"Why should the state of Minnesota contribute to a stadium for a billionaire owner," Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) asked Minnesota Vikings managers and owners Monday evening, according to the Star-Tribune.
The hearing before the Minnesota House's Government Operations and Elections Committee went downhill from there for supporters of the team and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak's plan to build a new stadium on the site of the current Metrodome.
The committee eventually voted 9-6 against sending the bill securing state financial support for a stadium on to the full House. The vote will not kill the proposal outright, and as the Star-Tribune reports, state Republican and Democrat leaders could hammer out a deal as the end of this year's legislative session looms on the horizon.
According to the Pioneer Press, legislators from both parties peppered Vikings officials with questions. Lawmakers were worried about possible violations to the Minneapolis Charter and stripped a measure from the stadium bill that would have exempted the plan from the Charter's referendum requirement. When quizzed about the posibilty of over-subsidizing the team, Vikings officials said they were "not cash-flow positive as we currently stand."