|Minnesota Viking's Get Stadium Approval from Senate|
Friday, 11 May 2012 14:54
NFL team Minnesota Vikings, will stay in Minnesota following the Senate approving a bill Thursday that will provide $498 million in public money for the construction of a new stadium on the site of the Metrodome.
The bill was expected to be signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the bill’s most fervent champion. The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2016 season.
The Vikings agreed to increase their contribution for building costs by $50 million to $477 million. The $975 million price tag is for a fixed roof stadium. If the team decides to choose a more expensive retractable roof, it will pick up the additional cost. The state’s share of the stadium contribution — about $348 million — will come from expanded gambling options. An additional $150 million will come from a Minneapolis hospitality tax.
The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome ended in January and only a few weeks ago, the stadium plan seemed in peril because of significant resistance to the public contribution at a time of shrinking state budgets.
The Vikings are the second N.F.L. team this year to receive approval for a new stadium. The San Francisco 49ers broke ground in April on a stadium in Santa Clara that they expect to be ready for the 2014 season.
With the Vikings staying put, the focus will shift to other teams that might move if Los Angeles settles on a stadium plan, although that does not seem imminent. The St. Louis Rams, the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders have problematic stadium issues and could be candidates. The Jaguars are also a possibility, but the new owner, Shad Khan, has said he is committed to Jacksonville.