ST. PAUL, Minn. - If a scheduled vote at the state Capitol Monday sends the plan for a new Vikings stadium down in flames, it will not be because backers didn't try.
On Friday afternoon, those who support the so called "people's stadium" plan gathered at the Capitol to break the plan down for lawmakers, reporters and the public. They wanted to lay out the dollars and cents expenditures, emphasize why they think it's a great deal for the state of Minnesota, the city of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Vikings and football fans.
Ted Mondale, chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, says the stadium proposal would bind the Vikings to Minnesota for 30 years and give the state money if the team is sold.
Broken down over three decades, Mondale says the team would pay the state $1.3 million per game for ten games each season in the new stadium.
That leaves 355 days a year that the state and community can schedule other events.
The "people's stadium" plan indicates that the Vikings would pick up $427 million of the structure's $975 million projected cost. The state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis would split the remaining $548 million.
Backers of the plan emphasize that the public need not worry about being stuck with cost overruns as the contractor has agreed to a fixed cost arrangement.
Projected annual operating costs for the new facility are $20.5 million with the Vikings covering $13 million, the city of Minneapolis paying $7.5 million and the state picking up nothing.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says he believes there is little chance of the bill failing and Senate sponsor Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont) agrees.
"I have honestly never thought about this bill failing," Rosen said.
Sponsors of an alternative stadium bill that would have funded construction with state bonds pulled the plug on their plan Thursday after realizing there were too many stumbling blocks. The plan was forged during secret meetings that further deepened the rift between Republicans and Democrats.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) said Thursday he does not support the stadium bill and does not know if there is enough support on either side of the political aisle to pass.
A seperate development Friday could impact Monday's vote as well. Governor Dayton vetoed the Republican-backed tax bill, saying he could not support something that would have negative implications on Minnesota simply to curry favor with lawmakers so they would vote for the stadium.
And despite the ticking clock the maneuvering is not over yet. On Friday afternoon State Senator Sean Nienow (R-Cambridge) floating a financing package for the stadium that would rely on income tax revenues from visiting team players, sales tax revenues from increased ticket prices and various stadium and fan-related user fees.
"At this point, many stadium funding mechanisms have been proposed but none have gotten the support needed to pass," Nienow said in a written statement.
"We need to keep searching for viable options for stadium funding that do not overburden Minnesota's taxpayers. Dedicating an existing funding source may be the plan that will garner support and get a stadium deal done."
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