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January 13, 2012
Deadline for narrowing down Vikings stadium plans ends up narrowing nothing at all
Last night's deadline for Minnesota Vikings stadium plans, set by Gov. Mark Dayton in an attempt to give the state legislature a limited number of ideas to actually vote on, has come and gone, and the result is ... pretty much the same mishmosh that we had before this.
Ladies and gentlemen, your contenders for the New Home of the Purple and Gold:
- Ramsey County is sticking with its $1.1 billion Arden Hills plan, only with a new revenue source for $375 million in county money after its plan for a sales tax was killed last November: Instead, the county now plans on a whopping 3% food and beverage tax to raise the stadium cash. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, county officials "acknowledged" that this tax plan "appears to lack political support."
- Where Ramsey County dropped a 148-page tome on Dayton's desk, the city of Minneapolis issued a slim four-page proposal focused on a new $907 million stadium on the site of the Metrodome, but without ruling out alternate sites near the Target Center and the Basilica of St. Mary, despite the fact that ruling out sites was supposed to be the point of this whole exercise. The city's $313 million share would come from redirecting tax money that currently goes to pay off the city's convention center, a plan that was already proposed in December, and roundly attacked by the Minneapolis city council. The state legislature would also have to overturn a voter-approved referendum that prohibits the city from spending more than $10 million on sports stadiums.
- Shakopee has its own plan for a $920 million stadium funded by race track slot machines and a whole pile of other fees and taxes, as discussed yesterday.
Or if you want to see all that with less information and more pretty pictures, the Star Trib has got you covered.
This whole mess now gets kicked back to the state legislature, whose members told the Star Tribune that they don't plan on moving fast on a bill: Main stadium sponsor Sen. Julie Rosen said she may now slow down movement on a stadium bill "to make sure that we have all the figures right and everything's going forward," while House Speaker Kurt Zellers said it was "not my job" to try to drum up stadium votes. It looks like another long, long spring in St. Paul.