The Minnesota State Legislature will reportedly introduce a stadium bill next week that could lead to the Minnesota Vikings getting a new home and guaranteeing the team won’t abandon the worst fans in professional sports.
The bill will include two options for funding the stadium. The first involves building a new Vikings’ stadium on the current site of the Metrodome and using taxes being raised for the Minneapolis Convention Center. The second would allow municipalities to compete for the Vikings and would be funded by local taxes.
“We were presented with a proposal that includes a number of creative options, but we’re still relying on legislators to advise how and when to move this forward,” said Vikings vice president Lester Bagley, who met with legislators Wednesday.
The Vikings, who are consistently at the bottom of the league in annual revenue, have been trying to get the state to finance a new stadium for some time, even while Minnesota is dealing with a major budget shortfall. Governor Tim Pawlenty has said the state will not fund the stadium with the state’s general fund.
Hence the latest bill.
“I think the parameters for me are what the governor would accept, what he is comfortable with,” Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, said. “I think he’s made it very clear that there needs to be a local partner, there will be not be a statewide sales tax of any kind (and) there will be no general fund money.”
Minneapolis appears to be the front runner to keep the Vikings because of the existing infrastructure, among other things, although there are questions if the city has the money to do it.
If Minneapolis can’t pull it together, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center and St. Paul are next in line.