Lawmakers voted Monday to scale back the state's contribution for the $975 million stadium and require the team to put in more money.
Reuter: The eighth round
There are relevant players after Mr. Irrelevant. Chad Reuter identifies the best undrafted rookie free agent on each team. More ...
A plan to pay the state's share through a gambling expansion survived an attempt to remove it.
"After months of negotiation and compromise and the building of a legislative coalition, albeit a fragile one, any meaningful change of the bill drastically changes the probability of success," NFL executive vice president of venture and business operations Eric Grubman told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "You can't change the deal at the last minute." Grubman said that amending the bill to require the Vikings pay more or use gambling to finance the state's contributions were deal breakers for the NFL.
The Vikings have pushed for a new stadium for more than a decade, but their efforts went nowhere until their lease at the Metrodome expired. Rep. Morrie Lanning, the bill's sponsor, said the team likely would leave the state if the legislation fails.
"Whatever you think of this bill, this is our one chance," said Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove. "This bill works, it's been fine-tuned and it will build a stadium."
The House vote will serve as the first test for a proposal that must also clear the Senate and likely would face House-Senate negotiations before another round of votes.
The plan would have the Vikings cover about $427 million of the construction costs, or about 44 percent. The state would pay $398 million, with the money coming from an expansion of gambling. The city of Minneapolis would kick in $150 million by redirecting an existing hospitality tax.
Supporters weren't ready to predict passage. The legislation appeared all but dead until NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visited in April, raising pressure on lawmakers to act. After that, the bill limped through several committees.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.