2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Minn. committee passes stadium bill to full Senate

By PATRICK CONDON - Associated Press
    2012-04-27 22:59

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The $1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium bill narrowly survived a skewering late Friday in the Senate Taxes Committee, which moved the bill to the Senate floor as the team's decade-long push for a new home drew closer to a resolution.

It was the toughest test yet for the proposed stadium subsidy, which is expected to now face marathon debates and close votes in the House and Senate. Lawmakers hope to adjourn their session for the year by midnight Monday, and the stadium saga is likely to fill those closing hours with plenty of drama.

The bill to build a new stadium on the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis needs 68 votes in the House and 34 votes in the Senate to pass. All the committee votes that took the bill to both the House and Senate floors were ``without recommendation,'' a sign that many lawmakers have strong qualms about a stadium subsidy that the Minnesota Vikings have been seeking for the last 10 years. Team officials call the 30-year-old Metrodome outdated and unprofitable.

Stadium critics on the Senate panel zeroed in on the financing scheme that's proposed to cover a $400 million state subsidy for the project. The current proposal calls for an expansion of gambling in bars and clubs, with the newly generated tax revenue going to cover yearly costs of paying off construction bonds.

Foes of that funding source criticized it as unreliable and immoral, and moved to replace the gambling revenue with sales taxes on all transactions in the new stadium: from tickets and concessions, to Vikings merchandise, to indoor advertising and other money sources.

``It's about making it market based rather than taking revenue from everyone,'' said Sen. John Howe, a Republican from Red Wing who put forward the plan, which he described as user fee-based. ``The people who use the stadium the most are the ones who should pay for it the most.''

But the Vikings and their legislative allies strenuously objected to that approach. Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said it would cost the NFL team money - which, he said, would mean functionally abandoning the negotiated deal between Vikings executives, members of Gov. Mark Dayton's administration and the city of Minneapolis. That deal calls for the Vikings to cover $427 million of the $1 billion cost, and the city of Minneapolis to put up $150 million.

``I think it sends a pretty rough message to the folks who've been working on this, including the governor, who made this framework,'' said stadium supporter Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina. ``This rips out the backbone of the bill.''

While the stadium sales tax proposal failed on a close vote, it's likely to come up again as an amendment on the Senate floor. It was not clear what the sales tax rate would be based on a lack of complete financial information from the team - Howe said he would set it at the lowest rate possible to cover the yearly bond costs.

Sen. John Marty, a longtime critic of publicly funded stadiums and one of the Senate's strongest liberals, teamed up with conservatives on the Senate panel to disparage major aspects of the bill, which passed the committee on a 7-6 vote. They focused in particular on the gambling expansion, which would let Minnesota charities that operate games of chance in bars and clubs to upgrade to new, electronic versions of some games.

Many lawmakers have questioned the Dayton administration's projections of how much would be raised, saying that gambling is an inherently unpredictable source of dollars for the state.

``Gambling is not a very consistent source of revenue, it never has been,'' said Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas. ``And it does have its social costs.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group