With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry, Jim Spencer and intern Beena Raghavendran.

Rybak: Minneapolis City Council majority backs stadium

Posted by: under Funding, Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Republicans, State budgets Updated: March 26, 2012 - 5:49 PM

 

BY MIKE KASZUBA AND ERIC ROPER

Mayor R. T. Rybak announced Monday that a majority of Minneapolis’ City Council now backed a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, setting up a last ditch effort by Gov. Mark Dayton to persuade reluctant Republican legislators at the state Capitol to back the project.

The surprise announcement, coming after weeks of intense lobbying in Minneapolis, removed a major obstacle to a public subsidy package for the proposed $975 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Minneapolis would contribute $150 million to building the stadium, plus an additional $189 million to help operate it.

“Now [the] motion shifts over here to the Legislature,” said Rybak, standing at a state Capitol press conference with four City Council members. “If the Legislature acts, the City Council will act as well.”

But even as Rybak, Dayton and other stadium supporters celebrated the break through Republicans, who hold a majority in the House and Senate, were again lukewarm to the stadium project as the Legislature heads into its final weeks.

The job of convincing seven of the City Council's 13 members spilled into the weekend and ended with City Council members Sandra Colvin Roy and Kevin Reich agreeing to back the project. Rybak said that new computer spreadsheets outlining the city’s financial commitment, and dispelling concerns that there might be a funding gap, were made available during the middle of last week and seemed to sway the final votes.

Dan McConnell, a Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council official, said that not until almost 10 p.m. Sunday were the final votes secured. “They came on together,” McConnell said of Colvin Roy and Reich.

City Council President Barb Johnson said Monday that “towards the end of [last] week” she knew she had commitments from seven City Council members. “I’ve been talking – ongoing – to council members, and people were in different places, so I just [kept] talking to them,” she said.

Colvin Roy and Reich were under intense pressure from labor groups over the weekend. McConnell said he spoke with both Colvin Roy and Reich over the weekend – as well as stadium opponents on the City Council – and said Monday that local labor leaders had targeted the two City Council members over the past two days by stressing why the construction industry needed the jobs.

“We talked to a lot of people that were at [local political] conventions this weekend,” said McConnell, the business manager for the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council. “We had people talking to them that were constituents from their wards.

“We had, you know, people throughout their wards. We had ‘patch-through’ calls” to the key City Council members,” said McConnell. “We did surveys.”

The letters from the seven City Council members included caveats.

Both Colvin Roy and Reich included sentences in their letters that specifically stated that they would not vote for a Vikings stadium package that “violates the city charter” – a reference to a city charter provision that caps city spending on sports facilities to no more than $10 million without a voter referendum.

“I will not take a vote on a Vikings stadium that violates the city’s charter. I am bound by the city charter and any city funding must meet the requirements set forth in our governing documents,” wrote Reich, who represents the city’s First Ward.

The mayor said that because the city taxes being diverted for a Vikings stadium were authorized by the state  – and also would technically be spent by the state -- the city charter provision did not apply. Rybak said that Reich’s letter “clearly stated” that the City Council member was now backing the stadium project.

Colvin Roy’s letter may have been the most crucial to sealing the deal. She said in January that she could not “countenance going around” the city’s charter provision requiring a referendum on sports facilities costing more than $10 million in city funds.

City Attorney Susan Segal later argued that the plan did not trigger that referendum, prompting Colvin Roy to start looking into the details of the plan. She classified her initial comments as a “knee-jerk reaction to the idea of funding for professional sports.

“I made a statement about the referendum," Colvin Roy said. "I did not have the legal opinion about whether it would be triggered or not, whether it would be required. And now I do. And once I did have that, I disregarded my personal feelings and started looking at facts. And those facts led me to a decision that I am hoping people I represent will take the time to find out how it can actually help our city.”

She said Monday she is convinced that the deal will mean property tax relief for Minneapolis residents, which helped solidify her support.

“I didn’t change my mind. I made up my mind,” Colvin Roy said Monday. “And it took, as you know, an agonizingly long time for me to do it.”

The Vikings also supported Monday’s development. “We’re very appreciative of the support we’re getting from the City Council,” said Vikings team president and co-owner Mark Wilf. “We’re excited that this will move this forward at the Legislature.”

Monday’s announcement put more pressure on Dayton and stadium supporters to resolve the project’s other major unresolved issues.

Republican reaction to the city’s announcement was muted.

Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake, who chairs the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee, where the stadium project recently stalled, said he would be open to having another hearing on the stadium bill. But he said he would leave it up to the stadium legislation’s chief Senate sponsor, Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, to decide whether the bill should now get another hearing.

“I haven’t polled the members myself,” said Vandeveer.

Asked if there is time to have another hearing this session, he said: “That’s up to the leadership.”

State Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans also acknowledged Monday that talks were still stalled with charitable gaming officials over the state’s decision to allow electronic bingo and pull tabs in order to generate $398 million for the state’s share of the stadium. Charitable gaming officials have said that the revenue package does not provide enough tax relief for charities – the industry’s main reason for wanting electronic bingo and pull tabs in the first place.

Dayton meanwhile also indicated that there was no solution yet on how to provide backup state financing – that did not involve the state’s general fund – should revenue from electronic bingo and pull tabs fall short.

“The question is, what will it be?” said the governor. “I’m open to suggestions.”

Dayton however said legislators wanting such a backup may be overly concerned. “Even if it’s off by a third, it’s still sufficient revenue,” he said.

At least one Republican however was optimistic.

Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, the chair of the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee, said late Monday that he was hopeful his panel could have the House’s first hearing on the Vikings stadium plan later this week.

“Maybe I’m too optimistic, and maybe I’m naïve,” he said. “[But] there’s room to get this thing fixed”, referring to tax relief for charitable gaming interests and a state funding back up for the electronic bingo and pull tab revenue.

“There’s enough money around, either from the Vikings, or the city of Minneapolis or Hennepin County or, you know, various different pots of money” to provide a state funding back up, he said.

Hoppe also defended House Speaker Kurt Zellers, the chief House Republican who has said he will not take the lead in pushing for the stadium’s public subsidy package. “Everything thinks he wants to kill it,” said Hoppe. “He could have killed it a lot of different ways” by now.

The governor however conceded that – even with Monday’s announcement – the stadium still had more major hurdles. “We don’t have any agreement from [the charities]. We don’t have any agreement from the Legislature,” said Dayton. “We need lots of agreements in the next couple of weeks.”

Staff writer Rachel E. Stassen-Berger contributed to this article.


Here are the letters:

 

3.26.12 City Council Letters Grouped

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
Sacramento 6:00 PM
Indiana
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington
Houston 6:30 PM
Detroit
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Memphis
Portland 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
San Antonio
Charlotte 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 12:00 PM
Montreal
NY Islanders 1:00 PM
Detroit
Arizona 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Boston
Florida 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Dallas 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Columbus 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
Chicago 9:30 PM
San Jose
Boston College 11:00 AM
Clemson
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Eastern Mich
NC State 11:00 AM
Georgia Tech
Wisconsin 11:00 AM
Iowa
Stony Brook 11:00 AM
New Hampshire
Notre Dame 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Providence 11:00 AM
St Johns
Davidson 11:00 AM
Saint Josephs
Xavier 11:00 AM
Seton Hall
Tulane 11:00 AM
Temple
Auburn 11:00 AM
Tennessee
Texas Tech 11:00 AM
West Virginia
Arkansas 12:00 PM
Florida
Penn State 12:00 PM
Illinois
Lipscomb 12:00 PM
Stetson
South Florida 12:00 PM
Tulsa
Bradley 12:05 PM
Indiana State
UMass Lowell 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Green Bay 1:00 PM
Cleveland State
Georgetown 1:00 PM
Creighton
Coll of Charleston 1:00 PM
Delaware
Villanova 1:00 PM
DePaul
Arkansas State 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Vermont 1:00 PM
Hartford
TCU 1:00 PM
Iowa State
Kennesaw St 1:00 PM
Jacksonville
Kansas State 1:00 PM
Kansas
Boston Univ 1:00 PM
Lehigh
Illinois State 1:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
Albany 1:00 PM
Maine
Butler 1:00 PM
Marquette
LSU 1:00 PM
Miss State
Mount St Marys 1:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Richmond 1:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Virginia Tech 1:00 PM
Wake Forest
IUPU-Ft Wayne 1:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Loyola-Maryland 2:00 PM
Army
Tenn Tech 2:00 PM
Belmont
Bethune-Cookman 2:00 PM
Florida A&M
Valparaiso 2:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
UAB 2:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Idaho State 2:00 PM
North Dakota
Evansville 2:05 PM
Drake
Rutgers 2:15 PM
Indiana
Ball State 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Southern U 3:00 PM
Alcorn State
UNC-Wilmington 3:00 PM
Drexel
Coastal Carolina 3:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Morgan State 3:00 PM
Howard
William & Mary 3:00 PM
James Madison
North Carolina 3:00 PM
Louisville
Coppin State 3:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Ole Miss 3:00 PM
Missouri
Wichita State 3:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Loyola Marymount 3:00 PM
Pacific
Winthrop 3:00 PM
Radford
George Washington 3:00 PM
Rhode Island
Bryant 3:00 PM
Robert Morris
Long Island 3:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Fair-Dickinson 3:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Saint Louis
Georgia 3:00 PM
South Carolina
Central Conn St 3:00 PM
Wagner
SIU Edwardsville 3:15 PM
Eastern Ill
Ohio 3:30 PM
Central Mich
Eastern Ky 3:30 PM
Morehead State
Incarnate Word 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Campbell 3:30 PM
UNC-Asheville
Vanderbilt 3:30 PM
Texas A&M
South Alabama 4:00 PM
ULM
Western Carolina 4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Detroit 4:00 PM
Milwaukee
Idaho 4:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Marshall 4:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Jackson State 4:30 PM
Miss Valley St
Houston Baptist 4:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Louisiana 4:30 PM
Texas State
Denver 4:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oral Roberts 4:30 PM
South Dakota
Texas 5:00 PM
Baylor
Citadel 5:00 PM
Chattanooga
Fresno State 5:00 PM
Colorado State
Yale 5:00 PM
Cornell
Ark-Pine Bluff 5:00 PM
Grambling St
Nebraska 5:00 PM
Minnesota
Hampton 5:00 PM
Norfolk State
Purdue 5:00 PM
Northwestern
Alabama A&M 5:00 PM
Prairie View
Dartmouth 5:00 PM
Princeton
Pepperdine 5:00 PM
St Marys-CA
NC A&T 5:00 PM
Savannah State
Delaware State 5:00 PM
SC State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Southern Miss
Nevada 5:00 PM
Wyoming
Akron 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Colgate 6:00 PM
Bucknell
FIU 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Brown 6:00 PM
Columbia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Duquesne
NC Central 6:00 PM
East Tenn St
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Iona
Alabama 6:00 PM
Kentucky
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Lamar
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Liberty
Hawaii 6:00 PM
Long Beach State
New Orleans 6:00 PM
McNeese State
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Navy
Elon 6:00 PM
Northeastern
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Harvard 6:00 PM
Penn
La Salle 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Furman 6:00 PM
Samford
TX A&M-CC 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Duke 6:00 PM
Virginia
Mercer 6:00 PM
Wofford
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
North Florida
Longwood 6:00 PM
Presbyterian
Ark-Little Rock 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
CS-Northridge 7:00 PM
UC Riverside
Towson 7:00 PM
Hofstra
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Murray State
San Jose St 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Rice 7:00 PM
North Texas
Toledo 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Oklahoma 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
San Francisco 7:00 PM
San Diego
Utah State 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
UCF 7:00 PM
SMU
Southern Ill 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Troy 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Jacksonville St 7:30 PM
Tennessee St
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Stanford 7:30 PM
Washington St
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
BYU
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Northern Ariz 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Middle Tennessee 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Weber State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Chicago State 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Memphis 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Air Force 9:00 PM
UNLV
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Seattle 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Montana State 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Colorado 9:30 PM
UCLA
UMKC 9:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Mount St Marys 10:30 AM
Sacred Heart
Texas-El Paso 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
Arkansas State 11:00 AM
Georgia State
Bryant 12:00 PM
Robert Morris
Central Conn St 12:00 PM
Wagner
Fairleigh Dickinson 12:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Long Island 12:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bethune-Cookman 12:00 PM
Florida A&M
Longwood 12:00 PM
Campbell
Charleston Southern 12:00 PM
Winthrop
Louisiana Tech 12:00 PM
Marshall
Ohio U 12:00 PM
Central Michigan
Western Mich 12:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Coppin State 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Incarnate Word 1:00 PM
Nicholls
Samford 1:00 PM
East Tenn St
Western Carolina 1:00 PM
Furman
UNC Greensboro 1:00 PM
Wofford
Gardner-Webb 1:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Liberty 1:00 PM
High Point
Morgan State 1:00 PM
Howard
Presbyterian 1:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Kent State 1:00 PM
Akron
Northern Ill 1:00 PM
Ball State
Houston 1:00 PM
Cincinnati
SIU-Edwardsville 1:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Eastern Kentucky 1:00 PM
Morehead St
Holy Cross 1:00 PM
American Univ
Army 1:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Niagara 1:00 PM
Manhattan
Lehigh 1:00 PM
Boston U
Navy 1:00 PM
Lafayette
Saint Josephs 1:00 PM
Davidson
Duquesne 1:00 PM
Fordham
George Washington 1:00 PM
George Mason
St Bonaventure 1:00 PM
Massachusetts
Milwaukee 1:00 PM
Youngstown St
Jacksonville 1:00 PM
Kennesaw St
North Florida 1:00 PM
USC Upstate
Buffalo 1:30 PM
Eastern Michigan
St Marys-CA 2:00 PM
Pepperdine
Nebraska Omaha 2:00 PM
IUPUI
Houston Baptist 2:00 PM
Sam Houston St
Mercer 2:00 PM
(25) Chattanooga
No Dakota State 2:00 PM
South Dakota St
Oral Roberts 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Southern Miss 2:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
UAB
East Carolina 2:00 PM
Tulane
South Florida 2:00 PM
Memphis
New Mexico St 2:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Utah Valley U 2:00 PM
UMKC
Jackson State 2:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Louisiana 2:00 PM
Texas State
South Alabama 2:00 PM
ULM
Saint Louis 2:00 PM
Dayton
Cleveland State 2:00 PM
Oakland
Grand Canyon 2:05 PM
Chicago State
UCLA 2:30 PM
Oregon
Washington St 2:30 PM
(12) Stanford
Kansas State 3:00 PM
Texas Tech
UNLV 3:00 PM
Air Force
UCF 3:00 PM
Tulsa
Delaware State 3:00 PM
SC State
San Diego State 3:00 PM
Utah State
Sacramento St 3:00 PM
Montana
Portland State 3:00 PM
Montana State
Northern Colorado 3:00 PM
Weber State
Hampton 3:00 PM
Norfolk State
NC A&T 3:00 PM
Savannah State
Alabama A&M 3:00 PM
Prairie View
Toledo 3:00 PM
Bowling Green
Ark-Pine Bluff 3:00 PM
Grambling
Southern U 3:00 PM
Alcorn State
Marist 3:00 PM
Iona
Bucknell 3:00 PM
Colgate
North Dakota 3:00 PM
Idaho State
Ark-Little Rock 3:30 PM
Georgia Southern
BYU 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
Gonzaga 4:00 PM
Portland
Pacific 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Abilene Christian 4:00 PM
Lamar
Colorado State 4:00 PM
Fresno State
New Mexico 4:00 PM
San Jose St
UC Davis 4:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 4:00 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 4:00 PM
McNeese State
TX A&M-CC 4:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Old Dominion 4:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Tenn Tech 4:00 PM
Belmont
Eastern Washington 4:00 PM
Idaho
Stetson 4:00 PM
Lipscomb
Washington 4:30 PM
California
USC 4:30 PM
(7) Oregon State
IUPU-Ft Wayne 4:30 PM
Western Ill
Northwestern St 4:30 PM
SE Louisiana
SE Missouri St 4:30 PM
Austin Peay
Columbia 5:00 PM
Brown
Charlotte 5:00 PM
FIU
(19) Princeton 5:00 PM
Dartmouth
Penn 5:00 PM
Harvard
UT Martin 5:00 PM
Murray State
Troy 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Jacksonville St 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Nevada
Oklahoma St 6:00 PM
Iowa State
CS-Bakersfield 6:00 PM
Seattle
La Salle 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Cal-Irvine 6:00 PM
Cal Poly
Fla Gulf Coast 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Southern Utah 7:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Green Bay 7:00 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
Long Beach St
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Hawaii
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
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT