We’ve got good news and bad news for the folks who want to see the Vikings stay in Minnesota. (And, presumably, bad news and good news for those who would like to see them join the Lakers in Los Angeles.)
The good (bad) news is that, despite a Republican takeover of the Minnesota Legislature and an actual or apparent mandate to slash spending and balance the budget, the Vikings’ stadium situation will be “addressed” in the 2011 legislative session, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The bad (good) news is that the situation was “addressed” in the 2010 session, and it went nowhere.
“I think, one way or another, it’s going to be addressed this session,” said Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, per the Star-Tribune. “The question is whether or not it’s resolved. It’s not going to go away.”
Correction. It could go away, if the team goes away. And with the Vikings under contract to play at the Metrodome through 2011 and Los Angeles making real strides toward a new stadium, the team could indeed go away.
It will be tricky, to say the least, for the newly-constituted Republican Legislature to sell to their constituents a stadium project that entails new taxes, significant spending, and/or the kind of governmental involvement that runs contrary to traditional conservative ideology. As the Star-Tribune points out, recent polling shows that 75 percent of Minnesotans oppose the use of public funds for a new football stadium.
Then again, plenty of conservatives love football, and this could be one situation in which the classic no-tax, low-spend, small-government approach is modified in order to ensure that the local NFL franchise doesn’t load up the truck and move to Beverly.