Here’s the Minneapolis City Council’s pro-Vikings-stadium resolution

Mayor RT Rybak is hoping for support from the Minneapolis City Council on his stadium efforts.

The grinding realpolitik of the Vikings stadium debate may take another lurch forward Tuesday afternoon, as the Minneapolis City Council’s Inter-Governmental Affairs Committee plans a test vote.

In recent weeks, Minneapolis Councilmember Sandy Colvin Roy clambered aboard the Vikings bandwagon, but First Ward colleague Kevin Reich sent a more ambiguous letter of support to pro-stadium Gov. Mark Dayton. It’s been left to Mayor R.T. Rybak to explain that this adds up to a bare but solid majority for local stadium consent if state legislators approve.

The resolution presented tonight (below) will serve both as a confirmation and warning shot: confirmation that the latecomers are in, and that the legislature shouldn’t tear a Target Center tax shift out of the bill. That shift, which would replace Target Center’s property tax subsidy with city sales taxes and also fund a renovation, has drawn ire from east metro pols. Earlier Tuesday, a Senate committee discussed, but ultimately didn’t adopt, a plan to include a St. Paul Saints stadium in the Vikings bill. But the Saints could tacitly get into the deal via the bonding bill.

Anyway, here’s the resolution, authored by Council president Barb Johnson, to be discussed tonight:

RESOLUTION

By Johnson 

Adding Repurposing of Convention Center Taxes to support the Convention

Center, Target Center, a new People’s Stadium and General Fund Savings to the City’s Legislative Agenda

WHEREAS, pursuant to a special law enacted in 1986, the State of Minnesota  granted the City of Minneapolis the right to impose certain taxes to support the Minneapolis Convention Center including a 0.5% general sales tax; a 2.625% lodging tax and a 3% downtown liquor tax and downtown restaurant tax, (collectively the “Convention Center taxes”); and

WHEREAS, repurposing these taxes to provide the City the authority to use these taxes to fund Target Center debt, operating expenses and capital improvements as well as to continue to fund capital, operating and marketing expenses for the Convention Center offers general fund/property tax relief and the ability to maintain both facilities as first class competitive entertainment and convention venues; and

WHEREAS, a required component of the City’s support of a People’s stadium bill is the ability to make significant capital improvements to Target Center, as well as the ability to use the Convention Center taxes to support Target Center debt service and operating expenses; and

WHEREAS, the proposal for funding a People’s stadium does not involve an override of the 1997 Charter referendum limiting City public financing of sports facilities; and

WHEREAS, the Minnesota Vikings’ organization is a statewide asset whose direct activities and those of its fans provide important support to the local and regional economy; and

WHEREAS, the People’s stadium will not only be home to the Minnesota Vikings for 10 games per season, it will also host over 600 other events per year, including college and high school sports, inline skating and Dog Days; and

WHEREAS, the City Council on December 29, 2003 adopted a resolution stating that the Metrodome site is the City’s preferred option for a new People’s stadium, because of its accessibility to the state and regional transportation infrastructure, and 

WHEREAS, the stadium project will immediately put 7,500 Minnesotans to work, including residents of the City of Minneapolis, particularly those from neighborhoods with higher rates of unemployment and poverty, and underrepresented groups, and will result in $1 billion in new development in the City of Minneapolis.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS:

That the City’s legislative agenda for 2012 and subsequent years be amended to include support for a People’s stadium bill that would provide the following:

1. Repurpose and direct the use of the current state-authorized Convention Center  taxes as follows:

a. To the City to be used to fund debt service, capital, operating and marketing expenses of the Convention Center and Target Center, and any other capital projects or economic development purposes; and

b. To a new stadium authority to be used to fund a portion of the capital and operating expenses of a new People’s stadium

2. Maintain the current state-authorized Convention Center  taxes for at least as long as needed for the above purposes; and

3. The construction of a new stadium and improvements to Target Center must put Minneapolis residents to work, such that:

a. A percentage of construction contracts equal to or greater than other Minneapolis development projects must be awarded to women and minority owned businesses;

b. The construction workforce must include skilled minority, unskilled minorities and females and that workforce utilization goals must exceed current city goals;

c. The construction workforce must include workers from Minneapolis zip codes that have high rates of poverty and unemployment; and

d. Concessionaires at the new stadium must reflect the ethnic diversity of Minnesota.

4. That the Minnesota Vikings work with neighborhoods surrounding the People’s stadium to mitigate any negative game day impacts so that the stadium is viewed as a neighborhood asset.

Be it Further Resolved that the City’s support for a People’s stadium is dependent upon the concurrent authorizations to permit the use of the state-authorized Convention Center taxes for the Convention Center and Target Center as set forth above, to ensure the economic vitality of all these assets.

Be It Further Resolved that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to Governor Dayton, Senate and House legislative leaders, the stadium bill authors and to the Minneapolis legislative delegation.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 04/24/2012 - 04:06 pm.

    People’s stadium is a phrase that actually makes sense if it’s understood, but the pro-stadium side has done a horrible job explaining it. It means the new stadium will be used like the Dome, but how many people know how the Dome is used? Or think they know but have it wrong? So fi you don’t know, then the phrase is meaningless. It needs to come from the mayor and governor and Vikings just how busy the Dome is, or else many people will go on opposing a new stadium because they think it’s dark other than 10 Vikings games. The sports commission has said the Dome has about 300 event days, which I take to mean there is some event going on 300 days a year. I recall hearing there were about 300 baseball games the first year after the Twins left, so apparently tournaments with multiple games are being counted as one event. I’ve been there a bunch of times for Rollerdome, and the field always has a game or preparation for the next event going on. A new stadium could be used even more, plus the plaza itself could be a public space even more usable than the Target Field plaza that gets used like a park now.

    This needs explaining however. It can’t be assumed people just know this. People who rarely go to the Dome would have no particular reason to know.

    • Submitted by chuck holtman on 04/24/2012 - 09:48 pm.

      Eric: For 15 years I have gone by the Dome pretty much every day to and from work, and not once have I ever seen any human activity there. I’m not doubting what you say, I’m simply stating my own experience. Perhaps the two can be reconciled. Beyond the question of frequency of use is the question of how many of those uses/events could readily have been accommodated elsewhere. Again, there are many analyses that could have been done to support the stadium (public financial/risk analysis, analysis of a football stadium’s impact on surrounding hospitality/economic development, facility use analysis, etc), and none have. Since the stadium proponents have all of the money and all of the incentive to make their case, this, to me, is a huge case of the dog that didn’t bark.

  2. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 04/24/2012 - 04:12 pm.

    A new “people’s stadium”?

    What is this? The United Socialist Sales Taxes of the Twin Cities?

    Why is it that those who hate communism most are the first to go full Stalin when they need money for a sports facility?

  3. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/24/2012 - 04:40 pm.

    You must remember how PR messaging works…

    …as it normally expresses the exact opposite of the truth.

    Examples:

    – “Clean Coal”. Enough said.

    – The oil companies tell us how “green” they are, and how they’re just champing at the bit to promote those energy alternatives.

    – The Minneapolis City Council, promoting a several hundred million dollar handout to a billionaire in the form of a stadium which will earn his enterprise hundreds of millions in profits – including naming rights, all concessions, etc. – and, get this – they now call it a “People’s Stadium” !!??

    You’d think whoever wrote this crap would hide their face, but no.

  4. Submitted by Pat McGee on 04/25/2012 - 10:24 am.

    Immediate jobs?

    Really? Immediately put 7500 people to work? If Council passes a resolution it must be so. The City has $675 million for a stadium but no money for its workers who have not had a raise in years (nor will they), fand face ever higher deductibles and premiums for insurance? And they wonder City “leaders” have ZERO credibility.

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