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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Senate stadium plans

The Senate passed two stadium bills today, one funding the Gophers stadium, another funding a Twins Stadium, Vikings stadium, and transit improvements.

The Gophers stadium proposal takes away TCF's naming rights and names it "Veterans Memorial Stadium", something that I like. This confuses Senate Minority Leader Dick Day, who probably wouldn't have any problems naming the stadium "Bob Bruinink's Pasty White Rear" stadium if the money was ponied up, but I like the idea of going back to our roots and honoring veterans. The bill did not include the 13% memorabilia tax, which was stripped out for some reason but will appear in the Senate tax bill.

The Twins/Vikings stadium bill would pay for transit and retractable-roof stadiums for both teams using a half-cent metro-wide sales tax. This is touted by proponents as being the only way to get something good out of the "need" to give billions of tax money to billionaires; I say hogwash. How about a transit-only bill that raises the metro area sales tax by no more than a quarter percent, including a referendum? No need for stadiums.

The passage of these bills may doom stadium plans this year, especially for the Twins and Vikings. The House and Senate will have about a week to come to a compromise before they have to adjourn. It may be possible for the Gophers, but the Twins/Vikings bills are so far apart (the House hasn't even passed a Vikings stadium plan), that it may be impossible.

If that happens, yay for us.


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