Most Minnesotans support proposal to build stadium in Downtown Minneapolis, new poll shows
NEWS RELEASE — More than 60 percent of Minnesotans support the proposed new Vikings stadium on the existing Metrodome site, according to a new statewide poll commissioned by Home Field Advantage, a consortium of Minneapolis business and community leaders.
The poll – conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., of Washington, D.C. – asked a random sampling of 1,000 Minnesotans this week whether they would support or oppose a stadium financed with state gambling and existing revenues, along with a major contribution by the Vikings.
The response: 61 percent voiced support, 30 percent were opposed and 9 percent said they were undecided about the proposed deal, which has the backing of Gov. Mark Dayton and is currently under consideration by Minnesota legislators. The poll, conducted March 16 to 19, carries a margin error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.
“The results of this poll confirm that the majority of Minnesotans want a new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis,” said Sam Grabarski, president of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and spokesman for Home Field Advantage.
Todd Klingel, president of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and a member of Home Field Advantage, said the poll results send a clear message to state lawmakers.
“It’s important that the Legislature work with Minneapolis officials and the Vikings to get this deal done,” said Klingel, referring to the stadium financing proposal.
The deal would require the football team’s owners to pay half of the stadium’s estimated $975 million cost. Most of the state’s contribution would come from gambling dollars, with no new tax increases or use of general-revenue funds. Minneapolis would chip in $150 million, exclusively from existing city hospitality taxes.
The proposal under consideration also has the backing of Minneapolis’ labor group. “If approved, the new stadium project would create 7,500 full- and part-time construction jobs over the three-year construction period,” said Dan McConnell, business manager, Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council.
Across Minnesota, an overwhelming majority of residents consider the Vikings an asset to the state, according to the poll. When asked to rate the importance of the Vikings staying in Minnesota, nearly 72 percent of respondents said that goal is “very important” or “somewhat important.”
Most Minnesotans also are keeping up with news about the stadium issue. Nearly three-quarters of those polled said they are following the subject “very closely” or “somewhat closely,” with just a fraction – 9 percent – expressing a lack of interest in the stadium debate.
The statewide sampling reflected Minnesota’s population distribution: 60 percent of respondents live in the 11-county Twin Cities metro area and the rest reside in other parts of the state. Fifty-one percent of poll respondents were women. Forty-nine percent of respondents were men.
On the question of party affiliation, most identified themselves as independents (41 percent). A third said they were Democrats and slightly more than a quarter (26 percent) ranked themselves among Republicans.
Smaller, separate polls conducted in two of the largest cities outside the metro area – Duluth and Rochester – mirrored the majority approval statewide for the stadium financing deal. In Duluth, 60 percent voiced support, versus 29 percent who were opposed. Nearly 11 percent were undecided in Duluth. In Rochester, 56 percent said they support the stadium deal, with 40 percent opposed and 4 percent undecided.
About the poll’s sponsor
Home Field Advantage is a consortium of leaders in Minneapolis who advocate for public sports and entertainment venues in the city’s central business district. Created in 2004 by the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and Meet Minneapolis, the organization is composed of business leaders, city officials, sports executives, labor leaders, financial consultants, building-design professionals and developers. Currently, Home Field Advantage is focused on the proposal to build a new downtown Minneapolis stadium to serve as both the home for the Minnesota Vikings and as a major venue for other events throughout the year.