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Vikings Stadium Plan Passes Minnesota House; Ownership Asked To Pay More

Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images

In a big step forward for those who support a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota House voted 73-58 to approve a public subsidy package for a new stadium, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.  It will now head toward the state Capitol for final passage.  The stadium project could go to the Senate for a vote as soon as today.  If all goes well, it could be ready for Governor Mark Dayton to sign into law by the end of the week.  However, Viking’s owner Zygi Wilf may not be 100% pleased with the plan that was passed.

The passage came after hours of debate and a change to the original plan.  House members approved changing the plan so that the Vikings would have to pay $105 million more than they agreed, while saving the state $105 million.  It would require the Wilfs to share naming rights for the stadium, rather than keep that money for themselves.  Is essence, if puts the Viking’s owners on the hook for 55% of stadium costs, as well as having them pay for any cost overruns.  There has been no comment from the Wilfs or anyone from the Minnesota Vikings ownership since this passed, so it will be interesting to hear if they agree to it or walk.

While I think it’s taking a gamble to pass a plan that alters the financial obligation of team ownership without first getting their input, I do see the sense in having the team be on the hook for 55% and the state take on the rest.  I support the stadium and believe it’s good for the entire state, but I realize the Wilfs will make the most money on this deal so having them pay a little more is understandable.  The Wilfs can make up this money fairly quickly and they know it, even if they won’t publicly admit it.   Besides, if this passes by the end of the week and the Wilfs walk anyway then they will look worse than our elected officials had this not passed at all.

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