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.