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St. Paul mayor could be a key player in Vikings stadium push

VikingsFansatMay10PressConfAP AP

The Vikings and Ramsey County officials announced on Tuesday a deal to build a new NFL stadium in Arden Hills, with what we regarded to be a premature atmosphere of celebration and, at times, outright euphoria from the speakers and the throng of Vikings fans in full game-day regalia.  But the determination of a site for the venue represents only one item (albeit a big one) on the to-do list.

Apart from persuading the Minnesota Legislature to provide $300 million or so in state funding for the project — along with the inclusion of a provision allowing Ramsey County to impose a countywide sales tax to fund the project without a public vote — the City of St. Paul will have a voice in the matter, given that St. Paul is the biggest city in Ramsey County.

According to Mike Kaszuba and Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman has to date said nothing at all about the proposal.  He wasn’t present for Tuesday’s press event, and his silence could be a sign for now of disagreement.

Indeed, if Coleman welcomed the move, wouldn’t he have attended the brand-new stadium sausage party?

“Because St. Paul [is] the largest city in the county, I’d expect that you’d certainly want his support,” Senator John Harrington, a co-author of the Vikings stadium legislation, told the Star Tribune.  Harrington added that, if Coleman comes out against the project, “I don’t know that it kills it.”

It may not kill the project, but it would make it harder to persuade the Legislature to justify foisting a new sales tax upon St. Paul and Ramsey County without a public vote.  And a public vote undoubtedly would kill the project, given that so many Minnesotans seem to be opposed to the use of public funds for the stadium.

Except for the folks who wear horned hats and/or purple capes on many days other than Halloween.

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24 Responses to “St. Paul mayor could be a key player in Vikings stadium push”
  1. heavythumb says: May 12, 2011 8:53 AM

    If you are gonna rip material from the Star Tribune, you could at least tell us the whole story.

    Coleman was not there because he was at an event at the White House in Washington DC.

  2. aznredneck says: May 12, 2011 8:55 AM

    You forgot to note that this report is based from the Star Tribune.

    The Star Tribune owns much of the property surrounding the Metrodome which of course as some know, is the 2nd proposed site. If the stadium is built in Arden Hills, the Star Tribune stands to lose millions because the Vikings are key to them making any profit by selling the property.

    You will also see a lot of negative reports/columns from the Star Tribune this week about the Arden Hills site, which makes you question what their intentions really are.

  3. tougie1 says: May 12, 2011 9:23 AM

    I need your help! Does anyone know how to cancel a bid on E-Bay? I put in a $20 bid for a Mickey Mouse Outfit. Now it seems I’m only 5 hours away from possibly owning the Minnesota Vikings.

  4. minnesconsin says: May 12, 2011 9:24 AM

    Coleman’s kind of a wild-card here. I like him and voted for him, and he hasn’t been afraid to spend money that he believes advances his goal and visions for the city of st paul. But this puts him in a tough position. With the exception of some hotel business (that is, until a stack of hotels are hastily erected nearer the stadium in arden hills), I’m not sure how beneficial the stadium will be to his city — on the other hand, it’s going to cost his residents more money than those of any other city in the county, so he’s got to be tread lightly. Politically, he should be pushing for a referendum on the county-wide sales tax. It’s the only way he can wash his hands of a potentially lose/lose situation.

  5. credible316 says: May 12, 2011 9:36 AM

    I don’t think the picture of the super rubes is helping any. We already need as much help as possible to be possitive about our team.

  6. clintonportisheadd says: May 12, 2011 9:39 AM

    So 7 middle aged men dressing as adolescents on Halloween wearing Joe Kapp throw back jerseys now constitutes a “throng”?

  7. clintonportisheadd says: May 12, 2011 9:47 AM

    “It may not kill the project, but it would make it harder to persuade the Legislature to justify foisting a new sales tax upon St. Paul and Ramsey County without a public vote. And a public vote undoubtedly would kill the project, given that so many Minnesotans seem to be opposed to the use of public funds for the stadium.”

    —————————-

    I have asked it before and I ask it again. Where are all the Minnesota Tea Party types that elected history challenged/well known nutcase Michelle Bachmann?

    These are the same voters that clamor for cutting trillions from the Federal budget while demanding the debt ceiling not be raised. But their own state is awash in red ink and not a peep about this? Bailouts for GM is a blasphemy but bailouts for the Vikings is no problem? The word hypocrite is not even close to being strong enough for them.

    No wonder nobody takes these costume wearing factually challenged old white folks seriously.

  8. jimmysee says: May 12, 2011 10:11 AM

    As a condition for support, St. Paul should require the team change its name to the “St. Paul Vikings.”

    I recall that Anaheim got screwed by the Angeles in the team name issue.

  9. recon163 says: May 12, 2011 10:29 AM

    MPR has a great article regarding the amount of taxes now paid by the residents of the state and visitors to Minnesota.

    It is under this headline, “Could Minneapolis afford to pay for a Vikings stadium?”

    A few notes:
    “Research by MPR and the Virginia-based Global Business Travel Association — or GBTA — shows that Minneapolis has some of the highest sales, hotel, food and car rental taxes of any city that hosts an NFL team.”

    “Minneapolis ranks No. 5 in terms of the total highest tax burden on travelers, according to the group’s research.”

    “The taxes don’t just apply to travelers, though. Anyone who eats in a restaurant, buys a drink, rents a car or stays in a hotel pays as well, even if they live in the city. And these aren’t just nickels and dimes. Liquor taxes can total nearly one-sixth of a drink tab. Food taxes can be nearly one-seventh of a restaurant bill.”

    “Those extra costs can make a difference in how much business a city can attract, according to Joe Bates, director of research for the GBTA’s foundation.”

    “That means a new stadium could put Minneapolis in a tax league with Chicago and New York City. That cost could drive away some of the very people who might visit Minneapolis, and spend money in the city, because of the presence of an NFL team.”

  10. bcknights says: May 12, 2011 10:30 AM

    Get this over with please! We all know that it will take public funding.

  11. purpleguy says: May 12, 2011 10:36 AM

    All Star Tribune stadium-related articles must be read with the understanding that the paper’s position is biased as a Mpls paper, owning property that would have been part of a Mpls stadium site, and participating in a press conference touting a Mpls stadium option the day before the Vikes’ scheduled stadium anouncement. Not to mention that the St. Paul mayor was on some dumbass trip to Washington related to a poetry reading during the Vikes press conference. As with the North Stars, the Wild and the Twins (thanks to Henn Cty), the city of Mpls sat on its collective asses during the stadium debate, and will lose out as a result.

  12. sudzy11 says: May 12, 2011 10:40 AM

    A state mandated sales tax for Ramsey County that is imposed without a vote of the citizens shows a total lack of respect for those citizens. But what else would you expect from politicians and the NFL. Sounds like something that could be overturned if challenged.

  13. itsallaboutmee says: May 12, 2011 11:22 AM

    purpleguy says: May 12, 2011 10:36 AM

    All Star Tribune stadium-related articles must be read with the understanding that the paper’s position is biased as a Mpls paper, owning property that would have been part of a Mpls stadium site, and participating in a press conference touting a Mpls stadium option the day before the Vikes’ scheduled stadium anouncement.

    ———————–

    Forget the paper. Lets looks at the polls.

    Everything I have seen shows the majority of the average voters in the area do not want to pay for this palace. What happened to democracy in Minnesota? Put in on the ballot and let the taxpayer decide. Whats wrong with that?

  14. krow101 says: May 12, 2011 11:30 AM

    Alert.. alert… people of Minnesota… a very wealthy upper-class man wants more money.

    The mayor will be taxing you to increase his already bulging bank account.

    Serfs are advised to be prepared to bend over one more time.

  15. huskersrock1 says: May 12, 2011 11:50 AM

    Just charge a 5 dollar surcharge on every vikings ticket.

  16. thephantomstranger says: May 12, 2011 12:06 PM

    tougie1 says:
    May 12, 2011 9:23 AM
    I need your help! Does anyone know how to cancel a bid on E-Bay? I put in a $20 bid for a Mickey Mouse Outfit. Now it seems I’m only 5 hours away from possibly owning the Minnesota Vikings.
    _________________

    Very original. Mountaindont posted the same thing a couple days ago. Perhaps you two know each other or perhaps are lovers?

  17. dcviking says: May 12, 2011 12:20 PM

    sudzy11 says: May 12, 2011 10:40 AM

    A state mandated sales tax for Ramsey County that is imposed without a vote of the citizens shows a total lack of respect for those citizens. But what else would you expect from politicians and the NFL. Sounds like something that could be overturned if challenged.

    ————————————–

    Sorry — I missed the part of the article where the state was mandating that Ramsey County impose a sales tax. It merely gives Ramsey County the right to impose a sales tax without a general referendum.

    As others have pointed out, people will rarely vote in favor of a tax increase, no matter what is being proposed — even in cases where the topic is something that’s supported universally (like new schools).

    That’s why officials (elected by the people) make those decisions — they are supposed to be able to see the bigger picture (i.e. whether the stadium is good for Ramsey County or not).

    And while everyone is entitled to an opinion on every issue, it doesn’t mean everyone should get to vote on every issue — kind of defeats the purpose of representative democracy.

  18. dcviking says: May 12, 2011 12:24 PM

    tougie1 says: May 12, 2011 9:23 AM

    I need your help! Does anyone know how to cancel a bid on E-Bay? I put in a $20 bid for a Mickey Mouse Outfit.
    ———————————-

    I bet this part really happened…

  19. stellarperformance says: May 12, 2011 12:40 PM

    tougie1 says:
    May 12, 2011 9:23 AM
    I need your help! Does anyone know how to cancel a bid on E-Bay? I put in a $20 bid for a Mickey Mouse Outfit. Now it seems I’m only 5 hours away from possibly owning the Minnesota Vikings.
    ———————————————-

    Classic and original. Great job!

  20. rcali says: May 12, 2011 1:13 PM

    How much of that $300 mill is needed for the Owners 50 yard line private box, fully catered with funds from PSL’s? Don’t worry Minny, Los Angeles isn’t going to fund a stadium either.

  21. krow101 says: May 12, 2011 1:32 PM

    Yes dcviking… you are correct comrade. There’s no reason for a vote. Our rulers know what’s best for us. They will do what’s best. The people… are sheep… and need to be led.

  22. nodak2de says: May 12, 2011 1:43 PM

    tougie1 says:
    May 12, 2011 9:23 AM
    I need your help! Does anyone know how to cancel a bid on E-Bay? I put in a $20 bid for a Mickey Mouse Outfit. Now it seems I’m only 5 hours away from possibly owning the Minnesota Vikings.

    Hilarious! I couldn’t have said it any better.

  23. dcviking says: May 12, 2011 1:59 PM

    krow101 says: May 12, 2011 1:32 PM

    Yes dcviking… you are correct comrade. There’s no reason for a vote. Our rulers know what’s best for us. They will do what’s best. The people… are sheep… and need to be led.

    ——————————————–

    Actually comrade, there was a vote — the one elected these people into office. And comrade, there will be another vote — one in which you can remove them from office if you don’t like the choices they made.

    Whether they do “what’s right” is a matter of opinion — which you get to have and express via elections.

    Finally, comrade, if you and your sheep don’t trust the way decisions are being made, you can run for office — assuming you’re not truly a sheep (though I believe you can still get married in Wisconsin if you meet this criteria).

    I don’t like the way the government spends a lot of my money, but I’m not dumb enough to believe that I get vote on expenditure…

  24. dogsweat1 says: May 12, 2011 2:20 PM

    A nice picture of all 5 Viking fans left in Minnesomalia……

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