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Bipartisan group of lawmakers unveils Vikings stadium plan seeking two-thirds of cost from public

A bipartisan, outstate group of lawmakers, backed by some hospitality industry executives, construction trades and Minneapolis downtown boosters, unveiled a Vikings stadium funding concept this morning that would rely on a collection of surtaxes and

A bipartisan, outstate group of lawmakers, backed by some hospitality industry executives, construction trades and Minneapolis downtown boosters, unveiled a Vikings stadium funding concept this morning that would rely on a collection of surtaxes and lottery proceeds.

No state general fund money would be used, said such sponsors as Rep. Loren Solberg, DFL-Grand Rapids, and Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook.

Under one plan to build a $791 million stadium, team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf would pay $264 million up front, with the remaining public piece adding up to $527 million. The team’s share would be 33 percent, or less than the share (36 percent) that Twins ownership paid into $535 million Target Field.

The public subsidy would come from:

• 1.5 percent regional hotel surtax ($8 million per year)

• 6.875 percent tax on sports apparel ($16.9 million)

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• A sports-themed lottery game ($5.5 million):

• A 2.5 percent surtax on rental cars ($5.5. million).

Sponsors said those sources would use $31.9 million a year (PDF) over a 40-year Vikings lease period to pay for the stadium. The additional $4 million a year raised would be escrowed for future stadium needs.

Under another plan, the city of Minneapolis would be asked to use an existing entertainment tax (PDF) to help fund the stadium.

Bakk, noting that key education and state budget work is nearing completion at the Legislature, said, “Now’s the time to commit”  committee time to the stadium effort.

Rep. Morris Lanning, R-Moorhead, said any plan would require “a local partner.”

That’s code for Minneapolis to step forward.

But bills to be introduced (PDF) will include a potential site at the current Meteodome location or, if Minneapolis shows no interest, a site-neutral plan.

Bottom line, as Bakk said, this is a “starting point.”

Also on hand for the news conference was Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmount.

A hearing has been set for Tuesday in the House Local Government Division in the House. The hearing is expected to begin about 4 p.m.