Vikings Stadium Bill signed by MN Governor

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the Vikings stadium bill on Monday, marking the final hurdle to keep the Vikings in Minnesota and to begin the process of building a new stadium.  The construction could last four years or more, but at least the uncertainty over whether the Vikings will be sold or moved is over.

The Metrodome

The bill was signed with team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf in attendance, and a host of cheering Vikings fans.  “This is what makes Minnesota special,” Dayton said before signing the bill.  A few protestors showed up as well, including one who chanted “shame on you” as the governor signed the bill, but the majority of the crowd was composed of happy Vikings fans.  The Vikings will sign a 30 year lease in the new $975 million stadium.

“[The schedule is] that we would start in earnest in the second and third quarter of 2013,” said Ken Sorenson, vice president at Mortenson Construction.  “We could be on site early next year, to start relocating utilities, to start accommodating some of the back of house restructuring that needs to be done for the Metrodome.”

There is one more vote to be cleared (isn’t there always) – the Minneapolis City Council will have to sign off on the tax shift to fund the city’s portion ($150 million) of the $975 million project, along with the annual upkeep estimated at $7.5 million.  The council approved the deal in a preliminary vote last month, but the vote was 7 to 6, to don’t discount the possibility of some last minute grandstanding by one of the swing votes.

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