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Republicans, Democrats join to oppose plans to fund Vikings stadium through gambling

A group of bipartisan lawmakers say they oppose any plan to expand gambling to raise revenue for a Vikings stadium. Meanwhile, Dayton says tapping Legacy funds might be an "option," and the city of Minneapolis shared some details about its own proposals for a stadium.
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A group of bipartisan lawmakers on Thursday said they would join forces to fight any plan to expand gambling in Minnesota to fund a new home for the Minnesota Vikings.

Several such proposals are on the table. The Pioneer Press is reporting on the latest idea: electronic pulltab machines. Revenue officials estimate electronic pulltabs could bring in $40 million a year. Democratic lawmaker Tom Bakk tells the Pioneer Press that would be more than enough to service the debt on the state's $300 million tab for a Vikings stadium.

Meanwhile Republican Amy Koch is coming out in favor of tapping Legacy funds. The Star Tribune reports Gov. Dayton considers it "an option." Minnesota voters approved the Legacy Amendment to fund outdoors and cultural projects. Koch tells MPR the team is "certainly a part of our history and our heritage."

Some state agencies don't like that idea. “We are definitely opposed to it," the executive director of the Region 2 Arts Council tells the Bemidji Pioneer. Terry Widman says the money is spurring activities across the state that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

The city of Minneapolis on Thursday unveiled details behind three sites that city officials say would be better -- and less expensive -- than Arden Hills. The proposed two ways to pay for it: New taxes or a new casino in Block E. Fox 9 has details.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback was behind the plans, and hall-of-fame sports writer Sid Hartman says Ryback waited too long to come up with a doable plan.

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Related

Gambling money breathes life into stadium talks

State leaders are looking toward gambling dollars to revive discussions about paying for a new Vikings stadium. There’s a broad range of options including a racino, a new casino, or expanding charitable gambling.

Some Republicans want to tap arts amendment money for Vikings stadium

MPR reports some Republican lawmakers want to use some of the state's Legacy funds to help build a new home for the Vikings. But critics say voters didn't approve the amendment to fund professional sports stadiums.

Opponents of stadium tax plan petition

The Ramsey County Charter Commission nixed a proposal to let county residents vote on a proposed sales tax increase that would help pay for a new Vikings stadium. Now a group opposed to the tax say they'll start a petition.

Poll: Minnesotans back gambling expansion to fund stadium

A new lottery game, slot machines at race tracks, electronic pull tabs, and a new casino were all supported by at least sixty percent of respondents. A majority oppose spending public dollars on a stadium. But that opposition is weaker than it was in a poll last spring.

Lawmaker says racino could fund Vikings stadium with money left over

Republican Rep. Tom Hackbarth says he's run the numbers, and he says slot machines at race tracks would pay for not only the state's portion of the Vikings stadium but could also pick up the tab for Ramsey County.

Copeland strongly opposes Farmer's Market stadium site

Caring and Sharing Hands founder Mary Jo Copeland said in a letter to the Star Tribune Friday that a new Vikings stadium near the Farmer's Market in Minneapolis would force the 'closing' of the charity. A developer promoting the proposal did not respond.

Republicans pitch two more stadium plans

The first proposal would plant the facility in Arden Hills and significantly up the state's contribution, which would be covered at least partly through electronic bingo and pulltab machines, a plan that Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley says might be "viable." Bagley tells the Star Tribune the second proposal, which would have the team and its partners cover 80 percent of the stadium's costs, "would not allow the Vikings to be competitive."

Lawmaker claims Wilfs will likely make money in Vikings stadium deal

A Minnesota lawmaker claims the Vikings stadium deal will eventually benefit team owner Zygi Wilf and his brother, Mark. State Rep. Bob Barrett claims after Wilf earns revenue from stadium naming rights and a contribution from the NFL, he calculates the Vikings owner can earn up to $350 million in personal seat license revenue.