MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The White Earth Indian Tribe thinks it has the answer to funding a new Vikings stadium — build a casino in the Metro. The proposal comes at a time when leaders at the Capitol say they’re very close to a deal on a new stadium.
The tribe announced a plan called MinnesotaWins, a proposal to develop a Twin Cities area casino that the tribe would run in partnership with the state of Minnesota.
“We are willing to share with the State of Minnesota, for the benefit of all Minnesotans and for the benefit of our people,” said Erma J. Vizenor, the chairwoman of the White Earth Reservation.
According to its “MinnesotaWins” website, revenue from the casino would be evenly split between the state and the tribe. Early estimates suggest this plan could bring in at least $300 million for the state.
A study is underway to determine exactly how much money this could generate.
Tribal leaders said this would be a way to pay for the new stadium without any new taxes.
White Earth officials said they’ve already secured the money needed for development and construction.
They say 2,500 jobs would be created to build the casino, and another 2,000 to operate it.
“MinnesotaWins is a win, win, win. A win for the state, a win for the Vikings and a win for the future for the White Earth tribe,” said Vizenor.
While an exact location hasn’t been set for the casino, the proposal states it could coincide with the location of the new stadium.
Members of the tribe say they’ve met with Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and Gov. Mark Dayton on their proposal — and have the support of the governor.
Talk at the Capitol Thursday suggests a stadium deal with the Vikings could come to fruition in the next day or so.