ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — They can’t stop the Minnesota Vikings stadium from being built, but critics of the funding plan aren’t sitting quietly as construction begins.
Away from Tuesday’s groundbreaking festivities, a collection of conservative groups and lawmakers held a counter-event to keep the focus on the stadium’s heavy public subsidy. They describe the financing as shaky and say taxpayers got a raw deal.
Public funds will foot roughly half of the $1 billion price tag. An initial plan to get a big chunk of that through new electronic gambling failed. So lawmakers plugged the gap in a stadium account with a one-time diversion of tobacco taxes and going forward with a corporate tax.
Criticism was directed at Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, but Republicans controlled the Legislature when the stadium was authorized in 2012.