Mayor Rybak, Council President Johnson Announce Sustainable, Affordable Plan for New Vikings Stadium, Target Center Renovation and Lower Property Taxes
Plan creates high-quality fan experience and good jobs, spurs development and tax-base growth
Secures Minnesota’s place as world-class entertainment, sports and tourist destination
May 9, 2011 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson today announced a sustainable, affordable plan that will build a new, multi-purpose Minnesota Vikings stadium on the Metrodome site, renovate the City of Minneapolis-owned Target Center, lower Minneapolis property taxes and improve City streets.
Mayor Rybak and Council President Johnson were joined at a press conference at the State Capitol by Senator Julie Rosen, chief author of the Vikings stadium bill and Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. Representatives of Minnesota’s business and organized-labor communities also attended the press conference to show support for the plan.
The plan will create a high-quality fan experience through significant amenities and improvements to the site, and will spur development and tax-base growth on the east side of downtown. It will also create much-needed jobs in the construction sector as well as good service-economy jobs. It secures Minnesota’s place as a destination for world-class sports and entertainment.
The plan also pays for a $100-million renovation of Target Center, which will ensure the competitiveness for 20 more years of a facility that generates more than $100 million in new economic impact annually.
The plan helps alleviate the Minneapolis property-tax burden by providing support for Target Center debt from sources other than tax-increment financing, which helps pay for the priorities of lowering property taxes and improving City streets.
"In the long struggle to find a high-quality home for the Minnesota Vikings and put an end to stadium debates once and for all, today we are announcing a game changer," said Mayor Rybak. "Our plan is based in the core Minnesota values of building quality and using what you have — and it creates jobs, spurs development and ensures a high-quality experience that will brighten our state’s economic future by secure Minnesota’s place as an entertainment, sports and tourism destination.
"This is the only realistic, sustainable, affordable plan to that will keep the Vikings in Minnesota," Mayor Rybak continued.
"This plan also builds on the core principle of taking care of what we already have, which has always been a bedrock principle in Minneapolis," said Council President Johnson. "This plan ensures the financial future of the Convention Center and the Target Center, both of which are powerful economic engines for the entire state, and uses Minneapolis’ economic power to help finance a new, sensible stadium for the Vikings and Minnesota."
"This is a pragmatic solution to a very difficult problem and I commend the leaders of Minneapolis for their leadership in drafting this proposal," said Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. "I would obviously love to have a replacement facility, but as a Minnesotan and former legislator, I know that renovating Target Center for one-third of the cost of a replacement is a solution that fits our state and our times."
The City of Minneapolis will partner on the stadium plan with the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Vikings. Under the plan $895-million plan, the Vikings’ share is $400 million, or 45%; the State’s share is $300 million, or 33%; and the City’s share is $195 million, or 22%.
The sources of the City’s financing for the bonds that the Metropolitan Council will issue for the public costs of stadium construction and infrastructure are:
• an admission tax on stadium events;
• increased game-day parking fees;
• taxes that are currently dedicated to paying Convention Center bonds, following the retirement of the bonds in 2020;
• expanding more widely city restaurant and liquor taxes that are currently collected only downtown;
• raising an additional 0.15% in sales tax citywide, equivalent to 15 cents on $100, which matches the sales tax Hennepin County raised to fund its share of Target Field.
No City property-tax dollars are used to pay for the plan.
The State’s financing sources are a pro-sports memorabilia tax, a sales tax on stadium suites and direct satellite services and a dedicated sports-themed lottery game, among others.
The plan creates a new Minnesota Stadium Authority to replace the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. The Authority will own, operate and maintain the new stadium, Target Center and the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Other counties or home-rule charter cities may participate in funding the stadium by imposing local taxes. If they do, they may retain 80% of the revenue that the new taxes generate for publicly-owned facilities of regional or statewide significance.
Published May. 9, 2011