A peek at the Vikings stadium bill

With Tom Scheck contributing

The Vikings stadium bill is out, and it largely follows an agreement reached last week by the City of Minneapolis, Gov. Mark Dayton and the football team.

The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, calls for the state and city to chip-in $538 million of the $975 million need to build the facility on the Metrodome site. The rest will be covered by the team.

Operating and capital costs will be covered by the city and the team once the stadium is built.

According to the bill, the state will approve appropriations bonds to pay the public share of the stadium. To pay off that debt over 30 years, the state plans to use revenue raised from electronic pull-tab gambling. Appropriations bonds are not backed by the full faith and credit of the state, so they’re riskier to investors.

The bill creates a new stadium authority that is on the hook for additional construction costs, but the bill also stipulates that the Vikings can take over construction of the facility if the authority allows it.

The bill also answers a few unresolved questions about the details of the agreement.

For instance, it contains a blanket exemption from the Minneapolis City Charter, which requires voter approval before the city can spend more than $10 million on a professional sports facility.

Further, the bill allows Minneapolis to use extra sales tax funds to renovate the Target Center.

There’s also good news in the bill for die-hard Vikings fans: If the team breaks its 30 year lease in the new stadium, Minnesota retains rights to the Vikings name, logo, trophies and memorabilia.

Here are some more details from the bill, by the numbers:

It’s a 65,000 seat stadium which could be expandable to 72,000 seats

There are 7,500 club seats (the expensive skybox seats)

The bill requires 2,000 parking spots be within 1 block of the stadium and another 500 spots be with 2 blocks of the stadium.

The stadium will have a fixed or retractable roof.

The stadium authority (which will run the stadium’s operations) will sell commemorative bricks. The funds will be used to help pay for the stadium.

The Vikings will have to sign a 30-year lease

If Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf sell the team, a portion of the sale will be given to the state. It starts at 18 percent above the “amount in excess of the purchase price of the NFL team by the selling owner or owners, declining to 15 years” after the stadium is built.

The team will have to sell “affordable tickets,” but the legislation doesn’t specify what “affordable” means.

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