Republican state Rep. Bob Barrett of Lindstrom says he never liked the idea of using electronic pulltabs to pay the state share of the Vikings stadium, and now that the pulltab revenue is coming up way short, he’s got other ideas.
Barrett, in his second term, said he’s introducing a bill that would require the Vikings to pay a bigger share of the billion-dollar cost, by:
“chipping in the $200 million loan/gift they received from the National Football League (NFL), and/or turning over stadium naming rights to the state until e-pull tab revenue reaches its intended level.”
In a statement today, he said:
“Because the original funding plan was poorly conceived, the Vikings need to step in and save the day, keep the project going and prevent rural Minnesota school kids from subsidizing adult millionaires who get to play football in a billion dollar stadium.”
And Barrett has a Plan B, in the (very likely) case that his idea doesn’t fly: He says that slot machines should be added to licensed gaming facilities.
He lists several things which he claims have changed since the Legislature approved the $348 million stadium subsidy:
- The privately funded $1.2 billion Los Angeles stadium project is dead.
- The Atlanta Falcons just announced plans to build a new stadium, which includes 80 percent private money and no money from the state of Georgia.
- The San Francisco 49ers are currently building a stadium in which personal seat licenses are contributing a significant portion to the public share of the stadium. This stadium plan includes no money from California’s general fund.
- According to estimates, the value of the Vikings organization has already increased by 22 percent, or $210 million, since the stadium bill was signed.
Barrett said if neither of his ideas passes:
“…then all stadium planning should stop immediately until e-pull tabs reach their target. It would be absolutely wrong for us to continue. Since Minnesota’s taxpayers, school kids and the elderly will pay for any large shortfall, we need to create a new game plan or call a time-out until a new plan can be drafted.”