DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis leaders announced this morning that a majority of the Minneapolis City Council supports the Vikings stadium proposal. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said it is now up to state lawmakers to take action on the plan.
"If the Legislature acts, the City Council will act as well," Rybak said. "We can put 7,500 people to work right away. We can build a solution that has been out there needing one for a long, long time."
But it is still far from certain whether the Minnesota Legislature will take action on the stadium plan in the few remaining weeks left in the session. As part of the deal, the Minnesota Vikings would pay $427 million towards building the stadium with the state paying $398 million and Minneapolis paying $150 million.
The state's share of the cost would be funded through charitable gambling via electronic pull-tabs. That proposal has generated concern from charitable gambling groups and some lawmakers who question whether the revenue estimates are too high. Minnesota Revenue Commission Myron Frans stood by his department's estimates today saying it would mean more than $62 million in additional revenue in the first year for charitable gaming group. Dayton said even if the department's revenue estimates are off by one-third, there would still be enough money to cover the state's debt payments for the stadium.
Some lawmakers have said they want to see a back-up plan in case the charitable gaming money falls short of estimates. Dayton said he is open to negotiating such a plan.
When asked whether he is concerned about time running out for a deal this session, Dayton said legislative leaders can make this stadium deal happen.
"If they don't want to do it, then whether they have two day or two months they will find a reason not to do it," he said.