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MN LEGISLATURE AGREES ON WILD ARENA FINANCING PLAN
Published April 9, 1998
In MN, the '98 legislative sessions "neared its conclusion" after leaders reached agreement on financing for a $130M St. Paul hockey arena, according to Whereatt & Brown of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The "main parts" of the plan include a $65M interest-free loan from the state, a contribution of $30M by the city and a $35M contribution from the Wild. Part of the state loan, $17M, would "be forgiven if the arena is opened for various public functions for 50 rent-free days a year. Wild CEO Jac Sperling said that he saw "no problems working out an arrangement for rent-free events." The team will also "still keep most of the money" from the facility, including naming rights, and suite and concession revenue. Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, who had withheld support on the arena, said he "won approval for other major bills 'all in exchange'" for the arena deal (STAR-TRIBUNE, 4/9). Moe and House Speaker Phil Carruthers said repayment of the remaining $48M to the state "will be paid back by the team." The city will also get $750,000 per year for 20 years from the state, about the same amount paid to the Target Center. The agreement has the support of MN Gov. Arne Carlson (PIONEER PRESS, 4/9).