Lately, the hot topic of Vikings discussion has revolved around finding a stadium solution for the football organization entering its 50th season in the NFL. Funding for the construction of a new stadium has raised a few question marks, but a new racino proposal could provide a generous bankroll from supporters of expanded horse track gambling.
The Star Tribune reported earlier today that former Sen. Dick Day, a lobbyist for Racino Now, said Thursday that his group is willing to commit $40 million a year to a stadium if the state will agree to slot machines at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. With 1,000 slot machines at Canterbury Park, Day estimated that the machines could generate $100 million a year in profits.
“We think we have the answer to the Vikings,” Day said. “There’s no cost to anybody.”
Many critics of building a new stadium for the Vikings have vehemently expressed their concern of finding additional funding for the state’s more pressing needs, such as education and health care. Day addressed this concern by stating that 4 other broad categories each would receive $15 million a year – agriculture and rural development, biosciences, early childhood education and the state’s general fund.
This proposal may hit a roadblock, though, as earlier racino proposals have gained little interest from lawmakers because of its direct relation to increased gambling. And as mentioned in the previous paragraph, some legislators may not think so highly on the notion of expanded gambling while health care, education and other government services are facing possible budget cuts.
Despite the critic’s concerns, this proposal is quite intriguing because of the fact that Day’s group is willing to commit $40 million a year to the stadium when the cost is figured to be $42 million a year, nearly covering the entire yearly cost.
We’ll keep you updated here on vikings.com with any other news surfacing about the Vikings stadium issues, so stay tuned.
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