Somewhere in Los Angeles, AEG’s Tim Leiweke is rubbing his hands together maniacally.
The Vikings have only six more games at the Metrodome before their lease expires. The Vikings want to build a new stadium in Ramsey County. The Vikings want the Legislature to approve a hybrid public-private financing plan that would include an increased sales tax in Ramsey County without a public vote on the issue.
And the public isn’t standing for it.
According to Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a public hearing on Wednesday night featured a much stronger contingent of opponents than supporters to the current plan, with “dozens” of Ramsey County residents saying that they want a chance to vote on any proposed tax increase.
Since it’s believed that a public vote would result in a resounding rejection of the proposed sales tax, a public vote would likely kill the deal.
Thus, absent a new plan, a new stadium for the Vikings won’t be built. At least not in Minnesota.
The question becomes whether the Vikings would try to play in L.A. as soon as next year, at the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum, or whether the team would agree to stay put for one more year, hopeful that a heightened sense of urgency will get a deal done. Folks in Minnesota likely will realize, eventually, that they need to do what needs to be done to help keep the team from leaving.
Here’s hoping they realize this before it’s too late to keep the Vikings from leaving.