By Patrick Condon
St. Paul, Minn. (AP) — Minneapolis leaders are floating a plan for the city to pay 22 percent of the cost of a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings at the current Metrodome site and set aside money to renovate the Target Center basketball arena.
Mayor R.T. Rybak said it was “two stadiums for the price of one” and that the Target Center would relieve Minneapolis property taxes.
He said the Minneapolis plan would raise $195 million toward an $895 million stadium through an admission tax on stadium events, a parking surcharge on NFL game days, extending the downtown Minneapolis hotel, restaurant and liquor tax to the entire city and raising the general city sales tax by 15 cents for every $100 purchase.
The team and the state would pay the balance of the costs.
The Vikings have been seeking a new stadium, calling the Metrodome no longer sufficiently profitable to the team. The prospective sites were winnowed to two last week, after the Hennepin County Board chairman said he no longer would pursue a site near the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field.
State lawmakers have introduced a bill calling for the state to pay about a third of construction costs with the money raised through a 10 percent state sales tax on sports memorabilia, a sales tax on luxury seats at the new stadium and on digital video recorders, and proceeds from stadium naming rights and a football-themed state lottery game.
The team would pay the other third plus cost overruns, although Gov. Mark Dayton and others have suggested the team’s share should be higher.
Ramsey County officials have been pushing the Arden Hills site, a former Army ammunition plant that would offer the team the opportunity to surround the stadium with a retail, restaurant and hotel complex. But that site carries larger costs associated with cleaning up contamination and fixing up roads and infrastructure.