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After earlier stating that the House could "likely to possibly" meet on Wednesday night to discuss the most recent stadium proposal bill for the Minnesota Vikings, there is now at least one official meeting that will take place on Wednesday night. The Stadium Conference Committee will meet at 9 pm to discuss all things Vikings' stadium.
Stadium Conference Committee meets at 9 pm TONIGHT in 15 Capitol.— Jodi Boyne (@jkboyne) May 9, 2012
The meeting will be an open meeting according to DFL representative Terry Morrow and will be broadcast live on Twin Cities Public Television on channel 2.2.
The House is expected to discuss the stadium but nothing is set in stone, although it appears that there is a strong possibility that it will be addressed.
Be sure to stay with SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream for any news on the Vikings' stadium situation. For more on the Vikings, head over to Daily Norseman. And for more NFL coverage, be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL hub.
As of Wednesday night, it seems that the Minnesota House of Representatives will maybe consider talking about the latest version of the Vikings stadium bill...maybe. As of the time of this post, the House decided to take a recess until 10 pm on Wednesday night prior to "possibly" talking about the stadium proposal.
Originally, it was assumed that the House and Senate both had a 12-hour waiting rule on proposed bills, but the House utilized Joint Rule 3.01 which states that either House or Senate may suspend the Joint Rules by a vote of two-thirds.
It has been made clear that the House will take it's time while debating the bill and will be sure to address it when they are ready, whether that is Wednesday night or at a later date.
Be sure to stay with SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream for any news on the Vikings' stadium situation. For more on the Vikings, head over to Daily Norseman. And for more NFL coverage, be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL hub.
The Minnesota Vikings stadium bill underwent quite a few changes over the past couple of days as it made its way through the House and Senate, but not all of the amendments are expected to stick. Which amendments get thrown out will be decided when the parties meet for a conference committee, but the one regarding the NFL's blackout policy is almost certainly being eliminated.
It isn't easy to change something the NFL implements all over the league, unfortunately, something the amendment's originator acknowledged while talking to the Pioneer Press on Wednesday.
Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, expects his amendment to die when House and Senate lawmakers mesh competing bills in conference committee. But he felt compelled to include it anyway. He said it was "archaic" how the NFL bans home games from being televised in a home team's market if they are not sold out within 72 hours.
It's unfortunate that it'll be thrown out, too, as Chamberlain's reason for including it makes a lot of sense.
"Economic studies have shown that blackouts do not increase game-day attendance and in the end they deprive fans the opportunity from watching a game," Chamberlain said Wednesday, May 9. "If we're going to pay for the team to have a stadium to make money why not take away blackouts, which have no economic effect."
It'll be interesting to see which other amendments make their way into the bill before it reaches the governor's desk considering so much time was spent on them prior to voting on the actual bill.
Be sure to stay with SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream for any news on the Vikings' stadium situation. For more on the Vikings, head over to Daily Norseman. And for more NFL coverage, be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL hub.
Two days worth of good news is something we haven't seen in a while regarding the Minnesota Vikings and their need for a new stadium. Fortunately for fans of the Vikings, they got a boost in their hopes as the Minnesota Senate followed the House of Representatives' lead and passed a bill authorizing the use of over $500 million from the state for a new Stadium to be built.
There were hours upon hours of debate on the subject in the Senate before the bill was passed, and it got to the point where it looked like they might even be in danger of their 7 a.m. deadline being too soon. In the end, they got their bill though filled with amendments that were different from the House's companion bill.
With time running short in the legislative session, the bills now head to a House-Senate conference committee to resolve the differences. A compromise bill would need a second approval in both chambers before heading to the desk of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who has led the charge for a new Vikings stadium to replace the Metrodome.
One of the biggest changes between the two versions was the Senate's bill shifting $25 million of the proposed money spent on the Stadium over to the Vikings from the state. The House's version had $105 million shifted. The Senate also spent a large amount of time pushing for 'user fees' inside the Stadium being used to add to costs rather than the charitable gambling that had previously been in the bill.
Time is running out on the Legislative session, so they'll need to hurry if we want a resolution to the now quickly moving events of the Vikings Stadium drama.
For more on the Minnesota Vikings as their Stadium Issues continue to filter through the local government, head over to The Daily Norseman. More news and analysis on the NFL in general can be found at sbnation.com/NFL.
The amended Vikings stadium bill passed through the House and on to the Senate in the eleventh hour on Monday night. On Tuesday, there have been nearly 11 hours of debating on the amendments and there are conflicting reports as to whether or not closing remarks have taken place and a vote is near. Whatever may be the case, reporters on the scene are confident a vote is getting closer:
They WILL get it done, however it may be 6:59AM RT @TC__15:What are the odds that this doesnt get resolved by the 7 am deadline?— Aj Mansour(@AjMansourKFAN) May 9, 2012
AJ Mansour may have been joking, because he is now saying that a final vote may get done within the next hour.
The Minnesota Senate passed an amendment to the Minnesota Vikings stadium bill on Tuesday, representing an apparent compromise with the House's largely unpopular plan that was revealed on Monday evening.
The Senate amendment is set to increase the Vikings' share by $25 million, lowering the state's stadium contribution from $398 million to $373 million. Political reporter Tom Hauser of Twin Cities station KSTP broke the news on Twitter Tuesday afternoon:
Increasing Vikings share of stadium by $25 million in the Senate seems to be compromise with the House $105 million increase.— Tom Hauser (@5hauser) May 8, 2012
A Vikings spokesman recently called the House's $105 million increase 'unworkable', but an $80 million decline by the Senate's proposed plan certainly appears viable for all parties. The Senate is reportedly set to review roughly 50 amendments throughout a busy Tuesday, so stick right here with SB Nation Minnesota for more updates as they happen.
After a four-hour delay, the Minnesota state senate is debating the Minnesota Vikings' stadium bill. This debate could continue on into the evening as there are more than 50 amendments to the bill according to reports.
Eric Durkee, a Vikings public relations and stadium development employee tweeted this picture of the debate:
If the bill passes, then the a joint House/Senate committee will have to reconcile the differences between the different versions of the bill before it lands on the governor's desk to sign into law.
One key point raised by stadium supporters is the importance of keeping the Vikings in Minnesota. Some dismiss this idea as a scare tactic, while stadium supporters are legitimately worried about the Vikings long-term stability in Minnesota.
Sen Michel (R): "We don't want the Vikings to leave. We want to take the wheels off this franchise and have them here for our grandkids"— Jeff Goldberg (@jgoldbergfox9) May 8, 2012
Sen Marty (DFL): "The NFL needs a team here, and frankly that's why they're not going to move"— Jeff Goldberg (@jgoldbergfox9) May 8, 2012
Those interested in the senate debate can watch it online on the senate's UStream channel.
Minnesota Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley has dubbed the new Vikings stadium bill "unworkable."
Bagley made the comment after the Minnesota House made heavy revisions to the original plan, including a big increase on the amount of money the Vikings are expected to pay.
On Thursday morning, Sports Radio 100.3 tweeted:
Bagley: "We made it very clear that [this amendment] violates a negotiated agreement...that particular provision is unworkable." #Vikings— KFAN1003 (@KFAN1003) May 8, 2012
The amendment in question, added to the bill Monday, stipulates that the team must pay an additional $105 million for the stadium, and that naming rights revenue be divvied up between the team and the public .
The Pioneer Press put it thus:
An amendment introduced by Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, passed 97-31. It lowers the state's contribution by $105 million and raises the team's by that amount, and allows the public to share in naming rights revenue, which had been assigned to the team.
The Senate is hearing a different version -- according to the Pioneer Press, it's a significantly different version -- of the bill Tuesday.
This SB Nation Minnesota story stream will have updates as they break. For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.
The bill passed the Minnesota House on Monday and is expected to be taken up by the Senate on Tuesday.
Zellers, a Republican who is opposed to the bill, had this to say in the wake of the bill's passage in the House:
...While I voted against the bill, I gave my word to my colleagues, stadium supporters and Governor Mark Dayton that, despite my concerns, the bill would receive a fair process....
I will continue to facilitate this process as it moves forward, allowing all parties to resolve differences and -- more importantly -- better protect the interests of Minnesota taxpayers.
As leaders we rely on our word as currency when we build agreements. It is time to refocus attention on Minnesota's broader agenda -- a competitive economy that will foster business development and jobgrowth throughout the state. I respectfully ask Governor Dayton to work collaboratively with Republicansand Democrats to see the bipartisan Tax Relief and Job Creation Act and the infrastructure/bonding billsigned into law in this session.
The bill was approved by a vote of 73-58. Forty Democrats and 33 Republicans voted for it.
While there was excitement about Monday's decision, the new stadium still has hurdles to clear. The House and Senate bills differ significantly, according to the Pioneer Press. What's more, the amendments that made the bill palatable to the House increase the financial burden on the Vikings, which could a setback.
Keep checking out this SB Nation Minnesota stream for more stadium updates. For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.
The Minnesota House on Monday approved a bill for the Minnesota Vikings new stadium.
The vote was 73-58, with 40 Democrats and 33 Republicans voting in favor of the heavily amended plan.
The stadium proposal will now move to the Minnesota Senate, where it is expected to be taken up Tuesday.
Even after Monday's passage, however, approval of the new stadium is hardly a sure thing. A slew of amendments were tacked on to the bill during Monday's eight-and-a-half -hour marathon session.
The most significant amendment, according to a Pioneer Press article, cut the state's contribution by about 25 percent and stipulated that the naming rights revenue are to be shared between the team and the public.
The Vikings said that the naming provision was "not workable," according to the Pioneer Press.
Also from the Pioneer Press:
The House bill differs significantly from the one in the Senate, and the differences would need to be resolved in conference committee, after which there would be another round of votes in the House and Senate before the bill goes to the governor....
But House passage was still a significant step, and it sets up a potential end-game for a Vikings stadium push that's been under way at least 12 years and engaged in earnest for about the past three.
Republican Rep. Morrie Lanning, the bill's sponsor, warned against squeezing the team too much. The Pioneer Press also quotes an NFL executive who says that last-minute changes could put the deal in peril.
This SB Nation Minnesota story stream will have more on this as news breaks. For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.
After more than six hours of debates and everyone getting in their last words on the latest proposed stadium bill for the Minnesota Vikings, the voting finally started just after 11 p.m. ET. The results are in and it's great news for Vikings fans:
This is obviously positive and worthy of celebrating, but it's just a step forward, as the bill still must pass through the Senate, where the bill will be under the microscope again. The Vikings are urging fans to reach out to their Senate reps to encourage their votes in favor of the latest proposal so the Vikings can get their new stadium and assure their fans they will be remaining in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.
Stay tuned to this storystream for updates on the vote. For more on the Minnesota Vikings and their stadium issues, head over to The Daily Norseman. For more on the NFL in general, check out SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.
The Minnesota House of Representatives continues to debate whether or not to approve funding for a new Vikings stadium, and legislators are putting their efforts into trying to shape the final bill to resemble their vision. There are still more than 20 amendments to go, but here are some of the amendments that have come up for a vote so far:
The Minnesota Vikings' stadium bill is going through the legislator on Monday, which is sort of goods considering it has actually reached this point. What isn't good news, however, is that the amendments being made to the bill are ruffling some feathers.
Eric Grubman, the NFL's executive vice president of venture and business operations, cautioned Monday that amending the bill to require the Vikings to pay more or use sports gambling to help finance the state's contribution are deal breakers as far as the NFL is concerned.
"After months of negotiation and compromise and the building of a legislative coalition, albeit a fragile one, any meaningful change of the bill drastically changes the probability of success," Grubman told the Pioneer Press. "You can't change the deal at the last minute."
If the bill makes it through and then the NFL has issues, where do we go?
There's quite a bit going on in relation to the Minnesota Vikings stadium bill Monday as legislators try to figure out exactly what they want to do in regard to the team's future. It might not be pretty, either, as they go through all sorts of amendments that seem to be more confusing than helpful.
One of the amendments on the docket, as discovered by the Star Tribune's Rachel Stassen-Berger, would guarantee that the Vikings get to host a Super Bowl if they build a new stadium. The actual wording is included below, via the legislature's website.
(a) As a condition of building a stadium pursuant to this act, the authority shall enter into an agreement with the National Football League that would establish that the new stadium shall be the host site of an NFL Super Bowl no later than the third NFL season following completion of the stadium.
(b) The penalty for breach of this agreement shall be a surcharge on rent in the lease or use agreement under section 473J.15, subdivisions 3 and 4, equal to three times the rent paid for the remainder of the term of the lease or use agreement, or until the stadium hosts a Super Bowl."
That would be interesting if it makes it through, won't it?
The Minnesota Vikings stadium stuff is expected to come to a resolution at some point Monday during the legislative session, though a specific time has yet to be set. That said, the lawmakers have already begun looking at the bill -- and making changes to it, for better or worse.
An amendment was put through Monday afternoon that will make the team pay over $100 million more for the stadium and, thanks to the friendly folks at the Pioneer Press, the details are included below.
The Vikings stadium bill came up on the House floor and was immediately amended to reduce the state's contribution.
An amendment introduced by Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, passed 97-31. It lowers the state's contribution by $105 million and raises the team's by that amount, and allows the public to share in naming rights revenue, which had been assigned to the team.
Reasoning for the amendment was made by a member of the legislature out of St. Cloud.
King Banaian, R-St. Cloud, who includes stadium construction in his economics courses at St. Cloud State University, spoke in favor of the amendment. He said the team is not putting up enough money toward the project.
Of the team's $427 million contribution, $200 million would come from an NFL loan, only about $50 million of which be the responsibility of the owners, Banaian said.
It's tough to tell what impact this amendment will have on things, but we'll find out soon enough.
Stop us if you've heard this one. Today is a very important day for the potential construction of a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. This is just the latest in a long string of "important days," but we're super serious this time when we tell you that this one is actually important. As already noted, there's a house vote that could wrap-up before this article is even posted or that could run well into the night. It's one vote in a long line of votes, but it's an important milestone nonetheless.
It's hard to tell at this point if it's likely to succeed - the supporters and detractors seem to be equally vocal and equally unshakable, though there is some movement that seems to lean toward the positive side. According to Patrick Kessler on Twitter, Rep. Ryan Winkler will change his vote to a "yes" simply because the Vikings stadium is likely the only job-producing project to come out of the Legislature this session.
Rep. Ryan Winkler changes fr "no" vote on #Vikings stadium to "yes":"Flawed plan for creating jobs...is better than no plan at all."— Patrick Kessler (@PatKessler) May 7, 2012
Of course, we'd all prefer that people vote for the stadium because they want to keep the Vikings in Minnesota, but that's not how politics work. Maybe the stadium will get pushed through because enough people want that technicality on the Legislature's history. Who knows? At this point, after years of trying, the Vikings will take what they can get.
Monday marks a very, very big day for the Minnesota Vikings and their hopes of staying in the state of Minnesota. The latest $1 Billion Stadium Plan will get its chance on the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday, with the future of the team perhaps in the balance.
The debates on the bill will start later in the day, and could extend a good, long while which could push the actual vote very late into the night. With so much vocal support for both sides of the issue, we know that there will be tons of debate thrown around.
A win for the bill in the House on Monday would not guarantee an easy ride through, of course. The bill will still have to go through more processes including having the Senate vote on a separate version of it on a later date. Still, this bill has to start somewhere and if it can pass the House which has had its vocal doubts so far in the process, anything is possible.
As Ted Glover reminds us on twitter, it's not too late to give the Legislature a call if you want to help push for the bill to pass.
After a decade of trying, the Minnesota Vikings will finally have a stadium bill reach the floor of the Minnesota legislature on Monday. One way or another, it will be a historical day.
A huge vote for another plan to get the Minnesota Vikings a new stadium is taking place on Monday, but Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton might have dealt it a blow when he struck down a GOP-crafted tax plan on Friday.
As reported by the Star Tribune, the bill was sent to Dayton on Thursday and had tax breaks for businesses but potential use of 'rainy day' money from the state, and Dayton struck it down quickly. Unfortunately for the Vikings, that probably won't sit well with the legislators who essentially told Dayton that the Stadium bill would be looked at a lot more favorably only if their tax bill passed:
The bill casts a shadow over an impending vote on a Minnesota Vikings stadium plan because some lawmakers suggested they would look more favorably on the stadium package if Dayton signed the tax plan.
Of course, we won't know for sure until the actual voting date rolls around, but at this point in the so far long and winding Stadium saga, any semblance of bad news is not a good thing.
The GOP lawmakers in Minnesota have taken their last-minute Vikings stadium plan off the table, while Gov. Mark Dayton has convinced to Republicans in both the House and Senate to agree to a vote on an older proposal, according to Rachel Stassen-Berger and Mike Kaszuba of The Star Tribune.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers said that they will take the vote even though he doesn't know that the plan -- which would use gambling revenue to pay for the state's share -- will pass and he personally "cannot" support it.
While securing a stadium deal has been Dayton's top priority during this legislative session, Republicans are eager to vote on a tax bill that was delayed earlier this week. According to at least one Republican senator, Dayton could help his cause by signing the tax bill into law.
The Minnesota legislative Republicans have decided on a new plan for financing a stadium for the Vikings, and there will be a vote for that plan on Monday.
On Thursday, House Speaker Kurt Zellers said that Monday's vote will involve another plan that is tied to the state's expansion of gambling. Zellers has said on the record that he opposes the bill, and that he isn't sure if it will pass.
The Republican legislative leaders dropped a proposal to finance a new $975 million Minnesota Vikings stadium by issuing bonds directly that were tied to state's general treasury.
Nothing should surprise anymore when it comes to the Minnesota Vikings stadium proposal, which seems to have died and come back to life a few times now.
It's no stunner, therefore, that what Gov. Mark Dayton dubbed a "hare-brained scheme" Wednesday morning was, by Wednesday night, "absolutely worth pursuing."
According to The Star Tribune, the latest about-face came when Republican legislators said that borrowing, not gambling, would be the main vehicle to pay for the Vikings' new stadium.
From The Star Tribune:
"We hope this is fruitful," said House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, after formally presenting the idea to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. "We're trying to find a solution that the Legislature can agree to."
Two days after the Legislature had hoped to adjourn, a handful of leaders are racing to piece together a new, end-of-session stadium proposal that ditches the much-criticized expansion of charitable gambling for traditional bonding.
According to the article, the new proposal calls for at least $250 million in borrowing. That price tag, however, does not include the price of a roof, which is still unknown. The City of Minneapolis would be on the hook for $150 million for construction costs, while the team would make up the $427 million difference.
A roof is thought to be imperative because, without one, the venue's ability to host year-round events would be limited.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton held a news conference Wednesday at the State Captiol in St. Paul to bash the new Republican plan for the Vikings stadium, according to Doug Beldon of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
He called the GOP plan "laughable" as well as "extremely, extremely disappointing and profoundly disturbing" and said "to have somebody trying to pretend that they're being serious and sincere in offering this kind of scheme, I just find offensive." He called the plan's unveiling Tuesday "one of the most cynical attempts at political gamesmanship that I've ever seen in my 35 years around here."
The new Republican plan, which GOP leaders previewed Tuesday afternoon and plan to outline in full to Dayton on Wednesday calls for the state to pay for the stadium's infrastructure and include those costs in the state's bonding bill. Republican Rep. John Kriesel, who has pressed forward to pass a stadium bill, expressed disappointment in the governor for bashing the new plan to the media.
"I've never been more disappointed in the governor," Kriesel said. "I expect better."
Kriesel believes Dayton should be amenable to the new plan, considering the original plan did not have the votes to pass.
From the beginning, a new Minnesota Vikings stadium in the city of Minneapolis has called for a hefty chunk of change coming from the city itself to help build the stadium and keep it running. A provision in the latest plan for that new stadium could change the plan's funding from the city to a lot more or a lot less than expected depending on how the local economy does.
Mayor R.T. Rybak's administration has said the city's contribution of local sales taxes to a new stadium on the Metrodome site will amount to approximately $338 million for capital and operations over 30 years, or $675 million when including interest costs. But a provision in the stadium bill raises that figure if the local economy booms.
The city's contribution could reach $890 million if tax revenue grows by 5 percent each year for 30 years, based on a Star Tribune analysis of figures provided by the city's chief financial officer, Kevin Carpenter. In that scenario, the city would also be left with more money to spend on the convention center and economic development.
Conversely, the city's contribution could fall to $592 million if the taxes stay flat.
This could be seen as unfair to the city, being forced to pay tons more of their revenue simply because they've made more money over a period. That's the problem with having an 86 page long bill involved with the stadium, there's bound to be tons of different bits like that complicating the numbers.
If nothing else, the possible increased funding being streamed to a stadium would help prevent any overages on the building costs. And if the economy and taxes stay stagnant over the next couple of years, it would be mostly a moot point.
There's a lot that still needs to be done in order for the Minnesota Vikings to receive their new stadium. Unfortunately, every time there appears to be a couple steps forward there are an equal number of steps back that halts any hope for a proposal to be passed all the way through and out of the courtroom. The latest hang up in negotiations has Governor Dayton and Democrats questioning the GOP and the Vikings about their latest tactics:
On Tuesday, May 1, they proposed a plan that would cap the state's contribution to infrastructure costs only and leave the rest up to the team.
It's a radical change in direction after weeks of hearings - and the expectation of floor votes in the House and Senate - on a bill that would fund a $975 million project with nearly $400 million in state money derived from taxing new forms of charitable gaming.
"After eight months of bipartisan negotiations," said Bob Hume, communications director for Gov. Mark Dayton, "They are in fantasyland if they think this is going to be taken seriously by anyone."
Dayton's concerned with secret negotiations between the Republicans of the House and the Vikings, which supposedly centered around the idea of a roofless stadium that would be funded by tax dollars. Dayton has been by the team's side throughout this process, so losing his trust and support could ultimately be a devastating blow for the Vikings' hopes for a new stadium in Minnesota.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton implored state legislators to extend their session in order to tackle outstanding issues, including the proposal to build the Minnesota Vikings a new stadium.
A Star Tribune article said that getting everything done prior to the summer recess will be difficult:
"There is more that needs to be done," Dayton told journalists gathered outside his office. "I encouraged them to stay as long as they need to get all this resolved."...
Legislators recessed for several hours Monday afternoon so leaders could huddle with the governor to see if a deal could be reached. By early evening, leaders emerged to say they could no longer predict when the session might end and that they had made no significant progress toward an overall agreement.
The Star Tribune said that Dayton and Republican legislators have been unable to agree on business tax breaks, a bonding package and, yes, the Vikings' new stadium, which will cost an estimated $975 million.
According to the article, the Legislature's constitutional deadline to adjourn is May 21.
A plan for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium is holding up the legislative session, Minn. Gov. Mark Dayton says. Via Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities:
Republicans had wanted to finish the legislative session by Monday. But the session doesn't have to adjourn until well into next month, and House Speaker Kurt Zellers said over the weekend he was willing to go past Monday if progress was being made.
The Vikings have asked the state of Minnesota for nearly $400 million and the city of Minneapolis for $150 million to build a new stadium. Dayton has lobbied for the stadium project to stand on its own, but Republican lawmakers want to attach it to a deal that includes a tax bill and statewide construction projects.
If the Vikings cannot come to an agreement on plan soon, the team will likely move to a new city--with Los Angeles being the prime candidate.
The Minnesota Vikings are running out of time to get their new stadium approved by the Minnesota legislature. A special weekend session was called on Saturday to discuss several issues facing the legislature, but according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the bill that would approve the new stadium had very little movement:
The nearly $1 billion Vikings stadium plan barely survived its last committee stop Friday night, and Senate Majority Leader David Senjem said he would not bring it to a floor vote without a global agreement on the other issues, potentially dooming the stadium this year.
"We want to get that tax package nailed down before we go ahead with that," the Rochester Republican said. "We've gotten further apart as we've gone through the week. We thought we were close to something, but as we kept talking, they unfolded a bit."
The lack of movement continues to grow the possibility that 2012 may be the final season for the Vikings in Minnesota. Already a 10,000 page Environmental Impact Report has been given to the Los Angeles City Hall that is one of the final steps towards a downtown Los Angeles football stadium being built. The Vikings would be a prime target if L.A. settles its stadium issues.
The Minnesota Vikings stadium looked like it wasn't going to be happening this year, but then the NFL got involved and Minnesota's government decided that it would do its best to get some sort of resolution. That resolution seems to be coming slowly but surely, with a new twist every day.
The latest happened late Friday night in the Senate, but as this column in the Star Tribune reports, it wasn't easy -- and it might not be pretty in the future, either.
The Senate Taxes Committee voted 7-6 to move the bill ahead, but the Vikings got a vivid preview of how difficult it will be to win final approval for a $1 billion stadium. Some Republicans teamed with DFL stadium opponents during the long, bruising hearing.
Senate Majority Leader David Senjem, R-Rochester, said afterward that the full Senate may vote on the bill Sunday, with a House floor vote coming as early as Saturday. "We've got to soak this up a little bit," Senjem said.
This ought to be interesting.
Racino, which would add slot machines at horse-racing tracks, has been proposed at the Capitol for years but has been blocked by tribal casino interests and anti-gambling groups. It was rejected last month in a Senate committee, but backers predicted it would rise again this session.
The funding it brings is significant. A recent state fiscal note estimated tax revenue generated by racino would be $132 million per year in 2015.
Of course, many are saying that it will have to be taken out before any bill is signed because it will not draw enough political support.
The Minnesota Vikings public subsidy package is moving forward to potential votes in the House and Senate later this week, but conservative Republicans in the Senate are attempting to halt its progress, according to Mike Kaszuba of The Star Tribune.
Senate Republicans mounted a vigorous challenge to the Minnesota Vikings stadium plan Wednesday, arguing that state taxpayers may ultimately have to pay for the project and that supporting it went against the party’s conservative values.
The public subsidy package to build the $1 billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis came under intense questioning from some of the Senate’s most conservative Republican members, who painted the project’s financing as shaky and the stadium as another example of big government spending.
In addition to the conservative challenge to the bill, Wednesday's was highlighted by the appearance of Vikings Adrian Peterson, John Sullivan and Chad Greenway at the State Capitol. Peterson expressed his support of team owner Zygi Wilf and the stadium plan.
After some turbulence, it now appears as though the new stadium proposal for the Minnesota Vikings has started to even out (at least for the time being). On Tuesday morning, the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Committee approved the bill without recommendation and passed it on to the Finance Committee for review on Wednesday.
The bill is only one step away from reaching the Senate floor, which has left many optimistic at the prospects of it passing.
"I would say it's imminent," said Democratic Sen. John Marty of Roseville via Twincities.com. "I think they have the upper hand, and I think they're more likely than not to get their stadium within the week."
The bill has already passed in the House, which leaves the Senate as the final piece to the puzzle. However, the bills' sponsor, Sen. Julie Rosen acknowledges that there is still work to be done.
"We'll take it to conference committee. We'll be working through the weekend, I'm sure," she said.
For now though, it appears as things are moving in the right direction.
The Minnesota House and Senate could vote on the Vikings' stadium proposal by Friday, according to the Star Tribune.
Just last week a House committee shot down the stadium bill, prompting pessimism that the bill could get passed during this session. Bill sponsor Morrie Lanning, for instance, said, "Somebody's going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat."
Looks like someone may have found a rabbit.
From the Star Tribune:
The voice vote on the measure that merged the Vikings stadium plan into a bill that would greatly expand charitable gambling appeared to be mixed, making it hard to gauge how much support the plan enjoys among House members.
But the committee action on plans for the nearly $1 billion stadium, which would be built largely with public money, capped a day in which leading Republicans in both the House and Senate outlined a road map that would quickly spin the project through a series of final hearings and on to a vote this week.
According to the Star Tribune, there have been two big changes to the stadium plan in the past week. First, it is more likely that residents of Minneapolis will have a referendum on the issue. Second, financial relief for the Target Center, which is owned by the city, was made part of the plan.
SB Nation Minnesota will have more on this as new breaks.
For more coverage of the Minnesota Vikings, including the stadium drama, be sure to check out The Daily Norseman.
Minnesota political leaders vowed to try again on a bill to fund a new Vikings stadium project after a Friday morning meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Less than 12 hours later, the bill has cleared the first of several hurdles, passing the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee by an 8-6 vote, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The bill that passed on Friday evening was the one developed by Senate Majority Leader Julie Rosen and agreed to by the Governor and Minneapolis officials. Next, it goes to the Committee for Job and Economic Growth. A vote in the House will also be needed.
A similar compromise bill was rejected by a House committee on Monday. The Vikings are playing this season in the Metrodome, but do not have a long term lease agreement. With the 2012 legislative session scheduled to end on May 21, no action on the bill could leave the Vikings in a difficult position, what the league describes as a "stalemate" that would allow owner Zygi Wilf to explore options such as selling the team or moving. Goodell and NFL stadium committee chairman Art Rooney flew to Minnesota on Friday morning urging action this year.
While the Minnesota Vikings $1 billion stadium bill stagnates on the House floor, Gov. Mark Dayton assured reporters at a press conference Friday that every effort is being made to make the stadium a reality, according to Mike Kaszuba of The Star Tribune.
Zellers did not promise the Vikings stadium public subsidy package would be voted on by the full House before the Legislature adjourned. "We’ll have that answer for you in the next couple of days. Right now, I think it’s a little too early," he said. "Essentially, the bill is dead [but] there’s creative ways around here to make sure that things do continue to move."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stood with Dayton as he addressed reporters. Dayton fielded questions about a potential move for the team if the Vikings are unable to pass the bill and build a new stadium. Via Kaszuba:
Though Dayton had said earlier this week that NFL officials had essentially issued a "warning", he said Friday that Goodell did not initiate any discussion about the Vikings moving to Los Angeles or any other city looking for a NFL franchise.
"One of us – a legislator – brought the subject up," the governor said. "[The NFL] said they would like to have a team in Los Angeles [and] they would like to have it not be the Vikings."
On Friday morning, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Pittsburgh Steelers owner, Art Rooney met with Minnesota legislative leaders in the hopes of making progress on moving forward with a new stadium for the Vikings. Goodell hopes to make way on legislative hold ups in order to make the new stadium a possibility.
Goodell says the time has come to pass legislation and move forward on a new stadium.He says there's a "general commitment" to do that.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 20, 2012
According to ProFootballTalk, Rooney wanted to wait until after the draft to address the issue, but commissioner Goodell made it clear that the situation was "urgent" and that it needed to be taken care of immediately. Apparently, the meeting went well as both Goodell and Rooney had positive things to say.
Rooney was quoted by ProFootballTalk as saying, "talks were close to the goal line" with the hopes of progress being made. Goodell made it clear that no threats were currently being made and that everyone involved understood that a new stadium was needed.
Until then, everyone seems to be remaining cautiously optimistic.
The goal remains, Goodell said, to get the situation resolved during the current legislative session.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 20, 2012
With the Minnesota Vikings losing ground on a new stadium seemingly every day, the rumors have started up involving the team relocating. Los Angeles has long been seen as ground zero for a new NFL team should any of them move, and reports are starting to come in with news that isn't good on that front for the Vikings.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been in LA talking with their mayor about a range of subjects including, of course, a relocated NFL team. That's not particularly surprising, but the private plane of owner Zygi Wilf showing up in a SoCo airport on the same day is a bit more jarring. The rumors swirling of a movement, the stadium bills going down and Wilf being in Los Angeles are a bad combination when it comes to keeping the Vikings in Minny.
The state of Minnesota has just over a week to revive the bill and get some more movement going on a possible new stadium plan, else they risk losing the team. The state government seems to be content with waiting for 2013 when they can start the cycle anew, but at the rate it's going they might not have a team at all to build it for.
To his credit, Roger Goodell has been working to urge the state along in getting a bill passed ASAP. It's up to guys like Gov. Mark Dayton now to get the train rolling again before the issue is pushed back so far that it's unsolvable.
Well, this is certainly ... something. The roller coaster of the Minnesota Vikings and their stadium situation continues, with the latest turn potentially being a good one for those who want the team to stay and get a stadium built sooner rather than later. It was already reported that the NFL was going to put some pressure on the state to get something built - mostly by saying "Hey, these are the cities interested in hosting the Vikings franchise if Minnesota/Minneapolis doesn't get it together."
Now, it's looking like that pressure could be working to an extent. As noted by the Star Tribune, Roger Goodell is in town to meet with various folks connected to the situation - including the Republican and DFL leaders on Friday. It also notes that Art Rooney II, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chair of the league's stadium committee would also be sitting in on the meetings. That's some pretty heavy brass.
They're not there to threaten the state by definition, but they're definitely there to make some noise. And apaprently, it's working - just a little bit:
In a slight sign of movement, Senate Majority Leader David Senjem said after Dayton's comments Thursday that a Senate panel where the nearly $1 billion Vikings stadium plan has been stalled for weeks would now likely meet Friday to reconsider the legislation.
Senjem's comments came after Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, the lead DFLer in the Senate, said DFLers on the 14-member panel would agree to put up the majority of the votes needed to pass the Vikings plan in the committee.
If this can get the issue back on the docket, then that's a huge win for the Vikings. The team doesn't want to move, and there's no indication that they definitely will if things don't work out, but Goodell's presence certainly makes things seem a bit more real. Governor Mark Dayton said that it wasn't a threat, but that Goodell was simply saying "this is the way our league operates," - potentially referencing a list of cities where the Vikings could relocate to.
As Minnesota's frustrating stadium situation presses on without viable funding, the NFL appears to be prepared to reveal a list of prospective cities to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Eric Grubman, the NFL's executive vice president of business operations, brought the possibility further into the light on Wednesday, and offered yet another gut punch to fans by pointing out what the not-quite-shot down bill means to the organization.
"This was portrayed as having support and likely to pass as recently as a couple of weeks ago," said Grubman. "So this will come as quite a blow. This is quite a blow.
There are plenty of willing buyers. I think the Wilfs do not want to sell the franchise, but I think there is a point where they probably would be open-minded," he added. "I would not be surprised if [NFL commissioner Roger Goodell] tells the governor, if he asks, what other cities are interested."
While it seems obvious that the Wilfs don't want to sell the team, pretty soon that preference might not matter without proper funding in place. Time, it seems, is ticking away here as bills are continuously shot down. Until something big happens, Minnesota Vikings football could conceivably be on its last legs. Stay tuned with SB Nation Minnesota's StoryStream for more stadium updates.
After the Vikings stadium bill was defeated in House of Representatives on Monday, the bill might be revived by Republican sponsor John Kriesel who hopes to "piggyback" the stadium plan on his electronic gambling bill, according to Doug Beldon of The St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Kriesel's bill, which authorizes electronic pulltab and bingo gambling as well as sports-themed tipboards and provides tax relief for charitable-gambling organizations, is aimed at supporting the charities, Kriesel said.
He described it as "connected to the Vikings stadium bill with a breakaway cord." He said he'd be open at some point to earmarking money from his bill for the stadium project, but he wants the measure to get through Taxes as is.
An estimated $72 million per year in new tax revenue would be generated through the electronic pulltab and bingo games authorized under Kriesel's bill. Half would go to the charities supporting the games, while the other half would go to the state of Minnesota.
Kriesel's hope is, by earmarking money for building the stadium, there will be fewer obstacles to ny future stadium bills. Kriesel's bill is scheduled to be heard Thursday, April 19 in the Taxes committee.
The loss in the House of the newest bill in the Minnesota Vikings stadium saga looks to have put another fork in the team's chances to get themselves a new stadium built any time soon.
The Vikings themselves don't seem to think that stopping the quest for a new stadium is in the cards though, no matter how many bills they have to help shuffle through the state government until they get a winner. TwinCities.com reports that they don't believe that they can wait another year.
As Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders tried to hand each other responsibility for the fate of the Vikings stadium bill Tuesday, April 17, the day after a major defeat in a House committee, Dayton raised the possibility that a new football stadium might have to wait till next year.
To which a team official responded: "There is no next year."
With rumors continually swirling of the Vikings being a favorite team to move away from their home city, perhaps to Los Angeles who has been clamoring for a third chance at an NFL team recently, no decision before this next season could be seen as an action in and of itself. Governor Mark Dayton was livid after the bill failed by a 9-6 vote for that very reason.
"We've got to get a stadium next year or the Vikings will leave," Dayton said. "I mean, it's just as clear as that. We can't have it both ways. We can't not do a new stadium and have the Vikings remain here for very long."
With the way that the bills have been failing left and right recently, it's best to hope that his words aren't prophecy.
Just when you thought it was safe to attempt to get off of the Minnesota Vikings' stadium roller coaster, it looks like we might be getting ready for another go-around.
After the Minnesota House Government Operations and Elections Committee shot down the current legislation on Monday night, it appeared that things might be over for this year, and the Vikings have made overtures that they have no interest in coming back in 2013 to give it another go. But, according to this report from KSTP Channel 5 in Minneapolis, they might not have to.
Apparently folks from Hennepin County are waiting for the current legislative session to end and the legislation for a new Vikings' stadium at the current Metrodome site to officially be declared dead. When that happens, the word from KSTP-5 are prepared to reveal their plan for a stadium at what is known as the "Farmer's Market" site, which was one of the sites that had a proposal put in back in February.
This new stadium would be next door to Target Field, home of the Twins. In fact, Target has expressed interest in naming rights for such a location, which would give them Target Field, the Target Center, and (presumably) Target Stadium all within the Minneapolis metro area.
It remains to be seen whether or not this will actually happen, but with Vikings fans looking for any sort of optimism they can on his issue, Hennepin County might have just provided it.
The Minnesota Vikings might be no more if the team cannot get a stadium before the end 2013. Gov. Mark Dayton said on Tuesday that the team will leave if it doesn't get a deal done in that time frame, according to the Star Tribune.
"We've got to get a stadium next year or the Vikings will leave," Dayton said at a morning news conference, following a meeting with legislative leaders. While he said he holds out some hope of reviving the project this session, he is beginning to think in terms of next year.
His statement comes on the heels of a Monday night vote in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee that went against the project with a 9-6 vote.
The optimism that prervaded the Minnesota Vikings' quest for a new stadium was nowhere to be found Monday, after the stadium bill was defeated by the state House.
According to the Pioneer Press, bill sponsor Morrie Lanning, a Republican from Moorhead, said the bill was unlikely to pass during this session, which is expected to let out before May.
Lanning went on to say that for the bill to pass,
"Somebody's going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat."
His disappointment was echoed by Vikings president Lester Bagley.
....Bagley called the outcome "extremely disappointing" and said "it's a mistake" for people to assume the Vikings and the NFL will continue operating under the status quo.
He said that isn't a threat that the team will leave, but "Minnesota's in control of their destiny.
"We've done everything we've been asked," Bagley said. The question for the state is: "What else would you expect us to do?"
Bagley added that the Vikes will continue to push the proposal until this session lets out.
The stadium plan puts the price tag at $975 million, of which the state would pay $398 million, the team $427 million (with the aid of an NFL loan), and Minneapolis $150 million.
A significant test for the Vikings' new stadium legislature was voted down by the House Government Operations and Elections Committee on Monday night, according to ESPN:
Media reporting from MN legislature that committee has voted down stadium bill. Tough blow. Re-group to come I presume.— Kevin Seifert (@espn_nfcnblog) April 17, 2012
Vikings fans knew that Monday was going to be a major hurdle for the new proposed plan for a new stadium, but this is arguably a major blow to the future of the Vikings in Minnesota. The bill may be dead this year and the Vikings' ownership's next move might be threatening an actual move elsewhere:
"It's a mistake to think the Vikings and the NFL will stick with the status quo in Minnesota," VP Lester Bagley told Fox9 News.
It's been eons seemingly since the Minnesota Vikings first announced they were hoping to get a new stadium, and plans for how to get one build and where to put it have been going in and out ever since. The latest plan is going to get its biggest hurdle coming on Monday as it faces a third panel from the House of Representatives. The plan involves the stadium being built in Minneapolis with almost a billion dollars coming from various sources, most of it from the Vikings themselves.
The new $975 million plan reportedly has decent support on the 15 member group that will be doing the voting. The biggest opposition could be the chance of it going to voters instead, which could spell bad news.
The House Government Operations and Elections Committee could be an important test for the project because it is chaired by Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, who has said she prefers a voter referendum on the stadium, which would almost certainly doom the $975 million proposal.
If the new plan can get by the House panel, it will immediately be one of the farthest ones to come out of the mess of plans that have been proposed in the past few months. If it passes the panel it could get a vote from the entire House eventually.
Monday is the first day back for legislators after a break for the Easter and Passover holidays, and it appears that they're going to get right to work, as the Vikings' stadium bill has been scheduled for a hearing in front of the House Government Operations and Elections Committee on Monday evening.
This will be the third House Committee that the bill has been placed in front of, having already gone through the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee, as well as the House Rules Committee. It has yet to get pushed through any committee in the Senate at this time.
There was an encouraging sign from an unlikely source this week, however, as House Speaker Kurt Zellers finally started suggesting that the Minnesota House of Representatives could, indeed, vote on a stadium bill before the end of this year's session. Zellers has not been the plan's strongest supporter to this point, and so the declaration that he would allow the bill to be brought to the floor is pretty significant.
This year's legislative session can stretch all the way to May 21, although lawmakers have suggested that they would like to wrap things up before the calendar flips over to May.
A new Minnesota Vikings stadium is going to cost about $1 billion, of which a decent chunk is most likely going to have to come from Minnesota's taxpayers. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak went out to meet the public on Tuesday night with his plan, which would take about $150 million of the billion dollars required from taxpayers via a redirection of the tax money.
The voters seemed split on the issue overall but as the Star Tribune reports, there were plenty of people who were vocally unhappy about the whole ordeal, and not just about the money itself.
Opponents in the crowd shot back that the plan requires a citywide vote -- a referendum that the mayor opposes. One man rose to read Rybak the text of the city's charter amendment requiring a vote when Minneapolis spends more than $10 million on a stadium.
"How can you get around saying the people do not have a right to vote on it?" the man asked, adding that the mayor has "danced around" the issue.
With voters seemingly split on the idea, it's not clear if Rybek's plan will have enough steam to gain any momentum as the Vikings continue to wait for the money needed to get a new home in place.
Schiff is an opponent of plans to build a new stadium for the Vikings, which were approved by a Minnesota House committee last week.
According to the Star Tribune, the April 24 hearing
will include a key vote on whether the Council endorses redirecting convention center taxes to fund a stadium as a legislative priority.
The new stadium would cost an estimated $975 million, of which Minneapolis would contribute $150 million to help build and an additional $200 million to help operate.
Mayor R.T. Rybak, who supports building a new stadium, is holding the first of two Vikings stadium forums on Tuesday, April 10. The second will be on Wednesday, April 11.
The White Earth Nation tribe, based in Northwestern Minnesota, gave their proposal to help out with a new Minnesota Vikings Stadium with $400 million, given that they are allowed to build a new Indian casino around the Twin Cities. The measure has been called 'Minnesota Wins', but it has received a lukewarm reception from the congress.
Both House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader David Senjem put forth arguments that seemed against the idea, with both of them more in favor of different acts, including one that would expand charitable gambling such as electronic pulltabs in order to help raise the money:
Shortly after Vizenor unveiled the plan, House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, appeared cool to it. "We will stick with what works," he said, referring to the consensus forming around an expansion of the charitable gambling industry to include electronic pulltabs as a way to help pay for a stadium. Zellers is a strong proponent of the charitable gambling proposal.
Senate Majority Leader David Senjem, R-Rochester, also appeared unenthusiastic. "It's probably going to have a difficult time," said Senjem, noting potential conflict with other tribes and their casinos on reservations. Senjem has strongly backed a languishing proposal that would put video slots at horse-racing tracks as a stadium revenue source.
A similar bill to try and give White Earth Nation a casino around the Twin Cities was proposed in 2004 by then Governor Tim Pawlenty but did not succeed because of dissent from other tribes.
The White Earth Tribe, accounting for almost 40 percent of Minnesota's native population, has officially offered $400 million to the state in hopes of pushing its MinnesotaWins project and furthering the Vikings stadium situation. The MinnesotaWins project equates to a casino operated by White Earth, where revenues will then be split 50-50 between the tribe and the state.
"Minnesota will have the money, the Vikings will be able to proceed in a timely manner - taking advantage of today's low interest rates and favorable construction costs - and taxpayers need have no concern that they will be on the hook," said White Earth chairwoman Erma Vizenor in a statement.
In addition, two important stadium-related bills each made their way through House and Rules committees this week, and are expected to be sent forward yet again in the near future. The two bills provide additional tax relief for charitable groups involved in the financing plan, locate backup funding sources for the state's contribution, and incorporate sports-themed tipboards, which are estimated to yield $16 million in tax revenue per year.
The Minnesota Vikings continue to wait and wait for their new stadium deal to get authorized by the Minnesota government, to no avail. There's been quite a bit of movement, some positive even, in the past week or two but there's still largely just bad news on the front.
One of the stumbling blocks has been the Stadium Bill deal that involves a chunk of the money for the new stadium coming from electronic bingo and pulltab games, described as fundraisers for charitable organizations. It looks like the House of Representatives might be close to passing a standalone bill to get the pulltab and bingo games going through, according to TwinCities. If passed, the deal could then be added onto the stadium bill, effectively killing one of the obstacles that still stands in the way of the bill passing. The vote for that standalone bill will be held on Monday at 6 p.m..
We probably still have a long way to go until the Vikings have an assured new home, either way.
If you've been following along, the last two days in the saga for a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium were punctuated with a bit of good news and then a lot of bad news heaped on top of said good news. While the Minneapolis City Council came to a majority in regards to their support for the latest stadium bill, it was quickly reported that the Legislature wasn't hot on the issue and didn't consider it a priority.
Now, on top of that, it's clear that the Senate isn't going to make any kind of move on the bill. If they do, it's going to be outwardly negative, with support coming from very, very few places. As the Star Tribune reports, there aren't nearly enough votes for the bill to pass even its first committee in the Legislature.
It seems that everybody has a problem with something. One member says he isn't a fan of the gambling portion of the stadium - which is a $398 million share, mind you - while others simply don't even want to deal with the stadium now. Republican leaders don't consider it a priority and never have, meaning that much of this has all just been false hope. Nobody in the Senate intended to get anything done with this stadium plan, not in these election times. There are too many other things they can argue about.
A good way to make that point? The bill has been in front of the senate for over two weeks, and they haven't said much about it at all, not until the Minneapolis City Council affirmed their support for it. Now that they're being "forced" to say something, they're giving it the denial they always knew they would. There are still a ton of issues with the current bill, whether they be legitimate or fabricated because they simply don't want to look at it. With only weeks to go in the Legislature, it's hard to imagine something getting done.
It's already been noted that the Minnesota Vikings had their hopes for a new stadium take on second life within the Legislature on Monday. That new life came in the form of the Minneapolis City Council reaching a majority in regards to support of the stadium bill, which was a significant road block to the proceedings. It was a road block in the Legislature because ... why would the state approve something that the city hasn't even agreed on yet?
So, it's definitely some good news, but unfortunately, expectations should be kept at a minimum. There's a difference between pessimism and realism, and it's unfortunate to say that being pessimistic about the stadium at this point is simply being realistic. It's already been said that it was "new life" in a very small way, and the bill is not even close to being stable. Of sure, the bill is likely to get special permissions to get back in front of the Legislature even though it's technically missed the deadline for passing through one committee.
But it's still not something that's likely to get truly considered this Legislative session. As noted by the Minnesota Post, any significant action is unlikely. The article cites a quote from Steve Sviggum, communications director for the Senate's Republican caucus, where he calls the Minneapolis breakthrough a "little shot in the arm." It's then followed up with "It's breathing again, but only slightly."
If nothing gets done this Legislative session, it's unlikely there's any kind of mid-season exemptions and things of that nature, meaning we'll be right back here at the end of next season, trying to figure out whether the team will move or actually get something done. They're passed the deadline to submit the paperwork to relocate before the 2012 season.
It appears the Minnesota Vikings stadium saga has just made it through another big hurdle, though it's done so with varying legitimate degrees of success multiple times over the last few months. Still, any progress is a good sign, as it brings with it potential to actually get something done. The Star Tribune is reporting that Minneapolis City Council's majority is now populated with stadium supporters.
Previously, Mayor R.T. Rybak had sent a letter to all members of the City Council, expressing his desire to get a majority supporting a new football stadium for the team, and has separately met with some of the members who have been outspoken against said stadium. It looks as though his hard work has paid off, and now things can get moving a little easier.
One of the major sticking points with the stadium detractors in Minneapolis has been the fact that the stadium funding could become an issue for public voting. There was language in the City's charter that suggested anything that requires above $10 million in funding, but it appears that there's ways around this, like which "fund" the city's contribution comes from.
Similar issues arose for the San Francisco 49ers and their new stadium in Santa Clara. Detractors of that stadium plan tried to bring it to a vote once the dollar amounts came out, but the public had already approved funding for the stadium over a year prior to that, when the exact dollar amount wasn't known (it still isn't). That stadium project is moving full steam ahead.
So what does this ultimately mean for the Vikings? It means that the Legislature can still take things into consideration, though they technically have passed multiple deadlines. As it stands, the Vikings already should have had their case clear one Legislative committee, and aren't eligible to get things looked at further, outside of special permissions. They should get those special permissions, which are not rare under the circumstances, but the Legislature's time is now limited, and things need to get moving immediately to see progress in 2012.
The Minnesota Vikings stadium saga is nearing the point where it'll be too far gone to become a tangible reality in 2012. Small breakthroughs have occurred here and there, but it seems like they're always squashed out by things that feel ... insignificant. What's the latest thing being fought over that's directly getting in the way of something getting done, you ask?
Well, the Star Tribune is reporting that the money that the public would get if the team was ever sold is a point of issue. That's right - the percentage of money that would go to the public if Zygi Wilf decided to sell the team after the stadium is built. The public is concerned that the percentage isn't right, in that the public would get up to 18 percent of Wilf's profit from a sale in exchange for the money they're pouring into the stadium.
Apparently, this is a big deal because of the deal with the Twins and their new stadium - which said 18 percent of the team's overall sale price would go to the public. There's some numbers to digest - like the difference between $31 million and $143 million, but it's still somewhat ludicrous to think the Vikings would be up for sale after a deal gets done for a new stadium.
Wilf and the Vikings are going to contribute somewhere around $400 million for the new stadium - there were some more solid figures on that, but given that nobody knows what's going to happen anyway, let's just leave it at around that number. The selling value of the team is very complicated and it wouldn't necessarily go up by a huge number just because there's a new stadium. It doesn't make sense for Wilf's wallet to just up and sell the team.
They ARE important issues - don't write them off entirely. Several years down the road this could be important, but right now, it's just another thing that should have been solved months ago complicating things further as this legislative session nears it's end.
Ever hear the phrase "no news is good news"? That's not the case for the Minnesota Vikings and a potential new football stadium. No, every day there's deadlines being passed up and opportunities completely overlooked, and we're nearing a point where it's unlikely anything gets done in 2012. The legislature is up in April, and if it doesn't pass before then, it's on hold (barring any special sessions) until next year, when we can all come back and do this again.
Nobody is interested in the stadium as far as politics are concerned. As it stands, the stadium has actually missed a significant deadline - the one that says the bill needs to have passed at least one committee for it to remain plausible this legislative session. That deadline passed on Friday, according to ESPN. Also of note from that report is a prominent stadium supporter giving ... bad news.
Rep. John Kriesel said that he doubted the stadium bill could be approved before the end of the legislative session, suggesting that this next week really needs to show significant results if that's to be a possibility. As the report notes, Kriesel is a strong supporter of the stadium bill, and won't be up for re-election - so there's no reason for him to beat around the bush. He's likely telling the truth, and that's a bad sign for the stadium bill.
The Senate State and Local Government Committee decided to hold off on voting on the Minnesota Vikings stadium bill after two hours of debate and testimony Wednesday. Members of both parties showed concern over the bill's plan for the state to pay for its share with revenue from electronic gambling, according to Jennifer Brooks of The Star Tribune. Via Brooks:
Several witnesses voiced concerns about the bill’s plan to pay for the state’s share of stadium construction with revenues from electronic gambling. Critic Tom Pritchard, of the Minnesota Family Council, objected to idea of paying for new stadium by placing electronic bingo and pull tab machine in bars and restaurants. Electronic gambling, he warned, can be "as addictive as crack cocaine."
The stadium will be built at the old Metrodome site and will cost $975 million.The Vikings are asking for $398 million from the state and $150 million from the city of Minneapolis.
Plans for the Minnesota Vikings new downtown stadium are moving along, and the bill is scheduled to be heard for the first time in front of Senate on Wednesday. Additionally, the bill may be heard by the House as soon as Friday.
Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska is optimistic the bill could be heard Friday, and amongst the issues of importance to address is the fallback plan of the state general fund providing the funds for the state's portion of the stadium project if the tax revenue from electronic pull-games is not sufficient.
Beyond that, the House members want to ensure that the charities that rely on the gaming revenue will not be harmed by the current plan, and that the city council will be in favor of the proposed package.
King Wilson, the executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota (which represents charitable gaming interests) has indicated that the $10 million of proposed tax relief from the $72 million expected to be generated from the electronic forms of gaming is not enough. He'll meet with bill sponsor Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont on Wednesday morning.
Last week a deal was reached for the Minnesota Vikings to build a new stadium at the site of the old Metrodome for roughly $975 and it would be open for business in the year 2016. However, a day didn't pass before news surfaced that the deal which still had to be presented to the state legislature and Minnesota City Council was already causing problems.
Today, Governor Mark Dayton, who has been instrumental in getting the groundwork for a deal established, introduced a new plan to provide tax relief for charity gaming groups:
The proposal, which is expected to be incorporated into the stadium bill on its way to introduction, would reduce all gambling tax rates by about 14 percent, eliminate a 1.7 percent up-front distributors tax, and maintain a net-receipts tax at a lower rate for paper bingo.
The cost of the tax relief would be $10 million, according to Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans, and would increase the net profits for the charities and the annual gambling taxes paid to the state by about $62.5 million.
The Vikings owners are excited about the proposed deal that would give their football team a new home, but it seems there's still plenty of intricate details that need to be ironed out.
There's finally a deal in place for a new stadium to be built for the Vikings, though all of the parties involved had to make compromises to get a deal working. It was expected with so many people getting input on the project that compromises would need to be made, but Vikings President Mark Wilf is happy that something is finally being done.
"We feel good that we now have a package that we can take to the Capitol to discuss with the Legislature and the public. This agreement was a compromise for all three parties. The team is making a significant private contribution in a small- to medium-sized market -- the third-largest team/private contribution in NFL history. ... I don't think any of the three partners in this deal got everything they wanted."
The Vikings owners are excited, and for good reason; the stadium is slated to be a 'people's stadium' that can host all manner of different events, in the vein of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis which just hosted the Super Bowl and has hosted a final four as well since being built.
There is also room for a Major League Soccer team to join in the festivities at the new stadium rent free if MLS decides to make the Minnesota Stars the 20th franchise of the league instead of Orlando or New York.
Plans for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium remain up in the air as local lawmakers try to put together a bill that will fund the project before the deal falls apart.
A new report finds that funding the new stadium may not be the sole focus of the bill lawmakers are trying to introduce in the Minnesota State House. Renovating the Target Center in Minneapolis has re-surfaced as an additional need for future funding that some want to tie to the new stadium plan.
How to handle a $135 million Target Center renovation could play a significant role in the stadium debate. Including it in the legislation has been opposed by some lawmakers who don't want to see the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul put at a competitive disadvantage.
But taking the Target Center out of the bill raised concerns that the renovation would have a harder time passing were it voted on separately. And finding a way to include the work is seen as critical to securing Minneapolis City Council votes for the stadium plan.
Lawmakers also mention that they will not introduce a bill by Monday as previously hoped, needing more time to sort through the myriad issues involved.
The plans for the Vikings new stadium is already causing issues.
In a Thursday morning press conference, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton announced what he called “a new People’s Stadium” in Minneapolis at the site of the old Metrodome.
According to the Star Tribune, the stadium deal is for $975 million and would be open in 2016. According to the deal, the Vikings would pay more than 50 percent of the construction and operating expenses.
The Vikings’ quest for a new stadium is not yet a sure thing, however. Dayton said that the deal is now in the hands of lawmakers and others who must approve it.
He implored the state legislature and Minneapolis City Council to “consider carefully what is at stake.” According to the Star Tribune, Dayton said,
“Now the real work begins.”
The Star Tribune added,
There are serious doubts about any Vikings stadium deal from both governing bodies.
SB Nation Minnesota will have continuing coverage of plans for a new stadium.
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The Minnesota Vikings stadium has been a point of contention for far too long, but it seems everything will come to a conclusion on Thursday morning. A tentative agreement has apparently been put in place with details expected to be announced at a 9 a.m. news conference.
The new stadium will be built near the Metrodome, according to the Star Tribune, as everyone finally decided to agree to terms in a closed-doors meeting at the Capitol. It isn't clear how the financing has been settled as of yet, but the Star Tribune reports the next step should be completed in April.
The next step would be for a legislative bill to be introduced that contains the basic terms of the deal. About half the 2012 session remains before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn in late April -- time enough, most legislators say, for the bill to be heard and passed.
It's been a long time, but finally the long
national local nightmare has passed.
On Wednesday, the Vikings stadium saga refused to die, as word came out that no official deal would be reached regarding a stadium in Minneapolis at or near the current site of the Metrodome. On top of that, things got a lot more murky, as a new stadium bill was introduced, or rather, a pair of bills. One of them was a plan re-kindling the chances of a stadium in Arden Hills, and the other was a plan designed to put just about all the cost on the team.
Addressing the first one, the Star Tribune reports that Representative Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, introduced legislation in regards to an Arden Hills stadium. Electronic bingo and pulltabs would help the state pay for it, while the Vikings would contribute $425 million toward it. Ramsey County would put up about $10 million a year when they have the funds available, while the state puts up the bulk at $549 million for construction and $101 million for public infrastructure.
There's a lot of issues with introducing this kind of bill ... namely the fact that the Vikings and Ramsey County have been pushing something nearly identical as much. It's going to be hard to pass, given the large state contribution. It's unlikely Minnesota would like to pay that.
Unfortunately, the other proposal is totally opposite to that one. Instead of having the state with a large contribution, it's a site-neutral plan to saddle the Vikings with more than 80 percent of the cost. That's just not feasible, as the Vikings are not one of the top teams in the league in regards to revenue. A new stadium under that plan wouldn't change that one bit. The Vikings say such a plan would not allow the Vikings to be competitive.
And it's true. That's an absurd amount for a team that is more valuable than that. It's shouldn't be a situation where the state makes the Vikings pay for it if they want to stay. In that scenario, the Vikings would surely relocate.
It looks like the speculation that there was an agreement in place to get funding for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium has been squelched and that the negotiations between all of the players are going to continue.
As reported by the Star Tribune, a meeting was called by Vikings owner Zygi Wilf on Tuesday between all of the major players in the stadium saga except for Minneapolis officials. During the meeting, the chances for a stadium subsidy package looked to drift away, and Minneapolis Governor was quoted saying "I'm hopeful. I don't use the word 'optimistic' with this project any longer..." which would seem to indicate that while there's nothing being thrown off the table yet, there's not a great deal of ideas on it either.
The biggest issue, as it seems to have been all along, is that the City Council does not like the idea of using taxpayer money to fund the new stadium for the Vikings, regardless of the location. Either way, it doesn't look like a new stadium deal is going to get done any time soon, despite hopes recently that there would be some positive movement.
For more on the Minnesota Vikings, check out The Daily Norseman.
While there's nothing that is totally official about the new plan widely reported for a Minnesota Vikings stadium, there's enough substance to feel that something is getting done. There's a preliminary deal in place that picks the site (at or near the Metrodome) and divides the cost (estimated at $975 million), so Vikings fans can heave a collective sigh of relief. There's not likely any danger of the team relocating, to Los Angeles or anywhere else.
But how close were the Vikings to relocating or having to wait another year?
The entire stadium saga was defined by missed deadlines. First, Ted Mondale said that all parties would be significantly behind if they didn't pick a site to build by mid-January. Actually, first was nine years ago when the Vikings started campaigning for a new venue, but we'll just focus on this latest saga. Anyway, mid-January passed without a solid stadium site picked out.
More than that, several new proposals were introduced, including multiple superfluous proposals that only served to take up everybody's time. The Governor began playing hard ball with the team while viable options were set aside for cheaper alternatives, and then set a hard deadline for proposals. That deadline passed, and then his favored sites continued submitting past it.
Naturally, everyone else followed and deadlines quickly became superfluous, as well. The only consensus came about a week prior to this new preliminary deal, when multiple people following the situation said that something needed to be done very soon - within the next "couple weeks," otherwise it would be likely things would be delayed another year.
Who knows what another year would have meant to the Vikings and how they feel about the whole situation. Maybe another year is time for the Vikings to consider relocation and a city/state that is more open to their needs. A year is plenty of time for something like that. It's important that this was agreed on now, even if it's not perfect for all parties, so it has a chance at to pass the Legislature sooner rather than later.
Nothing is assured and a lot still needs to get done, but progress is progress. Any extra time likely would have put it out of the Legislature's hands until next year. Who knows what another year would have meant?
According to a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Minnesota Vikings have reached a deal with the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis on a deal that would build a $975 million stadium on a sight next to the Metrodome.
The contribution from the Vikings would come in at $427 million dollars, with $398 coming from the state and $150 coming from the city of Minneapolis to cover the construction costs of the new stadium. The city of Minneapolis would also cover $180 million in operating costs over the next 30 years.
The money that the team is contributing to the project represents about 45% of the costs of the stadium, and represents the third-largest private donation that has ever been pledged to a stadium.
Keep in mind, while an agreement has been reached, there is still quite a bit of work to do in order to get everyone on board with this. However, this is as close as the process has been to reaching the goal since this entire process began. With the 2012 legislative session nearing its halfway point, there's a lot of work to do and less time to do it in. Hopefully, for the sake of the team and its fans, this whole thing can go from "agreement" to "completed" before everyone adjourns for the year.
The Minnesota Vikings stadium has been a hot topic of discussion over the past year or so, but it seems things may be moving in the right direction. That statement depends on who one decides to believe, of course, but reports have recently surfaced calling the deal "imminent."
There's nothing officially happening quite yet, but the Star Tribune says that there was a conference call held Thursday to discuss an imminent deal that could be announced as soon as Friday.
A deal to build a Minnesota Vikings stadium next to the Metrodome neared completion Thursday, as stadium planners worked late to put the finishing touches on an agreement among the state, the team and Minneapolis.
Even a signed deal, however, still must win the support of many legislators and Minneapolis City Council members who are reluctant to commit hundreds of millions in public funding to a sports entertainment project costing at least $900 million.
There still seem to be plenty of folks against the deal, but an agreement between Minnesota, the Vikings and Minneapolis would seem to be a good start in making things happen.
Though the Minnesota Vikings have really pushed for a new football stadium and have made headlines for the past year or so, they've actually been campaigning for a new venue for the last nine years. Whether their push be a big one or just preliminary inquiries, they've always been met with reluctance and a lukewarm attitude towards putting funds into a new stadium.
So it really is odd to hear the Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton thinks that lawmakers could be putting off a stadium vote. Not only does Dayton think that, but according to CBS, Dayton thinks that lawmakers are being unfair to unemployed construction workers and the team if they wait until after a November election.
He also said that his administration and the lawmakers in question may be getting close to a site, a deal and a bill for the new stadium. This is contrary to all reports, and even if it's nearing plausibility, they're still likely going to pick one of the sites that the Vikings don't want, simply because the Governor (not the lawmakers) would prefer a stadium in Minneapolis. The site in Arden Hills makes too much sense, at this point.
That being said, it's not as though the Vikings' preference is air tight and there is reason to consider options in Minneapolis, but the Governor is the one who sat on proposals for so long and also made it abundantly clear that he favored Minneapolis before said proposals were on his desk. It's just odd to hear Dayton say that other people shouldn't impede the stadium vote, given the various delays he's put into the works.
It's not a situation where Dayton is adamantly against a stadium and is preventing it from going through with malice, it's just that the irony in his statements are worth pointing out. At this point, the fans just want to see the Vikings stay in the Twin Cities area, however, so hopefully it's not a lot of hot air when he says that his administration and lawmakers are close to getting something done. Again, if there's not pertinent to something getting done over the next couple weeks or so, it's likely things will be put off for another year.
The Minnesota Vikings will likely go another year without any kind of plan on the table whatsoever. While it's unlikely that the team actually moves forward with potential plans to relocate for 2012, they have until Wednesday to notify the league. It's not likely that they're able to get something done in that regard though, as there doesn't seem to be anywhere for them to go.
This realization that there isn't much of a threat of the Vikings actually leaving has basically made the legislators completely ignore the situation for the time being. Despite the fact that important stadium issues can still be worked on, it looks like everybody is happy to put it on the back-burner, as they have for the last decade. The Star Tribune has a quote from Representative Ryan Winkler that is illuminating in that regard:
"The Vikings have tried to create the impression, through somewhat subtle threats, that they could move," said Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley. "But ... I think there's a growing realization that the Vikings have nowhere to go."
In other words, the Vikings are bluffing so the state can do whatever they want to them. The article also includes a quote from Governor Mark Dayton, in which he is already talking about next year, which is just about the closest thing you can get to him saying "the stadium plans are done this year. It's not going to happen."
While it's true that there are still some things that can be decided, it would likely mean the Vikings moving ahead with a proposal that they're not fond of so they can finally get a new place to play sooner rather than very much later. Really, the Vikings deserve better than that, but that's how it is. If nothing is done over the next week to two weeks, expect nothing to get done this year.
Just what the whole Minnesota Vikings stadium situation needed: problems between the team and their preferred site at Arden Hills in Ramsey County. Arden Hills has been the site most-favored by the Vikings since the beginning of their stadium search this offseason, but it's been facing some funding issues that Governor Mark Dayton has said need to be addressed before it becomes a viable option. On top of that, it's clear Dayton wants the stadium to be build in Minneapolis, so there's mounting issues.
Ramsey County attempted to address some of those issues with a new funding proposal that would go depend on ticket fees (potential taxes) and other game-related charges. According to USA Today, the Vikings aren't hot on that new proposal, and themselves have struck it down, not giving Governor Dayton a chance to, regardless of whether it's feasible or not.
For the Vikings, it violates their initial agreement with Ramsey County that made them the favorites in the first place. The new proposal would rely on admissions taxes, something the Vikings were adamant about not having. Though it's possible that some strides have been made with the new proposal, and it's definitely good that Ramsey County is still in on this plan that doesn't seem to work out because it potentially makes too much sense, it's still bad that nobody has any idea which site is actually the front-runner.
The Minnesota Vikings are no closer today than they were several months ago in regards to a new football stadium. We've had multiple stadium proposals, with seemingly viable options (that are preferred by the Vikings) being shot down in favor of a stadium in Minneapolis, which is what Governor Mark Dayton prefers. Unfortunately, Minneapolis doesn't have the funds to do all that would be required to build at most of the potential sites at and around the Metrodome.
Still, that hasn't prevented them from totally eliminating potentially more viable options like the site at Arden Hills, but what it has done is open the door for basically anybody and their mother to launch their own proposals. No offense to the wonderful city of Shakopee, but their stadium proposal was out of left field and, frankly, didn't stand much a chance to go anywhere. And it didn't.
Naturally, we've got another site to consider, with Minnesota Senator Roger Reinert adding a potential site in Duluth. Of course, it's long after the deadline, but then again, Dayton has allowed Minneapolis to add more proposals since said deadline, so that point is moot. It's not likely that this plan will go anywhere, with none of the parties seeming exceptionally receptive to a completely new deal, let alone one in Duluth.
According to the Pioneer Press, the deal proposes a stadium southwest of downtown Duluth on 500 acres of the previous site of U.S. Steel and Atlas Cement Works. The land is already being cleaned up for other reasons, so it could be feasible in that regard. It's not feasible in regards to how far it is from anything of relevance. Needless to say, it's more frustrating than anything that everything is still at a point in which these proposals can even be submitted.
The Minnesota Vikings are still without funding for a new football stadium to replace the Metrodome. Unfortunately, they're not even at the point where talking about funding is pertinent, because the state can't agree on a stadium site. They started with two potential sites, at the Metrodome and Arden Hills, then branched off to add the Linden Avenue site, and then a site just a couple blocks away from the Metrodome site. Through all this, some other places were submitting their proposals and further mucking up the picture.
Naturally, stadium negotiators are now considering a fifth site, according to the Star Tribune. That's a fifth site that is considered a "real" candidate, and not some city submitting a proposal that stands next to no chance to get done. Now, officials are looking at building the new stadium in the parking lot of the Metrodome, so by the time the thing is around 70% complete, they could pull down the Metrodome and the Vikings would only have to play limited games at Minnesota's TCF Bank stadium.
Of course, there's a whole slew of problems that make it unlikely such a project is approved sooner rather than later. There's a lot of road work that would need to be done, and a potential substation that would need to be moved or buried. Not to mention the fact that this would eliminate most of the stadium parking for the current Metrodome for at least three years, something that is already a massive headache to begin with.
Plus, the Vikings themselves aren't likely to go for this option. For one, it still could include games at TCF Bank Stadium, which would mean it would still require millions of dollars in upgrades to meet the NFL's standards for an NFL game. In fact, the Vikings are already expressing negativity regarding this stadium option, with team vice president Lester Bagley voicing concern about the substation.
It's really late in the game right now, and this legislative session isn't likely to approve a stadium site at this point, which would push it back another year. There's just too many sites and nobody can agree on one of them.
As if the Minnesota Vikings needed another issue with their plans for a new stadium, there are now some potential unrelated issues, stemming from some comments from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. While it's not totally accurate to say that the Vikings have "plans" for a new stadium, as nobody has any idea where it's actually going to be built, this still hampers all progress.
Rather, it potentially hampers all progress, but given that this is politics where egos are ever-important, it probably will. According to the Star Tribune, Dayton had strong words regarding Senate Republicans, saying that they were "unfit to govern." These statements were unrelated to the stadium issue, but they were referring to Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, the chief Senate author of stadium legislation.
So, in other words, Dayton would benefit greatly from getting this stadium done, and he just insulted someone who has a lot of power in getting things approved, or up-to-snuff for approval. This kind of thing doesn't help at all, and a quote from Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, the chief House stadium legislation author, is certainly worrying:
"Some of the language he used in showing his [being] upset was pretty harsh," said Lanning. "We're in a climate right now where harsh language from either side is not healthy when it comes to any issue - when it comes to any controversial issue."
Aside from the fact that those words are ominous, it's just another sign that there is so much that needs to be done on so many fronts for the Vikings to get something done sooner rather than later. Delays are looking more and more likely by the day.
The Minnesota Vikings are ... kind of one step closer to getting a stadium done. According to the Pioneer Press, Minnesota lawmakers agreed on electronic pull-tabs on Monday night as the funding source they'll propose for the new stadium. There is still a lot that needs to be done by both Minneapolis and Ramsey County regarding their proposals, but it's a step in the right direction.
It looks like the electronic form of gambling could generate around $72 million annually, most of which would be going to pay off the new stadium. Now, it's up to the folks backing the individual sites to put something together that illustrates the feasibility of said sites. Despite the fact that Governor Mark Dayton doesn't want the Arden Hills site, one representative said that Ramsey County was still able to submit proposals regarding their site.
If Minneapolis is getting additional time to work on its various proposals, then the same should be allowed of Ramsey County, despite a hard deadline of last Friday. Still, there's not much to go on now, but at least some work is getting done at these meetings.
The Minnesota Vikings now have four plans to consider for a potential new stadium site, when they were supposed to be narrowed down to one plan half a month ago. We're now at the end of January, and the initial plan was to have it all narrowed down to one site by mid-January. That's out the window, especially with a new site being considered by the team, this late in the game.
Still, the Vikings want the site at Arden Hills in Ramsey County to get the go-ahead, as it's been their favored site from the beginning. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton doesn't like the site and thinks it has the most road blocks of any proposed, but noted that he could be turned around if given a feasible funding plan.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, they're past their deadline to submit the newest financing plan. It's not a hard deadline, so they'll be able to submit it when it's done, but there's a couple things to note, according to Star Tribune. For one, the "deadline" was set for last Friday, and the county fell short of that deadline, and likely won't have one until late in the week, or perhaps not until the following week.
It's worth noting that Ramsey County couldn't get something worked on last week because plan architect and county finance director Lee Mehrkens had the end of the week off. Perhaps it's a little jaded to think that he should be working to meet a deadline, especially with all of the drama already surrounding the stadium proposals, but it does fit well with all of the other feet-dragging and lethargic attitudes that have come out during all of this.
The Legislature is set to get another group together to work on the stadium proposals (all of them) this week according to the report, so if Ramsey County really, truly wants to get their underdog bid for the stadium, they need to step it up and get something down sooner than next week.
Further mucking up the already convoluted search for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, the team is now reportedly considering a fourth site outside of the three main sites already discussed. According to Minnesota Public Radio, the Vikings are now considering a site near the Metrodome, about four blocks away. They're just looking and doing some preliminary reports, and it's unlikely that anything gets done this year, if the Vikings decide that it is an option they'd like to pursue.
There are plenty of issues, including a good deal of land that would need to be bought up to relocate some businesses and things of that nature. It's hard to see that kind of thing being decided sooner rather than later, but the site does have a lot of positives. For one, Governor Mark Dayton is really big on a stadium in Minneapolis, while the Vikings are fine with it, they just don't want the current site of the Metrodome.
It will be interesting to see if anything comes out of this. One has to wonder if the Vikings are looking into it because the Governor will not allow a site at Arden Hills under any circumstances. While he's never said this outright, it's clear that he's looking at Minneapolis. With the likelihood that the NFL would veto the current site of the Metrodome, the Vikings might be looking into this for lack of a better option.
The Minnesota Vikings really want a new football stadium, but they're pretty choosy about the site. Through all of these stadium talks, they've been adamant that the site at Arden Hills is their No. 1 choice, though Governor Mark Dayton has other plans. He wants the Vikings to choose the current site of the Metrodome to build a new stadium, which means the team would need to play at TCF Bank Stadium for three years or so while the new place is being built.
Not only do the Vikings not want to play there for three years due to upgrades it would need, along with lost revenue from not hosting the games themselves, but the economic development around the Metrodome is so limited. The Vikings are not one of the highest teams in the NFL in regards to money-making, and that's why the Arden Hills site is more their cup of tea: it offers a lot of surrounding area for potential development.
But, given the ad campaigns by the team, they want to appeal to the fans and the people of Minnesota, so they're struggling to seriously oppose the site at the Metrodome while not coming off like they're just a bunch of big complainers. In other words, the Vikings don't want to be blamed for their own stadium not being built. They don't want to scare the state into thinking they'll relocate by filing all the pertinent paperwork. And actually, it seems like they won't have to.
The NFL might just veto all of it, or more accurately, the various owners might. According to the Pioneer Press, there's not a lot of positive sentiment from the NFL owners about playing games at TCF Stadium. They call the place a gem, but also note that it is not an NFL stadium. All of this is totally moot if the NFL won't sign off on it.
Which means that the Arden Hills site, among others, may be reconsidered. It could also mean that things are delayed another year, which nobody wants, but if it gives the Vikings another look at something that they feel would ultimately be better for them and the NFL in general, then that's a definite good thing. Arden Hills was effectively eliminated from contention as a feasible site, but the NFL seems to be bringing it right back up.
The Minnesota Vikings have been lobbying for a new stadium for quite awhile, but things took a potential turn for the worse during a Minneapolis City Council meeting on Thursday. Things aren't completely in shambles, but the group nixed a plan that would have allowed the city's government to override a previous charter.
Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak proposed a plan that would have had the city chipping in $300 million for a new Vikings stadium without any input from the city. A majority of the city council shut down that plan, however, as it would have involved the state overriding a Minneapolis charter requirement that voters have a say when the city spends more than $10 million on a stadium, according to a report in the Star Tribune.
"Looking across the street at Occupy Minnesota and thinking about what's going on in our country right now, some of the discussions that are happening relative to government - can we trust them or not - I cannot countenance going around that referendum," Councilwoman Sandra Colvin Roy said.
Rybak said he doesn't believe the stances the seven council members took against his plan are firm, though, as he expects things to eventually fall in his favor.
The Minnesota Vikings stadium issues have gone on ever since the NFL team's lease expired, but it appears an end is within the reach. The latest update seems to indicate the two remaining options are either at the Metrodome location, where they played last season, or in a suburb location at Arden Hills.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and Minnesota governor Mark Dayton met recently and, following the conference, Wilf indicated in his comments to the media that Arden Hills is still an option.
As for the $1.1 billion project on 430 acres in the northern suburbs, which has long been the team's preferred option, Wilf said "Arden Hills is not out of the picture. We would still like to explore, but we would leave it up to the legislative working group to decide where they would want us to work hardest at."
It seems the Metrodome plan has a better chance of making it through legislation, but Arden Hills is the more attractive option. As long as either location is agreed upon -- meaning the Vikings stay in Minnesota -- there's a good chance the fans will be alright.
Governor Mark Dayton has effectively told the Minnesota Vikings that, if they want a new stadium, it will need to be at the Metrodome site. There's a chance that this may not be the case after Wednesday though, as the Vikings owners, Zygi and Mark Wilf are presently in a meeting with the governor, along with other state lawmakers and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. According to CBS Sports, Dayton called the private meeting and a spokeman says it "could go on all day."
It's unclear if this meeting is to hammer out things like public funding for a site at the Metrodome, which again, is the least-preferred of the stadium sites for the Vikings, or if the Vikings are trying to get Dayton to budge on his selection of the Metrodome. If it's the former, then that likely means the Vikings can get a deal done sooner rather than later (as in there's still hope in something being done this year), but it also means a site the Vikings do not prefer.
If it's to potentially try and negotiate a different site, it means the Vikings aren't giving up yet, which could mean a number of things, the least of which not being the fact that it could delay things for another year. We'll see how this meeting turns out.
As most figured it would, the new Minnesota Vikings stadium is likely being narrowed down to the current site at the Metrodome, at least for the Legislature as they meet on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, Governor Mark Dayton told Vikings owner Zygi Wilf that if the team wanted the stadium bill to pass Legislature, then it would have to be the Metrodome site, firmly putting the ball in Minnesota's court.
Not only is the current site of the Metrodome not the top option for the Vikings, who still prefer the Arden Hills site, it's not even their secondary option as they'd prefer to not have to play at TCF Bank Stadium while a new stadium is built at the site of the Metrodome. It truly looks like the state knew all along they'd prefer the site at the Metrdome, despite multiple proposals being submitted and "examined." That being said, what's done is done and now the ball is firmly in the Vikings' court.
It's now on the team to figure it out. Do they go with the site at the Metrodome, which costs the least for the City of Minneapolis and the state, but offers the least amount of growth economically? Or do the Vikings bite the bullet and wait it out a year to try and secure a new stadium in greener pastures? Another option would be to start the process of threatening relocation, something they've implied they're willing to do with an earlier advertising spot which tried to secure funding by utilizing taxes that wouldn't exist if the Vikings weren't in Minnesota.
The Metrodome site is not preferred because the Vikings already know the area. There's not a lot of room for economic growth, while the Arden Hills site also would have included a lot of land and development that the Vikings could have profited on. It's actually surprising that the NFL is not pushing to side with the Vikings on this one because it would increase revenue for the team in the long run, even if it is more expensive for the state in the short term. Either way, it's anybody's guess where this goes from here.
The Minnesota Vikings may have to wait another year for a new football stadium to finally be approved, though it's still quite a bit early to tell for sure. The Star Tribune had some quotes from Minnesota Governor Mark Datyon's chief stadium negotiator, Ted Mondale, and the outlook wasn't great. Mondale said "time is not on our side right now," and that it is now the "biggest enemy." Mondale had previously said in December that, if all parties hadn't agreed on a stadium site by mid-January, they'd be behind. That deadline has come and gone.
Now, the 2012 legislative session is set to meet on Tuesday, and there's no plan in place. The Vikings stand no chance of making any leeway in the sessions if they don't have an actual proposal to set forward. There's still doubt on which site will actually get the approval: Linden Avenue, Metrodome, or Arden Hills. The first of those sites is the one that Dayton seems to be favoring, but problems with the Basilica of St. Mary have come up and may hinder the plans to build near there.
Dayton has said that there are multiple problems at all of the stadium sites, and also added that it is a genuine possibility that a decision could be delayed until next year.
We all knew that Governor Mark Dayton was favoring a potential new Minnesota Vikings stadium in Minneapolis, over the site at Arden Hills in Ramsey County. Dayton's demand that they have to match the Vikings' private contribution of over $400 million effectively sealed the deal for Minneapolis, because it looks like Ramsey County will have an awful lot of trouble making it up. The Pioneer Press said that Ramsey Country would need a Hail Mary to come back and get the site, and it's absolutely true.
There's no clear avenue of funding right now, and with time running out, it's more than likely that focus will immediately shift to the Minneapolis sites at the Metrodome and Linden Avenue. Every funding plan set forth by Ramsey County has been shot down by the St. Paul City Council or the mayor's office. It's hard to feel as though the Vikings are getting the short end of the stick when Dayton essentially eliminated Arden Hills, because Ramsey County can't even agree on some kind of funding internally to present to Dayton and the team.
It's hard to actually see something getting done in Ramsey County. Anything that could potentially surface as a funding plan is almost immediately thrown out. When something feasible comes up, it's effectively killed by the fact that it will have to go to a public vote, which will be a huge delay and stands the chance of being voted down. It doesn't matter what the paper says, if it's a new tax, the votes will check the "no," box every time.
It's been a week since Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's imposed deadline for potential new Vikings stadium proposals, and despite a news conference on Wednesday, we've learned nothing new. At least four proposals were handed in to Dayton, and after eliminating one (as everyone knew the Shakopee proposal was not feasible), we're still down to three with no end in sight.
Most assumed that Dayton would pick a stadium site to run with on Wednesday, and for awhile it looked like the site at Linden Avenue would be the way to go. He opened up his conference talking about the Arden Hills site and the fact that there wasn't enough information, saying the Vikings hadn't done enough to convince him of the site's financial feasibility. Kind of odd, given the 100+ page report handed in.
Instead, he focused on the Metrodome site and the Linden Avenue site, despite those reports being four pages long. At any rate, it was clear he wanted a site in Minneapolis, but then again, most everyone knew that going into this. So after the press conference and a week out from the deadline, we're not much closer to figuring out if the Vikings are going to get a new stadium in the near future. It's worth noting that Dayton spent the least amount of time reflecting poorly on the Linden Avenue site, so there's a chance that one is now the front-runner, but everyone had hoped to be beyond this point by now.
Back in January, Ted Mondale, the chief stadium negotiator for Dayton, said that they would all be considered "behind" if they didn't have it narrowed down to one site for the stadium by mid-January. That point has come and gone.
The Minnesota Vikings will likely have to move forward with their plans for a new stadium without their preferred site as an option. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton held a conference on Wednesday to discuss the proposals introduced to him on Thursday of last week, and effectively eliminated the site of Arden Hills, according to Tom Pelissero and Jeff Goldberg. Dayton said that Arden Hills had "no apparent means to raise its local share" and also added that "if the Vikings truly want Arden Hills, they have missed their opportunity to inspire decision makers."
It was clear from the beginning that Dayton was not a fan of a site outside of Minneapolos, whether his reasoning is sound or not, it's really off the table at this point.
While the Linden Avenue site wasn't expressly confirmed as per earlier reports, it remains one of two feasible sites for the stadium, both in Minneapolis. Dayton did make it clear that the site had more upside, citing problems with the Metrodome location and the fact that the Vikings would have to play at TCF Bank Stadium for three years while a major renovation/rebuilding takes place.
Dayton did express that neither of the two sites were totally feasible with the proposals handed in. The Vikings have to resolve a myriad of issues, and it's likely they'll heavily pursue the Linden Avenue site, so as to avoid the current site of the Metrodome, which has been reported as their least-favorite place to build.
There is a legislative session on Jan. 24 that is the next deadline to keep an eye on. Perhaps at that point, it will be narrowed down to Linden Avenue, while some would tell you that it already has been.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is set to have a press conference to potentially discuss his pick for a site for the proposed Minnesota Vikings stadium at 2:00 p.m. central. FOX 9 News is reporting that Dayton has already made his decision and sent a letter to the Vikings owner Zygi Wilf regarding his decision:
A source close to the Minnesota Vikings stadium negotiations confirms Gov. Mark Dayton will choose the Linden Avenue site in downtown Minneapolis as his preferred site.
This is considered an "upset" in regards to which proposals were favored. Most figured that it was down to the site of the Metrodome in Minneapolis and the Arden Hills site in Ramsey County. Many actually figured that Dayton was mostly-for a stadium in Minneapolis, so it's not as big a surprise that the Linden Avenue site, which has already drawn the ire of business owners in the area, not to mention the Basilica of St. Mary.
The Vikings had expressed multiple concerns about a large renovation/rebuilding of the Metrodome, and with Dayton reportedly leaning Minneapolis throughout all of the stadium talks, it makes sense that the Linden Avenue site be the next best thing. While the team prefers the site of Arden Hills, it will most likely not have too much issue with the Linden Avenue site, since it's not the site of the Metrodome.
Official word should be coming around 2:00 p.m. central when Dayton makes himself available.
All of the proposals for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium are on the table. Ramsey County and the City of Minneapolis are the two legitimate players and everyone is waiting on word from Governor Mark Dayton and where he wants the new stadium built. His word on this won't actually be technically final, but it's very likely that everything will move forward with the proposal that he gives the go-ahead.
He's had the proposals on his desk for about a week now, and now it's just the waiting game. Most assume that he's already picked his spot. According to the Star Tribune, Dayton and legislators have scheduled a meeting late Wednesday to try to resolve the stadium issue.
While the piece does go on to give a quote about the fact that a decision likely won't be made during the meeting on Wednesday, there's a good chance that they've mostly made up their minds and have to work together to get a plan together for the Legislature on Jan. 24. It really wouldn't make sense for the state to sit on the proposals for any length of time, because that hurts the stadium's feasibility to get some serious work done on it during the aforementioned Legislature.
There appears to be no simple end in sight for the ongoing stadium situation for the Minnesota Vikings. The team has no less than four sites on its list in downtown Minneapolis, Arden Hills, Shakopee, and Bloomington. One major factor is that many elected officials are uneducated about the entire process, as Tom Powers recently pointed out on TwinCities.com:
Meanwhile, we've got Rep. Phyllis Kahn of Minneapolis demonstrating an astonishing lack of knowledge about the situation by suggesting that the Vikings owners sell shares to the public. Yes, hang on, the NFL will change its bylaws tomorrow. Hello? There's about as much chance of selling Vikings shares to the public as there is of selling shares of Phyllis Kahn to the public.
With so many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle either ducking the issue or clueless, it's hard to envision anything happening either way. It's just difficult to get a handle on where we are. The latest development has Shakopee jumping into the stadium fray with its own proposal.
The lease on the Metrodome has expired, but that has not given the team a sense of urgency as the critical 2012 offseason approaches.
Thursday's deadline for communities to submit proposals to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton regarding a new football stadium for the Vikings came and went, and there are at least four proposals to sort through. Minneapolis backed the Metrodome site, while Ramsey County pushed the Arden Hills site, one that is still favored by the Vikings. There were also proposals for a site in Shakopee and a site in Bloomington.
Still, the state is proceeding as though the Metrodome site and Arden Hills site are the most pertinent to work through. Both Minneapolis and Ramsey County seem to be getting heated in the matter. According to the Pioneer Press, Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett was asked to comment on the Minneapolis plan, to which he responded, "Which site?"
It's true that the city of Minneapolis has about three different sites that they are considering. The deadline set by Dayton imposed a strict proposal limit of one site per community, so Minneapolis is moving forward with the Metrodome site, but they left the door open for further proposals, telling the Governor that there were other sites to consider as well. Leaving the door open like that is really what has set all of this back in the first place: multiple sites to consider so actual work in securing funding can't be done.
The site in Arden Hills is backed by 148 pages outlining a plan that commits $375 million to the project. Minneapolis' Metrodome site was a four-page plan that focuses primarily on taxes, with their contribution being $313 million. At this point, the state is likely to visit individually with all parties concerned, and discuss the various proposals. They'll also meet with the Vikings, who are still set on Arden Hills as their No. 1 option. They'd previously explained how the Metrodome site has hidden costs to go with it.
Most are of the opinion that the Governor will have something of substance to say about the proposals about a week from Thursday.
The Minnesota Vikings will get one step closer to figuring out this mess that is their stadium situation on Thursday. As per a deadline set by Governor Mark Dayton, the various communities that are hoping to play host to a new football stadium for the Vikings have until 5:00 p.m. to submit their final proposals. Said communities are only allowed to present one proposal, in an effort to narrow down the potential sites.
It's hard to figure out, say, the feasibility of a site in Arden Hills in comparison with a site in Minneapolis because the state doesn't know which proposal in Minneapolis is really the one that the city wants to run with. Minneapolis is expected to submit a plan to build a new stadium at the current Metrodome site, which they say is the cheapest and most sensible option available. There are secondary options in Minneapolis that could garner consideration, but the city is expected to run with the Metrodome site.
Ramsey County is going to submit their final proposal in regards to the site in Arden Hills, which the Vikings have considered their No. 1 option going forward. Lastly, late to the part is Shakopee, who announced their desire to build a surprisingly feasible stadium in the same area as ValleyFair and Canterbury Park. It's a wild card at this point, a late plan announced by a newly-elected mayor, so it should be interesting to see where that one goes.
With no definite location set for a potential new Minnesota Vikings Stadium the town of Shakopee is prepared to be a possible stadium site. The town sits approximately 30 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis and it is expected to have a 4 p.m. press conference Wednesday to announce that they would like to be considered as a possible site for the new stadium:
The newly elected mayor of Shakopee has called a press conference for 4 p.m. Wednesday to proposite a site in his suburb for a new Vikings stadium, according to the Shakopee Valley News.
The report says that the property owner at the undisclosed location has signed a letter of intent to sell the land to the Vikings.
With no definite site for the stadium and possible hidden costs at the new downtown site, the surprise Shakopee site would be a benefit. The Vikings are also still seeking a solution with their lease at the Metrodome officially finished.
While the Minnesota Vikings still prefer the site of Arden Hills for a potential new football stadium, multiple sites in Minneapolis have been taking the spotlight lately. One of the bigger sites, that is to say, the site of the current Metrodome, is the favorite of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. The mayor recently projected the costs of a major renovation of the current Metrodome site, while moving the Vikings to Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium for the duration of the time the renovations are ongoing.
This isn't a new proposal per se, but it's also received some of the least coverage as the Vikings are reportedly not seriously interested in pursuing such an option. Part of the reason the team is shooting for the site in Arden Hills is the development projects that could come with a new stadium - there is a lot to work with at the site, and the team would likely profit much more beyond their stadium itself. Building at the Metrodome site wouldn't invite those same opportunities for multiple sources of revenue and, of course, profit.
On Tuesday, Vikings President Mark Wilf wrote in a letter that TCF Bank Stadium has limitations that would cost the team at least $12.3 million in annual revenue, according to the Star Tribune. On top of that, another $11 million would be required for upgrades to host NFL games, and even more, a $19 million chunk due to development of more parking. In all, that's another $67 million unaccounted for in Rybak's proposal of around $895 million to rebuild at the Metrodome site.
This would bring the total up to around $962 million, which isn't much cheaper than the $1.1 billion that the Vikings have pitched for their stadium in Arden Hills. On top of that, if the Metrodome site was chosen, there might be a smaller private contribution from owner Zygi Wilf, though this is just speculation.
To go hand-in-hand with Thursday's news that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has set a deadline for concrete stadium proposals is the news that Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is encouraged about recent developments. In an interview with the Star Tribune, Wilf noted that they (the team and the state) are "closer than ever on making it happen," and that he is "very encouraged to see the enthusiasm on the part of the governor and on the part of our state leaders in understanding that having a Vikings home for all the events is an important quality of life issue."
Others are getting confident that something good will happen very soon, though it will ultimately leave disappointment for one of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Another key note to take from the interview is Wilf's desire to simply get a stadium deal approved, regardless of where it is. While the team has insisted that the site at Arden Hills is their No. 1 priority moving forward, the city of Minneapolis has been pushing three different potential sites. With the governor's recent deadline of Jan. 12 for stadium proposals, perhaps Wilf is softening on other sites. Either way, Wilf saying that he just wants a deal done, so long as it's in the Twin Cities area, is a definitely a good sign.
Wilf has good reason to at least be optimistic that things are on the right track, as "mid-January" was pegged as the point in which the team and state would be considered "behind" on getting a deal done if they hadn't yet picked a site to build, at the very least.
With three different sites in Minneapolis being explored, as well as the long-established site in Arden Hills, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has set a deadline for both cities to have their stadium proposals submitted for the Minnesota legislature to go over prior to the legislative session kicking off.
Dayton said on Thursday that proposals would need to be submitted to him by January 12, which is just one week away. He said that the proposals would have to include "as much detailed information as possible about your proposed means to finance the local share of the project," as well as "reasons you feel your site to be superior."
That means that Minneapolis would have to narrow their proposal down to one site from the three that they are currently looking into. Those sites are the site that the Metrodome currently sits on, the Farmers' Market district, and a site near the Basilica of St. Mary. Ramsey County will continue pushing the site at the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, which the Vikings have long stated is their preferred location, mainly due to the potential for other development in the area.
There's a lot of talk about the Minnesota Vikings and their stadium issues, with most of the focus on the four-or-so potential stadium sites. While the Vikings still consider a St. Paul stadium at the Arden Hills site their No. 1 option, Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak has been making a sizable push for his city to house one of the NFL's most storied franchises. There are three potential stadium sites discussed thus far in Minneapolis, and Rybak has been adamant that they're all feasible options.
Unfortunately, while the city of Minneapolis is pushing hard to get the Vikings to commit to one of their three options, there's little reason for the team to actually commit anywhere at the moment. The problem is that Rybak's plan to help pay for the Vikings stadium is not only unclear, it's undergone a whole slew of changes as ideas are formulated and tossed.
Why would the Vikings agree to a site in Minneapolis when there's no funding in place, and the Arden Hills site remains just as feasible due to that fact?
Rybak has put together a funding model, which would provide specifics about how the stadium is funded, generally through a myriad of taxes, among other things. Said model is supposed to be public, at least according to Rybak over a month ago, but it appears the plan isn't ready yet, and that's an issue. This model is more of a series of models that have yet to effectively address many of the issues surrounding the funding of the stadium. It's constantly evolving and changing, and it won't be made public, presumably, until it's approved or at a point where city officials feel as though it will be approved.
It is a small point to make, but with the Metrodome officially finishing its 30th NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings no are free of their lease at the facility which opened in 1982. While the vikings are likely going to return to the Metrodome for the 2012 season, the fact that they no longer have a lease is a key selling point in trying to solve the ongoing stadium issue:
The team has avoided direct threats to move, and in a one-page ad in the game-day program, the Vikings said, "We're not looking for a new home. Just a new house."
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission operates the Dome and Chairman Ted Mondale also serves as Gov. Mark Dayton's lead stadium negotiator. "The Vikings will play in the Dome in 2012 under every scenario," Mondale said.
Currently, the Vikings prefer the Arden Hills site for a new stadium, but they are still also considering a new site in downtown Minneapolis.
Though the Minnesota Vikings have been particularly adamant that their first choice for a new football stadium is at the Arden Hills site, where they estimate a new venue would cost $1.1 billion, the team is reportedly examining other options, as well. While the state has encouraged the team to explore potential other sites for their stadium (while also not eliminating at the possibility of a venue at Arden Hills), the team hadn't really made significant attempts to analyze the feasibility of said sites.
Now, the Vikings are conducting a traffic analysis of another site near the Basilica of St. Mary, at a piece of property known only as the Linden Avenue site in downtown Minneapolis. The Arden Hills site is in St. Paul, and though it is the team's number one option, they don't yet have a preferred site in Minneapolis. The Linden Avenue site's proposal would include a $1.03 billion stadium, and is among three sites discussed in Minneapolis. The others are the Farmers Market site, which the team believes is the most difficult to proceed with, and the current Metrodome site.
Another team in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers, had a financing plan approved for their stadium in Santa Clara, and it brings up an interesting comparison. For the 49ers, the city of San Francisco didn't necessarily have any feasible options for the team, so they were forced to explore some options outside of the city. The unwillingness to work with the 49ers by the city's mayor didn't help things along either.
The point is that the 49ers suffered from a lack of sites while the Vikings, presumably, have at least four options available, with potentially more on the horizon. While this seems like it could be a good thing, it might actually be the reason for so many delays in getting something figured out (the lease on the Metrodome expires at the end of the year).
Governor Mark Dayton's chief stadium negotiator, Ted Mondale, said on Thursday that the team and state would be significantly far behind if they haven't nailed it down to one site by mid-January, something that is fast-approaching. Perhaps the Vikings examining this other site is a good sign, or maybe it's just a way to further muddle things, at this point.
The Minnesota Vikings and their stadium woes look to have had some relief on Tuesday, as Minnesota's new Senate Majority Leader appears to be someone who could further the planning and development of a new football stadium. The Vikings' lease on the Metrodome is nearing its end, and the team has been pushing hard for a new stadium, but not only have they ran into many issues on getting it funded that any stadium plan has to overcome, they've encountered some opposition from the counties and the state.
The former Majority Leader, Amy Koch was viewed by many (this writer included) as someone who was moderately against the stadium push. If not directly, she was indirectly opposed to many things that could have potentially helped secure financing for the $1.1 billion stadium.
Now it's Rochester's Dave Senjem, a likable candidate who, among other things, is a support of gambling expansion, one of the potential avenues for taxing to secure funding for development of a stadium. While there's no official word from Senjem on his position in regards to the stadium (frankly, he's got a lot of things to sort through with the scandal that forced Koch to resign), but again, it's viewed as a positive now that he's the man in charge.
Well, in charge of a lot of things - and reportedly with a better working relationship with others who may be in charge that want to get the stadium figured out sooner rather than later, such as Governor Mark Dayton.
Fans of the Minnesota Vikings have gotten a lot of punches in the gut over the past couple of years, culminating with yesterday's serious knee injury to running back Adrian Peterson. However, on this Christmas Day, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel that is actually not connected to an oncoming train.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported earlier this evening on NBC's Football Night In America that the Vikings and the state of Minnesota are close to a deal that would keep the team in Minnesota, and that such a deal is no longer a matter of "if," but a matter of "when."
King did not specify whether or not the stadium would be at the Vikings' preferred location in Arden Hills, on the site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, or if it would be in Minneapolis somewhere. My guess is that if you were to ask most Viking fans, the overwhelming majority would respond with something along the lines of, "Who cares? Just get the darn thing built already!"
The Vikings could, potentially, become free agents at the conclusion of their season finale against the Chicago Bears at the Metrodome on New Year's Day, but it appears that, after months of wrangling in public, in the media, in the halls of the legislature, and in smoke-filled back rooms, a deal to give the Minnesota Vikings a new home is imminent.
The Minnesota Vikings have been adamant for some time now that, not only do they want to get a new football stadium built, they are really only considering the site in Arden Hills for said stadium. The surrounding cities, counties and the state itself have been trying to urge the Vikings to consider multiple sites. It's not necessarily that they don't want Arden Hills, it's just that narrowing your options decreases the chance of something getting through all the paper work and red tape that is funding a project in excess of a billion dollars.
That being said, the Vikings took a step, though it might just be a small step, in getting closer to a stadium at Arden Hills. On Tuesday, the Ramsey County Board agreed to search for various architects that could be interested in designing and building a new stadium. With the vote at 4-3, they approved a "request for qualifications," which essentially closes out the next step, which is a request for bids, where the stadium building/designing contract is actually awarded to a party.
Ramsey County is clearly ready to go with this - or as ready as one can seem with only a 4-3 vote, at this point. One has to wonder how anything gets done when the simple solicitation of qualifications from architects barely passes through, but that's a discussion for a different day. This process should begin very soon, and it will determine who is qualified to actually submit bids to get the architectural work.
As 2011 draws to close with no definitive answer in the Minnesota Vikings quest for a new stadium it appears that the issue could be affected by upcoming elections. On Dec. 31 the Republican Party of Minnesota will choose a new Chairman, and according to SavetheVikes.org, their decision could have a lasting impact on the stadium situation:
It appears there are two realistic candidates that could get the job.
The first is Kelly Fenton who was appointed Deputy Chair of the Republican Party after Michael Brodkorb resigned in October. If you follow @SavetheVikesOrg closely on twitter, you have most likely seen some heated exchanges between Merrifield and Fenton as she is no friend to the Vikings Stadium issue or our friends at RacinoNow!
The second is Mike Osskopp who currently is District Director of Congressman John Kline and former State Representative from Lakeville. Sitting squarely in his Congressional district is Canterbury Park which helps explain why Racino Lobbyists consider him their favorite, and why we consider him our favorite.
Kurt Zellers seems to be one of the biggest roadblocks toward a new stadium as well. Zellers is attempting to delay a possible vote on stadium financing until after the 2012 general election, which would push the decision into 2013. With Los Angeles possibly breaking ground on a new football stadium in search of an NFL tenant that delay will be critical in the Vikings' future in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, NFL officials met outside of Dallas to discuss the return of its G-3 funding program for potential new stadiums or stadium upgrades. The program was around until 2006, when it ran out after helping finance renovations to Arrowhead Stadium. League officials decided to bring back the program, or something very similar, and it's likely that the Minnesota Vikings will be the first to benefit from the program.
Note that these funds are, in fact, loans. They are not gifts from the NFL, and are expected to be paid back. Under the old program, teams paid back in various ways, the most prominent of which were fees from visiting fans at the new stadium and personal seat licenses. These will be the most prominent. It actually seems like the league is relying more heavily on the PSLs, which would mean if the Vikings couldn't sell enough to pay back the loan, the debt would go directly to the team to pay back.
According to the Pioneer Press, the new loans could provide the Vikings with up to $200 million to invest in the proposed $1.1 billion stadium project in Arden Hills. $50 million of that would be in the form of a grant if the team qualifies, while the other $150 million would be the aforementioned loans that would need to be paid back.
It's a good start and good news for the team, but it doesn't seem to speed up the process much at all, as the infusion of cash doesn't actually stack on top of the initial private contribution already coming from Zygi Wilf and the Minnesota Vikings, which is somewhere between $407 million and $425 million. Those figures were already factoring in potential loans from the NFL, so this helps the team, but doesn't alleviate the $650 million that Ramsey County and the state need to finance on their own.
The Minnesota Vikings are exploring multiple avenues in regards to funding a potential new football stadium. On Wednesday, according to the Pioneer Press, the NFL is set to hold a meeting between the league's 32 owners to discuss renewing a loan program which has helped team's build their stadiums in the past. The "G-3 program" has contributed $1.1 billion in low-interest loans for its owners to complete 12 stadium reneovations or constructions since 1999. It's technically a loan, but the way it's paid back is unique: the team is allowed to keep the visitor's share of club seat revenue, and use those funds to pay back the loan.
On Wednesday night, the league is set to take a vote on whether or not it will make a return and potentially contribute some funds to the $407 million that Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has already pledged toward the new stadium. That in itself is one of the largest private contributions toward an NFL stadium in the league's history.
It's worth noting that the money from the program wouldn't stack neatly on top of the $407 million. That number could go up, but it would likely only be slightly. If, say, the program matched the $150 million that went toward the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, then it would just be $150 million less that Wilf has to contribute, as it would go into the team's portion of the funding. So while it might sweeten the pot a little bit for the city and the state, it may not have a significant effect on pushing the proceedings along.
The program made its last contribution in 2006 when the Chiefs financed a near-$400 million renovation of Arrowhead Stadium. If the framework is the same for this plan as it was for the old, then the $407 million contribution from the Vikings could be eligible for $138 million in NFL loans, according to the piece.
As the city of Minneapolis unveiled a 15-year plan to re-develop its downtown area, there is one major part of the plan that is unresolved. If the Minnesota Vikings are able to secure financing for a new stadium there is no definite site downtown yet. The new stadium could be close to Target Field or it could be on the current site of the Metrodome according to Twincities.com:
The city's Downtown Council is unveiling a 15-year development plan this morning that envisions a stadium at one of two sites near Target Field. That's in conflict with Mayor R.T. Rybak's announcement last week that he wants to rebuild at the Metrodome site. The "Downtown 2025 Plan" calls for a "downtown sports district" with Target Field, Target Center and the new NFL venue in close proximity. If the Metrodome site is used it is likely that the Vikings will have to play for a few seasons and the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.
The city's Downtown Council is unveiling a 15-year development plan this morning that envisions a stadium at one of two sites near Target Field. That's in conflict with Mayor R.T. Rybak's announcement last week that he wants to rebuild at the Metrodome site.
The "Downtown 2025 Plan" calls for a "downtown sports district" with Target Field, Target Center and the new NFL venue in close proximity.
If the Metrodome site is used it is likely that the Vikings will have to play for a few seasons and the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.
As the Minnesota Vikings stadium push continues, one potential source of financing for the cost hast yet to be discussed to any great length, as Tim Nelson notes. All we've heard thus far have been things regarding taxes, whether it be from the fans, the employees of the team itself, or even all the way to taxes on gambling and alcohol. One thing not yet discussed by the team itself in length is personal seat licenses.
A personal seat license is a way to reserve a seat for season tickets. You purchase that license, and then you're allowed to purchase season tickets there, and the license typically lasts for the entirety of the time the team plays at a venue. Not every seat in the stadium is put up for the PSL, so fans without the cash needed (a good ballpark is somewhere between $2500 and $4500) need not worry.
They're typically offered in situations just like this one - where the team needs to raise funds for stadium expenses and to pay off date. For something that is totally optional, these licenses are oddly controversial and that might be why the Vikings haven't explored the option. The San Francisco 49ers, who have just received funding for their stadium, announced they'd be using PSLs almost immediately after announcing their new stadium plans.
On Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers announced that the money needed to build a $1 billion stadium in Santa Clara has been accounted for and that the stadium is completely green-lit. The team has been very pro-active in getting this stadium approved, working steadily in the community for the past couple years on the project that has its roots in a five-year old decision to leave the city of San Francisco. Of course, the team will remain the San Francisco 49ers, but the stadium itself will be in Santa Clara, where the team has had its headquarters for some time.
Could the Minnesota Vikings be next? They've been looking for a new stadium for almost a decade at this point. They've got their sights set on the Arden Hills site, but little movement has come in the financing area. The city and state just haven't been cooperating to the levels that Minnesota needs. Things are locked up in multiple hearings, scheduled as far as late 2012.
Maybe the threat of moving is a real possibility. The 49ers made a move to Santa Clara, albeit slight and maintaining their name - but after many dead-locked discussions with the city of San Francisco, their new city was more than receptive. It took only a few public votes and things got done sooner rather than later. If the Vikings can't get things done in Minneapolis - and probably specifically at Arden Hills - then they might be looking to a city more receptive to their needs for a full stadium.
From the very beginning, the Minnesota Vikings and owner Zygi Wilf have been adamant about a new stadium at the Arden Hills site. Over the past few months, state reps have been adamant that Wilf keep his options open for three potential sites - and it looks like that's still the case. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is reportedly set to meet with Vikings officials "soon" to narrow down a potential list of stadium sites to three.
This is showing that there's been little actual, factual progress, but it's probably a good sign that the sides continue to meet. The general opinion has been that Minneapolis and the state really need to have a more open mind and let the Vikings get the spot that they want, but if this meeting gets the Vikings to a more city-friendly location, then it could be just as beneficial to get things done and get a new football stadium built.
Right now, the city of Minneapolis is adamant that other sites be considered, as Rybak has stated that they're the only group offering public dollars, so their terms need to be considered as well. It's an apt point - the Vikings are still scrambling to figure out anything remotely approaching a viable financing plan.
There's a bit of mixed news regarding the latest Minnesota Vikings stadium updates. On one hand, State Representative Terry Morrow had planned a press conference on Monday at 2:00 p.m. to introduce a comprehensive financing bill for the potential new stadium in Arden Hills, but canceled early on Monday. According to KARE 11, Morrow wanted to work on the proposal some more and, more than that, wanted instead to work with other stadium planners as opposed to unveiling the proposal in a press conference.
It's a move that makes since, as there have been several press conferences or announcements thus far regarding potential financing deals, but none of these have panned out - becoming hasty announcements and nothing more, without substance. Morrow hopes to improve the proposal in working with others, and according to spokesman Michael Howard, Morrow remains "committed to finding a Vikings stadium solution."
However, the Minnesota Senate is scheduled to get started with two days of hearings on Tuesday regarding various stadium proposals. It's unclear exactly what will be on the docket on Tuesday, but it's a step in the right direction.
Over the weekend, the team launched a new ad campaign featuring their a new financing plan for the stadium.
The Minnesota Vikings continue to explore new potential sources of income to help fund a new stadium for the team. It's been a long and arduous road through Minnesota legislation for the team, who has been trying to explore new ways to get the state to sign off on new financing plans and, accordingly, a new stadium. This has been going on for several years, coming just shy of a decade, really.
Over the weekend, the team unveiled a new finance proposal by way of a newspaper ad campaign. The team calls it the "But-For" Stadium Finance Plan, and it's really simple in execution. The proposal would take the team's players, owners, employees and visiting players income taxes and divert them from the state to the stadium. The deal also would include the sales taxes on all the spending from fans inside the stadium.
In short, the financing plan would take taxes that wouldn't be there if not for the team being in Minnesota, and divert it to building the new stadium, on top of the $407 million that the team already plans to contribute itself (which is noted in the ad as the third-largest private contribution in NFL history). The ad goes on to extol the simple nature of the plan and mostly condemn that process that's failed to get together a strong financing plan thus far:
Sure, there are other financing plans being discussed that raise new revenues, and those plans are acceptable. Problem is, they never seem to leave the discussion stage. So we're now recommending a pure purple financing package.
In February, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission estimated that the team and its various connected revenue streams generated more than $20 million a year in various taxes. The only thing unaccounted for is the lost revenue for the state - but then again, that's sort of covered by the threat that the Vikings will leave town if they don't get the stadium built at the site in Arden Hills.
The quest for a new stadium in Minnesota for the Vikings has veered back off course after the small bit of recent good news that the sale of land at Arden Hills was approved. As the Pioneer Press reports, Gov. Dayton said Tuesday it's "doubtful that there'll be a special session at this point" given the progress so far.
Dayton proposed that legislative leaders take a vote by Feb. 24, 2012 and set a deadline for completion of stadium plans, but has not received a response, further diminishing the residue of optimism in this matter.
"Senator Rosen and Representative Lanning have been laboring terrifically to try to advance this, and there just hasn't been any receptivity to their efforts," said Dayton, referring to the key lawmakers drafting stadium legislation. "Until there's clear timetable and path to final vote established by the leaders in the House and the Senate, it's going to continue to languish like this and everybody's going to deny responsibility for the fact that nothing's getting done."
The Minnesota Vikings have been taking a hardline approach with their plans for a potential new stadium to host the team. Bold declarations regarding the team's future in Minnesota and an adamant insistence on the Arden Hills stadium site are both shrewd means to get the point across: build us a stadium, or we're leaving. Now, the Vikings are hoping to further get that point across with a series of ads, beginning with premium spots during the Monday Night Football matchup between Minnesota and the Green Bay Packers.
According to the AP, the campaign will "arm fans and supporters with the facts" and "remind everyone what the Vikings mean to Minnesota." In other words, the commercials will likely talk about the fact that the Metrodome is wearing out, that it's been in use for so long and will try to get across an air of "this team deserves better." Beyond that, expect to see ads personifying Vikings football and its history, to try and tug on the peoples' love for the team.
There will be ads on television, the radio and online.
In the ongoing saga of the Minnesota Vikings and their quest to replace the Metrodome Minnesota governor Mark Dayton continues to expedite state assistance, but after a meeting with the state's legislators it does not appear to be likely. Late Wednesday it was announced that the state of Minnesota would not hold a special legislative session to discuss issues concerning a potential new stadium deal:
Emerging from a meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton, legislative leaders said their next step in the ongoing Minnesota Vikings stadium talks would be to hold public hearings at the Capitol. Gov. Dayton said that he was "disappointed" in legislative leaders' lack of progress and that he will not call a special session or release his own stadium outline.
This latest roadblock dealt a serious blow toward progress to a new Vikings stadium. SB Nation's Daily Norseman is not confident about a stadium deal, either:
No special session is what we call a game changer, kids.
After word arrived earlier today that Minnesota would not raise taxes to fund a new stadium, the Vikings were conspicuously quiet. However, Lester Bagley, Vikings Vice President of Business Affairs and Stadium Development, has now commented on the latest developments.
“We have a local partner, it’s Ramsey County. We have an ideal site, it’s Arden Hills,” Bagley said, via FOX 9. “We have had zero talks with Minneapolis. We have a partner and it’s Arden Hills. There’s time to pull this together. We’re confident our leaders can get this done.”
Bagley speaks of progress, but time is clearly of the essence at this juncture.
“We still have a couple months before the lease expires,” Bagley said in an email to PFT. “The good news [is that] all 4 Legislative leaders [and] Governor are working together, trying to resolve it, for the first time ever. Today was mostly about the process moving forward, narrowing the focus. There are still enough revenue streams on the table that would resolve this issue in Minnesota. Replacing $350 [million] from Ramsey County will be difficult. We look forward to seeing the State’s comprehensive finance plan.”
The Minnesota Vikings stadium updates are almost to the point of being as annoying as the Brett Favre retirement rumors were not long ago, but it's still a situation to keep an eye on. Therefore, it seems prudent that the latest news coming out of the state's government is that taxes will not be be raised to fund a new stadium.
Actually, that just won't happen in the near future as the soonest it could be put to a vote, according to Governor Mark Dayton, is at the November 2012 general election.
"Last Friday's meeting was very significant in eliminating one proposed source of financing for a People's Stadium in either Ramsey County or Minneapolis, unless the Vikings are willing to endure the time delay and continuing uncertainty in obtaining voters' approval. Given this reality, we are now actively assessing and discussing with the team other financing options."
This certainly isn't the end of the road for stadium supporters, but things have at least got a bit more tricky for those hoping the Vikings build a new stadium to stay in Minnesota.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has given himself a deadline regarding the Minnesota Vikings stadium issues. Whether that means getting the new stadium built where he wants it, or just coming up with funding in general, it's still unknown, but it appears as though talks on Friday didn't yield any answers to any significant questions regarding the plans:
Gov. Mark Dayton emerged from a closed-door meeting with legislative leaders Friday with no major breakthroughs to report.
It appears that, right now, as opposed to the stadium deal itself being worked out, nobody is actually sure if the previously planned "special session" will even take place around Nov. 21. The Governor was supposed to call a special session, generally only reserved for emergencies, with Minnesota lawmakers and others to set out a plan for the proposed stadium. The plan would ideally include the site where it's planned and likely several different plans for getting public dollars to put into the $1 billion stadium proposal.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers had some quotes regarding the meetings on Friday, suggesting that folks shouldn't expect any groundbreaking news in the near future, as each day new proposals for new stadium sites and funding plans give them different sets of numbers to crunch. That's definitely worth noting - the fact that the city continues to discuss different stadium sites, when the Vikings have been adamant about a certain site - Arden Hills - for some time now.
If Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak keeps this up, you can expect his next step to be standing outside of the Vikings' offices at Winter Park holding a boom box over his head while it plays Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes.
While the Vikings continue to make it clear that the one plan they're interested in for a stadium is the site of the old Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills, Rybak continues to keep throwing plans for a stadium in Minneapolis out there. He did it again on Thursday, with not one, not two, but three different plans that he claims are all cheaper than building a stadium in Ramsey County.
Rybak also has a couple of different proposals out there for how Minneapolis would fund their share of the stadium expense, with options ranging from a city-wide sales tax to allowing a downtown casino to be built in Block E. The latter of those two things seems highly unlikely to take place, however, due largely to the power that the Indian gaming lobby has in the Minnesota legislature.
To their credit, both of those proposals would allow Minneapolis to shift some of the burden from people who live in the city to those that come there for work or for recreational purposes, but the Vikings released a statement shortly after Rybak's press conference stressing their commitment to the Arden Hills site.
We respect Mayor Rybak and the City of Minneapolis for trying to find a stadium solution. However, the Minnesota Vikings have a local partner – Ramsey County – with whom we have negotiated for several months. Arden Hills is the ideal stadium site for the State, the Vikings and our fans.
Arden Hills is where Zygi Wilf wants to put the Vikings' new home, and Minneapolis keeps acting like the jilted girlfriend that says she wants you to be happy, but keeps trying to screw up your relationship with your new girlfriend out of petty jealousy. The Vikings have been fighting the stadium battle for ten years, and Minneapolis didn't come up with anything during that entire time period that trumps what the Vikings have with Ramsey County and Arden Hills. It's time for them to step back and let the Ramsey County development happen.
The Minnesota Vikings are in a precarious position, indeed. With all kinds of deadlines looming regarding a potential new football stadium and a potential extension for their old football stadium, they're desperate to get a deal done. One of the ideas being worked on by state leaders is potential funding by extended gambling proposals:
Several gambling proposals are being considered as state leaders craft a public financing plan. They range from a downtown Minneapolis casino to slot machines at horse tracks to electronic gambling terminals in bars.
It just seems dirty, doesn't it? It's not, in actuality, but thinking about more casinos and slot machines coming up to support a football team sounds like bad news, according to many Minnesota legislators. One other thing to consider is the fact that the NFL itself might not like the deal ... not sure what exactly they could do to prevent that kind of a proposal picking up steam, but it is another variable.
Republican Sen. David Hann says those are unreliable money streams, or rather, it's a mistake to rely on such streams that depend on problem gamblers and "carry other social costs."
If the Minnesota Vikings are going to get a new stadium in 2015 they may have to wait until 2015 for it to be finished. The builder of Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium, and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul has recently said that it could take three full years to build the new stadium if it is approved:
Mortenson Construction, which has built the last three major stadiums in the Twin Cities, said that should legislators approve the Arden Hills project by the end of this year, the stadium would be ready by the team's 2015 season.
John Wood, a Senior Vice President with Mortenson called hte schedule aggressive, but very adequate. That schedule would call for the Vikings to play the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons in the Metrodome before moving to the new stadium. It is estimated that hte new stadium could cost as much as $1.1 billion, and $650 million of that would be in public subsidies for the 65,00seat facility.
While Minnesota House Majority leader Matt Dean does not believe the issue merits the emergency status of a special legislative session that Governor Mark Dayton has called for, Dayton and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf remain firmly together in their quest for a publicly subsidized stadium to be built at the Arden Hills site, in a suburb of Minneapolis. And Dayton is vowing to throw his political weight around to make sure that it happens.
"I'd want a stadium to be in Minneapolis rather than Los Angeles," he said, in reference to business groups there that are aggressively seeking a new NFL franchise, adding that the Vikings have made their large financial contribution contingent on building in Arden Hills.
"The only site the Vikings are willing to consider, and put four to five hundred million dollars into, is Arden Hills," Dayton said.
Dayton still faces pushback from Republic legislative leaders, but it remains difficult to see how letting the team slip away from Minnesota would benefit anyone or anything, from the livelihood of the politicians being party to such a move to the economy and spirit of a city that is buoyed in part by its sports teams, particularly after the city eventually brought back other sports franchises that previously left: The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles and became the Los Angeles Lakers in 1960 only for the city to get the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1989, and the Minnesota North Stars left for Dallas to become the Dallas Stars in 1993 only for the city to get the Minnesota Stars in 2001.
At least one person with influence isn't impressed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's "special session" regarding a potential Vikings stadium. House Majority Leader Matt Dean said on Wednesday that sessions of this type are usually only called to respond to emergencies within the state, and that the Minnesotans aren't all-that worried about the Vikings, what with issues in the job market and the economy.
Which, at least to this writer, seems like an odd choice of words, considering what having an NFL team does for the economy. Sure, a new stadium is calling for somewhere around $300 million from the public and the economy, but if a deal isn't reached before the end of the lease that expires this season on the Metrodome, the team could be on its way out - most likely to Los Angeles. Would the people of Minnesota really like to see the Vikings go to Los Angeles instead of getting a new stadium built? Probably not.
It's also worth noting that, due to the nature of the lease and its expiration, this situation could probably be considered an "emergency." No, it's not on the scale of natural disasters or some kind of murderer on the loose, but an NFL team means an awful lot to the people, provides a ton of jobs and, of course, is a good source of money for the city. So would this not be considered a financial emergency? Dean expresses his frustration about a plan not being in place for the session, which is set for right around Nov. 21, but inactivity will only worsen the situation.
The NFL says they want the Vikings to stay in Minnesota. But the chances of that happening will decrease if a stadium financing plan is not worked by the time the Metrodome’s lease expires later this year.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton met with Eric Grubman, the NFL’s VP of business operations, who expressed his concern.
“We’re worried about a stalemate,” Grubman said after the meeting. “A stalemate means there’s no lease, or the lease is about to expire; there’s no plan for a stadium, and there’s an alternative plan in another city.”
Grubman said that would increase the probability of the Vikings moving somewhere else, though he wouldn’t speculate just how likely. “Our job is to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said, but added the greater responsibility lies with Dayton and state lawmakers.
While the situation is not yet dire, to make matters worse, the ESPN report mentions that Grubman acknowledged a strong commitment by several — you guessed it — Los Angeles business groups to land a new NFL franchise.
In case you forgot: The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles after the 1959-60 season, and did not get an NBA team back again until the Timberwolves' debut season in 1989-90.
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