Gov. Pawlenty says he’ll review Vikings stadium plan

WASHINGTON — Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he’ll consider a new plan to finance construction of a $791 million stadium for the Minnesota Vikings that would see the Vikings pay $264 million up front and fund the remaining $527 million balance with public funds outside of the state general fund.

Pawlenty, speaking after a governors’ summit on the economy this morning at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said he hadn’t yet seen the plan but will “take a look at it.” He plans to issue a statement “later today.”

Audio: Pawlenty comments on proposed stadium financing

Under one plan, the public financing share would be made up through a combination of taxes on hotels, sports merchandise, rental cars and a sports-themed lottery game. No state general fund monies would be used — a key requirement Pawlenty has aired before and restated today.

“We want to do what we can to keep the Vikings and make sure that they know they’re a valued asset, but we have to ask our Legislature to take care of first things first and that is we have a budget deficit, they need to focus on that, get that solved,” Pawlenty said.

“If somebody has a creative solution that doesn’t involve state tax money or state tax dollars, then we’ll take a look at it, but I haven’t seen this proposal.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 05/03/2010 - 02:29 pm.

    Support for a publicly financed baseball field is what tanked Norm Coleman’s appeal with Republicans and was a large factor in his loss to Jesse Ventura.

    Public funds are public funds what ever pot they are drawn from…hope Tim is listening.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 05/03/2010 - 02:52 pm.

    How about we just let the Vikings’ owner and players pay for their own stadium? They could do so out of their own pocket change.

    Personally, I hope if the Vikings do get substantial public financing for a stadium, it brings the wrath of the Tea Partiers down on them and results in raucous demonstrations at every home game for the next decade.

  3. Submitted by Brad Robinson on 05/03/2010 - 04:25 pm.

    The reality is that either the state combines public money with the owner’s money, or the team is gone. Then we end up building another one to get another team here. They are not going to build one out of the owner’s own money alone, whether we like that fact or not. The will go somewhere where others will add public money. The stadium will be owned by a governmental body of some sort, and will generate other income on the non-football days. Lets do it, or learn to do without a football team. Crabbing at the owners gets us nowhere.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 05/03/2010 - 04:57 pm.

Leave a Reply