Monday, the House Government Operations Committee received only six votes for the Minnesota Vikings new stadium proposal, with nine voting against it. The outcome has cast major doubt on whether the bill will get approval this year.
According to a report on ESPN.com, “the proposal that fell in the House committee would have split the tab three ways for a stadium proposed to be built at the current Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis: $398 million from the state from taxes on expanded gambling, $150 million from the city of Minneapolis from existing sales taxes and $427 million from the Vikings with assistance likely from the NFL.”
With this most recent failure, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has made it clear that the bill approval may have to wait another year, and if it’s not passed, the Vikings could leave town.
“We’ve got to get a stadium next year or the Vikings will leave,” Dayton said. “I mean, it’s just as clear as that. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t not do a new stadium and have the Vikings remain here for very long.”
To this notion, Vikings vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley said,
“The last governor said in 2006 we’ll come back and work on yours next year. That was six years ago,” said Bagley. “No action this year is a decision.”
Some like Senate sponsor Julie Rosen, are remaining optimistic about the bill,
“I think people are trying to find out what’s the next move, and to me it’s obvious: You still continue to work on getting it out of Local Gov, and keep plugging away. This place works fairly amazing. We can still resurrect something,” Rosen said.
Regardless of who says what, most fans are growing tired of this situation. Several months ago, it seemed very likely a bill would get approved, and that everyone involved would be able to get to work on the new stadium, but it just hasn’t happened.
It doesn’t seem like the powers that be, want to lose the Vikings, but if they don’t start to compromise soon, leaving town becomes a realistic option for the franchise.