Minnesota’s House of Representatives passed the much debated Vikings stadium bill (which would give the Vikings a new roofed stadium at a cost of $1 billion) late Monday on a 73-58 vote with one major amendment — the Vikings will have to cough up $105 million more to get the job done. That’s $105 million less the state’s taxpayers will have to fork over. That amendment lowers the state’s obligation from $398 million to $293 million, which is still an enormous amount of taxpayer money being siphoned off to assist a private enterprise.
The measure now moves on to the Minnesota Senate. If the Senate chooses to accept the House version of the bill, it would move on to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk for his signature. However, if the Senate chooses to adopt any changes, and passes it the upper house of the legislature, it would be referred back to a conference committee of the House and Senate to work out differences.
If the bill stands as it was passing out of the House, it would mean the Vikings would be on the hook for $532 million, the state $293 million and the city of Minneapolis would have to come up with $150 million.
There’s one fly in the ointment: “This proposal is not supported by the Vikings or the NFL,” said the Vikings’ Vice President of Stadium Development Lester Bagley in a written statement to the press. “It will not build a stadium, and it places the entire project in jeopardy.”
If anyone thought this first hurdle was the end of the line, think again. It’s only second down and 10.