An emerging fight over tax breaks could derail Minnesota's Super Bowl dreams.
MINNEAPOLIS - With a new stadium boosting Minnesota's chances at hosting a Super Bowl, an emerging fight over tax breaks could derail those dreams.
"I want to stress that obviously all of us would love to see a Super Bowl here, it's a great event," said GOP state Sen. Dave Thompson.
Thompson and five other senators filed a bill in the Minnesota Senate on Tuesday that would block the state from offering tax incentives to the NFL. They believe the state's recent $500 million taxpayer commitment to build the new Vikings stadium is enough.
"I just think at some point, responsible public servants have to ask 'Has the public done enough?' and in this instance I believe we have," said Thompson.
This could spell potential defeat to Minneapolis' 2018 Super Bowl bid since the other two finalists, Indianapolis and New Orleans, have offered the tax breaks in the past and appear poised to do so again.
"I always remind people, we would not have this tax revenue if there is no Super Bowl," said Michele-Kelm-Helgen with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, who is helping with Minnesota's bid.
Kelm-Helgen believes the tax breaks, which would exempt ticket sales and official NFL events, are a small price to pay.
"We still would collect all the taxes on hotels, restaurants, transportation, retail. All that tax revenue would come in," said Kelm-Helgen.
For Indianapolis, it meant an estimated $324 million for their regional economy when they hosted the Super Bowl in 2012.
"If it wasn't a good deal, Indianapolis would not be fighting to host it again," said Kelm-Helgen.
The question is, can Minnesotans stomach another tax break for the NFL?