SBD/October 28, 2011/Facilities

Minneapolis Mayor: Not Too Late For Downtown Vikings Stadium

Minneapolis mayor says renovating Metrodome still an option
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on Thursday detailed plans for “three potential sites in downtown Minneapolis for a Vikings stadium, financed with a sales and lodging tax or revenue from a downtown casino,” according to a front-page piece by Doug Belden of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. While the Vikings reiterated that Arden Hills is the "ideal stadium site" for the team, state and fans, Rybak “insisted he's not too late.” Rybak proposed “renovating the aging Metrodome ($895 million price tag) or building stadiums at the Farmers' Market site ($1.05 billion) or on an adjacent Linden Avenue parcel near the Basilica of St. Mary ($1.03 billion).” In any of the three scenarios, funding to “pay off the bonds would come from a citywide 0.35 percent sales tax and a 1 percent additional lodging tax or a percentage of revenues plus a $20 million license fee from a privately operated casino at Block E.” The new money also “would go toward a $150 million renovation of Target Center ($50 million of it from private sources)” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/28). Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, Kaszuba & Roper in a front-page piece note Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton “toured the Arden Hills site by helicopter in advance of announcing his own stadium plan by Nov. 7" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/28). The STAR TRIBUNE’s Mike Kaszuba noted Dayton on Wednesday “did not rule out tapping the state's Legacy funds to help pay for a Vikings stadium, raising protests about whether an NFL team should qualify as a piece of the state's cultural heritage” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/27). In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman notes Vikings officials are “working with the governor, but as long as the Republican majority in the Legislature won't help solve the problem, neither Rybak's stadium plan nor the Arden Hills site will keep NFL football here” (Minneapolis STAR TRUBUNE, 10/28).
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