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OUR OPINION: FOOTBALL

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Chances that a bill for a new Vikings stadium will surface from the current legislative session are still slim — at least that’s the view from just north of  Brainerd High School’s Adamson Field.

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However, as we try to track the legislation there are two points that are interesting to followers of the stadium saga.

First, if this bill passes it’s going to be pretty costly to wear the colors of your favorite pro team. One of the primary funding mechanisms for this bill will be a 10 percent tax on sports memorabilia — not just Vikings memorabilia, but anything with a Twins, Wild or Timberwolves logo as well. Ten percent is a pretty stiff hike for a sweatshirt or baseball cap. The Minnesota Revenue Department reported that 60 cents of every dollar the state would pay for a new stadium would come from that 10 percent increase.

The second point is that Gov. Mark Dayton appears to be ready to play a bit of hard ball with the Vikings. That’s a stance that we think is justified since the millionaire owners are asking for state contributions to a private business.

Dayton has been receptive to a Vikings stadium bill and has noted their importance to the state but he never spelled out how much he thinks the Vikings should contribute until recently. Apparently not satisfied with the Vikings’ current  offer to pay a third of the cost, Dayton said the team should pay 40 percent or even half of the construction cost. 

There likely will be many twists and turns in the stadium story in the next four weeks and Viking fans and non-fans will all be watching.

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