Minnesota state house speaker Kurt Zellers, who earlier this week dared say that he didn’t think the Minnesota Vikings would leave the state without a new stadium, upped the ante yesterday, saying he would oppose all efforts to spend state tax money on a Vikings stadium:
“There is absolutely no way we’re going to be able to go to the finance commissioner and say, ‘would you write out a $300 million check to [Vikings owner] Zygi Wilf, and put in the little memo section ‘roof for the new stadium,'” Zellers told the [Grand Forks] Herald. “It’s not going to happen.”
He said the team needs to tie financing for the proposed stadium to “the game, something that as a fan, you as a participant at the game, are willing to do. I’m not really sure what this is just yet.”
That sounds like he’s looking for ticket taxes or user fees, which has been suggested before and not gone very far, in part because there’s no way it’ll pay for a nearly $1 billion stadium without eating into the Vikings’ profits. Unless Zellers would accept a TIF, which would be another story.
Zellers also broached the possibility of renovating the Metrodome, which he called a “pretty good facility.” So far nobody else has shown much interest in that, but if all the financing plans for a new stadium keep being stuck with multi-hundred-million-dollar holes, you never know.