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Senate to decide on an extra $105 million from Vikings

As the Senate deliberates over the Vikings stadium bill (and a few other things), the focus is on that extra $105 million the House wants the Vikings to pay for the deal. At the AP they are saying, “[Vikings VP Lester] Bagley said the team’s owners aren’t prepared to shell out $105 million more — beyond a prior $427 million private commitment — toward construction of the stadium in downtown Minneapolis. But lawmakers will have the final say on how big a taxpayer subsidy is provided. The bill passed with support of more Democrats than Republicans despite the GOP controlling that chamber. It reflects a hard push by organized labor, which promoted the Vikings stadium as a much-needed boost for the construction sector.”

At MPR, Tim Nelson reports, “Here’s what minority leader Tom Bakk had to say after monitoring the 73-58 vote in the House. ‘The House put some very, very bad amendments on the stadium bill. I’m not surprised that it passed. I mean, they increase the Vikings contribution $105 million more than the team has said they are willing to contribute. I don’t believe that that vote is actually ever going to actually build a stadium. So the Senate clearly is going to have to do the hard work on this, and get the bill into the kind of condition where the Vikings and the city of Minneapolis will actually execute the provisions passed by the legislature. Very disappointed with many of the amendments that went on on the House side. Hopefully, when the Senate takes the bill up … we won’t have those kind of antics going on over here, and people will get serious about voting for a stadium bill that’s going to get built. I mean, I think House members that voted for a stadium today didn’t vote for a stadium that’s ever going to get built.” That might have been the idea.

The AP’s Brian Bakst says, “Team vice president Lester Bagley made the comments in an interview on 1500 ESPN Tuesday as the Senate prepared to vote on a stadium financing proposal. A day earlier, House members approved a stadium deal but added $105 million to the team’s share. Bagley says stadium opponents will do all they can to derail the deal.”

At noon MPR’s Tim Pugmire was reporting, “Republican Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, is predicting a close vote in the Minnesota Senate today on the Vikings stadium bill. The Senate gets its turn a day after the House passed its stadium bill 73-58 following an 8 hour debate. Senjem wouldn’t predict how long the Senate debate might last. He also didn’t say if the bill would pass. It’s difficult to say. I couldn’t predict it at all,’ Senjem said. ‘I think it’s going to be closer than the House, and I would not be surprised if it was one vote, one way or the other.’ Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said he might have to look for more votes on his side of the aisle, if majority Republicans can’t provide enough support.”

At Forbes, Kelly Phillips Erb writes, “One of the points of contention has been quantifying the value of the team to the state. In terms of sheer dollars, the team is not that valuable. Of the 32 NFL teams, the Vikings rank 28th, with an estimated value of $796 million. That puts them just ahead of the Buffalo Bills (who?), St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars. But in terms of wins, the Vikings are tops. Overall, they’ve had one of the highest winning percentages in the NFL (54%). And following the NFL/AFL merger, the team has made the playoffs an astounding 24 times, the third most in the league. They win games. And people like them. Well, except for Green Bay. So, what will rule the day? Dollars or team pride? Likely somewhere in between. I suspect the  Vikings will get their stadium. And I suspect that taxpayers will happily – as long as they win – fund it so long as the team kicks in at least half. Despite the grumbling, the measure isn’t likely to fail completely. But a public-private venture looks a lot better promoted next to a championship banner.” And we are being guaranteed a championship, right?

Kevin Seifert’s take, at ESPN, is, “Vikings vice president Lester Bagley, who has spent about a decade trying to get the team to this stage, also breathed a sigh of relief. But he said franchise owners will find it tough to stomach an amendment that would put the team on the hook for $105 million more. … the House overhauled the proposal to boost the team’s share from the $427 million owners have committed to find from private sources, including the NFL. It was among almost four dozen amendments considered, with relatively few controversial ones succeeding.”

Oh, thank god! Happy-hour discounts in Edina! Mary Jane Smetanka of the Strib reports, “Starting on Thursday, restaurateurs in Edina will be able to offer customers happy-hour discounts on liquor and beer. If that sounds pretty pedestrian, it isn’t to the Edina Grill’s David Burley. Burley, the CEO of Blue Plate Restaurant Co., does business in what was the very last Minnesota city to prohibit  happy-hour discounts on booze. The City Council unanimously changed that policy last week.

” ‘We’re very excited,’ Burley said Friday. ‘For me, it was a pretty significant victory.’ … City Council members were moved by the pleas of such business owners as Burley, who said they were at a competitive disadvantage to restaurants in nearby cities.” As a resident, I’m this much closer to getting together with some former Hornettes over cheap(er) Sauvignon Blanc  and electronic pulltabs.

You would have felt this hit … . Paul Walsh in the Strib reports, “Chris Jordan’s Volkswagen Jetta “didn’t fare too well” when it collided with a full-grown black bear along a dark interstate service road in the north metro.

“And the bear fared even worse. Jordan said he was about four blocks from his Lino Lakes home and driving south about 60 miles per hour Monday night along ‘pitch black’ Otter Lake Road, when ‘this bear just came out of the ditch, out of nowhere.’ With Jordan having no time to swerve, the bear hit the front left side of his car. … this bear weighed about 200 pounds. Depending on the time of year, male black bears can weigh anywhere from 150 to more than 500 pounds. Jettas weigh nearly 3,000 pounds.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Wayne Swickley on 05/08/2012 - 06:25 pm.

    $105,000,000

    Is only $9,586 per day over the course of a thirty year lease. What are they whining about?

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