SBD/Issue 2/Facilities & Venues

Vikings Hope To Take Page From Colts' Book On Stadium Financing

Vikings Hoping To Use Hospitality Taxes To 
Help Finance New Stadium In Minneapolis 
After spending two days last week meeting with Colts execs and getting a tour of Lucas Oil Stadium, the Vikings are apparently hoping financing for a new stadium "can involve hospitality taxes," according to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said, "That's up to the Legislature and the governor to determine what's the best package of taxes to solve the issue. ... We're working on some finance options, along with the sports commission, but we're not ready to lay those out yet." Zulgad notes the public funding the Colts used included "increases of 3[%] for a county hotel tax, 2[%] for a county rental car tax, and 1[%] for a six-county restaurant tax and county admission tax." Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Thursday is "scheduled to select one of four architectural firms to work on the design for a stadium." Candidates include Ellerbe Becket, HOK Sports, 360 Architecture and HKS (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/15).

OUTSIDE OPINION: Colts Owner Jim Irsay said of the Vikings' stadium need, "The key is, it is urgent. They simply can't remain in this facility. It's not possible." Irsay said that the Colts "ultimately were able to generate support for their new stadium because of local and state leaders' ability to recognize the importance of the team's presence as well as the new stadium, which, with a retractable roof, can host a number of major events." Irsay added, "You have to understand. If you're a mayor or governor of a city or state, you don't do this because, 'Oh, I like the Wilfs. Or I just like football.' That's not what it's about. The public-private partnership is about a win-win situation." Irsay added, "The Wilfs can't put $600[M] into a stadium. That's never going to happen. You'd never make it back in five lifetimes" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/15).

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