Minnesota's top stadium strategist had a few interesting revelations Wednesday during a live chat on the Vikings' website. Lester Bagley, vice president of public affairs and stadium development, said:
That a formal proposal for a new stadium, along with a schedule of public hearings, will be released within the next few days. That would give the team about three weeks to try pushing it through the state legislature before adjournment on May 17.
It's possible there will be two versions of the proposal. One would call for the stadium to be built on the current site of the Metrodome, requiring a two-year move to TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The other would be "site-neutral" and request a local government body to provide a site and a financial plan.
Owner Zygi Wilf and the NFL will commit a total of $215 million to the project, which is estimated to cost about $870 million. Wilf's contribution would represent 30 percent of the project, not counting the costs of a fixed roof (but included in the $870 million estimate).
That a financing plan is coming together. Bagley: "There are a lot of creative funding ideas being discussed. Soon we will see the bill that includes a number of them. The fundamental premise of the legislation is "those who use or benefit from the facility should pay." Those could include NFL memorabilia, hospitality taxes, Vikings-themed lottery games, as well as license plates and bricks and similar proposals." That corresponds with Governor Tim Pawlenty's requirement that no money from the state's general fund goes toward financing the stadium.
We'll keep you updated.