SBD/November 2, 2011/Facilities

Local Sales Tax Increase Off Table For Vikings Stadium Funding

Dayton left open state's ability to up its contribution to build new Vikings stadium
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton yesterday said that a local sales tax “has been taken off the table as a funding source for a new” Vikings stadium, according to Doug Belden of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Dayton “left the door open for the state to up its contribution to the construction of a new home for the team and tagged electronic pulltabs as the leading funding option at the moment.” The Vikings, “whose plan for a $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills relies on $350 million from Ramsey County financed through a countywide sales tax,” said that they “remain committed to the site.” Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said, “The Arden Hills site has not been eliminated. The sales tax option has been eliminated.” Dayton added, “We're continuing to look at other means of financing the public share of the stadium project” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/2). Dayton said that the proposal “to let bars offer electronic versions of pulltabs was the most politically viable method of garnering money for a new stadium.” In Minneapolis, Eric Roper notes about “1,300 nonprofit organizations, from VFWs to hockey teams, are licensed to conduct charitable gambling at bars across Minnesota.” State Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk “first pitched the idea of linking it to a Vikings stadium two weeks ago in Dayton's office.” Bakk said that he “won't support a broader gambling expansion, but he supports the pull tab idea to help pay for a stadium and provide some relief for charities” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/2). Dayton said that while “he had hoped to have a special session on the stadium before Thanksgiving, mounting obstacles could move it closer to December” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/2).
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