The Minnesota Vikings are just a step away from getting a new $975 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a stadium conference committee report this morning that would finance the new stadium.
The move comes after the Dayton Adminstration and lawmakers from both political parties held a series of closed door meetings to discuss the particulars of the final product. The plan increases the team’s contribution to $477 million. The state of Minnesota would spend $348 million on the new stadium. The city of Minneapolis would spend $150 million.
Vikings fans, lobbyists and supportive lawmakers cheered and shook hands after the House passed the measure 71-60. 38 Democrats joined 33 Republicans to vote for the bill. Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said he’s pleased that his seven year effort to get the Vikings stadium is coming to a close.
“We knew this was going to be a real challenge and it was,” Lanning said. “But anybody who follows my career knows I have a lot of patience and perserverence.”
Several critics of the bill said they were concerned about the use of public money for a profitable franchise. Others worried that the expansion of electronic pull-tabs would not produce the expected revenue to finance the stadium and the team should have kicked in more cash.
“We’re growing government here and we’re doing it in a very bizarre way,” Rep. Doug Wardlow, R-Eagan, said. “We’re funding handouts to millionaires and billionaires by taking away from those who can least afford it.”
The Senate is expected to take up the conference committee later today. If that body passes the measure, it would head to Governor Dayton for his signature.
Here’s the vote breakdown (provided by the Associate Press):
DEMOCRATS VOTING YES
Anzelc (Balsam Twp); Atkins (Inver Grove Heights); Benson, J. (Minnetonka); Brynaert (Mankato); Champion (Minneapolis); Dill (Crane Lake); Dittrich (Champlin); Eken (Twin Valley); Fritz (Faribault); Gauthier (Duluth); Hilstrom (Brooklyn Center); Hortman (Brooklyn Park); Hosch (St. Joseph); Johnson (St. Paul); Kath (Owatonna); Knuth (New Brighton); Lesch (St. Paul); Lillie (North St. Paul); Mahoney (St. Paul); Mariani (St. Paul); Marquart (Dilworth); Melin (Hibbing); Moran (St. Paul); Morrow (St. Peter); Murphy, M. (Hermantown); Nelson (Brooklyn Park); Norton (Rochester); Pelowski (Winona); Persell (Bemidji); Poppe (Austin); Rukavina (Virginia); Simon (St. Louis Park); Slawik (Maplewood); Slocum (Richfield); Thissen (Minneapolis); Tillberry (Fridley); Ward (Brainerd); Winkler (Golden Valley)
DEMOCRATS VOTING NO
Allen (Minneapolis); Carlson (Crystal); Clark (Minneapolis); Davnie (Minneapolis); Falk (Murdock); Greene (Minneapolis); Greiling (Roseville); Hansen (South St. Paul); Hausman (St. Paul); Hilty (Finlayson); Hornstein (Minneapolis); Kahn (Minneapolis); Laine (Columbia Heights); Lenczewski (Bloomington); Liebling (Rochester); Loeffler (Minneapolis); Mullery (Minneapolis); Murphy, E. (St. Paul); Paymar (St. Paul); Scalze (Little Canada); Wagenius (Minneapolis)
DEMOCRATS NOT VOTING
Huntley (Duluth); Peterson (New Hope)
REPUBLICANS VOTING YES
Abeler (Anoka); Anderson, P. (Starbuck); Beard (Shakopee); Cornish (Vernon Center); Davids (Preston); Doepke (Orono); Fabian (Roseau); Garofalo (Farmington); Gottwalt (St. Cloud); Gunther (Fairmont); Hamilton (Mountain Lake); Hoppe (Chaska); Howes (Walker); Kelly (Red Wing); Kiel (Crookston); Kriesel (Cottage Grove); Lanning (Moorhead); LeMieur (Little Falls); McFarlane (White Bear Lake); McNamara (Hastings); Murdock (Ottertail); Murray (Albert Lea); Nornes (Fergus Falls); O’Driscoll (Sartell); Sanders (Blaine); Schomacker (Luverne); Shimanski (Silver Lake); Smith (Mound); Torkelson (Nelson Twp); Urdahl (Grove City); Vogel (Willmar); Westrom (Elbow Lake); Woodard (Belle Plaine)
REPUBLICANS VOTING NO
Anderson, B. (Buffalo Twp); Anderson, D. (Eagan); Anderson, S. (Plymouth); Banaian (St. Cloud); Barrett (Lindstrom); Benson, M. (Rochester); Bills (Rosemount); Buesgens (Savage); Crawford (Mora); Daudt (Crown); Dean (Dellwood); Dettmer (Forest Lake); Downey (Edina); Drazkowski (Mazeppa); Erickson (Princeton); Franson (Alexandria); Gruenhagen (Glencoe); Hackbarth (Cedar); Hancock (Bemidji); Holberg (Lakeville); Kieffer (Woodbury); Kiffmeyer (Big Lake); Leidiger (Mayer); Lohmer (Lake Elmo); Loon (Eden Prairie); Mack (Apple Valley); Mazorol (Bloomington); McDonald (Delano); McElfatrick (Deer River); Myhra (Burnsville); Peppin (Rogers); Petersen (Andover); Quam (Byron); Runbeck (Circle Pines); Scott (Andover); Stensrud (Eden Prairie); Swedzinski (Ghent); Wardlow (Eagan); Zellers (Maple Grove)