Minn. House overhauls Vikings stadium planSupporters of a new Vikings stadium pleaded for votes in the Minnesota House on Monday, calling it their “one chance” to preserve the team’s future in the state.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Supporters of a new Vikings stadium pleaded for votes in the Minnesota House on Monday, calling it their “one chance” to preserve the team’s future in the state.
In a sign of the tough road ahead, the chamber swiftly overhauled the $975 million proposal to raise by $105 million the amount the team would kick in, with support from both Republicans and Democrats. The debate was expected to stretch into the evening, possibly past midnight.
Discussion on the House floor was overshadowed at times by the chants of Vikings boosters rallying in the rotunda outside. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Vikings players, including quarterback Christian Ponder, fired up purple-clad fans, who chanted, “Build it!”
Ponder drew cheers when he said, “I want to be here in Minnesota for the rest of my life.”
The Vikings have pushed for a new stadium for more than a decade, but their efforts went nowhere until their lease at the Metrodome expired. Rep. Morrie Lanning, the bill’s sponsor, said the team likely would leave the state if the legislation fails.
“Whatever you think of this bill, this is our one chance,” said Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove. “This bill works, it’s been fine-tuned and it will build a stadium.”