The Minnesota state Senate all but sealed the construction of a $975 million football stadium that will rely heavily on public financing. Gov. Mark Dayton says he'll sign the measure. Under the bill, the Vikings agree to a 30-year lease on the stadium, which will be built on the site of the Metrodome. The team would also pay about $13 million annually in operating fees. From AP:
The team chased a new stadium for more than a decade but had little leverage until its lease expired this past year on the 30-year-old Metrodome. Dayton led a newly urgent charge for the team, arguing that without a new building the state could lose its most beloved franchise. The deal guarantees the Vikings' future in Minnesota for three decades. The team would pay 49 percent of construction costs: $477 million, which is $50 million more than owners initially committed. But the public expense is still high: $348 million for the state and $150 million for the city of Minneapolis.
Most of the state's share would come through expanded gambling revenue. Some months back there had been speculation that the Vikings would consider relocating to L.A. if the stadium deal wasn't cut. Who knows whether the owners were serious or bluffing, but at this point it doesn't much matter.