Late last night, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a stadium bill that would keep the Vikings in Minnesota, and it would give them a brand new stadium.
But, there’s a catch.
The bill passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives was amended to add $105 million to the Vikings’ bill. It’s a big chunk of money, and Lester Bagley, Vikings V.P. of Public Affairs and Stadium Development, believes the plan isn’t practical. Bagley told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “That particular amendment is not workable. I don’t want to take away from the moment.”
It should be noted here that this is not necessarily the final version of the bill. The Minnesota Senate must still pass their version of the stadium bill. That version still has the Vikings paying $427 million instead of the amended $532 million. If the Senate passes the bill without amending it to exactly reflect the House’s version, the two bills will have to be reconciled in committee.
Since the Vikings publicly said there would be no next year in terms of pushing for a new stadium, the Minnesota legislature has shown considerable urgency in pushing to find a middle ground that the Vikings and the state can both agree on. That being said, amending the original bill, specifically adding $105 million to the Vikings side, is a dangerous game of chicken. Here’s the kicker. The Vikings have all the leverage in this situation. They know there are other markets that would love to add an NFL team, and the Vikings have the option of simply standing firm at $427 million. It’s important to note that just because a uniform bill is passed by the legislature doesn’t necessarily mean the Vikings must abide by it or agree to it. Essentially the bill is a formal commitment on the state’s part, not the Vikings’.