Senate Approves Vikings Stadium Bill With Changes Of Their Own
Monday the House passed a stadium plan with some modifications. Tuesday it was the Senates turn and after 11 hours of debate, they also have passed a Vikings stadium bill by a vote of 38-28. Like the House, the Minnesota Senate made changes and now the two sides must compromise before sending the bill to its final destination to be signed by Governor Mark Dayton.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune one of the changes involved adding user fees to help pay for the project and another basically assured that the stadium would not face a referendum in Minneapolis and that money spent on remodeling the city-owned Target Center as part of the Vikings stadium plan would be exempt from a referendum. Another change was the proposed inclusion of new user fees that would help to pay for the state's share of the stadium. This would include allowing electronic bingo and pull tabs in Minnesota's bars and restaurants. This was something the House plan did not include and something the Vikings have not been in favor of in the past.
Then Senate also proposed letting the Vikings keep the profits from naming rights to the stadium, but allowing the state to earn profits from securing naming rights to a plaza that would be located outside the new stadium. This would actually be better for the Vikings in the big picture as it would up their stadium contribution by $25 million, rather than the $105 million increase proposed by the House plan.
Although not done, it appears the Vikings stadium plan is in the home stretch and by weeks end a finalized plan can hopefully be presented to Dayton to be signed. Then the ball will then be in the court of the Wilf family to see if the changes the state included will work for ownership.