The Minnesota Senate approved a proposal to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings last night by a vote of 38-28. Carver County’s State Senator, Julianne Ortman, voted no on the proposal. 22 of the 38 yes votes came from the DFL minority, while only 16 of the 37 GOP Senators voted in favor of the bill.
As with the House bill, dozens of amendments were debated. Key differences between the House bill and Senate bill include:
- The team contribution: the House bill calls for a team contribution of $532 million, the Senate bill calls for a $452 million contribution. Both of these amounts are higher than the $427 million the team has pledged, and the team has not indicated publicly a willingness to go beyond that amount.
- Financing the state contribution: The Senate bill includes some user fees in addition to electronic pulltabs used in the House bill. These user fees are a 10% fee on sale or rental of suites in the new stadium, a 10% fee on parking within one-half mile of the stadium, and a 6.875% fee on the sale of officially licensed merchandise at the stadium.
- Other provisions include a tax break for expansion of the Mall of America and $2.7 million in annual payments to the City of St. Paul to utilize on sports facilities (either retiring of debt on the Xcel Energy Center or construction of a new St. Paul Saints stadium are the most likely uses)
The bill now moves to a conference committee to hash out the difference between the two bills. Chaska State Rep. Joe Hoppe is one of the members of the conference committee. Once a final bill is agreed to by the conference committee, it goes back to the floor of each body, where they will take an up-or-down vote with no amendments allowed.