Civic beat // Saints ballpark gets funds over Minneapolis projects

Share this:
September 24, 2012 // UPDATED 5:48 pm - December 27, 2012
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter

Gov. Mark Dayton had 90 requests for $288 million in capital projects spread across Minnesota. In whittling that number down to the $47.5 million approved by the Legislature, he left out the few Minneapolis requests while giving $25 million for a new St. Paul Saints ballpark. 

Among the projects that were declined by Dayton: A $25 million request to redesign Nicollet Mall and a $750,000 request to make improvements to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. 

Dayton did, however, include $2 million for pre-engineering for the Southwest Light Rail Transit line that connects Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis. The Metropolitan Council originally asked for $25 million, but scaled the request back to $14 million after the Legislature cut it from the 2012 bonding bill. 

Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman praised Dayton for the contribution and said the project is still on schedule for a 2018 opening. 

“This is a really encouraging sign from the governor,” Dorfman said. 

Property tax bills taking shape

Minneapolis homeowners will soon get an idea of what their property tax bill will look like for 2013. Early indications point to a tax increase for many homes.

The city, Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Schools have proposed their maximum tax levies. These maximimum levies cap how high each unit of government can raise their tax levy, but oftentimes they reduce their proposed levy.

The city has proposed a 1.7 percent increase. Hennepin County has proposed a 1 percent increase. Minneapolis Public Schools has proposed a 7.4 percent increase. 

In November, property owners bill receive notices informing them what these increases will mean for their tax bills in 2013. 

Forbes: Vikings team value spikes 22 percent following stadium deal

Thanks to a heavily subsidized new stadium, the Minnesota Vikings are now worth $975 million, 22 percent more than last year, when the team was valued at $796 million, according to Forbes.com.

That means the team has increased in value by $179 million in 12 months, despite suffering a 3-13 record last season.

According to Forbes, the team turns an annual profit of $7.2 million, but the magazine predicts that a new stadium could increase revenue by $40 million a year. 

Last year, Forbes ranked the Vikings as the 28th most valuable franchise of the 32 NFL teams. Now the Vikings are ranked the 22nd most valuable team. 

The new stadium will cost $975 million. Of that, the team is paying $477 million, the state is paying $348 million and the city is paying $150 million. Plus, the city will chip in another $189 million to operate the facility for the next 30 years. 

Stadium construction will begin following the 2012-2013 season and is expected to finish in 2016. 

Target Field awarded 2014 All-Star game

Major League Baseball announced on Aug. 29 that Minneapolis will host the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field. 

The announcement has been long expected by fans. Target Field was completed in 2010 and most new stadiums get to host the annual match up between the best players from the American League and the best players from the National League. 

For those who like to plan ahead, the 85th All-Star Game will be played July 15, 2014. Expect plenty of fanfare in the days leading up to the game, including the beloved Home Run Derby. 

This will mark the third time the Twin Cities has played host to the All-Star Game. Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington hosted the game in 1965 and the Metrodome hosted the game in 1985.