SBD/November 8, 2011/Facilities

Stock Sale, Slot Machines To Be Proposed For Vikings Stadium Funding

Vikings have pledged $420M of a proposed $1.1B stadium project in Arden Hills
Minnesota state Rep. Phyllis Kahn “plans to present” the ideas of selling public stock in the Vikings and installing slot machines at the airport as ways to fund the proposed Vikings stadium “in the next legislative session,” according to Frederick Melo of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. She will also present the plan earlier if Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton “calls a special session to deal with the Vikings stadium.” NFL ownership rules “prohibit any team other than the Packers from having more than 25 owners.” Kahn’s proposed legislation “would require the governor and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission to work with the NFL to change the rules.” She figures the funds from the stock sale “could go toward a new stadium while still allowing [Vikings Owners] the Wilf family to retain the 30 percent ownership required of managing owners under current NFL rules.” The team “has backed a $1.1 billion stadium project on an old Army ammunition plant in Arden Hills” and has “pledged more than $420 million.” But local and state governments “have not finalized ways to fund the remaining $650 million needed” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/8). Kahn said, “Dayton asked for all ideas to be put on the table and that’s exactly what I’m doing here. No single idea (for funding a new stadium) has gained enough traction to pass the Legislature.” In Minneapolis, Mike Kaszuba noted the proposal “would be patterned, in part, on the ownership structure governing” the Packers (STARTRIBUNE.com, 11/7).

HEADING WEST? In St. Paul, Charley Waters reports for “the first time, word is the NFL no longer will prevent the Vikings from relocating after their Metrodome lease expires in February.” The NFL “still prefers that the Vikings remain in Minnesota, and [Owner Zygi] Wilf earnestly wants to keep the team here.” But if Wilf “wants to move the Vikings to Los Angeles after this season -- or sell the team to someone who will do it -- don’t be surprised if the NFL no longer stands in the way” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/8).
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