SBD/September 2, 2011/Facilities

Top Minnesota Legislators Calling For Vote On Proposed Vikings Stadium

Vote among local residents could be "major obstacle" to new Vikings stadium
Minnesota state Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers "want local voters to have a say in a new Minnesota Vikings stadium project," according to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The move "potentially creates a major obstacle for the plan." Vikings Owners the Wilfs "have an agreement with Ramsey County officials to build a more than $1 billion stadium" in Arden Hills. But stadium backers believe that voters "would be likely to reject a countywide half-percent sales tax planned to fund the project." State Rep. Morrie Lanning, the Chief House author of the stadium proposal, said, "I think that puts the kibosh on the stadium project." Lanning added that the "chances of a special legislative session this year for a Vikings stadium subsidy package are now 'slim.'" He said that "there is no longer enough time to resolve the project's financing package and surrounding road issues and then round up the votes needed for passage." Instead, Lanning indicated that "the stadium plan would probably have to wait until legislators convene in late January." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley "declined to speculate whether a referendum would virtually scuttle the stadium" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/2).
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