The Vikings organization, its fans and Minnesota lawmakers have been battling for a new stadium to keep the Vikings a part of Minnesota culture for more than a decade. And tonight, after a full day of debate inside the State Capitol, a huge step toward that end was made.
Stadium legislation passed the Minnesota House of Representatives by a margin of 73-58, setting the stage for debate and a vote in the Minnesota Senate on Tuesday. Fans played a huge role in making a push to gain passage in the House, and now fans can have the same influence as the process moves on to the Senate. Click here to find out how to contact your Senator and urge them to vote for the stadium legislation.
While more work remains to reach resolution on this long-standing issue, tonight’s outcome represents a historic moment in the push for a stadium that will keep the Vikings in Minnesota for many, many generations.
More to come here on vikings.com, so stay tuned.
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Vikings fans have played a key role toward generating momentum for passage of stadium legislation. With the Minnesota House of Representatives now set to vote on the current proposal on Monday, the ultimate goal is now closer than ever.
The Vikings are urging fans to help make the final push and make the stadium dream a reality.
“The outpouring of support from Vikings fans has greatly intensified over the last several weeks, but it’s crucial that our fans continue to be heard over the weekend,” Vikings Director of Corporate Communications Jeff Anderson said. “Every day we will be asking supporters to email, call, and tweet their State rep and tell them to vote ‘yes’ on Monday. Given that we’ve never been this close, there is absolutely no reason to hold back now.”
Vikings fans can call or email thier Representative to ask them to vote YES on the stadium bill to put thousands of Minnesotans back to work and help secure the Vikings in Minnesota for the next generation of fans. And don’t think your voice won’t be heard.
Minnesotans “are telling me that they want a stadium…a first-class facility that not only will be the home of our beloved Vikings for generations, but also a stadium that is used by the entire state,” Sen. Julie Rosen, chief author of the stadium legislation, told the Star Tribune. “That will attract a Super Bowl, Final Four and provide opportunities for amateur sports, high school sporting events and other organizations.”
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It was just eight days ago when a Minnesota House of Representatives panel shot down stadium legislation that seemed to kill any chance of a resolution to the issue this year and thus putting the Vikings future in Minnesota in peril. But now, with the clocking ticking, positive momentum is building.
A headline in Tuesday’s Star Tribune reads “Vikings stadium revived, rolling,” and the opening paragraph by the paper’s writers – Mike Kaszuba and Jim Ragsdale – states that “the project’s momentum accelerated throughout the day amid indications the full House and Senate could vote on the proposal by Friday.”
Reaching the point where the full House and Senate vote on a proposal is the key. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Stadium Committee chairman/Pittsburgh Steelers Owner Art Rooney II visited the State Capitol late last week and met with Governor Dayton and State leaders. Those meetings were called productive and Commissioner Goodell indicated that his desire was for the stadium proposal to be voted on before the Legislature adjourned.
This is all good news, but also keep in mind that plenty of work remains and we’re not out of the woods yet. Stay tuned to vikings.com for the latest information, keep your fingers crossed, and use this link to contact your legislators and let them know that the time is now to solve this issue and keep the Vikings in Minnesota.
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With just several weeks remaining in the 2012 Legislative Session, discussions over a new stadium are continuing at the State Capitol. While much of the focus has been on the facility’s public-private financing plan, Governor Mark Dayton and many legislators view the project as an opportunity to put thousands of unemployed construction workers back on the job. Currently Minnesota’s construction industry is experiencing 20% unemployment, three times higher than the State’s overall unemployment figure. Given that building the stadium will require nearly 4.3 million work hours with almost $300 million in wages for construction workers, we can have a immediate impact on the suffering industry while building this publicly-owned State asset.
Be sure to check out the stadium video the team released today, which includes interviews from various members of Mortenson Construction, builders of both Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium. For a more in-depth look at the jobs impact of a new stadium, take a look at the following numbers:
– 13,000 jobs, including 7,500 construction jobs (three-year construction period)
– Nearly 4.3 million work hours: According to Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), unemployment in the construction trades industry is nearly 20%, three times higher than Minnesota’s overall unemployment rate.
Jobs for Minnesotans: As was the case with Target Field, over 90% of the labor and subcontract value is
expected to go back to MInnesotans.
Provisions for women and minority-owned businesses: Project goals include agreements to contract with women and minority-owned businesses as well as small business contractors throughout the State.
Nearly $300 million in wages for construction workers: Fabrication and delivery of project materials will create separate, substantial number of jobs with living wages.
Minnesota benefits from putting construction workers back to work: During the construction period, the jobs supported by this project will generate roughly $10 million in income tax revenue for the State’s General Fund and approximately $5 million for the State’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fund.
Work can begin almost immediately: 900,000 work hours in the first year of construction.
New stadium has lasting effects on the State economy: State of Minnesota will collect $26 million annually from Vikings-related sales and income taxes in the first year of stadium operation, according to a study by Convention, Sports & Leisure. Tax revenue will grow to approximately $61 million per year by 2045.
3,400 on-going full and part-time jobs from operation of facility: Vikings game days currently support over 2,800 jobs.
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The Minnesota Vikings released three conceptual images illustrating the proposed new stadium on the current Metrodome site in Downtown East.
Two of the images, including a night scene incorporating the downtown skyline, depict events surrounding Vikings game days. The third illustrates non-game day activity and a closer look at the proposed Winter Garden light rail train station.
Also included are two previous images that were released last month.
Tell us what you think via the comments section below.
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The following information was taken from a press release issued by Home Field Advantage on Friday.
More than 60 percent of Minnesotans support the proposed new Vikings stadium on the existing Metrodome site, according to a new statewide poll commissioned by Home Field Advantage, a consortium of Minneapolis business and community leaders.
The poll – conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., of Washington, D.C. – asked a random sampling of 1,000 Minnesotans this week whether they would support or oppose a stadium financed with state gambling and existing revenues, along with a major contribution by the Vikings.
The response: 61 percent voiced support, 30 percent were opposed and 9 percent said they were undecided about the proposed deal, which has the backing of Gov. Mark Dayton and is currently under consideration by Minnesota legislators. The poll, conducted March 16 to 19, carries a margin error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.
“The results of this poll confirm that the majority of Minnesotans want a new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis,” said Sam Grabarski, president of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and spokesman for Home Field Advantage.
Todd Klingel, president of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and a member of Home Field Advantage, said the poll results send a clear message to state lawmakers.
“It’s important that the Legislature work with Minneapolis officials and the Vikings to get this deal done,” said Klingel, referring to the stadium financing proposal.
The deal would require the football team’s owners to pay half of the stadium’s estimated $975 million cost. Most of the state’s contribution would come from gambling dollars, with no new tax increases or use of general-revenue funds. Minneapolis would chip in $150 million, exclusively from existing city hospitality taxes.
A few of the polls other important findings…
– Across Minnesota, an overwhelming majority of residents consider the Vikings an asset to the state, according to the poll. When asked to rate the importance of the Vikings staying in Minnesota, nearly 72 percent of respondents said that goal is “very important” or “somewhat important.”
– Most Minnesotans also are keeping up with news about the stadium issue. Nearly three-quarters of those polled said they are following the subject “very closely” or “somewhat closely,” with just a fraction – 9 percent – expressing a lack of interest in the stadium debate.
–In Duluth, 60 percent voiced support, versus 29 percent who were opposed. Nearly 11 percent were undecided in Duluth.
– In Rochester, 56 percent said they support the stadium deal, with 40 percent opposed and 4 percent undecided.
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Thursday morning was a busy one for the Vikings, as Governor Mark Dayton was joined by State Legislators, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, business and labor leaders, and team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf at the State Capitol to an agreement to build a new “People’s Stadium” on the current Metrodome site.
Hopefully many of you watched the press conference live on vikings.com, but for those of you who weren’t able to do so, here’s a brief rundown of the basics…
– The site is located adjacent to the current Metrodome site, and construction of the new stadium could be structured in a way that the Vikings would have to play just 1 season at TCF Bank Stadium. The new fixed-roof stadium will be 70% larger than the current Metrodome and will include modern fan amenities that will provide a first-class game-day environment for fans.
– The stadium will be a multi-purpose facility that will be open year-round to host events such as, but not limited to, NCAA Final Fours, trade shows and conventions, high school and college sporting events, cultural celebrations and other entertainment events.
– There will be 2,500 parking spaces adjacent to the stadium.
– Total projected cost of the entire project is $975 million, and the Vikings will pay for 50.6% of those costs. That total includes $427 million in up-front costs and $327.1 million in operating costs and capital expenses.
– The State of Minnesota’s contribution will be 26.7% ($398M) and the City of Minneapolis’s contribution will be 22.7% ($338.7M). Most importantly, in my opinion at least, is that no new taxes will be required in Minneapolis or statewide to pay for the stadium. That is to say, no taxpayer dollars will be taken from the state’s general fund.
– The Vikings will sign a 30-year lease to play in the new stadium, ensuring that the team remains an asset to the state for generations.
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With the 2012 Legislative Session underway, Vikings fans are once again stepping up to help resolve the long-standing stadium issue. To show support for finalizing a deal this session, fans across the state are signing up to host “Stadium Huddles” at their Super Bowl parties this weekend.
“Our fans have been great about supporting the team throughout this process,” said Vikings Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development Lester Bagley. “We’re now at a critical juncture at the State Capitol and we need fans’ voices to push us over the top.”
Anyone interested in more information on hosting a Stadium Huddle this weekend, joining Minnesota Momentum or other ways to get involved and make their support known can visit the new stadium playbook page on vikings.com.
Additionally, Street Teams will visit various bars and restaurants around the state this Sunday to share stadium information and sign up new supporters. The teams will visit the following locations just prior to kickoff and during the first half of the game:
Mankato – Boomtown (1600 Warren Street, #17)
Maple Grove – Champps Sports Bar & Grill (135121 80th Circle N)
Maple Grove – The Lookout (8672 Pineview Lane)
Maplewood – Champps Sports Bar & Grill (1734 Adolphus Street)
Rochester – Boomers (3737 40th Avenue NW)
Rochester – Buffalo Wild Wings (3458 55th Street NW)
St. Cloud – Buffalo Wild Wings (3701 W. Division Street)
St. Cloud – Howie’s Sports Bar & Grill (1101 Division Street)
Vadnais Heights – Jimmy’s (1132 County Road E East)
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The Vikings and the State of Minnesota continue working toward finding a stadium solution that will keep the Vikings in Minnesota. While the Vikings believe that Arden Hills is the ideal stadium location, the club has been asked by State Leaders to assist the City of Minneapolis with its site analysis and due diligence.
In a letter from Owner/President Mark Wilf to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Council President Barbara Johnson, the Vikings have followed up with the City of Minneapolis on the City’s state preference for a building a new stadium at the Metrodome site. You can read the letter in its entirety by clicking here.
Building a new stadium at the current Metrodome site would require the Vikings to play three seasons at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota, and the letter from Wilf to the City lays out costs that would be associated with this move, including: TCF Bank Stadium Revenue Limitations; Capital Improvements to TCF Bank Stadium; and NFL Program Requirements at Metrodome.
In summary, there would be $67 million in additional costs associated with building a new stadium at the current Metrodome site, and thus relocating the Vikings home games to TCF Bank Stadium. In the letter, Wilf also references disruptions to the football team, fans, sponsors and partners, as well as the potential challenges created for University of Minnesota neighborhoods during the three-year period in which the Vikings would play home games on campus.
Governor Dayton has asked the City of Minneapolis to submit a stadium proposal by January 12, 2012.
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Today is the last game of Jim Kleinsasser’s career, but it’s also the last game under the Vikings lease at the Metrodome. That means that after today, the Vikings are essentially stadium free agents, which adds even more importance to an already super-important stadium issue in Minnesota.
Vikings Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development Lester Bagley took several moments before kickoff of today’s game to discuss the current state of affairs with members of the local media.
“Thirty great seasons at the Metrodome,” Bagley said. “This is the last season on our lease. It’s been thirty exciting seasons, and we appreciate our State leaders putting the stadium issue into play. Our lease expires after the game today and we’ll be the only NFL team without a lease. There’s urgency to resolve this issue, but we’re encouraged by out State leadership and where they are, and the business community and organized labor. We think we’re in position to get this resolved.”
That is good news to hear, and hopefully over the next several months there is more and more positive momentum generated to get the stadium issue resolved and to keep the Vikings where they belong – in Minnesota.
Click here to view a PDF version of an ad from today’s Vikings Playbook that touches on the stadium issue and the lease expiring.
Tags: Lester Bagley, New Stadium
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