The House passed a Vikings stadium bill Monday night:
The Minnesota House has approved a plan to build a $975 million stadium for the Vikings, but with a big boost in what the team would pay.
The amended plan that passed 73-58 Monday night would raise the Vikings’ share to $532 million, or about 55 percent of construction costs. That knocks about $105 million off the state’s contribution. The team has said it wouldn’t pay more than $427 million.
The House bill won’t make it out of the conference committee intact. People that think the Vikings will willingly agree to paying $105,000,000 more than the price they negotiated with Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders isn’t realistic.
That said, it’s a worthwhile amendment to the stadium bill because the worst that can happen is that it’s dropped in conference committee deliberations. Legislators that pushed the amendment can simply reply that they were just attempting to get the best deal possible for taxpayers.
The NFL reacted quickly to the contribution change:
Eric Grubman, the league’s executive vice president of venture and business operations, cautioned Monday that amending the bill to require the Vikings to pay more to help finance the state’s contribution are deal breakers as far as the NFL is concerned.
“After months of negotiation and compromise and the building of a legislative coalition, albeit a fragile one, any meaningful change of the bill drastically changes the probability of success,” Grubman told the Pioneer Press. “You can’t change the deal at the last minute.”
Rep. Steve Gottwalt posted these notes on Facebook after the bill passed the House:
Tough vote. Some good points made about financing, revenue and priorities, but this needs to move forward. Made the bill better by adopting an amendment increasing the Vikings share of the cost by capturing naming rights revenues for the state. Senate takes up the bill next.
Vikings stadium bill is now in the hands of the Senate. If they concur with the House version and pass it, it goes to the Governor for signing. If not, there will be a conference committee to hash out differences between the House and Senate versions, and then it will go back to both bodies for final passage, and then (if it passes both) it would go to the Governor for his signature.
I’m still not a huge fan of the bill but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the bill hasn’t improved in favor of the taxpayers over the past 2-3 weeks. Like I said before, the bill will get changed in conference committee negotiations. The final bill will look quite different than the bill that the House passed tonight.
Comments welcome at Let Freedom Ring.