Gov. Dayton signs Vikings stadium bill

May 14, 2012 at 8:28 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn., May 14 (UPI) -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton Monday signed a bill approving state funding for a new $975 million stadium for the Minnesota Vikings in downtown Minneapolis.

Amid cheers and heckling at the state Capitol in St. Paul, Dayton signed the controversial bill authorizing the $348 million state portion of funding for the stadium, which will replace the 30-year-old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

The governor, accompanied by Republican and Democratic party political leaders, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, labor union representatives and business backers, celebrated the end of a years-long effort to keep the team in Minnesota with a new home, the Star Tribune reported.

"I'm proud of those who stepped forward and said, 'This is what makes Minnesota special,'" Dayton said.

"These bills, that involve major public investments, are understandably controversial. They're hotly debated. They're closely inspected -- as they should be. That's democracy, and that's Minnesota."

The Vikings will pay $477 million with the city of Minneapolis committing $150 million under the deal, which was passed last week by the state Legislature after a marathon debate.

Opponents holding signs saying "Homeless Can't Live in Stadiums" jeered as the bill was signed, the newspaper said.

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