TVA has obtained a copy of the Vikings Stadium Bill that is about to be voted on in the House and Senate. Bare in mind that all must vote either up-or-down and no further amendments are allowed. Here are some finite details worth sharing…
• The Vikings contribution was raised from $427 million to $477 million. Originally the House of Representatives increased the Vikings share from $427 million to $532 and the Senate pegged it to “only” $452 million. The Vikings responded through Lester Bagley that the $105 million was “not workable” and it’s fair to wonder if a line in the sand was drawn at $50 million as bait (for lack of a better term) from the Conference Committee.
• The Vikings are tied to a 30-year lease. There was talk of making it a 40-year lease throughout this process, but in the end it’ll be at 30 like a conventional mortgage.
• A total of only three “home” preseason, regular-season and postseason games every 15 years to be played outside of the United States every 15 years. The NFL has played a number of games recently in London and has talked about playing in other foreign cities. This would limit the Vikings capability to play outside of the United States keeping more revenue within the state of Minnesota.
• In the event that the Vikings would be sold during the lease there is something known as a “clawback” provision where the profits would go to the public. Those figures are 25% of the profits if the team is sold within the first 10 years, 15% in years 11 thru 15 and 10% in years 16 thru 20.
• The Vikings have a 5-year exclusive right to bring a Major League Soccer team to the facility. Worth noting this was voted down in the Senate 47-20 on Tuesday, but in the end the Vikings will have this token to work with if they want to bring in a soccer team over that window. In the event that 5-years pass a team can pro soccer team can move into the new facility and be charged rent.
• The name of the “Vikings” will stay with Minnesota. In the event this deal passes, the stadium is built and the team moves to another city during the lease they are not allowed to change names.
• Primary revenue source will be dollars generated in tax revenue from new electronic pull-tabs and bingo games in bars and restaurants. The backup revenue source will be from luxury box fees and sports-oriented lottery games. No big surprise here. Pull tabs and bingo has been discussed all along. In the end, the user fees (which the NFL frowns upon) are only on the bill as backup.
There’s much more to it and the link on the Minnesota State Legislature is down right now. Both Sen. Julie Rosen and Rep. Morrie Lanning have set up this bill up ready to pass (touch wood) and put the ball back in the Vikings court to agree and finally break ground on a new stadium. But this is the Vikings who have let us down before. For tonight we hope and pray we have 30 more years of that… In the state of Minnesota!
UPDATE: The Viking Stadium passed the final House vote late last night and will now have one final Senate vote early Thursday morning. If the Senate vote passes, the bill is forwarded to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk where he’ll sign off on it to break ground.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig