Monday, March 4, 2013
Vikings stadium: If funding falls short
By Kevin Seifert
At least two or three of you are asking what will happen if the primary source of public funding for the Minnesota Vikings stadium falls short of projections, as has been reported to be the case by several media outlets.
For our purposes, the most relevant question is whether the shortfall would delay construction, which is set to begin in October and be completed in time for the 2016 season. The short answer: Probably not.
The state's $498 million share of the $975 million project is to be paid for through sales of electronic pull-tabs. But the final two pages of the stadium bill provide for two "blink-on" funding provisions as backups. The first is an NFL-themed lottery and the second, if necessary, is a 10 percent tax on luxury suites.
And what of the doomsday scenario, where all three provisions fall short of the money required for the state's annual payments? At that point, from what I can tell, the state would have to produce money from its general fund -- something Gov. Mark Dayton promised not to do when campaigning for the facility.
While important, those machinations are sort of inside politics for the NFC North blog. The bottom line is there is a backup plan in place if not enough of you utilize those electronic pull-tabs. It would go against the spirit of the agreement, but when has a stadium construction ever proceeded without a hiccup or change of plans?