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Public referendum still an option for Vikings stadium


Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins, was built in part through a local contribution that came without a public vote. That key facet of the deal, incorporated into the package by the Legislature, enabled the plan to avoid near-certain doom at the hands of the electorate. A similar strategy is planned for the new Vikings stadium, with a one-half cent sales tax in Ramsey County imposed on the people without the people having any say in the matter.

If one key state senator has any say in the matter, that won’t happen.

It’s important for the voters to have their say,” Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said, according to the Associated Press.

And what would happen to the project, if the voters have their say? “It would derail it,” Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett said.

Senator Koch, who claims that she has supported referendums for similar measures in her own district and is merely being consistent, surely knows that the ultimate outcome of the process would be a vote against the sales tax, and in turn the death of the project. Thus, she presumably has something in mind by way of a concession or leverage point before she’ll agree to the proposed no-referendum approach.

Whether or not this latest development constitutes political gamesmanship, the powers-that-be in Minnesota may soon have to resort to political games on Sundays in the Fall, because there won’t be any pro football games there unless they get this thing figured out.