Minnesota taxpayers get a $498 million millstone:
The team argued that the 30-year-old Metrodome did not generate enough revenue for it to compete. Dayton, a Democrat, argued that without a new building the state could lose its most-beloved franchise.
The deal guarantees the Vikings’ future in Minnesota for three decades with the team paying 49 percent of construction costs ($477 million, which is $50 million more than owners initially committed). The total public expense is slightly higher, too, winding up at $348 million for the state and $150 million for Minneapolis.
“We’ve scored a touchdown, and it’s a touchdown for the state of Minnesota and it’s a touchdown for the Vikings fans,” said Sen. David Tomassoni, a Democrat, before voting in favor the bill.
Even before the final Senate vote, the bill took on an air of inevitability after the House approved it right before it adjourned for the year a few hours earlier.
“Everybody wants a yes vote, everybody wants a stadium, but at what cost?” said Sen. John Howe, a Republican who voted against the final deal.
Sen. Scott Newman, a Republican who voted no, said the state should be spending its money instead on things like health care, education and infrastructure.
“I know it happens across the nation, but it saddens me to think that our citizens believe that this is a wise expenditure of tax money,” Newman said.
And if the as-built cost of the stadium comes in under $1 billion, I’ll eat my hat.