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New Viking Stadium Set for Monday Vote

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Minnesota lawmakers extended a legislative session scheduled to conclude Thursday in order to complete unfinished business, including a vote on Monday on plans to construct a new $975-million stadium for football's Minnesota Vikings.

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A push to pass a public subsidy for the project stalled Tuesday after Republican legislative leaders introduced an alternative to a plan negotiated by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, the Vikings and the City of Minneapolis.

Republicans, who control the legislature, have since scrapped the plan, which would have reduced the amount of project costs funded by taxpayers.

Dayton's plan relies heavily on taxes derived from gaming, a source opponents contend isn't reliable. They also argue the 54% of costs deriving from taxpayers far exceeds public contributions to all but three of the last 10 National Football League stadiums.

Senate Majority Leader David Senjem indicated he isn't certain the plan has a sufficient number of votes in the Senate. Speaker Kurt Zellers has vowed to vote against the plan.

Labor leaders have endorsed the plan, citing its potential to create thousands of construction jobs. The project would replace the 30-year-old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, located in downtown Minneapolis.

Under Dayton's plan, the Vikings would provide $427 million in private financing for the project. In addition to the $400 million in public financing derived from gaming, plans call for an additional $150 million from Minneapolis sales taxes.

 

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