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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.”