But let’s not be too hasty to dance on its grave yet, shall we?
Take a closer look at what’s in the bill and you’ll see how stadium backers might still find enough carrots to get them to a majority before this is over.
But first, let’s look at why the stadium bill is on life support.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he won’t sign any bill with a tax increase in it. So portions of the bill, from Rep. Loren Solberg, DFL-Grand Rapids, that raised money through a tax on sports jerseys and memorabilia, lodging taxes and rental car taxes had to go.
But that effectively removes every location option for building a new $791 million stadium except for one — Minneapolis. The other funding provision in the bill would allow Minneapolis to divert local taxes already in place for its Convention Center to pay for the new stadium in 10 years, after the Convention Center debt is paid off.
Problem is, Minneapolis isn’t too thrilled about giving up that revenue for the Convention Center, and doesn’t think it should have to pay all the public cost of a stadium that will be used by people from all over the state. City Council member Elizabeth Glidden said as much Wednesday in committee.
So how to win over Minneapolis? How about letting the city throw some funds at the financially ailing Target Center? That’s in the bill.
Except then you upset St. Paul, which wants similar treatment for the Xcel Energy Center and help building a new St. Paul Saints stadium and downtown hockey rink. And the Vikings don’t like the 40-year lease requirement in the bill.
So, does that bring us to a dead end? Not necessarily.
Remember how Twins stadium supporters built a majority for their handout? Funding for extended library hours and youth sports got thrown in at the last minute.
There is already a provision in the Vikings bill that requires 5 percent of the revenue to go toward youth sports. And there are lots of amendments for this bill flying around the Capitol these days. Almost as many as there are Vikings lobbyists.