Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota stood with political leaders on Thursday to unveil a proposal that would build a brand-new $975 million stadium for the Vikings in downtown Minneapolis. Dayton asked for the Legislature to immediately call for action on the plan.
The plan would put the new stadium atop of the Viking's current stadium, the Metrodome. The hefty price tag would be paid half by tax payers and half by the Vikings. About $398 million from the state, $150 million from the city of Minneapolis and about $427 million from the Vikings in upfront construction costs. Vikings are expected to contribute money for operational costs over time, but much of the costs would most likely come from stadium revenues, reported The Associated Press.
The state's share would reportedly come from expected revenue from expanding gambling in the state. Minneapolis's share would come from redirecting the costs to upkeep the Metrodome.
This is an exciting day, because the dream of keeping the Minnesota Vikings here for generations to come is close at hand, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said, according to The Associated Press. Dayton was fearful that Zygi and Mark Wilf relocate their team if a new stadium was not built. The Wilfs have been asking for public assistant for over a decade to create a new stadium.
But the tough economy caused issues in coming up with the cash and the Republicans reportedly denied any financing to the stadium based on tax increases, reported The Associated Press.
Dayton and his fellow politicians are hoping that the stadium would be seen as a people's stadium. They want it to be used by high schools and colleges alike for special events.
Dayton also pushed the benefits the stadium would bring to the state. He claims that nearly 8,000 contraction jobs, 5,000 supply jobs and about 2,000 permanent jobs would be created as a result of the stadium.
The Metrodome opened in 1982, but for the past several years, the Vikings have lagged behind the rest of the league in annual revenue, even though the dome serves as a multipurpose arena. Still, members of the City Council are skeptical of diverting resources to the sports franchises. They cite a provision in the legislature that prohibits the city of Minneapolis to contribute more that $10 million to any sports team, unless it is approved through a public vote. The legislature will have to override the provision.