GOP leaders pledge $250 million in state funds for stadium

GOP legislative leaders released part of their stadium proposal today. The plan, which was released by House GOP leadership, calls on the state to borrow $250 million to pay for the state’s portion of the stadium to be built on the Metrodome site. The city of Minneapolis would still be obligated to pay $150 million. The Vikings share of the proposal is still yet to be determined. They plan also doesn’t highlight how much a roof would cost which GOP leaders say is needed. A spokeswoman for House Republicans say the plan is being formulated and warns some of the details still need to be filled in.

Republican leadership floated the plan yesterday as a better alternative than a plan that the Vikings, Gov. Dayton and a bipartisan group of lawmakers had already agreed on. That plan relied on revenue created from allowing charities to operate electronic pull tab machines in the state’s bars and restaurants. GOP leaders say that plan has been criticized over the past several weeks for being unreliable.

The plan also would give the city of Minneapolis “flexibility” in future use of the convention center tax. City officials say the use of that money is critical for the state’s plans to redevelop the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.

GOP leadership and the stadium bill authors met with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Vikings lobbyists to discuss the proposal. Rybak called the discussions productive.

“At least we’re talking,” Rybak said to reporters.

Vikings lobbyist Lester Bagley said they’re looking seriously at the proposal now that GOP leaders are committed to putting a roof on the stadium. He said, however, the Vikings are sticking with their plan to spend $427 million on the stadium.

That leaves a hole of roughly $150 million on the nearly $1 billion stadium plan that Gov. Dayton supports. Dayton has called on lawmakers to vote on that proposal but said this afternoon he’s willing to listen to other ideas.

Here’s the plan released by GOP leaders:


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