SBD/October 14, 2011/Facilities

Minnesota Lawmakers Slow To Schedule Special Session On Proposed Vikings Stadium

There is still no state funding plan for the Vikings' proposed 65,000-seat stadium
Minnesota legislators “appeared to be making little immediate headway on a special legislative session needed to approve” a proposed Vikings stadium project one day after a “crucial report on a new” stadium in Arden Hills, according to Kaszuba & Stassen-Berger of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said team owners, who have offered $407M, are “going to be required to put up ... probably close to a half-billion dollars when all is said and done." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley on Thursday said that the team “hopes to meet with the governor next week but that no date has been set.” The team has “made clear it wants a special session approving the Arden Hills project by the end of this year, but significant hurdles remain.” There is “still no state funding plan, no clear political roadmap to getting the needed 102 votes at the State Capitol and continued doubts about the sprawling suburban site the Vikings have chosen for a 65,000-seat stadium.” Dayton said that he “will begin meeting with legislators and others next week.” Meanwhile, state Rep. Greg Davids said that he “would insist on public hearings for any stadium subsidy plan before a special session.” Davids: "There's a lot of tax implications here. I want to hear from the public." Kaszuba & Stassen-Berger note the '12 legislative session “comes in an election year, making it unlikely legislators would take up an issue with such little popular support.” Minnesota Business Exec Dir Charlie Weaver said, "What you don't want is to call it and fail. The Twins did that (and) it cost them five years" in their attempt to get a new stadium (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/14).
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