MARSHALL - With the prospects of a stadium bill getting passed this session growing more dim by the day, outgoing District 22 Sen. Doug Magnus on Tuesday expressed his disappointment over how the plan has stalled.
A state House committee rejected the stadium plan in a 9-6 vote late Monday night, and with the 2012 legislative session winding down, it's becoming increasingly likely a bill won't get passed until after Magnus' final term is up. A Senate version of the stadium bill has been stalled in that chamber for the last month.
"It's a big disappointment," said Magnus, R-Slayton, who announced in early March he won't seek re-election. "I certainly would've like to have seen a good plan come together, especially while I was still here. I still think the Vikings are an asset to the state. I've always felt that if you did this right you could create a revenue stream for many years and generate a lot of income and economic development."
Magnus has been a staunch supporter of a new stadium for the last year-plus. He has worked closely with the bill's Senate sponsor, Julie Rosen of Fairmont, and has frequently been involved with meetings with team officials.
He said the funding plan that included tax revenue from electronic gambling just wasn't sufficient.
The stadium plan proposed in the House Senate calls for a $975 million stadium next to the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The state would contribute $398 million from the tax revenue on electronic charitable gaming; the Vikings would contribute $427 million, much of it expected to be from the NFL; and Minneapolis would provide $150 million from extending and redirecting taxes that now support the convention center.
"I've said all along that Gov. (Mark) Dayton's and (Minneapolis Mayor R.T.) Rybak's funding plan is problematic," Magnus said. "The surprising thing was that the DFLers shot down their own governor's funding plan - one DFLer voted for it and five against it in the committee. These metro folks just don't tend to support these things."
Dayton, also a stadium supporter, said Tuesday he has "no doubt" the stadium bill will prevail next year.
"We have to get a stadium next year or the Vikings will leave," he said. "It's just as clear as that. We can't have it both ways. We can't not do a new stadium and have the Vikings remain here very long."
Lester Bagley, the Vikings' point man on the stadium push at the Capitol, said after the committee vote the team was "extremely disappointed" at the outcome, the Associated Press said. "I guess I would ask the state, what else would you expect us to do? What else can we do?" he said.
Bagley said the team would continue to push the proposal as long as the Legislature remains in session, the AP said, but "this is extremely disappointing, and it sends a strong message to the Vikings and the NFL about the situation," he said.
He would not say whether the committee vote made the team's future in Minnesota any less secure, the AP said.
While the Vikings are committed to playing in the Metrodome for the upcoming season, it no longer has an active lease in the 30-year-old facility, and team officials have said they do not intend to sign one.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.