Vikes Stadium Plan has Support From Mpls. City Council
While a proposal to build a new downtown Minneapolis Vikings stadium seems to have stalled in the Legislature, a majority of the Minneapolis City Council now supports plans for the stadium, according to a Star Tribune report.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak reportedly announced Monday that seven of the council's 13 members now support funding plans for a $975 million stadium at the current Metrodome site. Under the plans, the city would reportedly pitch in $150 million-plus an additional $189 million to help operate it-from excess city taxes that will become available after debt for the Minneapolis Convention Center is paid off. The Vikings would pay $427 million, or close to half, of the building cost, while the state would contribute $398 million.
According to the Star Tribune, the council members who support the stadium plan are Diane Hofstede, John Quincy, Meg Tuthill, Don Samuels, Sandy Colvin Roy, Kevin Reich, and Council President Barbara Johnson.
The plan initially faced opposition in the council because a provision in the Minneapolis charter requires a citywide public vote for the city to spend $10 million or more on a sports facility. However, supporters of the stadium proposal say that the current plan would not trigger a citywide vote because it calls for redirecting an existing city sales tax, according to a Finance & Commerce report.
Meanwhile, Gary Schiff, a council member who opposes the plan, told the Star Tribune that it still requires a citywide vote because of the charter.
“It's a clear end-run around the city charter and the will of Minneapolis voters,” Schiff added.
The stadium proposal was unveiled by Governor Mark Dayton, Rybak, and Vikings representatives in early March. While it seems to have cleared one hurdle, the proposal still needs to be approved in the Legislature. The bill suffered a setback during its first hearing before a Senate committee earlier this month, when the committee decided not to hold a vote and postponed the hearing indefinitely. The bill's most controversial issues include the state's plan to raise its share through an expansion of charitable gaming-which would require Minnesota to authorize electronic pull-tabs.