Good News, Bad News On Stadium

A $1.2 billion stadium bill cleared a big hurdle in the Minnesota House of Representatives, but many came away feeling the approval was more window dressing than actual interest in the state partnering up for a new stadium for the Vikings.

Many saw Tuesday's 15-13 vote approving a $1.2 billion stadium package by the House Tax Committee as a positive for the Vikings. But, those in the know don't share that view.

By the narrowest of votes, the bill made it out of committee, but not before several amendments changed the face of the bill completely. Among the most important was a limit on state funding for the proposed $600 million Vikings stadium at $185 million.

Under such a formula, the Vikings would have to come up with approximately $200 million of their own money and Anoka County would have to pony up the other $215 million.

Another amendment made it that the other local share cost would be paid exclusively by the counties that end up with the proposed stadiums, instead of sharing the cost with a metrowide or statewide tax or user fee. As a result, representatives for Anoka County (which seeks a Vikings stadium) and Hennepin and Ramsey counties (the two sites for a Twins stadium) all voted against the bill.

While it is seen as a positive sign that the bill made it through to the full house, the fact that the representatives of the counties where the stadiums would end up were unanimously opposed to the bill in its final form can't be seen as good news.

* VU would like to congratulate Nate Burleson and his wife on the birth of their first child -- Nathaniel Eugene Burleson II -- born Tuesday.
* Corey Chavous was excused from practice Tuesday to attend the funeral of former Cardinals teammate Pat Tillman.
* The Vikings offensive line has a different look. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie has lost 15 pounds and is playing at 333 pounds, while right tackle Mike Rosenthal gained 10 pounds to check in at 320.
* Randy Moss has been fitted with an orthotic arch support for his ailing foot and might give it a try and participate at a limited level this weekend at minicamp.

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