SBD/Issue 163/Facilities & Venues

Vikings Stadium Proposal Suffers Setbacks, Undergoes Changes

Senate Committee Has Substituted A Plan Under
Which Season-Ticker Holders Could Buy PSLs

Since a bill to build a new Vikings stadium using public money was introduced Monday, it "has been hammered into an untested idea to sell personal seat licenses -- and survives only" in the Minnesota state Senate, according to Jason Hoppin of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. The bill "hit a wall" early yesterday, when it was "defeated on a 10-9 vote" by a Minnesota House of Representatives committee. A companion committee in the Senate later "gutted another proposal and substituted a plan" under which Vikings season-ticket holders could buy PSLs. Hoppin notes "more obstacles emerged" yesterday for a new stadium "in the form of a potentially far-reaching Minnesota Supreme Court budget ruling that could occupy lawmakers' time when the Vikings need as much of it as they can get." Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty suggested that the ruling "edged the team's chances of a bill from slim toward none" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/6). Minnesota state Rep. Loren Solberg, the chief House author of the Vikings stadium bill, said that he has "not decided whether to try to resurrect the proposal." State Rep. Morrie Lanning, "another supporter of the plan," said that after the House committee hearing the stadium proposal "now had less than a 5[%] chance of passing before legislators adjourn on May 17." In Minneapolis, Kaszuba & Doyle note under the Senate proposal, which was put forward by state Sen. Rick Olseen and passed a Senate committee by a 9-3 vote, Vikings fans "would pay an average of $8,000 for permanent rights to seats, with some choice spots costing $20,000." However, state Sen. Tom Bakk, "a major stadium supporter, was skeptical afterward that the seat-license plan would generate enough money" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/6).

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