Says current plans include undue burdens
Today, Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman put forward a statewide solution for stadium issues, recognizing that no one community should bear an undue burden.
“My first priority during this legislative session has been to fight to ensure that the statewide budget challenge not be solved on the backs of cities across Minnesota, including Saint Paul,” Mayor Coleman said. “Another challenge has involved a new Vikings stadium. Now that the legislative session has ended without a solution on either of these challenges, it is time to move beyond stadium plans with benefits or burdens to only a small part of this state and explore options which benefit all of Minnesota. I believe this statewide solution will do just that.”
While a 2-cent per drink sales tax is not site specific, this statewide solution would keep the Vikings in Minneapolis.
“Whether in Mankato, Minnetonka or Mountain Iron, Vikings fans are eating wings and drinking beer while watching their favorite team. Such a statewide asset deserves a statewide commitment,” said Coleman.
In addition to covering the full $550 million public investment for a new Vikings stadium, the proposed statewide solution will relieve Minneapolis of existing Target Center debt, much of which is supported by property taxes. A retrofit of the Xcel Energy Center and $5 million annual funding to a Greater Minnesota amateur sports fund will also be included.
The statewide solution proposed by Mayor Coleman will locate the Wild and the Timberwolves in one first-class arena at the Xcel Energy Center. A $75 million retrofit of the Xcel Energy Center will accommodate both teams while also building a public sports complex that will be used as a practice facility for both teams.
“Our region cannot sustain two competing arenas while larger markets use just one. We are the smallest market to host our professional hockey and basketball teams in competing arenas, which is an economic disadvantage we must overcome,” Mayor Coleman said. “Using one first-class arena for both the Timberwolves and the Wild will ensure our region remains competitive while cutting the long-term costs of supporting two competing arenas.”
Coleman raised concerns about current proposals.
“Current stadium proposals place an undue burden on one part of Minnesota for the benefit of another. The Ramsey County proposal to place a half-cent sales tax on Saint Paul to build a stadium in Arden Hills is not a good deal for Saint Paul. The Minneapolis proposal to spend $150 million on the Target Center, while it competes against the Xcel Energy Center, is a bad investment for our region.”
Minneapolis’s property tax burden will immediately be reduced by investing $75 million for Target Center debt relief and redevelopment of the Target Center site.
The statewide solution will also contribute to financing for a Lowertown regional ballpark in Saint Paul, contribute $5 million annually to a Greater Minnesota amateur sports fund and supply $3 million annually from a ¼-cent Saint Paul sales tax to Saint Paul parks and libraries.
“By providing a new stadium for the Vikings, reducing property taxes in Minneapolis, creating a Lowertown ballpark and contributing to amateur sports in Greater Minnesota, this proposal is the only one that truly benefits the entire state,” Coleman said.
Statewide Solution Detail Summary
Statewide Solution Fact Sheet
Consolidating Arenas: Regional Cost Efficiencies