Monday, May 3, 2010

Two weeks to go, will the Vikings get a new stadium?

The Minnesota State Legislature heads into its final two weeks of the current session today. Right now Minnesota is facing a budget deficit of $1 billion which could balloon to $7 billion by 2013. Despite stark budget cut proposals, legislation is going to be introduced to discuss the Vikings stadium issue. House Ways and Means Committee chair Solberg sent a note to DFL and Republican legislators on Sunday to announce options that will start the discussion. In the note Solberg stated that timing is good in the respect that "low interest rates, a good bidding climate and a 40 percent unemployment rate in [building] trades, now is a good time to talk about construction jobs" (http://www.startribune.com/politics/92626709.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ).

The lease on the Metrodrome expires next year and officials with the Vikings have stated no extension would be agreed to unless a new stadium deal is set. It has been reported that that the Vikings are willing to put up a third of the cost. The total bill is being floated around $800 Million. Is this type of investment worth it to the citizens of Minnesota? Has public funding for professional sports team come to an end? What effects will ripple through the economy in Minnesota if the Vikings were to leave for another state? Would the Vikings give up the naming rights money to the State?