Minnesota House passes $566 million bonding bill for new NFL Vikings stadium contribution

May 7, 2012


Minnesota House passes $566 million bonding bill for new NFL Vikings stadium contribution

In a sign of the tough road ahead, the chamber swiftly overhauled the $975 million proposal to raise by $105 million the amount the Vikings would kick in. The House vote will serve as the first test for a proposal that must also clear the Senate and likely would face House-Senate negotiations before another round of votes.

Jennifer Brooks
The Star Tribune

SAINT PAUL- The Minnesota House has signed off on a $566 million bonding bill that would fund construction and preservation projects across the state.

The capital projects bill will fund bricks-and-mortar projects across the state, from flood mitigation to repairs to the crumbling state Capital. It passed the House Monday by a vote of 99-32.

“There are days when I’ve felt like a ping-pong ball. Back and forth, back and forth,” said House Capital Investment Chairman Larry Howes, R-Walker, whose bill has been batted around for the entire session.

The final version of the bill includes millions for flood mitigation, bridge and road construction, and repairs to crumbling infrastructure across the state – including $44 million to begin repairs on the aging state Capitol. The bill now heads to the Senate as the House prepares to move on to the next item on its to-do list – the stadium bill.

The half-billion dollar capital-projects bill expanded over the weekend from an earlier total of $496 million. The vote on the bill was delayed last Friday, amid concerns about lopsided funding between the state’s two public higher education systems.

On Friday, the University of Minnesota system was slated to receive $54 million, mostly for maintenance and repair projects around its campuses, while the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system would have gotten $144 million. Over the weekend, negotiators gave the U of M system an extra $10 million and reduced MnSCU funding by $12 million, narrowing the funding gap to $64 million and $132 million respectively.

Other changes over the weekend included restoring $19 million to build an education center at Camp Ripley and stripping $30 million that had been earmarked for foreclosure remediation, supportive housing and preservation.
The state agency that runs the Minnesota Zoo lost $1 million over the weekend, leaving it with a proposed $4 million for asset preservation – like fixing the leaky dolphin tank. Minneapolis’s Phillips pool stayed in the bill, with $1.75 million earmarked to save the last inner-city pool in the city.

As before, the bill tilts heavily toward bricks-and-mortar projects like flood mitigation and bridge repairs, and leaves out most local projects like convention centers, the Southwest rail corridor, a face-lift for Nicollet Mall or a new ballpark for the St. Paul Saints.

“Let’s not tell Minnesotans that we’re preparing for the future, because we are not,” said Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, lamenting some of the items that were left out of the bonding bill – including funds to fight invasive Asian carp in the rivers and funds for the Southwest light rail corridor.

The bill does contain a $55 million pot of money that can be used for capital project grants – grants that communities might be able to apply for to build, say, a minor league ballpark or a civic center. Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, offered an amendment that would have locked up that $55 million for road construction projects instead, but was voted down.




Metropolitan Stadium

Metropolitan Stadium was located on the current site of the Mall of America in Bloomington. The Minneapolis Millers minor league baseball team played at Met Stadium from 1956 to 1960. The Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings played in the stadium from 1961 to 1981.


Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

The Metrodome is the 8th oldest stadium in the NFL. Construction on the Metrodome began on December 20, 1979 and opened April 3, 1982.

NFL stadiums by age

1 Lambeau Field Green Bay Packers 1957
2 Candlestick Park San Francisco 49ers 1960
3 O.co Coliseum ( Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) Oakland Raiders 1966 
4 Qualcomm Stadium San Diego Chargers 1967
5 Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City Chiefs 1972
6  Ralph Wilson Stadium Buffalo Bills 1973
7 Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans Saints 1975
8 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minnesota Vikings 1982
9 Sun Life Stadium Miami Dolphins 1987
10 Georgia Dome Atlanta Falcons 1992
11 Edward Jones Dome St. Louis Rams 1995
12 EverBank Field Jacksonville Jaguars 1995
13 Bank of America Stadium Carolina Panthers 1996
14 FedEx Field Washington Redskins 1997
15 M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore Ravens 1998
16 Raymond James Stadium Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1998
17 Cleveland Browns Stadium Cleveland Browns 1999
18 LP Field Tennessee Titans 1999
19 Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati Bengals 2000
20 Sports Authority Field at Mile High Denver Broncos 2001
21 Heinz Field Pittsburgh Steelers 2001
22 Reliant Stadium Houston Texans 2002 
23 CenturyLink Field Seattle Seahawks 2002
24 Gillette Stadium New England Patriots 2002
25 Ford Field Detroit Lions 2002 
26 Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia Eagles 2003
27 Soldier Field Chicago Bears 2003
28 University of Phoenix Stadium 2006
29 Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis Colts 2008 
30 Cowboys Stadium Dallas Cowboys 2009
31 MetLife Stadium  New York Giants/New York Jets  2010

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