Rybak, city meet governors stadium deadline

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January 12, 2012
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter
Gov. Mark Dayton said he wanted every Vikings stadium proposal on his desk by 5 p.m. today, and Mayor R.T. Rybak and Council President Barb Johnson met his deadline with a proposal to build the facility on the Metrodome site.

Rybak and Johnson, in a letter to legislative leaders, said the Metrodome site provided the cheapest stadium in the best location and did not require any new taxes.

The plan calls for construction to begin after the 2012-2013 Minnesota Vikings schedule. For at least two years the team would play at TCF Bank Stadium while a new stadium is built with a goal for a 2015 opening. 

Rybak’s plan would use a portion of city sales and lodging tax revenue and a portion of downtown restaurant and liquor tax revenue. Those are existing taxes that are scheduled to go toward the Convention Center through 2020.

From 2016 to 2045, the city would allocate $6.5 million a year to pay for operating costs and capital maintenance support of the stadium, plus a revenue stream to support $150 million in capital costs.

The plan would also renovate the Target Center and transfer the facility from the city to a new stadium authority, relieving residents of roughly $5 million per year in property taxes to support the arena.

In a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Julie Rosen and Rep. Morrie Lanning, Rybak and Johnson said they’re looking forward to a stadium bill during the 2012 Legislative session.

“While we are open to and engaged in continued discussions with the Vikings on the Linden Avenue site, we believe that Downtown East remains the best, lowest cost option for a new Vikings stadium,” they wrote.

The Minnesota Legislature is scheduled to convene its 2012 session on Jan. 24.