MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings are pushing back against Gov. Mark Dayton after he criticized the team for considering extra fees on season ticket holders to help pay the team's share of building a new football stadium.
The team's statement released Tuesday afternoon comes a few hours after Dayton sent a letter to owners Zygi and Mark Wilfstating his opposition to "personal seat licenses." Dayton says in his letter that what he has called a "People's Stadium" would become a "Rich People's Stadium."
But the Vikings point out seat licenses are authorized under the bill passed by the Legislature and signed by Dayton. The team calls such licenses "a key component of the stadium agreement."
Other NFL franchises and sports teams have used seat licenses to help pay for new stadiums.
Tuesday's statement from the Vikings:
The Minnesota Vikings greatly appreciate Governor Mark Dayton's support for the new multi-purpose stadium for the Vikings and the State of Minnesota. However, we are disappointed by his recent letter to the team, which does not recognize a key component of the stadium agreement struck by the Vikings, State and Local leaders this past spring.
The stadium bill, and the prior term sheet, that was negotiated with the Vikings over the last two legislative sessions by the Governor's own representatives and legislative leaders, includes provisions that expressly authorize the sale of stadium builder's licenses and include the proceeds of any sale in the project budget. Stadium builder's licenses were vetted by the Legislature, testified to by Vikings and State of Minnesota negotiators, and most importantly, specifically reflected in the stadium legislation that was passed and signed by the Governor.
The Vikings look forward to discussing this issue and moving forward with the agreement that was completed after many long years of effort.