The Minnesota Vikings are considering gambling as a revenue source for their new stadium plan. The American football team is in a bit of a muddle after its backers are finding it difficult to try to come up with the state’s $300 million share of the $1.1 billion dollar stadium.
As it becomes increasingly evident that gambling will probably be part of the final proposal, they better hurry up and make a decision. They have just five weeks left in which to put together a plan.
In a report by Minnesota Public Radio, bill sponsor representative, Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said: “Gaming certainly has to be one of the options that’s considered, in fact, the original bill that we presented did have some gaming in it.
“Those proceeds were earmarked to the facility, and gaming clearly is an option.”
Additionally, a Republican State Representative, Tom Hackbarth, met with the state governor’s staff on Tuesday to chat about funding a stadium with track and gaming proceeds.
It seems sourcing the revenue from gambling is pretty much inevitable. Another indicator is how would-be Block E casino developer, Bob Lux, will meet with Minnesota governor Mark Dayton to discuss the stadium next Wednesday.
Even dear old Charlie Weaver, a former Republican legislator and executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, said gambling might be “the compromise that stadium supporters have been searching for”.
“Might be”? Come on, Charlie – it’s the Vikings’ only hope.
He added: “Gambling might be able to sweeten an otherwise difficult stadium deal.”
It is thought by the backers that gaming revenues would meet the governor’s requirement for the stadium to be paid for with something other than existing state revenues.
Vikings management seems indifferent to the idea. They just want a stadium, for crying out loud. While they anxiously wait, they say it’s up to the state if gambling is to be used to pay for the stadium. All they stipulate is that a casino wouldn’t be tied directly to the stadium because for some reason, the NFL would object to that.
The state governor himself isn’t all that fussed about the final decision. Dayton has left it in the hands of the backers even though he said he’d rather not have it as “part of a stadium package”.
He added: “There are pros and cons. Again, my preference would be it be clean and straightforward, and have the state share in the revenues from the operation of the stadium and have those who use the stadium, in a sense, pay off the bonds.”
There is objection from some people, such as DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, who said he personally won’t support an expansion of gaming. However, it seems gambling revenue is the right way to go to ensure the Vikings have a worthy playground in which to kick around their prolate spheroid shaped balls.