Vikings stadium bill passes, headed to governor's desk - KMSP-TV

Vikings stadium bill passes final vote, headed to governor's desk

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Vikings stadium bill passed the Minnesota Senate by a vote of 36-30 at 2 p.m. Thursday. The bill is now headed to Gov. Mark Dayton's desk for a signature.

The stadium deal also needs a vote from the Minneapolis City Council, but that is widely considered a formality. That final step is expected to happen Friday, May 25.

Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont), the author of the stadium bill, said the end of the Metrodome lease and the Metrodome roof collapse are the two biggest reasons the deal got done this session.

"It's really nice to be part of something as monumental as this," Rosen said, with tears in her eyes.

Rosen also pointed to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's visit and the GOP's failed alternative plan as turning points in the stadium debate at the Capitol.

"This is a classic example of the need for patience and perseverance," said Rep. Morrie Lanning (R-Moorhead), author of the House bill.

The House passed the new version in an overnight vote, 71-60. Those against the bill oppose it mostly because it involves gambling, which they see as an unreliable funding source.

In the final stadium bill, the Vikings will contribute $50 million more than they had planned. Now they'll give $477 million rather than $427 million.

"We can now say the frustration and wait is over. We are going to do this," Lanning said.

Vikings spokesperson Lester Bagley says the Wilfs are committed to Minnesota and the fans, and that's why they agreed to the $50 million increase.

The state's share of the stadium has dropped from $398 million to $348 million, and that is still funded through electronic pull tabs and bingo.

Now, the plan goes before the Minneapolis City Council, and Gov. Mark Dayton quipped that he hopes they will approve the plan because "calling the Legislature back for a special session is not high on my to-do list."

After the bill's approval, top leaders and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf spoke at a press conference about the process, and Wilf affirmed his commitment to Minnesota.

"We're here to stay, guys," he said.

When asked about a major league soccer team or a retractable roof for the stadium, he said "all those options are on the table."

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