SBD/July 14, 2011/Facilities

Supporters, Opponents Of Proposed Vikings Stadium Express Opinions At Public Forum

Some still concerned about funding strategy for proposed Vikings stadium
A public discussion last night on the Vikings' proposed $1.1B stadium in Arden Hills "drew dozens of stadium fans and opponents," according to Frederick Melo of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Stadium supporters said that "no other developer would touch the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant," which is where the stadium would be built. They also said that the suburbs have "supported stadiums in the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis for 30 years." But Minnesota state Rep. Katie Knuth, who organized the "listening session," said that she "had concerns about the proposed funding strategy for the stadium, which would rely on a half-cent countywide sales tax to raise Ramsey County's contribution" of $350M. Knuth: "I'm actually leaning toward voting against the bill because of the half-cent sales tax." Melo notes St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the city council "have opposed the half-cent tax" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/14). Minnesota state Sen. John Marty said that the Vikings proposal "would hit taxpayers in Ramsey County more than three times as hard as taxpayers were hit in Hennepin County" when Target Field was built (STARTRIBUNE.com, 7/13).

RAISING THE ROOF: In Minneapolis, Kevin Duchschere notes the Metrodome's new roof was inflated yesterday, and "about 45 minutes after liftoff, a slimmed-down, $18 million roof -- speckled with colorful air pillows to cut the wind -- resumed its marquee spot on the Minneapolis skyline." Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Ted Mondale said, "The inflation went without a hitch. We'll be ready for the Vikings, if they're ready." The team's first home preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 27 (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/14).
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