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Stadium backers search for backup funding source

Lawmakers now writing a bill to build a new home for the Vikings are looking into alternate funding sources in case revenue from gambling in bars fails to bring in the $398 million the state promises to contribute, according to the Associated Press.
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Lawmakers now writing a bill to build a new home for the Vikings are looking into alternate funding sources in case revenue from gambling in bars fails to bring in the $398 million the state promises to contribute, according to the Associated Press.

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Bingo, pull-tabs: Rolling the dice for stadium funding

A plan to install electronic bingo and pull-tab machines in bars and restaurants is a popular suggestion when it comes to how the state could raise the money for a new Vikings stadium. But at least one expert says it would be a big gamble. The only revenue estimates we have are based on current sales, and no one can guess how customers will react to the new games.

Dayton doubts latest plan to pay for Vikings stadium

Gov. Dayton said Monday that the latest proposal to cover the state's share of a new Vikings stadium would rely on a form of illegal gambling known as tip boards. "It doesn’t strike me at first glance as a viable option," he said at a Capitol press conference.

Officials are certain electronic pulltabs would pay state's share of stadium

The Star Tribune reports on new revenue projections that show electronic pulltabs in bars and restaurants would pull in about $72 million annually. A legislative stadium group has tentatively endorsed the plan.

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A Republican who authored the stadium bill in the House says the time is nearly up. Rep. Morrie Lanning says charities have yet to agree to the funding plan, while some lawmakers are insisting on a backup plan if gambling revenue falls short. And some legislators are hoping to wrap up the session as early as next week.

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The Vikings stadium proposal faced more scrutiny in front of a 15 member House panel Monday night. Officials from the Vikings were questioned about their plan to bypass a Minneapolis voter referendum and sports-themed tip boards that would help fund the stadium.

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Republican Kurt Zellers says he's very concerned that revenue from electronic pull-tabs won't be enough to cover the state's share of a new Vikings stadium. And the current plan would designate the state's general fund as a backup. "If (it's) taking money out of the general fund, which is schools, which is roads, that doesn't work," he says in a Pioneer Press report.

Electronic pulltabs are likely source of funding for Vikings stadium

The Pioneer Press reports lawmakers are leaning toward using electronic pulltabs to pay for the state's share. Republican Sen. Julie Rosen says a group of legislators trying to put together a package feels that the other leading option -- slot machines at racetracks -- wouldn't get enough support.

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Minnesota Public Radio reports another player is making a move in the stadium game. A flyer says the band wants to build a casino in the Twin Cities metro and split the take 50-50 with the state of Minnesota. The White Earth tribe appeared in December before a Senate hearing to pitch a casino plan.