ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – For more than a decade the Minnesota Vikings have been pushing to break out of the Metrodome and into a shiny new home. Finally on the brink of getting a new $975 million stadium, the team faces a harsh reality. They’ll need to ante up more or walk away empty-handed. Team executives insist that the private contribution be capped at $427 million. But Minnesota lawmakers are now on record demanding that the Vikings and private partners foot a bigger share of construction costs. The extra request ranges from $25 million to $105 million in differing House and Senate versions. Negotiators will likely wind up somewhere in between. Then it’s up to the Vikings to decide if they’re willing to pay more.
Meanwhile, Minnesota lawmakers are denying owners of football’s Vikings exclusive rights to recruit a professional soccer club as part of a stadium deal. The state Senate voted 47-20 on Tuesday to strip out a clause giving the Vikings five years to establish a major league soccer franchise before anyone else can. The provision would have let the soccer team play at a new stadium with no additional rent. Republican lawmakers complained it would give a corporation a publicly endorsed monopoly. Many Democrats sided with them. The Vikings ownership has floated the idea of bringing a soccer expansion franchise to play in a new stadium during non-football months. The amendment came about seven hours into Senate debate on the Vikings $975 million stadium package.
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