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Wednesday, May 5, 2010
B & B all over: Stadium bill altered

By Kevin Seifert

I was too busy watching LOST and then sleeping, but Minnesota's stadium bill made it through a state House committee late -- and, I mean, at almost midnight Wednesday -- but not without major reconstruction that could hinder its progress.

According to this dispatch form Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune, supporters removed most of the public financing options in order to get it approved. That includes all so-called user fees originally put in the bill, including taxes on hotels, rental cars and sports memorabilia. Those taxes had come under fire because they would include people who don't use the stadium.

The remaining financing mechanism would divert a sales tax used for paying off the Minneapolis Convention Center, one that has drawn criticism from Minneapolis city leaders who say the sales tax will be needed for convention center upkeep.

The new bill essentially requires the stadium to be built in Minneapolis, as opposed to the site-neutral approach the team originally took.

Continuing around the NFC North: