SBD/March 27, 2013/Facilities

Gaming Revenue Projections For Vikings Stadium Funding Continue To Fall

After the state of Minnesota originally projected that “adding electronic charitable games would generate" $35M in taxes for the Vikings stadium project by the end of this year, that projection was "downgraded" to $17M in November and then reduced to $1.7M last month, according to Doug Belden of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. The new games were “expected to be installed in 2,500 sites, but they were only in about 180 by last week.” Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton yesterday said, "The panic alarms are premature.” He added that there is “time for the games to catch on,” and there also are “two backups -- a suite tax and sports-themed lottery game -- in the stadium legislation.” Dayton: "We'll work this out. It's not about pointing fingers. Everybody acted in good faith" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/27). In St. Paul, Joe Soucheray writes it was “wildly optimistic" to think that electronic gaming could provide most of the state's $348M obligation to the Vikings' $975M stadium project. The public has been "thoroughly fleeced" by Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf and "crew, who know their rubes when they see them." Unlike the Pohlad family, which owns the Twins and "actually wrote checks, I'm not sure Wilf will ever have to touch his own wallet.” Wilf is supposed “to come up with" $427M, but the “friendly ‘wink, wink’ loan and the naming rights seem to take care of that.” Soucheray: “Somebody will have to point out to me where exactly in this process does Wilf write a check” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/27).
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