New Vikings' Stadium Agreement: the "People's Stadium"

By KBJR News 1

March 1, 2012 Updated Mar 1, 2012 at 7:21 PM CDT

Minneapolis, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Governor Dayton called the agreement a remarkable accomplishment: "...achieved through many, many hours of very hard work, by some very talented and dedicated people."

But, according to Dayton, now the real work begins: persuading a majority of the Minneapolis city councilors and state legislators to approve the agreement.

"I ask the council to act expeditiously, and the legislature to hold up or down votes in both the house and the senate during this session. I ask them to consider carefully what is at stake—for Minneapolis, and all of Minnesota," said Dayton.

And what's at stake?

Dayton claims it's the 8,000 construction jobs and 5,000 project supply positions that the project would create: "A couple thousand permanent jobs would be created by its ongoing operation."

"I have never had the privilege in 10 years as Mayor to vote for anything close to allowing 7,000 people to get good employment on a construction job," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

According to Rybak, no general fund tax dollars will go toward the project due to the annual 400 million dollars Minneapolis sends to the state in sales tax revenue: "The state will take off the top the dollars that they collect in Minneapolis that will help fund the Viking's stadium. In addition, there will be companion legislation that will be about giving the city more control over the rest of the sales taxes that the city has."

Slightly over half of the project's life–cycle costs will be funded by the Viking's capital contribution and share of operating expenses alone.

Nearly 300—million dollars of the overall stadium price tag is to pay construction workers' wages, boosting an industry that currently faces unemployment rates of 20 percent.

Another proposal for funding the stadiums construction comes in the form of charitable electronic pull tabs, which in their traditional form, already go to fund local programs, like youth hockey leagues.