Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: House panel vote leaves Vikings stadium plan in peril

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 17, 2012 - 11:59 AM

The proposed public subsidy package for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium was decisively rejected by a House panel late Monday night, leaving the team and stadium supporters visibly stunned.

With the Legislature planning to adjourn in two weeks, the nearly $1 billion stadium plan was left needing an extraordinary injection of support to stay alive at the state Capitol this spring.

"Somebody would have to pull a rabbit out of the hat," said Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, the chief House stadium author.

Just one of the House panel's six DFLers voted for the project, even though Gov. Mark Dayton -- himself a DFLer -- had made the stadium a legislative priority. But DFLers quickly claimed that outstate Republicans on the panel were more easily able to back the stadium because it would be paid for with gambling revenues and city taxes in Minneapolis.

Team officials were clearly disappointed by the vote.

"It's a mistake to think the Vikings and the [National Football League] will continue with the status quo" of playing in the Metrodome without a new stadium, Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley told a large crowd of reporters after the 9-6 vote. Bagley stopped short of saying that the vote could lead the team to leave Minnesota.

"We've got some time left, and we'll see what happens," Bagley said of the legislative session.

For the stadium plan to get new life, it likely would need to be resurrected by a Senate panel that considered the proposal last month but did not take action because there weren't enough votes to approve the project.

From the outset Monday, the stadium plan faced harsh scrutiny by a House panel chaired by Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, who had earlier said she wanted Minneapolis residents to have a referendum on the controversial project to build a new stadium at the Metrodome, the Vikings' longtime Minneapolis home.

In an early sign that the project faced trouble, Peppin's 15-member House Government Operations and Elections Committee blocked an attempt to void a Minneapolis city charter provision that requires citizens to vote on spending city money for a new sports facilities.

"To me, the language is pretty clear," Peppin said of the city charter. "I think [the city's residents] deserve a vote on this."

By itself, the move was possibly a major setback for the stadium legislation, though it was unclear whether the action removed any chance of avoiding a vote.

Stadium proponents have insisted that a city charter provision that calls for a referendum when the city spends at least $10 million on a sports facility did not apply because the state would at least technically be spending the city revenues on the stadium.

In approving another amendment before the final vote, the House panel also rejected diverting excess Hennepin County sales tax money now being used to pay for the Minnesota Twins' Target Field. Hennepin County Board Chair Mike Opat said such a tactic would be "effectively highjacking county revenue."

The stadium plan had four funding backstops -- estimated to generate at least $9 million a year -- if the state's plan to authorize electronic pull tabs and bingo in Minnesota's bars and restaurants failed to generate at least $42 million needed each year to pay the state's $398 million share of the stadium. A 10 percent tax on stadium luxury suites would be used first and Hennepin County's sales tax money would be a third option.

Under the plan before the Legislature, the Vikings were to contribute $427 million to the stadium, the state would add $398 million and Minneapolis would add $150 million. The team would also contribute $327 million to the stadium's operations and the city would over time add another $189 million.

Monday's hearing began with a jolt when Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, asked: "Why should the state of Minnesota contribute to a stadium for a billionaire owner?"

Team officials were quickly peppered with questions asking why Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was not contributing more to the stadium and how much the Vikings' value would grow with a new stadium.

"It's difficult to say," Steve Poppen, the team's chief financial officer.

Lanning pleaded with legislators to keep the stadium plan alive, saying that he had worked on public subsidies for a new Vikings stadium for seven years and that four proposals had failed during that time. "This clearly is the best proposal that we've had," he said.

There were some signs that, before Monday's hearing, Republican leaders in the House and Senate may have been trying to position the stadium as a bargaining chip to entice Dayton to negotiate an overall agreement that would give the DFL governor a stadium as long as Republicans got their own end-of-session wish list.

But even to get to Monday's hearing, the stadium public subsidy package had already been delicately nudged along -- the first House committee adopted it on a simple voice vote two weeks ago. Shortly before the Legislature's spring break, the House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee kept the plan alive by granting it a procedural exemption.

The exemption was seen as a sign that House Speaker Kurt Zellers, who has been vague on how much he will do for the stadium, was not inclined to kill it. "If the speaker wanted to kill it, he wouldn't have let it get through," said Rep. Michael Nelson of Brooklyn Park, the lead DFLer on the House committee that heard the proposal on Monday.

Staff writers Kevin Duchschere and Eric Roper contributed to this article.

Mike Kaszuba • 651-925-5045

  • related content

  • Roll call vote on stadium plan

    Tuesday April 17, 2012

    By a 9-6 vote, a House panel rejected a Vikings stadium proposal Monday night.

  • Video: Vikings stadium plan in doubt after House vote

    Thursday June 14, 2012

    Legislators questioned why the state should help pay for a stadium for a billionaire before a House committee voted...

  • Photo gallery: Stadium plan faces toughest House test

    Monday April 16, 2012

    Stadium plan faces toughest House test.

  • Passage of new Vikings stadium

    Sunday May 12, 2013

    Complete Star Tribune coverage of Vikings stadium proposal.

  • DFL Rep. Terry Morrow, left, and Republican Rep. Morrie Lanning shook hands after their bill was voted down in committee.

  • Republican Rep. Morrie Lanning, foreground, and DFL Rep. Terry Morrow testified in favor of the stadium bill before the House‚Äôs Government Operations and Elections Committee.

  • A hearing of the House's Government Operations and Elections Committee...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - M. Latos 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Boston - J. Kelly 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Detroit - K. Lobstein 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Penny
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
LA Angels - C. Wilson 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. Milone
Texas - D. Holland 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Washington - D. Fister 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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 Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close