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May 04, 2010
MN chamber, Vikings gripe about new stadium bill
More on yesterday's last-ditch Minnesota Vikings stadium funding proposal:
- It is "both an option play and a Hail Mary pass." (Thanks, St. Paul Pioneer Press writers addicted to forced sports metaphors!)
- The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce opposed the memorabilia, rental car, and hotel taxes that would be used to fund the new stadium, instead calling on the team to find a "local partner" — though the chamber didn't say how this local government would pay for a stadium without raising taxes.
- The bill's backers say that even though the Vikings play only 10 home games each season, a stadium could host 200 events a year. (I was about to make a Bon Jovi joke, but even they mostly play arenas, so I honestly have no idea who'd fill the other 190 days a year. Monster trucks?)
- The Vikings are already griping about both the 40-year lease that would be required, and the fact that they'd be asked to put up a whole third of the construction costs. Vikings stadium chief Lester Bagley said the team would be willing to chip in one-third the cost of an open-air stadium (which would be $210 million), but didn't want to pay for a roof: "We're not saying the roof isn't important, but the roof doesn't benefit the Vikings. It benefits the state and the community."
- Two hearings on the bill are set for tomorrow, with six more lined up before the bill can be voted on.
Meanwhile, also noted in passing in the Pioneer Press article: "The St. Paul Saints are looking for a new home." Et tu, Mike?