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SBD/May 13, 2011/Facilities
State Lawmakers From Ramsey County Oppose Vikings Stadium Proposal
Published May 13, 2011
HOLDING OFF FOR NOW: St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said Thursday that he is “not yet willing to support a new Minnesota Vikings stadium north of his city in Ramsey County, questioning whether his constituents will benefit in equal measure to the increased taxes they'll pay” as residents of the county. Coleman: "Whether it's got a great direct benefit to the city of St. Paul is one of the things I'm going to be asking. Quite frankly, a huge chunk of that half-cent sales tax would be generated in the city of St. Paul." Coleman said that he “did consider the Vikings an important state asset, and didn't rule out supporting the Ramsey County deal” (AP, 5/12).
CLOCK IS TICKING: In Minneapolis, Kaszuba, Olson & Duchschere note with just 10 days before the state Legislature must adjourn, Vikings stadium supporters “appeared to be exploring their options” as the project's “complexities appeared to mount.” State Sen. Julie Rosen, the Senate's chief author on stadium legislation, said that the Vikings asked her Thursday “whether the project could obtain a tentative approval from the Legislature this year, then work out the details later.” She said the team asked, "Is this something that could go next year, if we have something in place?" Rosen: "I said, well, certainly, but I'm not sure where the governor's at with that." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley “acknowledged posing the question but denied any intent to push the negotiations into next year” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/13).
KICKING THE TIRES: MLSSOCCER.com reports MLS "has confirmed that there has been contact with the ownership group" of the Vikings regarding its "interest in an MLS team for the Twin Cities." MLS President Mark Abbott said, "We have kept in contact with the Vikings throughout their stadium process and look forward to learning more about the project" (MLSSOCCER.com, 5/12).