As expected, a new, bipartisan bill was introduced Monday by Minnesota legislators hoping to keep the Vikings from joining the former Minneapolis Lakers in Los Angeles. A news release issued by those sponsoring the bill bears the following headline: “ONLY THOSE WHO BENEFITS FROM A VIKINGS STADIUM WOULD PAY FOR IT.”
The proposed bill contemplates that the team will cough up $264 million, and that the remaining $527 million will be spread out over 40 years. The annual principal and debt payments would come from a hotel surtax (1.5 percent, for an estimated annual revenue stream of $8 million), a slice of jersey purchases (6.875 percent, which is expected to generate $16.9 million per year), a sports-themed scratch-off lottery game (which is expected to raise $5.5 million per year), and a rental-car tax (which also is expected to raise $5.5 million per year).
“The Vikings only have 20 games left in the Metrodome, and there are two weeks left of session. It’s clear that the window to build this stadium is closing,” said state Senator Tom Bakk, chief-author of the Senate version of the bill. “If we wait another year to move this project forward, it will cost another $50 million. This bill gives us the opportunity to put 13,000 people back to work, bringing $300 million in new wages to Minnesota. And it guarantees the Vikings will stay in Minnesota for the next 40 years.”
In the more concise words of United States Poet Laureate Daniel Lawrence Whitney, “Git ‘r done.”