A Republican state lawmaker is proposing backup financing plans for the new Vikings stadium that call for the team to chip in more for a new stadium or the state to authorize slot machines at existing gaming facilities. Rep. Bob Barrett of Lindstrom said the first option is for the Vikings to contribute the $200 million loan they've received from the NFL or turn over revenues from stadium naming rights to the state. "Because the original funding plan was poorly conceived, the Vikings need to step in and save the day," he said in a statement. The second option, authorizing slot machines, would backfill the stadium shortfall as well as providing money for rural school districts, some of which have gone to four-day weeks, Barrett said. If neither option is adopted, "then all stadium planning should stop immediately until e-pull tabs reach their target," he said. Barrett's proposal is the latest of several to emerge recently at the state Capitol as revenues from newly authorized forms of electronic charitable gaming continue to lag. The state projected the new games would spur heightened interest in gaming that would yield enough new tax revenue for the state to support $348 million in bonding. That is the state's portion of the $975 million stadium project. Minneapolis is kicking in $150 million and the team $477 million. But initial gaming revenue results have fallen far below projections. The initial estimate of $35 million in tax money for the stadium in 2013 has been reduced to $1.7 million.
Vikings stadium backup financing bill calls for bigger team contribution
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Apr 10