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Rep. Kahn: Time for public ownership of the Vikings

Posted by: under Funding, Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, State budgets Updated: November 7, 2011 - 10:34 AM
Throw in one more idea for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium: Have the public buy shares in the team, enabling them to  own a piece of the Vikings and help finance a stadium.
 
The community ownership idea has been floated before but Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, said Monday she would introduce legislation to require Gov. Mark Dayton and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission to work with the National Football League to make it happen. The commission owns the downtown Minneapolis Metrodome, the team’s home for nearly 30 years.
 
“Dayton asked for all ideas to be put on the table and that’s exactly what I’m doing here,” said Kahn. “No single idea [for funding a new stadium] has gained enough traction to pass the Legislature.”
 
The funds from selling stock in the Vikings, said Kahn, could go toward helping the team build a new stadium. She added that, under her plan, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and his family could retain a 30 percent controlling interest in the team.
 
The proposal would be patterned, in part, on the ownership structure governing the NFL's Green Bay Packers.
 
Kahn said she introduced similar legislation in 2005, when the Minnesota Twins were pushing for a new, publicly-subsidized stadium, and the proposal had 34 authors in the House. The legislation did not pass, and the Twins’ new Target Field was funded in large part by a countywide sales tax increase in Hennepin County.

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