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Continued: Bill in Legislature looks to let Xcel, Target Center join forces

  • Article by: ERIC ROPER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 30, 2013 - 10:06 PM

Xcel’s arrangement is different, since the operator pays rent to the city. St. Paul annually uses about $1 million in sales taxes and $1 million in deferred property taxes to fund debt and capital, respectively.

Level playing field

Jack Larson, Xcel’s general manager, said the public isn’t affected by revenues from concerts. At the same time, St. Paul is asking the state to forgive about $30 million in public loans that helped build the facility 13 years ago.

While they study joint governance, the cities also must examine the possibility of folding both venues into the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing development of the Vikings stadium in Minneapolis.

Ted Johnson, senior vice president of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who play in Target Center, said the intent of the bill is to level the playing field.

“It’s not like Target Center or Xcel are trying to gouge them,” he said, referring to promoters. “They are simply asking to be paid the same as an arena in Kansas City or any other city where there’s only one building.”

 

Eric Roper • 612-673-1732

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  • Antitrust laws prevent the two arenas from working together, giving concert promoters leverage to pit one against the other. A bill at the Legislature, backed by both cities, would change that.

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