Senate hearing to discuss financing options

An off day for players will still provide heavy importance for the franchise. Two Minnesota Senate committees will hear financing opinions for a potential new Vikings stadium.

Today could turn out to be one of the most important days in the history of the Vikings franchise, despite Tuesday being a quiet day at Winter Park with the players having their weekly day off.

Fifteen miles from Winter Park, two State Senate committees will convene a joint hearing in St. Paul to discuss funding options for a new stadium. Among the options to be discussed are multiple gaming possibilities, a sales tax on sports memorabilia, Legacy Fund options, ticket surcharges and income tax from players being earmarked to pay the state's portion of the stadium.

The Vikings met with officials from the City of Minneapolis Monday, which was a strong recommendation coming from the Senate after the first hearing last week that focused on the site for a new stadium. Minneapolis has promoted three possible sites, but the Wilf family has made it clear they strongly prefer the Arden Hills stadium site and, at this point, have little interest in any of the Minneapolis sites.

Ramsey County is expected to present a comprehensive breakdown as to how the county will come up with its local share of its proposed stadium. The county isn't expected to raise property taxes and the county-exclusive sales tax option appears dead in the water as well.

One option that is likely to be brought up today is seat licensing – a popular money-making option used for other stadiums. Under seat licensing, season ticket holders pay a one-time fee to reserve their seats in the new stadium – a figure that in other cities has ranged from $500 to $10,000 per seat.

The hearings are likely to be somewhat contentious because there are strong feelings among some legislators to have no state money involved and there are just as many who will do whatever they can to prevent the expansion of gambling in the state, as well as those who will fight tooth and nail to prevent a stadium from dipping into the Legacy Fund pool.

Last month's meetings on the viability of the different sites was only a precursor to today's meeting, which will actually delve into how the stadium will be paid for, if approved.

It's a slow day at Winter Park today, but may be the most important day the organization has had in years and could go a long way to finally determining whether a stadium gets done and whether the Vikings remain in Minnesota.

TUESDAY NOTES

  • Leslie Frazier said Adrian Peterson is getting closer to returning from the high ankle sprain that has forced him to miss the last two games.

  • Only Indianapolis has a worse home record than the 1-5 record the Vikings have posted and, given the sorry condition of the Vikings secondary, seeing Drew Brees and the Saints coming into the Metrodome for the next home game can't be viewed with much optimism.

  • You would think after the negative backlash that has dogged Brett Favre for the last couple of years he would have learned to just dial it back and let the wounds Packer fans have with him heal. Obviously he hasn't. The recent reports that he would listen to an offer from the Bears make no sense because Chicago's offense is run by Mike Martz – who includes a playbook the size of a New York City phone book that most acknowledge takes a full year to fully digest. Throwing in an old QB, whether it's Favre or Donovan McNabb, who have only succeeded in West Coast offenses, makes no sense on multiple levels.


    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.



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  • Leslie Frazier said Adrian Peterson is getting closer to returning from the high ankle sprain that has forced him to miss the last two games.
  • Only Indianapolis has a worse home record than the 1-5 record the Vikings have posted and, given the sorry condition of the Vikings secondary, seeing Drew Brees and the Saints coming into the Metrodome for the next home game can't be viewed with much optimism.
  • You would think after the negative backlash that has dogged Brett Favre for the last couple of years he would have learned to just dial it back and let the wounds Packer fans have with him heal. Obviously he hasn't. The recent reports that he would listen to an offer from the Bears make no sense because Chicago's offense is run by Mike Martz – who includes a playbook the size of a New York City phone book that most acknowledge takes a full year to fully digest. Throwing in an old QB, whether it's Favre or Donovan McNabb, who have only succeeded in West Coast offenses, makes no sense on multiple levels.
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