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Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Black and Blue all over: No stadium momentum

By Kevin Seifert

Posted by's Kevin Seifert

The government entity that owns the Metrodome testified Monday at the Minnesota state legislature on behalf of constructing a new Vikings stadium. But state leaders displayed with little support, according to Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune.

Nothing that happened Monday suggested the Vikings could get approval for public funding during the 2009 session, a result that would put further pressure on the looming 2011 expiration of their current lease.

The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission suggested that the project could generate $734 million in construction spending and create 13,400 jobs, acting as its own stimulus to the local economy. The Vikings' plan calls for them to contribute about $250 million and get about $700 million in public funding for the project.

Rep. Frank Hornstein of Minneapolis, whose colleagues are dealing with a $4.8 billion state budget shortfall, reacted this way:

"To come in with a two-thirds publicly funded proposal for a brand new stadium here this session would appear to be a nonstarter."

This might be the one and only time state legislators hear testimony on this issue during the 2009 session. Assuming the Vikings don't get approval, they'll have 30 games -- including preseason -- left on their lease.

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