Vikings: Use Lotto $ To Help Pay For Stadium

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings’ lottery scratch-off game was a resounding success in its first year, and now the team hopes to use some of the money generated to help pay for a new stadium.

The Vikings partnered with the Minnesota State Lottery and the NFL on a Vikings-themed scratch game just before the team reported to training camp in late July. The $10 game has cleared $12 million in total sales, making it one of the most successful games in the state.

“This is a great reminder of the strength of the Vikings brand, and we hope the team’s partnership with the state lottery continues in the future,” Vikings vice president of sales and marketing Steve LaCroix said.

The team has been in a years-long fight at the state capitol to get a new stadium to replace the outdated Metrodome, a pursuit that has only intensified since the dome’s roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow in December. The collapse forced the Vikings to move one home game to Detroit and play another outdoors at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium in the final month of the season.

Costs for a new stadium could approach $900 million, depending on a roof and other amenities. That would mean roughly $40-60 million a year in public funds would be needed to help pay for the project, a percentage of which the Vikings say could be gained from the lottery game.

“Certainly it’s not going to pay for the whole financing, but it could be part of the puzzle,” LaCroix said.

Gov. Mark Dayton has been cool to the idea of using gambling revenue in a stadium bill, saying it is too volatile to satisfy bond holders who would be looking for a reliable revenue stream to ensure the payments would keep coming in.

But there is precedent for the proposal. Seattle used proceeds from state lottery games to help pay for the Seahawks’ football stadium and the Mariners’ baseball park. Baltimore also used lottery money as part of a stadium finance package that paid for the Ravens’ football stadium.

“We need to sit down with the governor, legislative leaders and lottery officials and discover if this is a viable option for helping to put this all together,” LaCroix said.

Whatever the plan is to pay for it, the issue is coming to a head in 2011.

Even if the dome’s roof is repaired, the Vikings are entering the final year of their lease at the building. Developers in Los Angeles are building a stadium in hopes of luring an NFL team back to the nation’s second-largest city, and the Vikings’ current stadium situation could make them a candidate to relocate.

Owner Zygi Wilf has not threatened to move the franchise yet, but he has acknowledged being contacted by the prospective owners in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the Vikings and state leaders are trying to come up with a plan to pay the enormous price tag while navigating a state budget deficit that is projected at $6.2 billion over the next two years.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Bruce

    In 2009…Where the money goes…

    Fiscal Year 2009 Revenue Distribution
    Total Revenue: $482.2 million

    Net Profits to State Programs: $118.2 million

    For every dollar spent on Lottery tickets in Fiscal Year 2009:

    61.2 cents paid players prizes for winning tickets
    8.3 cents was used to pay ticket, lotto vendor and administrative costs
    6.0 cents was paid to retailers in the form of commissions and incentives
    The remaining 24.5 cents went to the state:

    13.4 cents to the state General Fund to support services such as K-12 education, health care, aid to local governments and public safety. Of this amount, $2.1 million was set aside to help combat problem gambling. From the Lottery’s inception through June 2009, $1.06 billion has gone to the General Fund.
    6.4 cents to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund to finance projects that preserve, restore and enhance our state’s natural resources. The Trust Fund is financing 28 projects, totaling $23.8 million, for fiscal year 2009. From the start of the Lottery through June 2009, the Trust Fund has received more than $490 million.
    4.7 cents more to the state’s environment, which received a boost when the 2000 Legislature reallocated the in-lieu-of-sales tax. This money, which was previously allocated to the General Fund, now goes to fish and game, parks, trails and zoos.
    2.33 cents to the Game and Fish Fund
    2.33 cents to the Natural Resources Fund

    • Dale McKeen

      Since when can a private enterprise (the NFL & the Vikings) reap thje rewards of the lottery? WHIS IS VERY WRONG FROM THE START. The lottery is for public, governmental use only. Who were the cronnies to this? What else has been slipping under the table re: The Lottery.

  • Tom

    Don’t give the Vikings anything, make them pay for their own stadium. Why use my TAX dollars for them. The owners are in a business, it is their business, they should pay for it. Not the PEOPLE. If they do not like that tell Ziggy to move the team to LA. They are loosers anyway and will fit in with the crowd out there.

    • ForeverVikingFan

      Tom, YOU go to LA. We don’t need you here.

      • Randy

        What don’t you Viking fans understand about NO public funding. Zig the billionaire wants a stadium so he can reap the rewards, let him pay for it. There are people in the state that don’t watch football, or are not Vikings fans, or live out state. There is no benefit to those people for a new stadium. And the majority of those screaming for a new stadium don’t go to the games anyway. They watch the TV. In conclusion, You can watch your team in LA.

    • Shawn

      “Looser”? At least losers can spell, Tom. Perhaps, you should go to L.A. too.

  • $tea$

    I would be OK with some Lotto $ going to them…..but as Bruce has pointed out….it may not amount to much? I’m sure the 24.5 cents that would go to the team vs. the state would be a DROP in the helmet!
    I think we need to up the tax on the Indian Casinos OR apporve a State Run Casino and approve the RACINO! (I like the 2nd option)
    Why not!

  • Bob

    Racino baby , how come nobody is paying attention? Racino is the answer!!!

  • Iconoclast

    If gamblers want to pay for a stadium then go ahead but don’t ask me for a single cent.

  • Jason

    75 years @ 12,000,000= 900,000,000. Well we’re almost there. Get serious or leave. Billion dollar owners or million dollar players can stick it. As a parent this idea of the taxpayer funding this is not responsible.

  • Jason

    I am not taking food off my families table to help put money into millionare’s pockets. How crazy is this to even consider??? CAN YOU SAY CHUMP!

    • jimmy

      how many families do you have?

  • Riley

    ForeverVikingFan: not everyone is a viking fan and there are is a very large number of better places that could use the money and benefit a larger number of people. Professional sports is the only business that seems to think that the public should pay for their way. Ziggy can take the team whereever he wants. No big loss around here.

    • Mike

      Like what? Arts? Theater? They get their appropriations too. Lets not make this about who gets what….

      • Guy

        Maybe we DO need to make this about “who gets what”. My take – cut em ALL.
        Make the people who want the stuff PAY for the stuff with tickets. Tax money should only pay for NECESSITIES; not LUXURIES. We can’t afford to pay for EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY anymore.

  • Shane G

    Hahahaha This thread makes me laugh. I was planning to move to L.A. in July. What’s wrong with L.A.? It’s nice and sunny with Palm Trees, and access to the ocean year round!

  • nofanofpublicfundsfor business

    Let Ziggy pay for his own business. MN is already known as a great welfare state for individuals; we don’t need to extend that to businesses.Let the public decide if the public wants to contribute to Wilf’s bottom line. This public (me) doesn’t want to contribute – I’m already paying for the Twins.

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  • Todd

    I support the use of the lottery to build the stadium. The threat of the Vikings moving to LA is very real. Those who say good riddance will come to regret those words when football season rolls around again and we are watching the purple play in LA.

  • People Eater

    Three thoughts:

    1) The Vikings have been playing rent-free in the Dome for the past 9 years. Explain to my why you anti-stadium people have not been complaining about that? Your tax dollars are paying for the Vikings to play right now!

    2) Extra taxes were introduced in the early 1980’s to pay for the Dome, yet those taxes were never taken off. Therefore, the Dome has been paid for many times over yet it still aids the state in income they should not be receiving. These extra taxes, paid over time, should have been used to finance a new facility rather than funding other non-facility programs (welfare, etc.)

    3) Stop calling it the Vikings Stadium. It will be used for than professional football. NCAA basketball, motocross, monster trucks. The Dome makes $9.1 million for the city of Minneapolis per Vikings game (source: Sid Hartman). There is a lot of money, over time, for the state to gain through this.

    • Paul

      You use an idiot for your source. rotflmao

      • Still Eats Purple People

        Agreed…but he’s somewhat credible. If he was wrong all the time, I don’t think he would be publishing articles this often.

        Try these sources out: and AP:

        “Kimberly Freeman Brown, executive director of American Rights at Work, said the NFL and union are fussing over many of the same issues faced by many workers: pay cuts, longer working hours, workplace safety and health care. She said a lockout would have an impact on 150,000 jobs and cause more than $160 million in lost revenue in every city with an NFL team. ”

        So some of you want to let the Vikings go to LA, causing the state to lose $160 million a year in revenue?

  • Dean

    The lottery is typically played by people who can’t afford tickets to a Vikings game. The money from the lottery should go to services that help those who play, not those who need it least. I love my Vikings, but taking anymore money away from those who need it most, is just wrong.

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  • Frank

    Rip the roof off the dome and let them play outside til the new stadium is done.Let the lottery pay for the new outdoor stadium and contract the vikings for 100 years, and get Ziggy for as much money as you can. Deal done!!!!!

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