The Minneapolis City Council gave final approval Friday morning to funding a new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis, ending an arduous legislative process that has taken decades to resolve.
Friday's approval, on a vote of 7-6, followed a preliminary vote Thursday afternoon. No votes changed. Mayor R.T. Rybak celebrated with a swig of Grain Belt beer out of a horn in his office.
“I feel obviously incredibly happy to have this over," Rybak said. "This has been a bruising fight. I feel in my gut a little bit like I imagine the Vikings feel after a win. You’re happy you won, but you’ve got to go sit in the hot tub and take care of the bruises for a little bit.”
Up next, the city must create an implementation committee and the mayor must appoint two members to a new stadium authority.
The total city subsidy will be about $309 million for construction and operations, or $678 million when accounting for interest over the life of the deal.
The stadium will be built on the existing Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis. The city's subsidy provides the means to pay debt and renovate the city-owned Target Center.
“It’s one of those tough decisions that you need every generation or so to keep a city moving forward," Rybak said. "But its also based on … something I’ve had to deal with from the start, which is to clean up the city’s finances, and I think we did that.”
Council members spent Friday morning issuing final statements on the bill, following hours of similar debate on Thursday. Opponents said it violates the charter and is not a wise economic decision.
"This is too much public cost for not enough public benefit," said Council Member Elizabeth Glidden. "That is the simplest way to state this.”
(Pictured: A vikings fan pours Mayor R.T. Rybak a beer in the mayor's office following the vote.)