Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Vikings stadium plan gains a roof, and some traction

The roof was off. Now it's back on. The pricetag for taxpayers is still unknown. What's clear is that an 11th-hour GOP proposal for a less expensive Vikings stadium that would rely on borrowing instead of gambling is gaining steam.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who called it a "hare-brained scheme" Wednesday morning, by day's end said it was a plan "absolutely worth pursuing," as high-level talks among DFLers, Republicans, the team and others unfolded.

"We hope this is fruitful," said House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, after formally presenting the idea to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. "We're trying to find a solution that the Legislature can agree to."

Two days after the Legislature had hoped to adjourn, a handful of leaders are racing to piece together a new, end-of-session stadium proposal that ditches the much-criticized expansion of charitable gambling for traditional bonding.

Dean and others say a new plan is needed because they cannot get the votes for the proposal Dayton, the Vikings and key Republican legislators crafted over the past several months.

The plan calls for borrowing at least $250 million as part of the state's overall bonding bill. That does not include the funding needed for a roof, which Dean said has yet to be determined. The city of Minneapolis would still contribute $150 million for construction costs and the team's share would remain $427 million.

Dean said using taxpayer-backed bonds are a far more stable funding source than the existing proposal, which relies on an untested expansion of charitable gambling. He also acknowledged, one day after proposing a roof-less stadium, that a roof would likely be required to qualify for general obligation bonds. The lack of a roof would severely limit the facility's ability to host civic and other events year-round.

Should the new proposal fail to catch fire, Dean said, the drive for a new stadium could be dead for this session.

"If it's not productive and it's not helpful, then we can move on to other solutions to try to get done to get out" and adjourn this year's legislative session, he said.

The new plan poses an enormous political challenge for Republicans. Unlike the earlier plan, which would have needed only a simple majority, the bonding bill by law requires a supermajority. That means Republicans will need a significant number of votes from the DFL.

DFLers are skeptical

DFLers were cool to the GOP proposal on Wednesday.

"The bottom line is there's no there, there," said House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, who earlier said he had all his votes lined up for Dayton's plan.

"The idea that we are going to obligate the state to pay for this really runs counter from what I'm hearing from constituents," said Sen. John Harrington, DFL-St. Paul. "They are not in favor of using public dollars to subsidize it."

Even labor unions, huge backers of the governor's plan, appeared doubtful the new proposal could succeed.

"I would be surprised if that works," said Minnesota AFL-CIO president Shar Knutson. "So far, we've only seen one plan that meets that -- that has the team, the city, the GOP authors and has been vetted through a number of [legislative] committees."

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who on Tuesday stood by Dayton's side at a news conference and said his city would not be partner to a roof-less stadium, was more conciliatory on Wednesday after emerging from a late-day meeting with Republicans.

He said he'd been assured by GOP leaders that the city's stadium contribution and its complicated financing proposal would not be altered.

But Rybak said that any new stadium proposal should contain the "backbone" of the proposal Dayton and others had worked on for months. "If there are ways to amendment it, [that may work] as long as they don't change what we need, what we laid out at the beginning," Rybak said.

That appeared to be the Vikings' bottom line as well, according to team spokesman Lester Bagley.

"We reaffirmed today in a meeting with House and Senate Republican leadership that the Vikings are committed to the deal we negotiated with state and local leaders -- $427 million upfront and $13 million in annual operating costs,'' Bagley said Wednesday. "We will not support any proposal that would require the team to contribute any more than that.''

It remains far from certain whether Republicans, many of whom campaigned strongly against "running up the state's credit card," can build the broad coalition needed for the new, GOP-led proposal.

"I don't like it, but it is more acceptable," said Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, a vocal stadium critic.

Sen. Sean Nienow, R-Cambridge, said that relying on state general obligation bonds is a more fiscally sound way to finance the stadium. He said Dayton's proposal was "structurally flawed." Republicans, including House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, originally had opposed bonding.

Republican leaders acknowledged Tuesday that they had been meeting secretly for several days to assemble the plan and discuss it with the Vikings -- all without notifying Dayton. The governor's office has been in constant contact with the Vikings, Minneapolis officials and legislators in recent days to hold the coalition together and get the original agreement approved. That prompted heavy criticism from Dayton earlier in the day

"When you say you're negotiating -- you're negotiating," he said. "You're not plotting something behind people's backs."

By late afternoon he had softened his tone. "I don't recant anything I said before. I meant every word of it. But ... I'm not going to let my personal feelings for how other people conduct themselves get in the way of trying to get a resolution that's going to be beneficial to Minnesota."

The plan still has to be vetted by experts, consultants, the DFLers and the Vikings, he said, "So there's a long way to go with this and not much time."

Baird Helgeson • 651-925-5044

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 5 FINAL(SO)
Vancouver 6
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 81 FINAL
Colorado 87
Washington St 67 FINAL
UCLA 72
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
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: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close