Lakeville's State Sen. Dave Thompson (R-District 36) said Wednesday that he will not be voting to support a new Vikings stadium.
He also had some harsh words for his Republican colleagues who authored the bill which would have the state and Minnesotans contribute as much as $300 million through a series of new taxes and fees, and revenue from the stadium's naming rights.
“I acknowledge the Minnesota Vikings are a state asset. However, Republicans campaigned on the message of sensible government, low taxes and decreased regulation," Thompson said in a statement. "The voters sent us a clear message."
Thompson said as legislators, he and those in the House and Senate are in the business of making tough decisions.
"The focus of the legislature should be on creating a business friendly environment that facilitates success for the Minnesota Vikings and every other job provider in our state," he said. "It is inconceivable that we would fund a stadium to help multi-million dollar athletes pay their mortgages while many middle class Minnesotans are struggling to pay theirs."
The stadium bill likely wont get its first hearing in committee until after Easter break.
Proponents of the bill, including the bill's author, State Rep. Morrie Lanning (District 09A), Moorhead, have said a new stadium is key to keeping the Vikings in Minnesota. The team's lease with the Metrodome ends next year and the team could leave for a town willing to help build a stadium, lawmakers have said.