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After wild day, Vikings stadium bill faces uphill climb

The Minnesota legislature, exhibiting the type of procrastination of which my 13-year-old son would be proud, waited until the final weeks of its annual session to take up the thorny issue of finding funding for two thirds of the proposed new stadium for the Vikings.  (The team will pay the other 33 percent.)

A bipartisan bill was introduced with much fanfare on Monday.  On Tuesday night, the bill emerged successfully from one of the many committees that will apply its fingerprints to the measure.  On Wednesday morning, however, a House committee killed the bill by a razor-thin margin of 10-9.  Later, a Senate committee passed a version that raises the extra 66.6 percent via Personal Seat Licenses.

Mike Kaszuba and Pat Doyle of the Minneapolis Star Tribune take a look at the events of the past few days, painting a portrait of a provision that has encountered plenty of opposition and that quite likely won’t be successful before the session adjourns.

Our suggestion?  Governor Tim Pawlenty should call a “special session” for July or August, with the goal of getting the issue resolved once and for all, with the alternative to a new stadium being, most likely, a new owner for the team — and then a new city in a new state.

Surely, the politicians in Minnesota are smart enough to know that, eventually, the Vikings will leave absent the kind of facility that will allow them to be truly competitive, on a financial basis, with the other 31 NFL franchises.

So unless and until the political powers-that-be prove to us that they realize the stakes of the poker game they’re playing with a treasured state asset perched in the middle of the green-felted table, we’re getting ready for the Vikings to join the NFC West and the Rams to land in the NFC North. 

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57 Responses to “After wild day, Vikings stadium bill faces uphill climb”
  1. irishgary says: May 6, 2010 10:18 AM

    procrastination? Is Favre in the legislature now?

  2. Hauschild says: May 6, 2010 10:19 AM

    “Politicians in Minnesota are smart.”
    Yeah, right – you mean like Al Franken???
    Minnesota’s a joke and is a shining example of what happens when you let the inmates tinker with running the asylum. Look at where all that “bleeding heart” compassion has gotten them – chock full of unfunded liabilities.

  3. Hap says: May 6, 2010 10:19 AM

    I still want out of doors accomodations like they had in trhe Joe Capp/Purple People Eater era. Maybe that’s what they’ll end up with .

  4. The Real Shuxion says: May 6, 2010 10:31 AM

    When they move to LA we can laugh at the fans leaving when there is 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, no matter what the score is.

  5. mw says: May 6, 2010 10:31 AM

    Surely, the politicians in Minnesota are smart enough …

    Hahahaha
    Jesse Ventura
    Michelle Bachman
    Tim Pawlenty
    (and many others a national audience wouldn’t know.)
    Politicians aren’t hired for their smarts, they’re hired for their bluster and their ability to distract.

  6. Citizen Strange says: May 6, 2010 10:32 AM

    Surely, the politicians in Minnesota are smart enough to know that, eventually, the Vikings will leave absent the kind of facility that will allow them to be truly competitive, on a financial basis, with the other 31 NFL franchises.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Truer words were never spoken.

  7. Hugh says: May 6, 2010 10:33 AM

    12 hours between posts?
    Was everyone out partying with Rapesaburger last night?

  8. Jack Factor says: May 6, 2010 10:34 AM

    They have no money – this is farcical – it is 2010 not 1990 – They are out of cash like so many other states. This is like shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. Red got out while the gettin’ was good and Ziggi ain’t gonna pony up more than a 1/3.
    This spells “LA”.

  9. FireJerryJones says: May 6, 2010 10:34 AM

    Maybe they should moved them to LA and call them the Lakers.
    Is that a sequel?

  10. dbartdog says: May 6, 2010 10:38 AM

    They’ll lose the Vikings just like Cleveland lost the Browns, Big difference was 1) Browns were lucky to retain name and secure franchise 2) The Vikes at least are on the table, while the Browns deal was under the table as sneaky Art Modell screwed Cleveland!

  11. redrum87 says: May 6, 2010 10:39 AM

    That must break your heart.
    Just to ask when the Steelers play the Vikings who do you pull for?

  12. JimmySmith says: May 6, 2010 10:43 AM

    They say we live in an imperfect world but I don’t see it here;
    1. Vikings find a welcome fan base in LA.
    2. Rams to the NFC North, sweet
    3 Mpls gets Packer games on Sunday afternoon.
    Where’s the downside to this?

  13. Patsfan1776 says: May 6, 2010 10:44 AM

    When you say “the kind of facility that will allow them to be truly competitive”, you mean one that someone else pays for. I would be rich if someone else bought my house for me.
    You don’t see the NFL corporation doling out cash for stadiums because they aren’t profitable. The Jets and Giants, located in the biggest market in the country, share a stadium so is it really sensible option for the people of Minnesota to use their money to build a stadium for a single football team?

  14. FreeAgentPro says: May 6, 2010 10:46 AM

    I would prefer the NFC come to Los Angeles than the AFC; prefer the Vikings over the Jaguars. We have the Lakers already from a previous move, and the Vikings share the purple scheme that is already immensely popular here. Can’t wait to see the new purple and gold uniforms of the LA Vikings…lol.

  15. MuskyHunter2542 says: May 6, 2010 10:56 AM

    Well lets face it, when the Viqueens move to LA, and The Rams land in the NFC North. That 2 guaranteed wins for the rest of the north (not including the little lio’s

  16. jimmySee says: May 6, 2010 11:01 AM

    Could the Vikes move into the new UM Gopherbowl as a tenant for a decade or so until times are better for the city and state and then, maybe, money could be shaken free?

  17. FreeAgentPro says: May 6, 2010 11:02 AM

    Modell moving to Baltimore was related to the Colts moving to Indy. As much as Baltimore fans accused Irsay/Colts of being sneaky and unhanded, he moved his club just before the MD legislature siezed his club under eminent domain as their ‘own’ property. After losing the Colts, Baltimore/state of MD offered the inducements to Modell that they wouldn’t offer to the Colts: a new stadium and lucrative tax concessions. Modell couldn’t get those benefits from Cleveland, so he accepted them from Baltimore. One would think Minnesota would learn a lesson from history: you don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone.

  18. stetai says: May 6, 2010 11:02 AM

    Does anyone remember the Minnesota Lakers? didn’t think so. Think about that Minnesotans when you’re figuring out this stadium issue.

  19. Bob S. says: May 6, 2010 11:04 AM

    60,000 or whatever go to 8 games plus 2 exhibition games at full cost out of the entire state population and the whole population should pay with their taxes for a multi millionaire owner from new york city to make more money for himself? a guy holds up a bank he is a criminal. doesnt even come close to what businessmen do DAILY!
    gimme a break!

  20. TheToolofTools says: May 6, 2010 11:06 AM

    Cleveland built Jacobs Field, Gund Arena, & The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and suddenly there was no money for a new football stadium and Modell left.
    Last I looked The Twins got the new Target Field, and The Minnesota Gophers have their own football stadium.
    Don’t think for one moment the relatively new owner won’t pack up and leave.
    He didn’t buy that team to lose money.
    He owes The Vikings fans NOTHING and money speaks louder then heritage.
    Didn’t you also have a basketball team that left for L.A. once upon a time too?

  21. ampats says: May 6, 2010 11:14 AM

    Build an outdoor stadium. Loved the Viking games at the Met.

  22. Ruvell100 says: May 6, 2010 11:17 AM

    And a hockey team that left for Dallas. “The State of Hockey.” Ha! Ambrose’s “All hat and no cattle” reference was the most spot-on thing I’ve heard on the PFT website to date.

  23. EasyDrinkingBuschLight says: May 6, 2010 11:19 AM

    Why are people too ignorant to realize that the state benefits from the new stadium as well? The state essentially owns it and leases it to the team for money, and rents it out for all sorts of events year-round to make money off it. Not to mention the tax revenue it generates. THAT is why the state is expected to pony up some of the costs. And the state is the one who wants the roof, not the Vikings, which is why they are being asked to pay such a high percentage of the cost.
    Also, the entire cost of the stadium doesn’t have to be paid for the day after the bill is signed. It’s paid over the course of 40 years, and this recession/budget shortfall will be over soon. And when it is the costs for the stadium will skyrocket due to interest rates, land, and labor/bidding costs rising with the recovering economy.

  24. philwauke says: May 6, 2010 11:21 AM

    Said Pawlenty we all know the vikings will never win a Superbowl so why waste the money?

  25. SF Saints Fan says: May 6, 2010 11:27 AM

    I don’t hate the Vikings. Some of their alleged “fans” on this board are morons to say the least, but the vast majority of their fans are good sports fans who understand that the Saints won the NFC Championship because of plays made on the field and not some vast conspiracy.
    On the stadium issue, the State of Minnesota is facing the very difficult task of finding a way to come up with 2/3 of the money needed for a new stadium in one of the worst economic and fiscal period in the last 30 years. How can the politicians look the voters in the face (like there ever do?) and tell them that a new stadium is more important than……(insert issue here)?
    And how do the politicians figure that the Vikings can somehow get 2/3 of the stadium financing through the sale of PSL’s? I know there is some industry in the MSP region, but do they have enough Vikings fans to pay through the nose for PSL’s in this economy? Aren’t the Jets having problems selling PSL’s in New York/New Jersey? Isn’t there way more money in the pockets of Jets fans than Vikings fans?
    How is the proposed PSL deal supposed to work? Are the PSL’s going to be sold years in advance in order to finance the building of a stadium that will not open for years? Is the pool of money from the proposed sale of the PSL’s going to be “fronted” by the State of Minnesota so that the stadium can be built and then get the money back from the hoped for sale of the PSL’s that may never happen?
    Where is the demand for the high priced Vikings tickets anyway? Here is a comparison of season ticket prices for comparable seats for the Saints in the Superdome vs. the Vikings in the Metrodome (I know the Metrodome is a crappy Stadium, but I have been in the stadium and some of the better seats are pretty good seats.):
    Club Sideline (GL-20 YL):
    Saints: $2400 Vikings: No Comparable Seats
    Club Sideline (Between the 20’s):
    Saints: $2400 Vikings: No Comparable Seats
    Lower Sideline:
    Saints: $1900 Vikings: $1280
    Lower portion/Premium of Upper Deck Sideline:
    Saints: $1350 Vikings: $1030
    Lower Endzone:
    Saints: $850 Vikings: $770
    The Saints do have a few cheap seats that are $250 for the season and the cheapest seats for the Vikings are $290 for the season, but the vast majority of comparable seats for the Saints are way more expensive than the Vikings.
    I would like to know where the money is for the Vikings to get the cash for PSL’s from their current season ticket holders when they are not getting the cash from them now? I know the stadium is a junker, but the better seats are still not selling at a premium, especially when compared to the Saints, who inhabit a much smaller market and an older stadium. The Superdome opened in 1975,while the Metrodome opened in 1982.
    I think the PSL idea is something that will only result in a bailout by the taxpayers if the Vikings are unable to sell them to their current season ticket holders.

  26. Ambrose says: May 6, 2010 11:31 AM

    I hope they work it out. I would hate to see the Vikings leave. But if they do work it out and end up with a decent place to play, all we’re going to hear is…”our stadium’s better than yours is…nah nah nah nah nah.”
    “Minihapless…a big-talk small-minded kind of place.”

  27. onlineinsite says: May 6, 2010 11:32 AM

    It’ll get done – but right now Pawlenty is more concerned with his Hail Mary presidential run so he won’t pass anything that has the word “tax” in it. So, even is was the perfect bill, it wouldn’t make it past him. They’ll get it passed next year when he is gone. Personally, I think he’d look better getting a stadium bill passed than proving he’s too much of a coward to get involved.

  28. MNPackerBacker says: May 6, 2010 11:34 AM

    Florio,
    Do some research when you post this crap. I work up here and to say that the Legislature waited to the last minute is a stretch! I will admit I am a Packer fan, but I have been watching this unfold for two years. Maybe if the Vikes got their crap together and had a partner or a plan (not one that changes every hour) they would have some luck.
    Did I mention we are running a deficit here and folks are losing health care and such. Oh and it is an election year for everyone here.

  29. Hauschild says: May 6, 2010 11:36 AM

    God you people are thickheaded and short-sighted if you think it’s an unrealistic expenditure to keep an NFL franchise from leaving. You have any idea what an NFL franchise means to a city – especially a city in the midwest, where population is declining because most of the states are anti-business???
    It’s no wonder with this type of mindset, we’ve got a community organizing shyster as a president, whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the free market enterprise.
    Yeah, good luck with that.

  30. tt0074958 says: May 6, 2010 11:40 AM

    @TheToolofTools
    The Twins are a bigger deal in Minnesota than the Vikings.

  31. Ish says: May 6, 2010 11:45 AM

    Hauschild says:
    May 6, 2010 10:19 AM
    “Politicians in Minnesota are smart.”
    Yeah, right – you mean like Al Franken???
    No,
    We mean nut bags like Bachman, and fools like Pawlenty. Both Rethugs, who care more about the money than you Labowsky.

  32. TiceWasBetter says: May 6, 2010 11:51 AM

    If the Vikings move to LA the local FOX affiliate will make more money selling paid programing as the former Viking fans will NOT watch the Packers.
    What, do you ignorant Packer fans think that Viking fans will automatically watch the Packers on Sundays now? Of course not! And then FOX will be able to make more money selling the time slot then putting on a 3hr snooze fest known as the Packers.
    The Vikings were in the top ten of NFL teams for local ratings, if they move the local FOX affiliate will no be able to recoup that money for at least 5-10 yrs. Us loyal fans would rather watch paint dry then the Packers

  33. bluestree says: May 6, 2010 11:52 AM

    As I’ve said before, Pawlenty is going to be the real obstacle when it comes to getting this done. He is no longer worried about being the governor of Minnesota, he’s looking at everything through the prism of national Republican primary politics. His main concern over the next two years will be how local issues effect his national image within the party.
    In other words, he’ll do as little as possible, because doing more with government, other than jailing criminals and supporting the military, will make him seem like less of a rock ribbed conservative.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think Pawlenty will do anything to help get this done, unless it’s all privately funded, in which case he’ll do nothing but take the credit.

  34. skimbell says: May 6, 2010 11:54 AM

    Viking fans just won’t watch football anymore.
    _________________________________
    What? Hell, Viking fans haven’t been watching football for the past 40 years.
    So, what’s new?

  35. LBPACKFAN says: May 6, 2010 11:58 AM

    Profanity –
    You’re absolutely right. It’s fun to poke a stick at Vikes fans a little…but any real fan does NOT want to see this happen. It was bad enough when the Brown stains left Cleveland too….lets not see it happen again.

  36. d johns says: May 6, 2010 12:13 PM

    Polititions are too busy worrying about Arizona and illegal aliens then taking care of their own.

  37. Leroy'sButler says: May 6, 2010 12:14 PM

    skimbell says:
    May 6, 2010 11:54 AM
    Viking fans just won’t watch football anymore.
    _________________________________
    What? Hell, Viking fans haven’t been watching football for the past 40 years.
    So, what’s new?
    ————————————————-
    Now that’s funny.

  38. packers4life says: May 6, 2010 12:19 PM

    “The Vikings were in the top ten of NFL teams for local ratings,”
    I wonder why? It is because of some guy who wears #4?

  39. eoj trid says: May 6, 2010 12:21 PM

    Assuming that the slightly whacked Minnesota politicians get their way and go the PSL route to raise the remaining 66.7%. If they build a stadium thats more along the lines of Lucas Oil Stadium and less like the Cowboy Palace, we’re talking about $715 million total cost. Zigi is in for roughly $340 million which would leave $475 million to be raised through PSLS. With an capacity of 70,000 your average PSL cost is going to be slightly south of $6,800 per seat.
    The Metrodome holds how many?
    Good luck with that.

  40. marcduke says: May 6, 2010 12:21 PM

    # Ish says: May 6, 2010 11:45 AM
    Hauschild says:
    May 6, 2010 10:19 AM
    “Politicians in Minnesota are smart.”
    Yeah, right – you mean like Al Franken???
    No,
    We mean nut bags like Bachman, and fools like Pawlenty. Both Rethugs, who care more about the money than you Labowsky.
    _______________________________
    Hey Ish, did you ride your bike to work today or take the light-rail?

  41. GOVIKES|GOVIKES says: May 6, 2010 12:27 PM

    I really wish you guys would stop posting politics related articles here, it really brings out the stupid.

  42. Dogsweat says: May 6, 2010 12:49 PM

    Los Angeles will welcome the Vikings ……
    Los Angeles Vikings vs Green Bay will be highly coveted.
    Packer fans in L.A. —-should get excited.
    70 degree weather games as opposed to 4 degree.
    Let’s go Vikings!!!!
    Let’s get the shirts made!!!!
    Go Lakers and Vikings!!!!!

  43. Contra says: May 6, 2010 12:49 PM

    JimmySmith says:
    May 6, 2010 10:43 AM
    They say we live in an imperfect world but I don’t see it here;
    1. Vikings find a welcome fan base in LA.
    2. Rams to the NFC North, sweet
    3 Mpls gets Packer games on Sunday afternoon.
    Where’s the downside to this?
    ———-
    Four things actually…
    1. Vikings do NOT have a welcome fan base in LA (see Raiders, Rams)
    2. Of course Packers would want the Rams in the NFC North, its an instant 2 in the win column as opposed to an instant 2 in the loss column with the Vikings present.
    3. Mpls will NOT watch Packer games.
    4. You are still breathing

  44. jimmySee says: May 6, 2010 12:51 PM

    “It’s no wonder with this type of mindset, we’ve got a community organizing shyster as a president, whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the free market enterprise.

    Hauschild — are you a child?
    In a free market enterprise system, the Vikings would build their own stadium and not look for handouts from taxpayers.
    End corporate welfare — stop socialism for the wealthy.

  45. redfox33 says: May 6, 2010 12:55 PM

    Why should people that don’t use or like sports pay for something they don’t want. If its going to be a public stadium like a park, or Library then anyone one should be able to go anytime they want without paying. I’d rather use the money for Education and keeping the bad guys behind bars then in them.

  46. Bob says: May 6, 2010 1:02 PM

    “…we’re getting ready for the Vikings to join the NFC West and the Rams to land in the NFC North. “

    Doubt that would happen. NFL wouldn’t break up Vikes-Packers and 49ers-Rams for geography. If that was the case, the Cowboys would have never been in the NFC “East.”

  47. Chiefs2010 says: May 6, 2010 1:32 PM

    They should have worked out a deal to share the filed with the Gophers..
    Mineapolis doesn’t need two football stadiums downtown..
    Local and state governments to be more responsible with money, give me a break..
    These new stadiums are lame anyways.. give me older stadiums any day (RFK (though I’m a Chiefs fan), Fenway Park, Old Yankee Stadium #2, Veterans stadium) this need for new shiny things every couple of years is why people/businesses/coumtries go bankrupt..
    The new Dallas Stadium is a shopping mall with an absurd big screen and girls dancing in cages.. talke about Sodom and Gomorah..
    Football’s better at home anyways, you can see the plays develop and dont’ have to deal with drunken strangers and traffic.

  48. jimicos says: May 6, 2010 2:01 PM

    Contra says:
    May 6, 2010 12:49 PM
    2. Of course Packers would want the Rams in the NFC North, its an instant 2 in the win column as opposed to an instant 2 in the loss column with the Vikings present.
    ————————-
    I reject your reality and substitute my own. The Vikings have swept the Packers twice in the past 10 years. The Packers have swept the Vikings four times in the past 10 years.
    Remove your purple glasses and slowly back away.

  49. minnesconsin_ad says: May 6, 2010 2:30 PM

    few thoughts:
    As a packer fan, for selfish reasons, I’d hate to see them go. The rivalry is priceless.
    On the other hand: as a taxpayer in MN, no way in hell this should be a priority. we need millions of dollars of road and bridge repairs. schools are in the crapper. t-paw has mis-managed the state in every way, cutting budgets where he had no authority to do so, and those chickens are now coming to roost. I care more about the financial welfare of my state than I do about football.
    Re: TV — There are boatloads of packer fans in the twin cities and surrounding suburbs – not to mention the fact that portions of western wisco are considered part of the twin city metro area’s viewing area, so currently have to purchase directv sunday ticket to see the packers every week. The notion that the local Fox affiliate would profit more from paid programming than from broadcasting a relevant NFL team every sunday is just ludicrous.

  50. Ish says: May 6, 2010 3:33 PM

    marcduke says:
    May 6, 2010 12:21 PM
    Hey Ish, did you ride your bike to work today or take the light-rail?
    Hmm. Rode a bike, ate tofu, saved a tree, drove an American car named a Hyndai, etc.
    How many teabagginging rallies did you attend lately? How many non-whites have you discriminated against? How many “drill, baby, drill!” signs have you held up recently? I can go all day.
    Sports or politics? Lets have at Hoss.

  51. Bious says: May 6, 2010 4:08 PM

    It is a disaster situation for everyone involved
    Republicans don’t want to raise taxes but they KNOW that it is the ONLY WAY to keep the Vikings. They also know that whoever is in power IF they Vikings leave will be blamed and kicked out of office
    So, catch-22

  52. TheBaySay says: May 6, 2010 4:36 PM

    If Pawlenty hasn’t taken a step to help the Zygster up to now, I highly doubt that he’s going to call a special session. That wouldn’t even get him the votes of Vike fans, who are mad something didn’t get done by now. I suggest that the Packers give our poor cousins to the west a break and let them play in Lambeau when the Pack is out of town. If they want out of the Humpty Dump, they certainly aren’t going to make any money in the Gophers’ little stadium. Let them play in a real stadium regularly! The Pack ought to take them in like the bedraggled little strays they have become, and perhaps this could be a big step in ending the animosity between the fan bases. C’mon everybody – big group hug!!

  53. rossimo says: May 6, 2010 5:09 PM

    Why is it the Saints could manage to get the government to spend $170 million dollars (FEMA) to fix the Superdome for the Saints, and the NFL contribute only $15 million?
    Now the Vikings look to pay 1/3 of the cost for a building they will use 12 days a year at the most, and people are screaming that it is an outrage. The Metrodome is used over 300 days a year for “non-football” related activities, yet people expect the Vikings to pay for that?
    It is amazing how many uninformed people have an opinion on how the stadium issue really works. It is too bad that politics have become the sole reason for making a determination of what the people of Minnesota really want.
    Mr. Pawlenty will find it very difficult in a Presidential election to carry his home state because people will remember how he abandoned them.

  54. chickenragnarpartdeux says: May 7, 2010 8:52 AM

    jimicos says:
    May 6, 2010 2:01 PM
    =============================
    Jimi:
    Go take a look at the Favre 100% not coming back thread.
    This is why, 9 times out of 10, I do not do research.
    I spent quite a bit of time, looking for his comments, proved him wrong, and now he is making excuses, claiming the posts were altered.
    It isn’t worth it.
    Even when people know they are wrong, they won’t admit it. Not on this site anyway.

  55. jimicos says: May 7, 2010 10:15 AM

    chickenragnarpartdeux says:
    May 7, 2010 8:52 AM
    Even when people know they are wrong, they won’t admit it. Not on this site anyway.
    ———————–
    At least you can admit it.

  56. chickenragnarpartdeux says: May 7, 2010 10:28 AM

    Dude, i have admitted a few times i was wrong.
    TT suprised me by resigning most of the Pack’s own FA’s. for one.

  57. rickytheviking says: May 7, 2010 3:29 PM

    If the Vikes leave I will become a Bears fan

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