Vikings stadium foes pursue new tactic

  • Article by: HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 16, 2011 - 7:28 AM

Opponents think charter designations might be the opening they need. "We could usurp their usurpation."

hide

The proposed Vikings stadium site at Arden Hills. Provided by Minnesota Vikings.

Opponents of a proposed Vikings stadium believe they have found a way to let voters decide whether to build it with public money, regardless of what the Legislature or Ramsey County decide to do.

Last week, Ramsey County and the Vikings announced broad outlines for public-private financing of a 65,000-seat stadium in Arden Hills at a cost of just more than $1 billion. Minneapolis has a competing stadium proposal.

One of the keys to both plans, and one of the most controversial aspects, is a provision that prevents the project from being put to a public vote, which is how Hennepin County eventually got the Twins stadium built in Minneapolis.

But a new group of stadium opponents (www.NoVikingsTax.com) said Sunday that the most likely sites for the stadium -- Ramsey County and Minneapolis -- are governed by charters, essentially constitutions that determine how those jurisdictions operate.

Opponents say those charters allow them to collect enough voter signatures (about 10 percent of registered voters) to place a referendum on the next election ballot that would overturn any state measure that bans a referendum on the stadium. If successful, they then allow a public vote on any ordinances passed to fund the project.

"We could usurp their usurpation," said Chris David, head of the small group, which met to plot strategies to get the Vikings and their owners to pay the entire cost of a new stadium.

Stadium opponent Bryan Olson, a member of the Ramsey County Charter Commission who was at the meeting, confirmed the group's interpretation, saying county opponents would have to come up with about 25,000 certified signatures within 45 days of any stadium ordinance that is passed this year. In Minneapolis, the required number of voter signatures needed for a referendum is about 8,500.

The Ramsey County website, which contains a copy of the charter, also notes that if enough signatures are certified, then the ordinance in question is put on hold until it is repealed or voted on via special election or at the next election cycle.

County Commissioner Tony Bennett, who is the co-author of the county proposal, said he did not have an immediate answer as to whether the charter status will allow the no-referendum provisions of the plans to be challenged.

A representative for the Vikings was unavailable Sunday night to respond.

The news that the strategy might block public financing of the stadium buoyed the members of the anti-stadium group, who seemed convinced that the proposal is being "steamrolled" through the Legislature and Ramsey County.

"I think it's great that they want to build a Vikings stadium," said Gayle Bonneville of Minneapolis. "I just don't want to have to pay for it. It seems like this is being rushed through."

Heron Marquez • 952-707-9994

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 0 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 1
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 5 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7
Toronto - LP: R. Dickey 0 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 7
Seattle - LP: J. Beimel 6 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 8
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 2 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: M. Bumgarner 1
Colorado - WP: F. Morales 3 FINAL
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 1
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Washington - LP: T. Jordan 0
Milwaukee - LP: R. Wooten 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 11
NY Yankees 10 Bottom 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 2
Toronto 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Minnesota 5
Boston 1 Top 8th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Kansas City 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Houston 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Chicago 3 3rd Prd 10:46
St. Louis 2
Minnesota 1 2nd Prd
Colorado 1
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will you boo Jared Allen when he returns with the Bears?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close