After nearly a decade, Minnesota Vikings has finally come this far in their quest for a new stadium. Governer Mark Dayton and Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf revealed plans for a new, $975 million stadium that would be built nearly on top of the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis. The deal, assembled behind closed doors in recent weeks, was a key step toward getting a plan in front of state lawmakers and other civic leaders for approval.
Minnesota Vikings Stadium – Far from Becoming a Reality
However, it’s not yet sure how far will this plan become a reality. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a stadium enhancer who must now convince a majority of skeptical city council members to dedicate sales tax proceeds to the effort said, “Every single politician is now going to have to make a tough decision.”
Positioned between the Vikings and a new stadium are 201 state lawmakers, everyone who stands for reelection later this year and many of them unconvinced about contributing $737 million of public to the plan. Sen. Jeff Hayden, a Minneapolis Democrat said, “I can't see a way for me to vote for it. My constituents have weighed in consistently that they do not want public financing of private stadiums.”
Who all would the Minnesota Vikings Stadium benefit?
It is believed that the proposal would benefit not just the Vikings but the state of Minnesota. Under the backers proposal deal, the team would collect all stadium revenue raised as a result of football games there. However the stadium would be owned by a new public entity that would keep all other profits, from other sporting events to rock concerts and the like.
Minnesota's share would come from authorizing an electronic version of an existing pull-tab gambling game played in bars and restaurants. Apparently the regulators have been trying to raise the money from existing taxes on pull-tabs in the belief that the new version would increase gambling activity. And the city's share would pave way through redirection of existing sales and hospitality taxes that currently fund the city convention center.
The Democratic Governor has pushed the project for months, flaunting what he calls a people's stadium, which the schools and colleges could make use of for the sports tournaments and special events.
Dayton told a business magazine that the new stadium would provide as many as 8,000 construction jobs, 5,000 related jobs for suppliers and others, and 2,000 permanent jobs. The new Vikings stadium would aim to open in 2016; under that scenario, the Vikings would relocate for one season to the football stadium at the University of Minnesota.
Rep. Morrie Lanning, a Republican and the chief House stadium negotiator said, “The time has come for Minnesota to make a decision. Minnesota needs to decide if it wants to keep the team here. I do.”
Despite the new proposal, even stadium backers admit that will be easier said than done. Councilwoman Betsy Hodges said that she would not vote in support and that she sees a huge number of red flags in the new plan.