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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings stadium will have to wait

    Posted on Thu, May. 18, 2006

    [size=18px]Vikings stadium will have to wait[/size]

    STADIUM DEBATES: The Twins' proposal advances after the House-Senate conference committee decides to sever the two proposals

    BY BRIAN BAKST
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Twins stood on the doorstep late Wednesday of landing their new ballpark after a House-Senate conference committee essentially agreed to make the Vikings wait until next year for approval of their stadium.

    Nothing was formally ratified, but the Senate dropped its insistence that a full financing plan for the Vikings move in lock step with a Twins proposal.

    Twins Sports Inc. president Jerry Bell said Minnesota baseball fans should take heart.

    "There's some reason to be optimistic they may see baseball outside, on grass. We're closer than we've been before," he said.

    Despite earlier talk of having separate votes in the Legislature for Twins and Vikings proposals, the chief Senate negotiator said he wouldn't insist on making the House vote on the football stadium.

    Sen. Steve Kelley, DFL-Hopkins, said he didn't want the Vikings to be marred in the future by a negative recorded vote. His offer includes language to make sure the Vikings don't have to start from square one in 2007.

    "It's designed -- as much as I hate to say this -- to keep this alive for another year," he said of the Vikings portion of his offer to the House.

    The committee adjourned until this afternoon. Many key details need to be worked out, and the Senate hasn't abandoned a related push for regional mass transit funding as part of the stadium bill.

    All night, lawmakers were headed toward severing the two stadium proposals. The

    Twins are a good bet to get their stadium while the Vikings have been clinging to fleeting hopes for several days.

    Hoping for a last-minute reprieve, the Vikings tweaked their stadium plan yet again, telling the conference committee that a property tax break and proceeds from the sale of the Metrodome could help cover a funding gap for the $675 million building.

    House Speaker Steve Sviggum said he was willing to bring a Vikings bill to the floor for the vote, but was making no guarantees on the outcome.

    "Do we have the votes to pass it on the floor? That's not my job," Sviggum, R-Kenyon, said. "I'm certainly questioning whether there's 69 votes to pass the bill."

    The Twins have stood by as the Vikings reworked their plan a few times. The fate of the two teams were hitched after the Senate passed a dual stadium bill; the House has only passed a Twins plan for a $522 million Minneapolis ballpark based on a 0.15 percent Hennepin County sales tax.

    House members were firm on having a Twins-only bill. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has said a dual bill probably won't fly with him.

    Rep. Neil Peterson, R-Bloomington, said neither stadium can get built if the two remained linked.

    "We need to separate these conjoined twins," he said.

    Rep. Brad Finstad, R-New Ulm, was more frank. "I'm not going to bring a bill back to the House floor that ties the two together."

    Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has committed $280 million to the stadium and Anoka County has agreed to impose a 0.75 percent sales tax for an equal share. The remaining $115 million has been harder to come by.

    "This stadium cannot be financed without some form of state participation," said Lester Bagley, a Vikings vice president.

    In the latest version, the Vikings would have captured profits from the Metrodome's sale. No appraisal has been done. In addition, the team wanted a property tax exemption for the 740-acre stadium and retail development. And, if need be, it would have fallen back on taxes on game tickets, food and beverage during Vikings home games.

    The Metrodome is now used by the Vikings, Twins and University of Minnesota.

    Vikings stadium will have to wait

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    From KFFL;

    Vikings | Team modifies stadium proposal in hope of winning approval
    Wed, 17 May 2006 19:26:49 -0700

    Brian Bakst, of the Associated Press, reports the Minnesota Vikings modified their stadium plan Wednesday, May 17, by telling a conference committee that a property tax break and proceeds from the sale of the Metrodome could help cover a funding gap. The newest version of the bill has the team taking the profits from the Metrodome's sale. The team also wants a property tax exemption for the stadium and retail development and it could fall back on taxes on game tickets, food and beverage during the team's home games. House speaker Steve Sviggum said he was willing to bring the team's bill to the floor for the vote, but has made no guarantees on the outcome.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    Posted on Thu, May. 18, 2006

    [size=18px]Vikings' stadium hopes likely dead[/size]

    But Twins ballpark appears headed for House, Senate votes

    BY ARON KAHN
    Pioneer Press


    Despite a massive public relations campaign and a visit from pro football's commissioner, the Minnesota Vikings' stadium chase appeared to come to an end at midnight Wednesday.

    The team's last-ditch proposal went unrequited at a state legislative conference committee that spun out a mixed bag of stadium proposals in an effort to build consensus for a plan the Legislature could love.

    That ultimate compromise, expected to be endorsed by the committee today, essentially will offer the original Minnesota Twins ballpark bill for an expected affirmative vote on the House and Senate floors. No referendum would be required on the Hennepin County sales tax that would finance three-quarters of the project.

    But the Vikings plan will be shifted to the 2007 legislative session. That was all but assured when the team's most crucial supporter at the Capitol, Sen. Steve Kelley of Hopkins, conference committee co-chairman and DFL gubernatorial candidate, offered a proposal that instructs the team and its partner, Anoka County, to hone an agreement for a retractable roof stadium during the legislative interim.

    Dave Johnson, Anoka County's lobbyist and a former state senator, said it was clear to him that neither Gov. Tim Pawlenty nor the House leadership wanted to adopt a Vikings stadium bill this year, and a reluctant Kelley conceded his uphill battle was bound for defeat.

    Indeed, as legislators picked up their many documents and headed for their cars early today, Kelley said the Vikings recommendation was the best he could do for the team. Had he somehow forced a vote on the House floor, a likely defeat would taint the team's stadium campaign next year, he said.

    The denouement followed a high-stakes exchange of proposals between House and Senate members — a polite but strained tug of war that began to wear out the conferees as the legislative session headed toward a Monday adjournment at the latest.

    The Vikings had hoped to be part of the Twins bill, given the baseball club's success at the Capitol, but House members on the conference committee refused to tie the stadium plans together out of a fear that a conjoined Vikings proposal might kill the Twins ballpark.

    "We need to separate these conjoined twins,' said Rep. Neil Peterson, R-Bloomington, in a gentle reference to a recent high-profile surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

    So the Twins bill, which is essentially the measure passed by the House in April, undoubtedly will be offered on the floors of both chambers in the next couple of days as the choice of the conference committee, along with a recommendation that the Vikings crusade continue next year.

    That inevitability seemed certain as House members stuck to their Twins-only plan while senators pressed several times to marry the ballpark proposal with a Vikings stadium and hence be done with the thorny matter of sports facilities for years to come.

    The Twins bill calls for a 0.15 percent Hennepin County sales tax — 3 cents on a $20 purchase — that would pay for most of the $522 million open-air project in the Minneapolis Warehouse District. The team would cover the rest, plus pay for operating expenses estimated at $10 million a year. It would receive all revenue from the ballpark.

    The new Vikings arrangement, to be considered next year, would pay for a $115 million retractable roof from three sources:

    • A Metrodome land sale, once that stadium is not longer needed.

    • An exemption from the state commercial/industrial property tax in the 740-acre stadium district in Blaine.

    • "User fees" paid by Vikings fans — captured by retaining sales taxes on tickets, food and beverages for the 10 home games each year. This source would be a backup should the first two funds not raise enough cash.

    "It's our best effort, our best product,' said Vikings vice president Lester Bagley.

    Together with $280 million from team owner Zygi Wilf, and an equal amount from a 0.75 percent Anoka County sales tax — 15 cents on a $20 purchase — the arrangement would create a $675 million stadium.

    The proposal forgoes another $115 million that the Vikings and Anoka County had been seeking from the state for expedited road improvements — which previously brought the price tag to $790 million.

    The committee still needs to reconcile a transit matter. Senators want the Twins bill to include money for mass transit improvements while House members say the issue should be addressed in a transportation bill.

    Meanwhile, a second conference committee Wednesday night began trying to reconcile major differences in bills that would pave the way for a $248 million football stadium on the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus.

    The House plan calls for the 50,000-seat open-air stadium to be built with a $9.4 million-a-year state payment, a $50-a-year student fee and a $35 million naming rights deal with TCF Bank. It also requires the university to create a huge nature preserve in Rosemount and eventually allow the state to buy the property for $1.

    The Senate version increases the state contribution to $12.9 million a year and drops the student fee, the TCF naming rights deal and the nature preserve agreement. It was to be funded by a statewide sports memorabilia tax, but the committee voted Wednesday night to delete it from the compromise bill.

    Aron Kahn can be reached at [email protected] or 651-228-5420.

    Vikings' stadium hopes likely dead

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
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    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    DUMB

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    It is a shame that they can't get this resolved.

  6. #6
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    If they don't get it done this year, don't they realize the cost will go up next year?

    All it will do is postpone any tax increase one lousy year.

    The way this is going, I'm beginning to loose faith that a Vikings stadium will ever get built.....


    .....at least in Minnesota.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  7. #7
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    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    Agree with ya Singer.


    It makes no sense, with the way the Fed has been raising rates, to wait another year. Why not get them all done in one year? As previously stated, costs are only going to go up and both sides are going to only get more pissed at each other.

    Fucking politians only wanted to forgo the Vikes proposal as they new it was an election year and didn't sense the public was fulling behind the Vikes proposal.

    No offense to anyone, but screw the Twinkies. I'm not a baseball fan and everytime I see a twins game on TV, the place is empty. Empty like the way Devil Rays games look like on TV also down here in Tampa.

    I hope one of two things happens:

    a) Wilf and Anoka county (or the NFL) work out a deal where they can circumvent the state for the most part (u can't get around them completely) and then they cant' take any credit what-so-ever for anything.

    OR

    b) Wilf pulls a Norm Green and moves this team out of MN right under everyone's nose. The MN gov't in general is in chaos. When I left MN in 2001, there was a HUGE surplus and now the state is operating in the red ??? Then we will hear everyone crying about not having the Vikings, the way they did when the North Stars did ....... and they can all become PACKER FANS !!!!! For being so short-sighted and not being able to see the forest through the trees.

  8. #8
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    :sad: Guess we'll have to wait 'til next year....

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    I just don't understand it. You have a cheapskate owner in Pohlad. who is going to get a new stadium. Then they say no to a guy that wants to pump 1 BILLION into the states economy. That should automatically get the Vikes stadium done. They are morons.

  10. #10
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings stadium will have to wait

    "KorenWhiskey" wrote:
    I just don't understand it. You have a cheapskate owner in Pohlad. who is going to get a new stadium. Then they say no to a guy that wants to pump 1 BILLION into the states economy. That should automatically get the Vikes stadium done. They are morons.
    I agree, either they are morons or there is something we don't know about...I'm going with morons. $1,000,000,000 pumped into the economy sure can't hurt. Just to put that into perspective, if you earned a dollar for every second that you are alive you would be 32 yrs old before you had a billion dollars. Crazy.

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