Vikings Stadium Setbacks

A $791 million stadium push by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings is on shaky ground after state legislators sacked a plan over concerns that venue construction would divert taxes from the Minneapolis convention center.

The Vikings’ lease in the city’s aging Metrodome is set to expire after the 2011 season. Without a new building, a future for the team in the city is unclear.

Vikings supporters have made a big push for a stadium plan this year, but it appears the team hasn’t come up with a solid strategy.

The team previously proposed using taxes on professional sports memorabilia plus car and hotel rentals to fund the development, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but faced a challenge from Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who rallied against the proposal.

Next up was the team’s plan to redirect taxes that go toward paying off the city convention center to a new stadium, along with a provision that would allow the city to use some of that money to pay off the Target Center, the paper said.

However, that idea also fell flat during a House committee meeting that ended in a 10-9 vote to dismiss the plan May 5.

The team fared slightly better in companion committee in the state Senate, where officials proposed selling personal seat licenses to fund a new stadium.

“I think there was a strong desire on the part of the committee to do something to keep the Vikings in Minnesota,” Sen. Tom Bakk told the paper. “I’m pretty pleased with the vote coming out of committee. I think the question is the permanent seat licensing – how much money can it raise? I think that’s what we need to find out.”

While the seat-licensing proposal will move forward to another Senate committee, officials in the House must persuade one lawmaker to switch to a yes vote or offer the Senate bill as an amendment the state legislature adjourns, the Pioneer Press reported.