ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers are denying owners of football’s Vikings exclusive rights to recruit a professional soccer club as part of a stadium deal.
The state Senate voted 47-20 on Tuesday to strip out a clause giving the Vikings five years to establish a major league soccer franchise before anyone else can. The provision would have let the soccer team play at a new stadium with no additional rent.
Republican lawmakers complained it would give a corporation a publicly endorsed monopoly. Many Democrats sided with them.
The Vikings ownership has floated the idea of bringing a soccer expansion franchise to play in a new stadium during non-football months.
The amendment came about seven hours into Senate debate on the Vikings $975 million stadium package.