SBD/March 15, 2011/Facilities

Minnesota Stadium Plan Receives Cool Reception In State Legislature

"Global solution" plan would also aim to retire debt on Xcel Energy Center
Two Minnesota state legislators "playing key roles in a public subsidy plan" for a new Vikings stadium "were cool Monday to a 'global solution' that would include stadium plans for other professional sports teams in Minnesota," according to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The plan, which was "advocated" by the T'Wolves, "would create a regional sports authority and then issue bonds through" the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Council to raise $1.173B. That money "would fund not only a new Vikings stadium, but also renovate Target Center, build a new St. Paul Saints ballpark and address the remaining debt on the Xcel Center in St. Paul." The T'Wolves "suggested that funding for the proposal could come from a one-fifth cent metrowide sales tax, state tobacco settlement funds, a new casino in downtown Minneapolis and a Vikings lottery game" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/15). Kaszuba Saturday noted while the plan "would ask the teams to contribute," the "majority of the funding -- $74 million annually -- would come from taxpayers" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/12). MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO's Tim Nelson wrote the proposal is the "secret plan to end the stadium war." While "most of the stadium attention at the Capitol is focused on finding a new home" for the Vikings, the T'Wolves and the city of Minneapolis are "seeking a $155 million upgrade" to Target Center. T'Wolves Senior VP/Communications & CMO Ted Johnson said that the team "floated the plan with the Minnesota Wild; AEG Facilities, the company that manages Target Center; the Vikings and the city of Minneapolis." Johnson said, "We haven't had anyone who said no" (PUBLICRADIO.org, 3/11).
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