Vikings May be Tossed for a Loss

The Minnesota Vikings play at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Vikings have played in the stadium since 1982, and the stadium used to host the Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota football team. Before playing at the Metrodome, both teams played at Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins now have their own new ballpark, Target Field and the Golden Gophers have their own new stadium, TCF Bank Stadium.

The Vikings want a new stadium, too, and have periodically threatened to move to Los Angeles or anywhere else that doesn’t have a professional football team. The Vikings also want to have their stadium built in part with public (taxpayer) money. And therein lies the rub.

Minnesota has a Democratic governor (Mark Dayton) [technically, he’s a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, or DFL] and Republican leaders in the state legislature. The two parties appear to mirror the problems in Washington: They don’t agree on much. The Vikings want a nearly $1 billion stadium. They’d contribute around $427 million. The remaining funds would come from the city of Minneapolis (where the stadium would be located) and from the state of Minnesota.

Vikings fans want a new stadium, of course. The problems include:

– The GOP wants a reduction in the state business property tax (Governor Dayton opposes this);
– Democrats want a bond measure (the GOP opposes this);
– Minneapolis would like other cities (e.g. St. Paul) to help pay for the Vikings’ stadium;
– Rehabilitation of the Target Center (where the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA play) is somehow in the middle of this;
– The deal includes exclusivity for the Vikings to bring in a soccer team to the new stadium; and
– Rarely do new stadiums pay for themselves.

The Minnesota legislature is set to end their session tomorrow, but there’s a good chance they’ll head to overtime. There’s probably less of a chance of the Vikings getting their stadium this year.

News Stories:
Star-Tribune, Pioneer Press, MinnPost, and Bemidji Pioneer.

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