Vikings stadium on life support after House body says no | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Vikings stadium on life support after House body says no

Billionaire's stadium fails

Posted: April 17, 2012 - 7:54pm

Vikings stadium on life support after House body says no

A 15-member Minnesota House Government Operations Committee voted at 10 p.m., Monday evening 9-6 against the Vikings stadium bill. It was perhaps the last effort to secure taxpayer funding for the new stadium before this session of the legislature adjourns.

“Somebody’s going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat for this thing to be alive at this point,” said Rep. Morrie Lanning, the chief House sponsor of the $975 million stadium plan, according to the Washington Post. A Senate version of the stadium bill has been stalled in that chamber for the last month.

Lester Bagley, the Vikings’ point man on the stadium push at the Capitol, said afterward that the team was “extremely disappointed” at the outcome. “I guess I would ask the state, what else would you expect us to do? What else can we do?” he told the Post.

Perhaps the most telling sentiment voice in the committee came from Rep. Dean Urdahl of R-Grove City, when he open the session with this statement: “Why should the state of Minnesota contribute to a stadium for a billionaire owner?”

Great question Mr. Urdahl.

Well, according to Star Tribune sports guru, Sid Hartman: “If this pattern continues, Mr. Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers — who refuses to get behind the stadium bill in the Legislature — the Vikings will be sold and the buyer will pay a big price if he can move the team to Los Angeles, which I’m sure will happen if the Wilfs sell the team.

Well, Mr. Hartman, Mr. Zellers is an elected official. He is tasked with doing what is best for the citizens who elected him. The owners of the Minnesota Vikings are only charged with making a profit. If they need to have the tax-weary citizens of Minnesota cough-up nearly $500 million so the Vikings can enrich a few owners, then I guess the Vikings need to find a state that has the billions to build a new stadium.

However, if you’re suggesting that the Vikings move to Los Angeles, California, Mr. Hartman you might want to take a look at that state’s fiscal stability — Sid, they’re broke!

—Keith Hansen