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White Earth tribe proposes Arden Hills casino to fund stadium

The White Earth tribe this afternoon came up with a new way to fund a Vikings’ football stadium.

Tribal chairwoman Erma Vizenor said that the northern Minnesota tribe would build a casino in Arden Hills, with half of resulting revenues staying with the tribe and the other half going to the state. Those funds would entirely cover the public portion of the $1.2 billion stadium the Vikings seek to build on the Ramsey County site.

Clearly, Vizenor’s idea is new. The tribe has yet to even discuss it with Arden Hills officials.

But coupled with Ramsey County still not coming up with a way to fund its portion of public subsidy, the Vizenor proposal
might keep alive the county’s efforts to be the stadium location.

Legislators at the public hearing showed virtually no reaction to the Vizenor proposal.

Vizenor laid out a proposal that would have the tribe build a $700 million hotel and casino. The hotel would have as many as 500 rooms.

The casino would feature 150 “table games’’ and 4,000 slot machines.

She said a casino of that size would generate $300 million a year in profits, to be evenly split between the tribe and the state.

In return, Vizenor said the tribe would expect that there would be a moratorium on other forms of gaming expansion until the tribe had paid off debt on construction of the casino.

The casino would give the state’s largest tribe a foothold in the metro gaming market.  At the same time, it would keep the gaming industry largely controlled by Minnesota tribes.

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Comments (7)

"The casino would give the state’s largest tribe a foothold in the metro gaming market. At the same time, it would keep the gaming industry largely controlled by Minnesota tribes."

You don't get it. These people are Chippewa. The Sioux tribes from Mystic Lake and Treasure Island control the Indian gaming in the metro area and they're not about to share it with the Chippewa. They've spent millions buying DFL legislators over the past several years to make sure it stays that way.

THAT'S why there was virtually no reaction from the politicians to their proposal. Their vote's been bought.

I've been watching the legalization of gambling for something like fifty years now, entirely from the sidelines.

The only hard and fast rule that I've come up with is, "Once a politician describes gambling as 'gaming,' you know s/he's been shown the light of reason and campaign funds."

Another observation is that it would appear easy for a casino to reward people for their services to the tribe by letting them
gamble with chips they don't have to buy.

As the Mafia did with J. Edgar Hoover - and his lover & Associate Director - it's easy to come out ahead at the racetrack if you don't have to pay your losses.

This is an interesting idea. Can anybody tell me why the SMS tribe didn't come up with it?

This is not a new idea. I've been saying this for two or three years now. Let a northern tribe partner with the City of Mpls on Block E. 51% to the tribe, 49% to the City. Honors and respects our agreement with the tribes that only they run casino gaming, helping some of the impoverished tribes, and benefiting the City's priorities (in this case, a stadium.) Only problem with the Chairwoman's proposal is that she's thinking of Arden Hills.

Having grown up on the Leech Lake Reservation, I believe the preferred nomenclature is Ojibwe, not Chippewa. Regardless, this is a needless expansion of vice. Suck it up Viking fans and pay for it yourselves. And keep it at the Dome site, where infrastructure already exists, rather than merely transferring it out of downtown, leaving a huge hole in your urban center.

Why do these "poverty pimps" even have a say in this? The basics of the stadium bill is that the millionaire tribes are "feeding" a lot of politicians a lot of campaign money. It is eventually public record but if the "liberal media" might get curious about the "starving native Americans" at places like Mystic Lake giveing huge political contributions.(Umm! how about spending that money on fuel and food if they are indeed "staving")

"Having grown up on the Leech Lake Reservation, I believe the preferred nomenclature is Ojibwe, not Chippewa"

Being a Sioux myself, I'll call them anything I want.