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Minnesota House And Senate Approve Vikings Stadium Bill

Sammi Wong |
May 8, 2012 | 7:00 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Vikings fans are a step closer to seeing their team stay in Minnesota -- if the owners are willing to pay up. (Creative Commons)
Vikings fans are a step closer to seeing their team stay in Minnesota -- if the owners are willing to pay up. (Creative Commons)

UPDATE: The Minnesota House and Senate approved the bill Thursday afternoon for a new stadium after debate and modifications. The final changes included an additional $50 million from the franchise, totaling their contribution to $477 million. The total project is expected to cost $975 million. The bill will now go to Gov. Mark Dayton who has already said that he will sign it into law.

We are in the fourth quarter of this football game and the result can still swing either way: Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Vikings.

The state of Minnesota took one step forward Tuesday morning when the proposition to build a new stadium to replace the antiquated Metrodome was passed by the House of Representatives. But they also took two steps back by changing the bill to increase the Vikings' contribution by $105 million. The proposal calls for the Vikings' share of stadium to be $452 million, including league loans and financing.

Many in opposition of the bill have cited that it is unfair to ask the state and city to pay for such a large sum of the construction when most of the benefits will be reaped by the franchise. The deal is further complicated by the fact that Minnesota is already subsidizing Minneapolis' Target Field for the Twins St. Paul's xCel Energy Center for the NHL's Wild.

The Vikings' vice president, Lester Bagley, has come to deem the $105 million addition as "not workable," according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The inability of the state and team to come to a compromise about this stadium may be the last straw for Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf. This has been a constant battle for the last ten years and the Viking say a resolution needs to come very soon or else it is likely that the team will depart from the Metrodome and call Farmers Field in Los Angeles their new home.

"Maybe next year," simply isn't cutting it anymore for the team and Vikings fans in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Farmers Field, the proposed stadium in Downtown L.A., has already been approved and plans to be completely functional by the year 2016. AEG released an impressive new 3D video of the stadium's renderings today. Farmers Field would be a welcome change to the Vikings who have been playing in an outdated Metrodome for years.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been fighting hard to keep the Vikings in Minnesota. The Associated Press reported that he traveled to Minneapolis in late April to meet with Governor Mark Dayton and other legislative leaders in hopes of finalizing plans to fix up the stadium. It is possible that the NFL is pushing for Minnesota to upgrade their stadium so they can create a completely new team for L.A. – something that will help the league expand as well as generate an excess of $1 billion.

However, since the Vikings are not under contract any longer with the Metrodome, there is nothing stopping Wilf from selling the entire team after this next season and leaving L.A. to pick up the pieces.

The bill is expected to be discussed and voted on next week by the Minnesota Senate, after the ongoing application of amendments to the bill is finished. It will also have to be accepted by all parties and the Vikings have yet to announce whether or not they will agree to pay that $105 million as part of constructing the new stadium.


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