CORRECTION: This story has been updated to say that Robert Lilligren had always planned to attend the May 25 City Counci meeting. He will be attending the Neighborhood USA conference in Indianapolis, but won't travel there until after the meeting.
Seven Minneapolis City Council members have signed letters of support for a public subsidies package for a Minnesota Vikings stadium, but at least one of those members said today he’s still reviewing the bill and hasn’t determined how he will vote.
“Right now I am reviewing every line of it, and obviously I have to determine if what’s in there, line-by-line, is consistent with some of the goals and concerns I had,” said Kevin Reich, who represents Ward 1 in Northeast Minneapolis. “So it’s undetermined at this time. It’s under review.”
Reich said he has only begun reviewing the bill, but so far he hasn’t seen any details in the bill or in media reports that would have him change his mind.
“Not so far,” he said of any red flags in the bill that was passed by the Legislature earlier this week.
The stadium proposal will need seven votes to pass the 13-member City Council. The City Council is the last hurdle for the deal.
Reich and Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy (Ward 12) were the last two council members to signal their support for the stadium deal.
Colvin Roy sounds more sure, though she said Thursday that she is also still reviewing the bill.
“Based on what I know now, (I am still a yes vote),” she said. “The Vikings are going to pay more, and that’s good.”
Mayor R.T. Rybak, who’s been wrangling council votes for most of the winter, said today he remains confident that the Viking stadium bill will pass the City Council.
“I’ve spoken to most of the members, and it’s clear that they remain in support,” he said. “They gave us the authority to go to the Legislature with a very tough set of requirements, and every single one of them wound up in the Legislation. We also got more, including a provision that will give the city a portion of the proceeds of the sale, user fees on Vikings and soccer tickets, and possibly other events, which can be significant.”
Council eyeing May 25 for approval
Council President Barb Johnson said she expects the Vikings stadium bill to go through the Council’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee, which meets on May 24.
The City Council is scheduled to meet the next day, May 25.
Robert Lilligren and John Quincy plan to attend the Neighborhood USA conference in Indianpolis that runs May 23-26. Lilligren plans to leave after the counci meeting on May 25, and said Quincy has changed his travel plans to do the same. Quincy is one of the seven members who signed letters of support for the stadium.
If for some reason Quincy or Lilligren can’t attend, Rybak said he would consider calling a special meeting. The City Council is on break the week after May 25.
Council Member Gary Schiff, a leading stadium opponent, says the stadium deal deserves a thorough look.