A state Senate committee last week approved a measure that paves the way for a $2 million study on building a replacement stadium for the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings.

While lawmakers approved new stadium plans two years ago for baseball’s Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota Gophers football team, a deal for a new stadium has eluded the Vikings in the Legislature. All three teams currently share the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.

Hennepin County is building a new $500 million ballpark for the Twins with $350 million in public money from a sales tax increase. The Legislature also approved a new Gophers football stadium that includes a state subsidy which was awarded in exchange for a transfer of university land to the state for public use.

The Vikings and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the public agency that owns the Metrodome, would share the cost of the study that is to be completed by early next year in time for the 2009 legislative session.

The latest proposal being floated calls for a roughly $950 million stadium to be built on the existing Metrodome site. The team and the NFL would contribute $250 million, according to published reports. No plan has been announced as to how the remaining costs would be covered. The team’s lease at the Metrodome runs through 2011.

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