Rybak pitches Vikings Stadium plan to skeptical City Council

by Nick Sudheimer

The road for Mayor R.T. Rybak’s plan to keep the Vikings in Minneapolis just got a little steeper.

Rybak pitched his plan to keep the Vikings in Minneapolis to a wary City Council Thursday, according to a report from the Star Tribune.  It was the first time that Rybak publically and formally addressed the Council on the details of his plan.

In order to fund the new stadium, the city would redirect taxes that support the Minneapolis Convention Center.  The plan would also relieve the Target Centers dependence on property taxes.

“What I’m opposed to is myself and my constituents and the people who we are begging to come downtown and eat and play and shop, to have to pay that tax 365 days a year for the benefit of a private entity,” said council member Lisa Goodman, who represents downtown.

Some on the council said they supported a citywide referendum on the plan.  A referendum is required when the city spends more than $10 million on a sports facilty, according to the city charter.

Despite the less than supportive reaction from the Council, Rybak said he wasn’t suprised and he believes most council members are “in the middle.”

“This is a big city with lots of opinions and we do things in a democratic, messy, wonderful way around here where people ask tough questions, Rybak said.”We give answers back and I think we made a lot of progress.”