April 01, 02011
State lawmakers will introduce a plan next week to raise $300 million toward the construction of a roofed stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.
Two Republican legislatures sent a letter to fellow lawmakers on Thursday that outlined the plan, according to Mark Kaszuba of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The $300 million will be raised from a variety of new fees and taxes, including a sports memorabilia tax, stadium naming rights, a scratch-off lottery game and a pro football player income tax surcharge.
Where the stadium would be built remains unanswered, as do other fine details. But the Vikings are in the 11th hour and lawmakers are much more organized in their approach this time around.
Lester Bagley, the Vikings’ vice president for public affairs, reacted favorably to the letter. The bill is “a workable framework” Bagley told Kaszuba.
“We're encouraged, and we're appreciative of state leaders bringing the bill forward," Bagley said.
But the Vikings do have reservations on the plan, including a player income surcharge and turning over naming rights fees to the state, not the team.
Lawmakers are primarily focused on the state’s $5 billion deficit issue. As pressing as the situation is for the Vikings, there are more important issues facing the legislature.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune