Not even 24 hours after State leaders punted on the Vikings stadium issue, Legislative backers behind an emerging Racino plan are pushing hard to take the ball and run with it. Details are emerging faster than the press can keep up but here is what it what it comes down to: The only remaining ways to pay for a Vikings stadium without a local partner is to expand gambling or to take from the Legacy fund.
Recently, there has been talk of electronic pull tabs which is least intrusive to the tribal casinos. However that only generates $20 million dollars annually. We have all heard about the proposed Block-e casino, but that has little legislative support.
Rumors are circulating that tomorrow a letter of support for a Racino plan will emerge from the Capitol with over 50 signatures from lawmakers. It sounds like a Racino plan that would accelerate payment back to schools and pay for a Vikings stadium has bi-partisan support.
We don’t expect support from Koch, Zellers, Thissen or Bakk but it sounds like these lawmakers don’t care and aren’t going to sit around and watch the Vikings pack up for L.A. In fact, they are confident they can get it passed before the end of 2011.
Also rumored to be signing on are two very key legislative players: Rep. Morrie Lanning and Sen. Julie Rosen, the chief authors of the Vikings stadium bill.
This has been the best plan we have seen as it addresses some unfinished business resulting from the Legislative shutdown and the money shifted away from schools. Racino is estimated to generate $120 million annually and the Vikings stadium would only require $50 million annually to bond against.
On the PR side of things, it takes away the opposition argument of “How can we fund a Vikings stadium when we can’t even pay for our schools?”
This kills two birds with one stone – without a tax increase.
This plan could be the only thing left keeping the Vikings in Minnesota. Speaking of keeping the Vikings in Minnesota, SavetheVikes.org founder Cory Merrifield took his argument to Kare11 viewers last night explaining why the threat is very real.
Please take a moment and contact your legislators asking for their support on passing a Vikings stadium bill by clicking here www.SavetheVikes.org/huddle/