On Wednesday night, a conference committee of six members from the Minnesota House and Senate merged stadium bills passed by each chamber into a modified bill for final approval. Late Wednesday night, the Minnesota Vikings signed off on the new bill that increases the team's share of the cost by $50 million. After overnight approval by the Vikings and the Minnesota House, the bill goes to the Senate on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, the House passed a version of the bill shifting $105 million of the state's contribution to the Vikings. The team called that bill "unworkable." Lester Bagley, the team's vice president, also expressed concern over the Senate version of the bill, which shifted $25 million in costs. In the end, adding more costs to the Vikings' share of the bill appeared to be the only way to secure passage.
The bill still has several more hurdles to clear, though passage is likely. The Senate started debate over the final bill at 10 a.m. Eastern. No additional amendments can be attached to the bill produced by the conference committee. A Senate vote is expected within a few hours from the start of its debate.
If the bill passes the Senate, its next stop is Gov. Mark Dayton's desk. The Minneapolis City Council would then have to approve it, but the council has expressed support for the plan in the past.