Swing stadium vote still listening, not committed

Minneapolis city council member Sandy Colvin Roy was huddled in the City Council chambers until just before 7 p.m. tonight, talking Vikings stadium.

She walked out with council president Barbara Johnson, one of the plan’s biggest backers. But Colvin Roy said she hasn’t signed onto the memorandum that Johnson and Mayor R.T. Rybak want to present to lawmakers, to show the city is ready to ratify a stadium deal.

“I had a knee-jerk reaction to subsidies for sports stadiums,” Colvin Roy said, as she was leaving the building. “But I have been listening to the financial projections, I have been listening to the city attorney, I have been listening to my constituents. Nothing got signed today.”

That’s a crucial point. Colvin Roy is possibly THE pivotal vote on the council, which would have to approve a key detail of the city’s Vikings stadium plan, diverting state-authorized sales taxes to a new NFL venue, after they pay off the city’s Convention Center.

Stadium supporters sent in the plan’s chief financial consultant and development director Chuck Lutz to meet with Colvin Roy. She said it wasn’t a brow-beating.

“They didn’t try to give me any pressure. Mark Kaplan and Chuck Lutz gave me the financial runs,” Colvin Roy said. “Most of the pressure is coming from me internally, frankly. Because this is a very important decision for the city of Minneapolis for a very long time.”

But with only weeks, or even days left in the 2012 Legislative session, and lawmakers insisting on a straight answer from the Minneapolis City Council, it isn’t clear yet when that might happen.

As for Colvin Roy, she was finished talking for the day.

“I’m going to go home and get a good night’s sleep.”

  • The beauty of this scenario is that Sandy Colvin Roy is under no pressure to give the city’s money to Zygi Wilf. The city is better off letting the state continue to negotiate with the Vikings to come up with a deal that’s truly in the best interest of the public.

    As we’ve learned in recent weeks, the terms of the current stadium deal are far too lopsided in Zygi Wilf’s favor. In a nutshell, the socialize the costs while privatizing the profits.

  • Bob Kohlmeier

    We are a nation of laws and our state legislators, who are charged with making state laws, are the very people attempting to skirt the city referendum law. Not only is this glaringly hypocritical but worse, it ignores the will of the people and blatantly disenfranchises Minneapolis voters. For that reason alone, this bill, as currently written, is worth fighting against. The law is the law.

  • Jim Hruby

    Sandy’s weak, she’ll cave even though it’s a no-brainer: you don’t take money from the pockets of Joe & Jane Average and give it to the Wilfs (from the 99% to the 1%). Why does the NFL,one of the most successful businesses in America,need subsidies for its frachises? Why shouldn’t this very profitable private business just take out a bank loan? Rolling over the Convention Center or Target Center taxes is no solution, merely politics as usual–the never-ending tax. And the three newest councilmembers, Tuthill, Reich, & Quincy, are quickly turning into the people they replaced–rubber stamps with expertise in rationalization,like the master, R.T.R.– who show no appreciation for the taxpayer. Finally,the referendum law, mind you, was passed by legislation not popular vote;and we are a city of laws not men–remember, R.T.?

  • Bea

    Have they made the charitable-gambling numbers any more realistic in these meetings?

  • Sally Carlson

    This is such a bad deal on so many levels. 1) expansion of gambling, which is bad for our communities, 2) ignoring the residents of Minneapolis, who pay some of the highest taxes in the state, and have a right to vote on public money for sports facilities, 3) subsidizing a billionaire’s private enterprise. I hope it fails.

  • ben

    yeah im sure all the anti gambling people go to shows in vegas