May 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - An amended Vikings stadium bill passed the Minnesota House by a vote of 73-58 late Monday and now heads to the state Senate for a probable vote on Tuesday.
Earlier Monday, the chamber overhauled the $975 million proposal to raise by $105 million the amount the team would kick in, with support from both Republicans and Democrats.
Discussion on the House floor was overshadowed at times by the chants of Vikings boosters rallying in the rotunda outside. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Vikings players, including quarterback Christian Ponder, fired up purple-clad fans, who chanted, "Build it!"
Ponder drew cheers when he said, "I want to be here in Minnesota for the rest of my life."
The Vikings have pushed for a new stadium for more than a decade, but their efforts went nowhere until their lease at the Metrodome expired. Rep. Morrie Lanning, the bill's sponsor, said the team likely would leave the state if the legislation fails.
"Whatever you think of this bill, this is our one chance," said Rep. John Reseal, ir-Cottage Grove. "This bill works, it's been fine-tuned and it will build a stadium."
The plan negotiated by the governor, key lawmakers, the Minneapolis mayor and the team would have the Vikings cover about $427 million of the construction costs, or about 44 percent. The state would pay $398 million, with the money coming from an expansion of gambling. The city of Minneapolis would kick in $150 million by redirecting an existing hospitality tax.