Stadium deal in Minnesota on life support
The bill in the Minnesota state capitol to create a funding plan to construct a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings is on life support. It is not expected to live through the end of the current legislative session that will end May 17.
The House state and local government operations committee voted down the bill 10-9 on Wednesday night, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, leaving only slight hope that something can be revived in the coming days.
The bill has been roundly criticized since being introduced earlier this week and critics from all corners have poked holes in it. As the report indicated, the state’s biggest power brokers have failed to get behind the bill, something that just about doomed it from the get-go.
The taxing mechanisms attached to it – levies on hotels, rental cars and NFL merchandise – were removed. Lawmakers have complained about the amount of the bill the Vikings were being asked to carry. The biggest issue facing lawmakers is a state budget that has run out of control.
“It sells papers, it leads the news, but we're balancing the state budget,” House Majority Leader Tony Sertich told the Star Tribune.
Perhaps the only way the bill could come back to life is through the Senate. The Senate State Government Operations and Oversight Committee voted to raise money through the sale of personal seat licenses, and shot down the possibility of a state lottery game and other taxes. Under the plan, fans would pay an average of $8,000 for PSL’s, but there is some question whether or not that would generate enough revenue to foot the bill. Remember, the Vikings have had trouble selling out games without PSL’s attached to the seats.
The bottom line is that the team’s lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season. If or when this bid fails, it pushes Zygi Wilf one step closer to calling in the moving vans.
Follow me on Twitter: BradBiggs