Why? Because the bill calls for any local sponsor – be it a city or a county – to be a financially contributing partner. Given the commitment made by Hennepin County to increase its county sales tax to pay for a Twins stadium and the commitment of Minneapolis into the same county commitment, both entities would appear to be hamstrung in helping finance a new Vikings stadium.
Ramsey County officials have, by all accounts, been willing to kick in a significant share (perhaps as high as a one-third piece of the financial puzzle) to a stadium effort. The only other stadium proposal that has some meat in terms of consideration is tearing down the Metrodome and rebuilding on the same site. The land is already owned. The infrastructure, from parking lots to light rail, is in place. However, if a local partner is expected to commit one-third of the cost to a new stadium, the Hennepin County/Minneapolis taxation base would get a double-whammy their constituents would likely rebel against. Hennepin County stepped up once. While it was able to defray the local cost thanks to having the Mall of America within its borders, anyone shopping in Minneapolis pays the same tax. To ask them to step up once again is asking a lot. Probably asking too much.
The bill has yet to be formally introduced, yet both Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Hennepin County officials have balked at the notion of being a major player in the proposed "three-way funding dance" endorsed by the legislative memo. Ramsey County still seems willing (and able) to pick up a one-third piece of the payment pie. The other two viable locations are the current Metrodome site and land near the Twins and Timberwolves section of Minneapolis. Both remain in Minneapolis. Both remain in Hennepin County.
It would seem, given the options available – Ramsey County willing to partner up, while Minneapolis and Hennepin County are cashed in terms of additional stadium funding – when the stadium bill is finally introduced, the Garden of Arden has to be the make-or-break option of choice – infrastructure or not.
DRAFT NOTE OF THE DAY
According to the official/unofficial draft value chart, the 74th pick in the draft (the third-rounder given to the Pats for Moss) is worth 220 points. The 12th pick, which the Vikings currently own, is worth 1,200 points. The 17th pick, which New England acquired from Al Davis in exchange for Seymour and handful of magic beans, is worth 950 points. The math tells us that a trade down from No. 12 to No. 17 and both teams quietly agreeing the Moss trade never happened would justify the ends for the Vikings. They get a QB in the first round. They get their third-round pick back (the identical pick) and both teams are happy. It probably won't happen, since Bill Belichick might still maintain a Garrett Mills grudge, but, the question for the Vikings may become whether the value of the player still available at No. 12 trumps any trade offer.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.