Mpls. council wants Vikes referendum

Published 10:17 am Friday, January 27, 2012

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Vikings may finally be warming to a new football stadium at the Metrodome site, but the Minneapolis City Council is not sold.

The Star Tribune reports that a majority of the council oppose Mayor R.T. Rybak’s stadium funding plan unless there’s a citywide vote on the issue. Rybak told council members Thursday he want the city to contribute more than $300 million from an existing city sales tax in order to help the team and the state build a $920 million stadium.

That would require the state to override a Minneapolis charter amendment that voters must directly approve spending more than $10 million on a stadium.

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Rybak said he doesn’t believe council opposition is firm. He opposes a referendum and says voters ill get their say when he’s up for reelection.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton and a key lawmaker said that the team must build on the site of the Metrodome — its least-favorite option — or state funding help for the multimillion-dollar project won’t happen this year.

The Vikings prefer a $1.1 billion stadium proposal on a site in suburban Ramsey County, north of St. Paul, that offers space to build adjacent team facilities as well as retail, hotel and entertainment development. But funding that proposal would require a sales tax increase in the county, a move that lacks support.