SBD/April 1, 2011/Facilities

Vikings Stadium Plan To Be Introduced To Minnesota Legislature Next Week

Plan for new Vikings stadium includes up to $300M in state money
A new Vikings stadium, including a roof, "would be built with up to $300 million in state money raised from an assortment of new fees and taxes, under a plan that will be introduced at the Legislature next week," according to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The new details "emerged late Thursday, when two leading Republican legislators sent a letter to their colleagues broadly outlining the public subsidy package for the project and told them that 'the time has come to move forward on a bill.'" The letter, along with a "research paper describing the plan's highlights, says the state's share of the project -- at least $30 million a year -- would come from a variety of fees, including a sports memorabilia tax, stadium naming rights, a lottery game and a pro football player income tax surcharge." Local governments "could submit bids to host the new stadium and would be permitted to levy a half-cent sales tax to cover their costs in providing a stadium site." In addition, Hennepin County "would be permitted to use excess public subsidies from Target Field," and Minneapolis "would have the option of diverting excess public subsidies from the city's convention center." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that the team is "concerned about financing provisions that include the creation of a NFL player income-tax surcharge and a sales tax on luxury boxes, as well as a proposal to turn over stadium naming-rights revenues to the state -- as opposed to the team." And Taxpayers League of Minnesota President and former House Taxes Committee Chair Phil Krinkie said that "memorabilia taxes and other so-called 'user fees' would generate relatively little money." He added a Vikings lottery game "generates next to nothing." Katharine Tinucci, spokesperson for Gov. Mark Dayton, reiterated that Dayton's "interest in building what he has called a 'people's stadium,' and not using any general fund dollars" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/1). The AP's Patrick Condon noted the plan being introduced next week "would also create a 'Minnesota Stadium Authority' that would select the site and run the new stadium" (AP, 3/31). 
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