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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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."

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