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Vikings stadium to complicate 'concert wars'?

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Several Minnesota lawmakers are mulling fixes to a "concert wars" problem complicated by what will be the addition of the new Vikings stadium as yet another taxpayer-funded venue competing for big-name shows, FOX 9 reports.

Promoters who bring roughly 50 major concerts a year to the Twin Cities already have an array of choices, among them the 25,000-seat Target Center in Minneapolis and 18,500-seat Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. And the TCF Bank Stadium (home of U of M Gopher football) and Target Field are also attractive venues for the right mega-show. TCF hosted a super-sized U2 show in 2011 and Target Field has now welcomed two country music shows that drew record crowds of 43,000.

The new 65,000-seat Vikings stadium is scheduled to open for the 2016 season. Ground-breaking is expected next month. Lawmakers say the new stadium will be one more venue that is partly funded by the public competing for big shows, FOX reports.

"Right now, we've got all these tax payer-funded venues that are competing against one another and they drive the price down, sometimes to zero," Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, KARE 11 reports.

Atkins would like lawmakers to try to find a solution. One proposal: put all the venues under one management umbrella so that they can better share the concert revenues. A legislative commission is set to consider the issue Thursday.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, plans to introduce a bill in the next legislative session that will clarify where stadium event profits will go, KSTP reports. She and Atkins say revenues ought to be re-invested in operating and maintenance budgets for the facility.

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