Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, wants the Legislature to say no to subsidizing the NFL.
He’s introduced legislation to block payments or tax breaks for the NFL if they bring the Super Bowl to the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis.
“The people of Minnesota have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to the NFL for a new stadium, and part of that agreement was the Super Bowl being in Minnesota. So we don’t need to pay a second time for something we’ve already paid for,” says Garofalo, who was a yes on the May 8, 2012 vote on the state’s $348 million pledge to help build the Vikings a new $1 billion dollar stadium.
“I expect at the May meeting of the NFL they’re going to give the 2018 Super Bowl to Minnesota. There’s really no reason to pay for something we already have. We’ve already given them a rich subsidy we’re not going to give you an ultra rich subsidy.”
That’s contrary to the NFL’s expectation: MSFA chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen told the Pioneer Press’s Doug Belden last month that the league would be expecting subsidies, like a break on sales taxes on tickets for the game.
Senate majority leader Tom Bakk conceded lawmakers might have to ante up for the game: ”It’s going to cost money,” he told the Pioneer Press. “Some of it’s local because we will have to kind of preempt the local government on local sales taxes, local lodging taxes. There’s just kind of a basket of things.”
Garofalo didn’t introduce his plan as an amendment to the 2014 tax bill that passed this week, as some thought he might. But Garofalo says he thinks it can be done. “I expect it will have significant bipartisan report. I bet two thirds of the House will support it,” Garofalo said.
(He has also introduced a bill to allow Sunday off-sale liquor for the Super Bowl)
St. Paul has signed off on the so-called “Phase 2″ agreement on a new Lowertown Ballpark with developer Ryan Cos., city officials said today.
The latest agreement, which covers $44 million in costs, clears the way for construction to begin in earnest on the 7,000 seat stadium. The city is paying another $10 million of the costs directly, for site acquisition and other preparation. City officials signed a $9 million contract with Ryan Cos. last year for preliminary construction and design work on the project.
“The majority of the walls of the Diamond Products building are now gone,” St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department spokesman Brad Meyer said. “We’re getting the site ready for construction and in just over a month, a little longer, we’ll see some construction cranes moving in and some new activity at the site.”
The stadium will replace Midway Stadium, where the minor league Saints play now. City officials say the new venue will bring more people to St. Paul and help revitalize the downtown area.
Here’s a financing summary released by the city today:
The Rochester Post-Bulletin says the Mayo High School booster club is going to give new life to the Metrodome’s turf. The Touchdown Club has raised more than $100,000 to acquire and install the turf, and the school board approved the donation yesterday to pay for the project. Reports the Post-Bulletin:
The turf is being stored in a warehouse in southeastern Minnesota, though Mayo High School officials declined to say where. It will be shipped in on eight semis this summer to begin the 8- to 10-week installation, which will be paid for by the Touchdown Club and local sponsors.
The paper reports that the donation sparked some envy. Two other Rochester high schools want turf fields for their football and soccer teams, but don’t have the money.
The turf dates from 2011, when the weather and replacement of the collapsed Metrodome roof forced the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission to scrap the Metrodome’s previous turf. It’s expected to last 15 to 20 years and save as much as $20,000 a year in maintenance costs.
Critics of the billion-dollar Vikings stadium deal are expected to oppose the reappointment of Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal during a hearing today at City Hall. Segal has said, contrary to the city’s charter, Minneapolis was not required to hold a public vote on the use of city tax dollars to fund the stadium, because Read more →
The Vikings will give select fans a sneak peek at the interior and amenities of the new stadium this week. The 7,500 square foot “New Stadium Preview Center” will display a “custom filmed experiential player tunnel and Vikings locker room experience, two authentic suite build-outs, a 24-seat Club seating section, 37 high-definition televisions and Read more →