Vikings approve plan for them to pay $50 million more for stadium
The Minnesota Vikings got considerable more momentum in their push for a stadium deal when the state House approved a plan that calls for the team to spend $477 million on the project -- $50 million more than the club agreed to handle.
The key here is that the team has signed off on the change, showing that owner Zygi Wilf is willing to buck up to get a deal done and ensure the club stays in Minnesota.
Now, the measure moves to the Senate where it is expected to pass. From there, it would go to Gov. Mark Dayton, who is believed to be in favor of the funding. It’s a dramatic turnaround for the Vikings, who just two weeks ago looked sunk in their efforts to have a new stadium initiative pushed through this year. But the NFL got involved and some heavy-duty lobbying has paid off. The Senate is expected to vote today.
“The Vikings and the Wilfs have stepped up ... and made a huge commitment to Minnesota,” Lester Bagley, the team's vice president, said Wednesday night, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The stadium will have a roof on it. What has not been determined at this point is if it will be a retractable roof. That is an extra expense, perhaps in the range of $25 million, and one the team would have to incur.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune