vikings look forward to beginning the public dialogue on this issue," said Lester Bagley, Vikings Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development. “The bill provides a framework to negotiate a deal that will resolve the stadium issue, and we appreciate State leaders’ efforts to bring this forward."

According to the plan, the Vikings would pay roughly one-third of the stadium's cost, which -- with a roof -- is said to have a price tag of nearly $900 million.

The Vikings lease at the Metrodome expires after this year.

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