Lawmakers will consider Minnesota stadium options

A much talked about proposal that will create a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings will hit the state legislature with two weeks remaining in their session but there is no feeling either way whether or not the measure will make it through.

The plan is for an $800 million stadium near where the Vikings currently play in the Metrodome. They remain the only primary tenant after the University of Minnesota constructed its own football stadium and after the Minnesota Twins opened Target Field last month.

It’s a critical time for the franchise. The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome runs through the 2011 season and team officials have said they have no plans of extending an agreement if plans to build a new stadium are not rolling along. Is it posturing or will the Vikings bring in the moving vans after two more seasons? Do the state legislators worry about that with the state budget completely out of whack?

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that no stadium plan will be given to Gov. Tim Pawlenty before the state budget is solved. Lawmakers faced a $1 billion deficit when the session began in February.

There are a host of options available for funding but many if not all have met strong opposition. A state lottery game and sales tax in Minneapolis have been mentioned. The president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce opposes a hotel and lodging tax, a popular revenue stream for many stadium projects around the country.

The Vikings might not be in the 11th hour yet when it comes to their bid for a new home. But if they aren’t, they’re awfully close.

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