MN Senate Passes Vikings Stadium Bill

By KBJR News 1

MN Senate Passes Vikings Stadium Bill

May 9, 2012 Updated May 9, 2012 at 10:50 AM CDT

St. Paul, MN (KARE 11) --- It's time to bust out your victory dance. The Vikings bill has passed the senate, and a new stadium is yet another step closer to reality.

The Senate passed the stadium bill just before Midnight last night with a 38-28 vote.

After over ten hours of debate on more than a dozen amendments to the bill, the Minnesota Senate approved the measure.

The version of the bill that came from the House is very different from the one that emerged from the Senate, and now the two bodies will need to hammer out their differences.

A joint House-Senate conference committee will meet Wednesday to do just that, in a meeting that some sources say could run for hours. Both chambers would have to adopt that panel's compromise version before it goes to Gov. Mark Dayton's desk.

Sen. Roger Reinert of Duluth will be on that conference committee.

The House and the Senate differ on how to split the construction cost of the $975 million project.

The Senate's version caps the state's share at $373 million, while the House would ask just $293 million of the state. The Senate would ask the Vikings to pay $452 million, while the House boosted the team's share all the way to $532 million.

Both versions of the bill ask the City of Minneapolis to pay $150 million towards construction costs, plus $180 million in maintenance and operations costs spread over the next 30 years. The City would utilize local hospitality taxes that are now being used to repay Convention Center renovations.

The Senate added some user fees to its version of the measure, including a 10 percent tax on luxury suites, special taxes on merchandise sold inside the stadium on Vikings game days plus a cut of parking revenue within a half-mile radius. The bill also calls for the naming rights to the plaza area adjacent to the stadium to be sold by the State to raise money for the Amateur Sports Commission.