Legislators and City Council will weigh in on $975 million plan for Dome site.
Now the real game begins.
After weeks of intensive closed-door negotiations, Gov. Mark Dayton announced a Minnesota Vikings stadium deal Thursday that must still face its biggest hurdles -- a skeptical Legislature and a reluctant Minneapolis City Council.
A $975 million stadium on the Metrodome site could open as early as the 2016 season, but only if Dayton and other backers can persuade legislators to vote for a $398 million state subsidy and get council members to agree to the diversion of $150 million in hospitality taxes without going to a referendum.
Despite the hard lobbying task ahead, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said that Thursday was a day he had looked forward to for the entire seven years he's owned the team. "This is an exciting day because the dream of keeping the Minnesota Vikings here for generations to come is close at hand," he said.
Dayton said the bill, to be introduced Monday, would build "a premier stadium" to keep the Vikings in Minnesota, showcase major events and create up to 13,000 construction-related jobs and 2,000 permanent positions -- all without general fund dollars.
He urged that the City Council act quickly and legislators hold a vote on the bill this session. "I ask them to consider carefully what is at stake for Minneapolis and for all of Minnesota," Dayton said.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who faces a split council, said the agreement makes "a compelling case" for the state and city's future.
"We shouldn't do mediocrity in Minnesota," Rybak said. "But we are also a practical state, and we're a state that requires us ... to do things that are in the self-interest of the voters."
At the Capitol announcement, the stadium's chief legislative backers said the agreement offered the best chance for winning bipartisan support.
"Minnesota needs to decide whether or not we, in fact, do want to keep this team in Minnesota," said Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead. "I do. I'm committed to it."
Neither Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, nor House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, made the same commitment.
"It's up to the advocates, the proponents, to get it through the committee process," Zellers said. He said he might not give his opinion until the bill reaches the House floor.
Zellers and Senjem said the stadium proposal may change as it moves through the legislative process.
"It will chug and churn and it will more than likely ... even change a little bit as it tries to find its path," Senjem said. "There is certainly no assurance at this point that it ever gets to the floor."
Legislators were anxious to learn more, but they harbored doubts about what they knew already.
Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said he was concerned the Legislature was "kind of held hostage to a corporate entity that wags the fear of leaving."
Sen. Scott Dibble, a Minneapolis DFLer, worried about the diversion of resources.
But others were ready to see the stadium built.
"The governor has done his job, and now we'll do ours. I do want to get this done," said House Taxes Committee Chairman Greg Davids, R-Preston.
"I think it can pass," said Sen. Dave Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm.
Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, the chief Senate sponsor of the stadium proposal, said backers will work on bill details Friday.
How it will work
The state plans to issue bonds for its share of stadium costs and pay them off with gambling profits from electronic pulltabs. Legislators must change the law to allow bars and restaurants to operate handheld gambling devices.
Officials say that type of device avoids a direct conflict with tribal casino gambling, sidestepping a court battle that could mire stadium financing in litigation.
The new plan allows for a 65,000-seat, fixed-roof stadium, half on the Dome's footprint and half in its east parking lot. It includes a large plaza on the downtown side of the Dome, a new parking ramp connected to the stadium by skyway and a city block dedicated to tailgating on game days.
The tailgating area would include a block now owned by the Star Tribune, the only one of the newspaper's five downtown blocks that lies in the proposed stadium site. Other Star Tribune blocks, including the one that houses the news operations, are listed in the stadium designs as "future development opportunities."
City development chief Chuck Lutz said there is no developer or plan for those sites, but they "have prime development potential for something."
The stadium plaza also includes the light-rail transit station across Chicago Avenue and part of another block that contains the Hennepin County morgue and crime lab.
Team President Mark Wilf said the Dome site was "the most cost-efficient stadium alternative."
The Wilfs' preferred stadium site had been the former ammunition plant in Arden Hills. A deal to build a stadium there was announced with fanfare last year but withered when Ramsey County was unable to come up with viable financing.
Under the new agreement the Vikings would kick in $427 million -- roughly the amount the team pledged to the Arden Hills project. The Wilfs declined to say where that money would come from, but it's believed the team may get a loan of up to $200 million from the National Football League's restructured loan program.
The team's contribution would cover 44 percent of the construction, with state and city funding making up the remaining 56 percent of the $975 million in upfront costs. Of the $1.5 billion long-range cost of construction, maintenance and debt service, the Vikings' share would be $754.1 million -- a little more than half the total. The city would pay long-range costs of $338 million, nearly 23 percent. The state's contribution is capped at $398 million in upfront costs.
The stadium would be run by a new stadium authority, with three members appointed by the governor and two by Minneapolis. The authority would be responsible for cost overruns, unless it agrees to let the team manage construction.
The Vikings would keep all revenue from NFL events, including concessions and club seat and suite revenue. It also would get the money from naming rights and advertising on the stadium site. Revenue from events not related to the team would go to the stadium authority.
Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chairman Ted Mondale, Dayton's stadium point man, said passing a bill this session would allow construction to begin this year with the goal of the 2016 season being played in the new stadium.
Because it would occupy only part of the Dome's footprint, Mondale said that much of the new facility could be built while the Vikings remained at the Dome. After the 2014 season, the Dome would be knocked down and the team would play its 2015 home schedule at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.
Fewer games would need to be played at the U, Mondale said, if the stadium can be pushed farther east on the site.
Dayton said he would be working on the stadium project "until we get it done," and promised that opponents on the council would hear from him.
|San Antonio||8:00 PM|
|Buffalo||2||2nd Prd 6:36|
|Detroit||2||2nd Prd 6:22|
|New Jersey||4:00 PM|
|NY Rangers||7:00 PM|
|St. Louis||9:00 PM|
|Fla Gulf Coast||67||FINAL|
|Mount St Marys||74|
|William & Mary||66|
|Middle Tennessee||46||2nd Half 11:52|
|UNC-Asheville||61||2nd Half 13:56|
|Southern Utah||54||2nd Half 10:09|
|Utah Valley U||14||2nd Half|
|Bowling Green||31||2nd Half|
|Long Island||30||1st Half 3:44|
|West Virginia||14||1st Half 9:54|
|Holy Cross||16||1st Half 7:11|
|MD-Eastern Shore||2||1st Half 18:32|
|Wofford||6||1st Half 12:03|
|Montana State||5||1st Half 14:11|
|Hofstra||18||1st Half 7:45|
|Iowa State||23||1st Half 7:51|
|Arkansas||10||1st Half 11:47|
|Missouri State||10||1st Half 10:30|
|Fordham||12||1st Half 10:58|
|Nicholls||22||1st Half 7:37|
|East Tenn St||27||1st Half 7:47|
|Coppin State||3:00 PM|
|San Diego||17||1st Half 6:37|
|Gardner-Webb||16||1st Half 9:47|
|St Francis-PA||21||1st Half 8:32|
|Duquesne||21||1st Half 7:43|
|Creighton||23||1st Half 8:49|
|Oklahoma State||8||1st Half 9:13|
|Alabama||21||1st Half 6:39|
|Virginia Tech||11||1st Half 9:26|
|Bethune-Cookman||2||1st Half 19:16|
|St Francis-NY||4||1st Half 15:59|
|Drake||13||1st Half 8:38|
|High Point||3:30 PM|
|Central Conn St||3:30 PM|
|Eastern Mich||3:30 PM|
|SE Louisiana||4:00 PM|
|South Dakota St||4:00 PM|
|Georgia State||4:15 PM|
|Old Dominion||4:30 PM|
|Arkansas State||4:30 PM|
|Texas Southern||5:00 PM|
|Tennessee St||5:00 PM|
|Jacksonville St||5:00 PM|
|San Jose St||5:00 PM|
|Florida A&M||5:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||5:00 PM|
|Miss State||5:00 PM|
|Savannah State||5:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||5:30 PM|
|Alcorn State||5:30 PM|
|Prairie View||6:00 PM|
|George Washington||6:00 PM|
|Tenn Tech||6:00 PM|
|Stony Brook||6:00 PM|
|Western Ill||6:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||6:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||6:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|TX-San Antonio||6:00 PM|
|Fla Atlantic||6:00 PM|
|George Mason||6:00 PM|
|Austin Peay||6:00 PM|
|SE Missouri St|
|Murray State||6:00 PM|
|Ball State||6:00 PM|
|USC Upstate||6:00 PM|
|Grand Canyon||6:05 PM|
|Abilene Christian||6:15 PM|
|Coll of Charleston|
|Central Mich||7:00 PM|
|Boise State||7:00 PM|
|San Diego St|
|St Marys-CA||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Sam Houston St||7:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||7:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin||7:00 PM|
|Ga Southern||7:15 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:15 PM|
|Grambling St||7:30 PM|
|Northern Ariz||8:00 PM|
|UC Davis||0||1st Half|
|New Mexico||9:00 PM|
|Idaho State||9:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||9:05 PM|
|UC Riverside||9:30 PM|
|UC Irvine||10:59 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|Sam Houston St||52||FINAL|
|Central Conn St||77||FINAL|
|East Tenn St||42||FINAL|
|Cleveland State||41||2nd Half 10:29|
|Lafayette||34||2nd Half 11:28|
|Arkansas State||51||2nd Half 10:11|
|Georgia State||47||2nd Half 11:02|
|IUPUI||40||2nd Half 7:37|
|South Dakota St||69|
|Tennessee St||61||2nd Half 6:59|
|Eastern Illinois||37||2nd Half 9:34|
|Jacksonville St||58||2nd Half 4:33|
|Kansas State||30||2nd Half 8:20|
|Cincinnati||36||2nd Half 6:36|
|SE Louisiana||38||2nd Half 11:15|
|Denver||28||2nd Half 7:56|
|Tulane||43||2nd Half 7:49|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||35||2nd Half 12:17|
|Air Force||18||1st Half 6:39|
|San Diego State||13||1st Half 8:05|
|Fresno State||12||1st Half 8:16|
|Florida A&M||21||1st Half 5:44|
|Gonzaga||25||1st Half 7:55|
|South Florida||33||1st Half 7:50|
|UCLA||11||1st Half 9:28|
|(3) Baylor||22||1st Half 7:23|
|Miss Valley St||19||1st Half 6:17|
|Tenn Tech||18||1st Half 6:53|
|UMKC||6||1st Half 7:14|
|Seattle||19||1st Half 7:32|
|Texas Southern||21||1st Half 10:30|
|Santa Clara||12||1st Half 11:39|
|UNLV||18||1st Half 8:32|
|Savannah State||11||1st Half 11:03|
|Alcorn State||3:00 PM|
|Bucknell||0||1st Half 15:30|
|Eastern Washington||12||1st Half 11:28|
|Idaho||22||1st Half 5:56|
|Weber State||12||1st Half 7:20|
|Radford||12||1st Half 10:20|
|Green Bay||3:30 PM|
|Austin Peay||3:30 PM|
|SE Missouri St|
|Mount St Marys|
|San Jose St|
|Stephen F Austin||4:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||4:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||4:00 PM|
|San Francisco||4:00 PM|
|Prairie View||4:00 PM|
|Chicago State||4:00 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|Murray State||4:00 PM|
|Cal Poly||4:00 PM|
|Portland State||4:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||4:00 PM|
|Western Ky||5:00 PM|
|Georgia Southern||5:00 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||5:00 PM|
|(24) California||5:00 PM|
|(7) Oregon State|
|(21) Fla Gulf Coast|
|Long Beach St||6:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Oklahoma St||7:00 PM|
|TX-Pan American||8:00 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|North Dakota||8:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||9:00 PM|
|Aug 8 - vs. Oakland||7 pm||X||10-6|
|Aug 16 - vs. Arizona||7:30 pm||X||30-28|
|Aug 23 - at Kansas City||7 pm||X||30-12|
|Aug 28 - at Tennessee||7 pm||X||19-3|
|2014 regular season|
|Sep 7 - at St. Louis||Noon||X||34-6|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon||X||30-7|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon||X||20-9|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm||X||41-28|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm||X||42-10|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||17-3|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon||X||17-16|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon||X||19-13 ot|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon||X||29-26|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon||X||21-13|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon||X||24-21|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||31-13|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon||X||30-24 ot|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||3:25 pm||X||16-14|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon||X||37-35|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||13-9|
Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?