SBD/March 23, 2011/Facilities

New Vikings Stadium Proposal Could Get Caught Up In Game Of Political Football

Vikings stadium proposal has yet to be introduced to legislature
The Minnesota state Legislature's Republican majority "that will determine if the Minnesota Vikings get a new stadium is in a tricky spot," as most party leaders "insist that solving the state's $5 billion budget deficit comes first," according to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Republican legislators are "pushing an aggressive agenda to shrink Minnesota government," and making an exception "to provide taxpayer money for the Vikings could prove politically difficult." Minnesota state Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton said legislators have "bigger fish to fry" than a proposal for a new Vikings stadium. However, he also indicated that the “party's platform was not necessarily written in stone.” Sutton: "Generally speaking, the party would be opposed (to) using taxpayer funds for things like that. But until we get to the specifics, I really don't know.” Sutton said that he “had heard little talk about a stadium subsidy plan.” Sutton: "It's a sexy issue. But compared to the budget deficit and everything, it's not big." State Rep. Keith Downey said a new stadium was a "second-tier priority." Kaszuba notes after the Metrodome's roof collapsed last December, state Sen. Julie Rosen "promised to unveil a Vikings stadium proposal by late January." However, in a "sign that the legislation is facing complications, the proposal has yet to be introduced" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/23).
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