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SBD/May 10, 2012/Facilities
Minnesota House Approves Vikings Stadium Plan, With Team Contribution At $477M
Published May 10, 2012
READ THE FINE PRINT: In St. Paul, Doug Belden notes the latest version of the bill “drops the state’s contribution” from $398M to $348M, while Minneapolis’ contribution “remains unchanged” at $150M. Other key issues that were resolved include the Vikings getting to “retain stadium naming rights," and St. Paul getting $2.7M annually to "offset investment in Minneapolis," which would likely help build a new ballpark for the independent minor league St. Paul Saints. Additionally, construction cost overruns will be "the responsibility of the builder; operating cost overruns are responsibility of public stadium authority," and Minneapolis "retains charter exemption language designed to allow it to spend money to renovate Target Center” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/10). Rep. Morrie Lanning, who sponsored the bill, said, “The Vikings will be committed to staying in Minnesota for at least 30 years. I believe that will be longer.” REUTERS' David Bailey notes that the planned 65,000-seat stadium “would have 150 corporate suites and 7,500 club seats.” The Vikings also would have the “sole right” for five years to bring a MLS franchise to the stadium (REUTERS, 5/10).
MUST-SEE TV: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio wrote, “When word emerged Tuesday that the Minnesota Senate had amended the stadium bill to prevent any Vikings games played at the proposed facility from being blacked out, it seemed ludicrous to think that such a stipulation would fly, given the NFL’s staunch insistence on adhering to its decades-old blackout policy.” But the NFL “doesn’t need to carve an exception to blackout policy.” Instead, the team “must commit to purchasing -- at 34 cents on the dollar -- any unsold non-premium tickets.” If the stadium will “consistently be sold out for Vikings games, such a commitment will cost the team nothing.” The NFL “may not prefer that type of precedent, since it would then be used when public money is being finagled for other new stadiums,” but it “makes plenty of sense” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 5/9).