Minneapolis stadium could be prevented by city charter

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Though Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton plans to propose that a new Vikings stadium be constructed on the site of the Metrodome, the project entails many challenges.

Given the current mood of the electorate in Minnesota, the biggest challenge comes from getting the place built without having to put the matter on the ballot.

In 1997, voters adopted a provision in the Minneapolis charter that requires public approval of any payment of $10 million or more by the city for a sports facility.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the powers-that-be plan to circumvent that requirement by depositing city sales tax revenues into an independent stadium authority that would then spend the money.

Good luck with that.

The maneuver would render the charter provision meaningless, allowing the city to ignore the requirement any time it wants by setting up an independent authority that would receive and spend the money that the city directly would be spending.  Frankly, it’s surprising that anyone would be able to articulate that possibility with a straight face.

So maybe the Vikings have reportedly decided to reluctantly accept the Metrodome site because the Vikings realize that the Metrodome site, along with any other potential location in Minneapolis, is doomed.  In the end, the team’s preferred location of Arden Hills could become the only viable location for a new Vikings stadium.

Other than, you know, Los Angeles.

UPDATE 9:21 p.m. ET:  Several of you have pointed out that Target Field was constructed in Minneapolis notwithstanding the city charter provision in question.  However, city tax revenues were not used for Target Field.  Instead, a county-wide tax was implemented via a legislative device that avoided a public vote.  The ultimate challenge for the Vikings and the politicians is to find a way to publicly fund the stadium without exposing the process to the inevitable failure of a public vote.

73 responses to “Minneapolis stadium could be prevented by city charter

  1. Does anyone care? This is one of the most irrelevant franchises in all of professional sports. They could move to Russia and nobody would give two damns. Enough of the stadium stories about this sorry ass team.

  2. The voters who were smart enough to head off corporate welfare for an NFL billionaire will not let the scumbag politicians pull and end around maneuver. This will be challenged in court and unless they manage to heavily bribe the judge they will not be allowed to do so.

  3. All those years, wasted… Last minute? No! Past deadline changes. Minnesota authorities are beyond incompetent.

  4. Mike, if that were true…..wouldn’t that same public vote have to have taken place before Target field was built??? I’m 100% sure that Target field didn’t have to pass a public vote because it never would have passed. So how is that true?

  5. If they do re-build on the Metrodome site and play OUTDOORS for a few years what happens when the fans find that they actually prefer that setting? What if they actually go back to the SB? (just throwing it out there) Dome life has been nice but not as homey (straight cash) as playing outdoors.

  6. It’s a shame the Vikings may move, but I can’t see why the public has to help foot the bill for a stadium . I’d love to see what kind of profit these owners are making, It’s hard to believe they need the public’s help building it

  7. swimming pools… movie stars…

    ////////////////

    or move to san antone. they have a stadium…

    damas y hombres… sus san antonio vaqueros!

    ////////////////

    the nfl had to drop the vikings, since the lions graduated from semipro status.

  8. “The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the powers-that-be plan to circumvent that requirement by depositing city sales tax revenues into an independent stadium authority that would then spend the money.”

    We fought the Revolutionary War for something like that. Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of an occasional revolution.

  9. And the comedy saga continues in Manya$$holesrus, MN.

    MN, the state that’s taking their history of dawdling incompetence to a whole new level.

  10. “In the end, the team’s preferred location of Arden Hills could become the only viable location for a new Vikings stadium.”
    ——

    Arden Hills won’t be viable until they find a local partner that’s not named Ramsey County — they’ve already committed to requiring a referendum to spend county cash, which dooms that location as well.

    Shakopee, on the other hand…?

  11. Why not just let the people vote on it. If there are enough people to support the expense, the state deserves a team. If not, it would seem pretty clear that the team has good reason to move. The Vikings should be anxious to put it to a ballot as a referendum on the team. If they win the measure, they get the money they want. If they lose the measure, they get the excuse they need to move to Los Angeles. It’s win-win for Zigi!

  12. It seems to me that they are basically asking the vikings to leave. It’s not that an NFL franchise/owner can’t build their own competitive stadium (see Robert Kraft/Gillette), but more that LA is now in the mix. Moving to LA seems like a no brainer at this point, which is too bad.

  13. fittytuckin says: Jan 25, 2012 8:36 PM

    Does anyone care? This is one of the most irrelevant franchises in all of professional sports. They could move to Russia and nobody would give two damns. Enough of the stadium stories about this sorry ass team.

    —————————

    I care……

    If you are tired of the stories, dont read them. This stuff is relevant to fans of the Vikings who live around the Minneapolis area who still want to see them play in Minnesota.

  14. Does the Minn. Court system exist? A baseball stadium built without the peoples consent in a liberal and educated city sounds incredible. Now football too.

  15. How did Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium get accomplished I might ask?

    ———————————————–

    Target field, the county not the city was the local partner.
    TCF, isnt in minneapolis, plus a city wouldnt pay for part of a college stadium

  16. “[The] powers-that-be plan to circumvent that requirement by depositing city sales tax revenues into an independent stadium authority that would then spend the money.”

    You hire lawyers for two reasons: 1.tell you the law, and 2.help you get around the law.

    How many different ways can a snake slither? And, can they slither all the way to LA?

  17. I live in Minnesota, I love the Minnesota Vikings and don’t want them to leave. We are 2 years removed from an NFC Championship game. I’m sick of hearing about this stadium crap too. Get over it, don’t need to be a jerk, don’t read the article.

  18. Lose the roof! Granted crunching the $ suggests that an all-.purpose domed venue would attract more events and make State happy but an open air football only stadium would not only create a killer home field advantage, re-energize the fan base and would create Winning,, which heals all wounds. Vikings were dominant pre-Metrodome

  19. Why not move it to Fargo? North Dakota is the wealthiest state in the nation! 26 new millionairs happening every month from the oil fields. The Bank of North Dakota could write a check and not even make a dent in their war chest.

    Or maybe big bad Minnesota could ask for a simple fee loan from the little neighbor they make fun of. Ya sure you bet ya….

  20. Minnesota will be better served putting their money into education. It’s obvious that barely anyone in the state has a clue about how business works, supply and demand or simple economics.

    Time to pack up and move. This fiasco will never be resolved and the lease is already up.

  21. @fittyuckin. u must b extremely uneducated. do a little reading before u say the sixth most winning NFL team of all time and 3rd most playoff attending team of all time is irrelevant. the packers went 30 years and only one our division twice but they r relevant. the fact that we always have one of the top competing divisions makes us relevant. go read a book

  22. Ahaha!! This literally gets funnier by the minute!! Also, fittytuckin, (great screen name by the way) he will never stop writing articles about the vikings. Not even after they move to LA. He loves them more than his first born son.

  23. fittytuckin says:
    Jan 25, 2012 8:36 PM
    Does anyone care? This is one of the most irrelevant franchises in all of professional sports. They could move to Russia and nobody would give two damns. Enough of the stadium stories about this sorry ass team.
    —————————————————–
    cover yourself! you enVy is showing

  24. In the heyday of Al Capone and friends, the wonderful leaders of Minneapolis welcomed the murdering mobs with a smile for the revenue and commerce (I’m sure no money directly changed hands 🙂 ). Maybe this is Karma

  25. tcf stadium not in Minneapolis?

    address:

    2009 Southeast University Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

    was it exempt from this rule because its a state run school?

  26. At most, 3 weeks until the move to Los Angeles becomes official. Minnesota doesn’t deserve a team. Metrodome has the lowest seating capacity of all NFL Stadiums, with the NFL’s lowest ticket prices (Lower Bowl, Row 1, 50-yard line seats only $20 @ face value) & they still can’t sell out without a corporate bailout unless they’re playing the Packers & 60% of the place is wearing Green & Gold.

  27. San Antonio Vikings already. Isn’t it obvious by now. No deals to be made in Los Angeles and and an even more remote chance in Minnesota. South Texas or bust for the Vikings.

  28. Wow “pack13queenso”, you really need to fact check before you start typing next time. Metrodome is definitely NOT smallest capacity stadium (Solider Field is), AVERAGE dome ticket price is $81 (front row 50yd line substantially higher than average), and they only had corporate bailout 2 times in past 5 years (sold out every game this season)….oh yeah and they have higher all time winning percentage than the green bay team. Just another pretentious packer fan talking “stats” (trash).

  29. The Ramsey County site should get green lighted for these reasons:
    1. Hennepin County was able to levy a 0.15% sales tax to fund the Twins stadium w/o a public referendum. Ramsey County should be allowed this same opportunity to develop vacant property in its jurisdiction.
    2. Citizens elect public leaders to make decisions like these that are in the best interest of the County, State, etc. and not individuals. If every decision went to voter referendum, than nothing would get done.
    3. The TCAAP is an eye-sore easily visible from 35W and something needs to be done with the property. It will be much less costly to clean up to industrial standards (stadium) than residential standards.
    4. If we get something approved we will create many construction jobs for an industry that sorely needs some help.
    5. It will spur other economic development in the area leading to more jobs.

    Let’s go…get it done!

  30. No matter who the owners are, no matter who the coaches are, no matter who the players are this team is dysfunctional, from the janitors and ticket takers and concession workers straight up to ownership.

    Moving to any state will not shrug off this team’s dysfunction.

  31. The people of Minnesota have basically been telling the Vikings for years now…”Don’t let the door hit ya!” If Zygi hasn’t gotten that message by now, he’s dumber than I thought. And I think he’s pretty dumb.

    The sun is shining in Los Angeles, Mr. Wilf.

  32. If/when the voters say no then the only way public funds should be used to pay for the stadium is via a tax on all ticket sales. Personally I think it’s stupid for any citizenry to get suckered into buying a stadium or arena for any team.

  33. Don’t know what you guys are talking about vikes not getting sell outs but I watched the lions play there a lot and that’s one of the loudest stadiums in the nfl,I wouldn’t want the move to another city to happen because of this .its not like LA cares about anything football anyway if they did they would have had their own expansion team all ready .you had ur chance now u have the raiders .shut up !

  34. pack13queens0 says:
    Jan 25, 2012 11:07 PM
    At most, 3 weeks until the move to Los Angeles becomes official. Minnesota doesn’t deserve a team. Metrodome has the lowest seating capacity of all NFL Stadiums, with the NFL’s lowest ticket prices (Lower Bowl, Row 1, 50-yard line seats only $20 @ face value) & they still can’t sell out without a corporate bailout unless they’re playing the Packers & 60% of the place is wearing Green & Gold.
    ……
    Not sure where you geot your info from on ticket prices but everything in your above statement is a a BALD FACED LIE!!! If you are getting lower level tickets for $20 a piece……or tickets ANYWHERE in the dome for $20 a piece and making it through the gate, you have one heck of a hookup. I have never seen a ticket for a Vikings game with a face value of $20 in my 20+ years of attending Vikings games. Why would you come on here and just make up lies? You and your other log in gb4mn0 need to just go back to crying in your beer after your team had the biggest CHOKE in NFL playoffs HISTORY. Stop trolling on Vikings blogs and switching back and forth between screen names to try and pretend you are two seperate Sconi haters.

  35. minnesconsin wrote:
    “Arden Hills won’t be viable until they find a local partner that’s not named Ramsey County. . . .”

    I know both Minneapolis and Arden Hills are in Ramsey County. But I didn’t know Arden Hills, a city independent and separate from Minneapolis, fell under the rules of the Minneapolis charter, nor that Ramsey County fell under the rules of the Minneapolis charter.

    When did that happen? And do the residents of Arden Hills know it happened?

    And the other residents of Ramsey County who don’t live in Minneapolis, do they know they have to bow down, worship and obey the Minneapolis charter, whether they want to or not?

  36. pack13queens0 wrote:
    “Metrodome has the . . . NFL’s lowest ticket prices (Lower Bowl, Row 1, 50-yard line seats only $20 @ face value).

    That’s an interesting stat, pack13queens0, considering Ticket News, on February 11, 2011, announced:

    ‘Vikings season tickets for next year will continue to range from $29 to $128 per game.’

    Ticket News based it’s report on an article from the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis.

    So, pack13queens0, if the cheapest ticket was $20, why was it reported, that for 2011 the cheapest ticket was $29?

    Can you provide a source for your ticket price? Or did you just pull a figure out of the lowest part of the lower GI tract?

  37. @ pack13.. not one thing u just said is true.. face value of upper deck tickets are 80 for preseason games. n last pack vike game in the dome was.not even close to 60% pack fans. u r one of those dumb pack fans that don’t even realize how much TV revenue u will lose if we move considering how many people watch the Vikes play packers.

  38. Seems to me, Mr. Wulff needs to build the stadium with his own money and financing in Arden Hills
    —————————————- 
    1. Call Mayflower Moving
    2. Load trucks
    3. Drive to L.A.
    4. Say thank you to all the ungrateful fans In M.N.

     

  39. The dumbest people post here…
    Deserve a sports entertainment team?
    Corporate welfare is a right?
    Vikings irrelevant to the nfl?
    I had season tix for over 20 years. The vikes are the only sports i watch. Hell, being a vikes was a requirement for my wife. And i do not support any public funding of their business…. Unless of course the public subsidizes my business first… That wld be fair. Give me 30% of my business costs and boom! Im all for it… Anyone who thinks the vikes to la is even a remote possibility is a little light in the loafers.

  40. pack13 you’re an idiot trying to claim 20$ front row 50 yd line. That’s seriously the dumbest thing anyone has ever tried to claim in the comments on this site.

  41. Move this garbage franchise already. When was the last time they won a Super Bowl? Uh…oh yeah. They haven’t. Pathetic excuse through and through. Obviously the fans don’t have the sack to approve an appropriate facility to play in other than the Circus tent they already built.

  42. We’re sort of going in a never ending circle of speculation on this topic. There is a city charter that basically prevents a sports stadium being built in Minneapolis w/o a vote. Except the state legislature can override that municipal law. It seems like every time you write one newish thing about this ridiculous Vikings saga you forget a previous thing.

  43. How many more slaps in the face will you endure Zygi??? If you cannot afford to build your own stadium there at least be a decent businessman and take your team where it will be welcome and appreciated, it seems to me Minnesota is not that place!!

  44. While I understand there is federal and state funding for infrastructure, this is the same community that saw a major bridge collapse and people die.
    Maybe instead of creating corporate welfare for billionaires, the fair Twin Cities should tell Mr. Wulf to finance his own stadium, just like folks in other industries have to do everyday.
    Perhaps that money could best be spent so people driving over a bridge don’t have fear for their lives.
    No one has given a solid reason why the Vikings can’t play at the U-M. When they played there after the MetroDump’s roof collapsed it was quite an event.

    I support teams that have gotten tax breaks and public support, the Packers and the Brewers, but I’ve reached a point where if tax money is used on stadium projects it should come as a loan to be repaid to the public coffers with interest, similar to the auto industry bailouts last year.

  45. This stuff isn’t rocket science.

    Localities are not under any obligation to provide funding for an NFL stadium.

    NFL team owners are not under any obligation to provide a football team for a particular city/county/region.

    To get these things worked out requires the sort of give and take compromise that normal people engage in on a daily basis with one another at work, at home, and in public, except on a billion dollar scale.

    If you can’t get along with your boss/wife/friends, and you can’t find a compromise solution to the problem you are facing, then after awhile you simply end the relationship and move on. It is almost too late for a compromise in Minnesota. Wilf should move on.

  46. If Minnesota didn’t cave to the northstars, they certainly won’t bend over for a nfl team.

  47. Come to San Antonio, Ziggy.

    They have a stadium ready in a state where football is King. You have tons of corporate support in near by Austin. The weather is great, there is no state income tax, many players come from Texas and would like to play in front of their family and friends.

  48. The Twin Cities TV stations would actually gain if the Vikings left. Their TV ratings are very poor, the only time they get watched is when they’re losing to the Packers. Packer games always get very high ratings in Minnesota better than the Vikings as a matter of fact.

  49. Thank you, PFT for actually covering the stadium debate with vigilance.

    Everything published by the Star Tribune online is about 3 days too late. It’s pathetic.

  50. critter69 says:
    Jan 26, 2012 1:18 AM

    I know both Minneapolis and Arden Hills are in Ramsey County. But I didn’t know Arden Hills, a city independent and separate from Minneapolis, fell under the rules of the Minneapolis charter, nor that Ramsey County fell under the rules of the Minneapolis charter.

    When did that happen? And do the residents of Arden Hills know it happened?

    And the other residents of Ramsey County who don’t live in Minneapolis, do they know they have to bow down, worship and obey the Minneapolis charter, whether they want to or not?
    ___________

    Minneapolis is in Hennepin County. The Minneapolis charter has nothing to do with either Hennepin or Ramsey County.

    What I don’t understand is why Hennepin County can increase a sales tax without a referendum to build the Twins stadium but Ramsey County can’t increase a sales tax without a referendum to build a Vikings stadium.

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