Pawlenty throws cold water on latest Vikings idea
The latest Minnesota Vikings stadium financing plan appears dead before it even arrives at the state Capitol, judging by Gov. Tim Pawlenty's dismissive take Monday on the possibility for a metrowide sales tax.
St. Paul (AP) — Pawlenty said a seven-county sales tax increase for stadium construction "isn't going to fly."
"The Vikings have themselves in a real pickle," Pawlenty said.
Word that the Vikings were exploring a broad tax surfaced over the weekend. At least one top legislator said the Vikings have scheduled a meeting with him for this week.
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said the sales tax idea isn't the only one the team was considering. Bagley said he understands Pawlenty's cool reaction to the metro tax.
"At some point he is going to have to help us find a solution to this longstanding issue," Bagley said. "He has long told our ownership that he wants to work with us to solve the Vikings stadium problem to keep us healthy and in this state."
The franchise had been pursuing legislative support for an Anoka County stadium. But the team's relationship with Anoka leaders broke down late last year. Owner Zygi Wilf is now looking at building on the site of the Metrodome.
The stadium could cost as much as $900 million to build, but the team hasn't settled on a financing plan.
Last year, the Legislature authorized new stadiums for the University of Minnesota football team and the Minnesota Twins baseball team. The Twins plan is being paid for mostly through a higher Hennepin County sales tax.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)