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Stadium next step: Minneapolis City Council

  • Blog Post by: Eric Roper
  • May 13, 2012 - 10:57 AM

Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the Vikings stadium legislation this afternoon in the coming days, kick starting a 30-day timeline for the Minneapolis City Council to give its approval.

Unless Mayor R.T. Rybak fast tracks a vote, council members will take action at their next regular meeting on May 25. The bill needs seven 'yes' votes from the Council to go into effect.

Rybak's spokesman, John Stiles, said Thursday that "we're not sure about the calendar right now." The city clerk noted that only Rybak can call a special -- unscheduled -- meeting.

Whether or not the bill goes through local committees will be up to Council President Barb Johnson, who has not returned a request for comment.

The most likely committee would be intergovernmental relations, which includes all members of the Council.

On Thursday morning, Rybak's slim seven-vote majority on the Council appeared to remain firm. Sandy Colvin Roy, one of the last members to support the plan, said she has seen nothing that would sway her vote.

"The biggest change I know of is the Vikings are going to pay more," Colvin Roy said. "And that’s good.”

Council Member Cam Gordon, an opponent of the plan, quipped that he wasn't sure which committee would have jurisdiction over the stadium bill.

"We don’t really have a committee for corporate welfare," Gordon said.

The city's contribution is expected to be $150 million for stadium construction and another $189 million for operating costs over the life of the deal. That $339 million total rises to $675 million when factoring inflation interest.

It is paid for by a combination of city sales taxes that help support the MInneapolis Convention Center -- a citywide sales tax, downtown liquor and restaurant taxes, and a hotel tax.

If sales tax revenues rise faster than expected the city's contribution, with interest, could reach $890 million.

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