Horner’s plan: Team pays 40 percent

Published 8:46 am Friday, July 30, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner sketched out a plan on Thursday for a new Vikings stadium that would have the team paying 40 percent of an estimated $900 million project.

Horner told The Associated Press that the state would pay the rest through a penny-per-drink liquor tax statewide, plus revenue from a racino and a tax on game tickets. Horner said that would produce a “state-of-the-art” stadium, likely one with a fixed roof that would keep the Vikings in Minnesota for the next 40 years and bring Super Bowls, Final Fours and other major events to the Twin Cities.

“We’ve punted long enough,” Horner said. “2011 is the year we need to get this done.”

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The Vikings’ Metrodome lease expires after the 2011 season and the team has said it won’t renew it. Owner Zygi Wilf has not yet threatened to sell the team or move it to Los Angeles, but Horner said that’s a legitimate risk — unlike when the Twins were campaigning for a stadium in the 1990s.

“The Twins didn’t have Los Angeles sitting out there with no NFL team, a league very interested in bringing that TV market into the fold and a group ready to build a new stadium to host an NFL team,” Horner said. “We know how long it took to get an NHL team back here after we lost the North Stars. To get an NFL team back here, if it ever happened, it would be maybe a generation or more.”

A glance at other major-party candidates’ positions:

Democrat Mark Dayton: Benefits have to exceed public costs. Any bonds not repaid from general fund. but from user fees.

Democrat Matt Entenza: Says supported approach for Twins stadium, which depended heavily on a “local partner” in form of tax on Hennepin County sales tax, and “taking same approach this time.”

Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher: No general fund dollars for stadium. Stadium could be built through local partnership.

Republican Tom Emmer: Says working on stadium proposal that might involve a local partner but wouldn’t necessarily involve local tax dollars; would not involve any state tax money.