White Earth Presents Casino Plans To Fund Vikes Stadium

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.

  • Hal

    Win win, except Prior Lake loses. What bs comes from the losers will be entertaining

    • dan

      This should be fun to watch! Rybak and Dayton are so eager to raise taxes they are drooling at the mouth
      Here is an option that takes away the biggest negative factor in the whole stadium debate: Public Financing

  • Sean

    Brilliant. Instead of corrupt politicians encroaching on Indians rights, they turn it around and want to setup a new casino THEY would own downtown.

    The Vikings can:
    -Play in the Dome.
    -Play at TCF stadium
    -Build their own stadium

    If these aren’t financially viable, my heart goes out to the billionaire who made a bad investment. Boo Hoo.

    • Another Sean

      Yep, and lets get rid of public funding of the Arts, Libraries, Zoos, Parks, etc. etc.

      oh, and Public funding of TV and Radio.

      All are assets to the state, but at least the Vikings and a stadium would bring in money.

      • Jenny

        I agree the arts should not be funded. Maybe you are too stupid to spend your own entertainment money but the rest of us are not.

        Yes, the Vikings bring in money, to Zygi, NOT the state. Otherwise the state would have made enough money on the dome to buy a new stadium. Where did all that money go? Wasn’t that an investment? Where are the returns?

        Publicly funded stadiums are a net LOSS to the local economy. Google it.

        • Mayhem

          So I googled as you suggested and, well…..read on….

          A study commissioned by the NFL and conducted by Washington-based Edgeworth Economics placed the average economic effect of NFL teams on local communities at $160 million, or $20 million a game for an eight home-game season.

          Another study conducted by the University of Minnesota put the economic effect of a single NFL game at closer to $6 million.

          I suggest you fix your google button….or something.

          • Hal

            The economic effect is people spending money, not the economic benefit of them spending the money. The Wilfs do not spend the profits here, many to most of the players do not live here year around. Try better research next time

          • Marge

            You really don’t get it, do you dummy.

            You have to look at costs AND benefits.

            The costs out way the benefits.

    • Sean

      You are completely wrong.

      Google these words: Publicly financed stadiums.

      You will find that they are a net economic LOSS. I don’t blame you for your personal attacks…you have no salient arguments.

      • Real Talk Snitch

        What? Are you even an adult?

        Do this math genius. A stadium FREE to the public of MN paid for by casino equals a net loss? Now, if it was taxpayer funded…you would be correct. But that is not this proposal. You sir are a moron!!

        • @Real Talk Snitch

          Free to the public is different than splitting the cost with the state. You’re making the assumption that this is free to the public, when the facts are that the casino would share profit revenue with the state who would then pay for the stadium using public funds. The would negotiate that agreement in the form of a tax to the casino and an operational agreement with the gaming industry. Not only would that tax apply to this new casino, one would argue that the state could apply it to all Indian gaming casinos, thus erecting a new tax in the state and generating new revenue for the purpose of growing government where it doesn’t belong.

          Now if the tribe came to Ziggy and said, we’re going to build you a casino, no strings attached, well then you’re in good shape and I’ll STFU like you demand like a little child. But that’s not the case. They’re begging for public funds and doing whatever they can to serve their own self interest in the process. Greedy bunch of winners right there, all of you.

          • Real Talk Snitch

            Let me simplify this for you little buddy.

            The State would get money from the tribe resulting in the operation of a twin cities Casino. The state wouldnt pay a dime to build or operate the casino.

            The “taxes” you are refering to are off-the-top profit from the tribes operation of the casino. Its not like when you walk in the casino door there is a $5 dollar tax to the individual.

            So again boy genius. How in the world do you figure the State is “splitting” the cost? I was under the impression there would be no cost to the state to 1) build/operate the casino 2) build the stadium as those monies would come from revenue generated by the casino.

            Again, how is this a net loss to the state? I’ll literally pay you $50 to see the math as it would be great conversation piece at my next social gather. And who is arguing it would be a new tax on all Indian gaming? Just you…wow that is convincing evidence in support of your arguement. Even if that was the case….who cares!?!

            BTW…nice of you to call us all winners. Now please STFU and call your case worker if this is all too hard to figure out.

            • John

              Well said!

            • Sean

              This is why it’s a loss. If there is money the government collects…in ANY fashion…it can be used for education, roads, seniors, health care, tax relief etc.

              Why should it be given to Zygi?

              If it’s given to Zygi, then that money has to be made up elsewhere..guess where…the TAXPAYERS.

              • Brian

                If the casino is never built, there is no money collected. Hence, no loss. Not all of this money has to go towards paying off the stadium every year. When it is paid off, the state will still collect money every year to be used for education , roads, etc.

              • Makes no sense

                NO, the casino would be built with this purpose in mind, why should it then go to the things you mention when the plan was for the stadium. If it is not for the stadium then they are not going to build the casino and there fore no money revenue. How do you figure that this new revenue ,if given to Zigi would need to be made up elsewhere, they did not have it to use in the first place.

              • Real Talk Snitch

                “This is why it’s a loss”. Now you are just using subjective terminology. You started by very clearly saying this was going to be a financial net loss to the state. When someone smarter than you proved how dumb you were…you just back peddal and spin the topic altogether.

                So now are you smart enough to realise this is not a “net economic LOSS”??

                The government is just a middle man in this case. They would only be collecting it for the purpose of doleing it back out to pay for the stadium. Its not the states or the tax payers money. Your argument lacks any salient points of discussion?

                Look…i think i get what you are trying to say. But that reverts to my first comment. You are just a bitter, old hag who wants to rain on parades. You are obviously against the Vikings or professional sports team using any other financing other than the owners.

                You make no credible points and are not even close waging a convincing arguement. Your bias on this subject is truely unbelievable.

                Next time trying disucssin an issue based on merits and facts, not recycled rhetoric you heard from someone smarter than you.

                Please remove your DNA from our collective gene pool as hopefully it would be replaced by someone capable of having an adult-level discussion based on facts and money. You are just arguing your on behalf of your own bias.

              • Mayhem

                kids are still buying their own paper, pencils, lunches, activities fees, project fees, teachers are still having to buy their own supplies and getting paid pennies to teach, etc etc – their your education money at work for ya

                MN roads have more pot holes in them than a republican presidential candidate – theres your road money for ya

                Seniors want to move to Canada for cheaper prescriptions/healthcare – theres your seniors money for ya

                healthcare is through the roof – unless they put taxes 100% into it, it will never be fixed.

                TAX RELIEF?!?!?! what are ya, rich or something???? own a thriving business???

                Youre funny.

                The stadium will be built courtesy of me and you, like it or not.

                I like it.

              • Matt

                And why should my tax money be given to your kids? over a third of every dollar taken out of my check goes to schools to pay for other people’s children.. yet they claim it’s not enough.

                Oh right, it’s an investment in our future.. so that alone is enough to just go carte blanche on my tax dollars, rather than rebuilding a failed system that cannot control its spending.

                It’s real easy when you don’t give a rip either way whether or not the Vikings stay or leave, because you’re just fine being cold Omaha. But some of us take great pride and find enormous joy in being a thriving metropolitan area with an NFL team.

                Until you tell me I don’t have to give a dime to pay for your kids to go to school and get diddled by their teachers, or that the bikers downtown don’t have to pay a dime to fill the potholes filled by your eco-friendly Prius, don’t tell us how to spend OUR tax dollars either.

      • Hey Sean

        You didnt answer his question Sean. Probably because you couldnt not think of a salient argument.

        So once and for all, why do you oppose using gambling proceeds to helf fund the stadium? Because somehow a stadium built with zero tax dollars equals a net loss in your mind?

        I dont like Real Talk, but he at least makes some sense.

      • Jake

        People who oppose the stadium always use the “why should we line a billionaire’s pockets” logic. This is the most idiotic logic you can possibly come up with.

        Who cares what Zygi makes? Do you simply dismiss the notion that the State could benefit from a multipurpose facility just like it has in the past, and just like many other states have? You realize that states over pay for NFL teams just to get one, and we have a shot at getting a pretty good rate on one compared to what teams have been paying recently.

        It is a good deal for us. A lot of Minnesotans don’t want to lose the team and have to hear about it for the rest of our lives. Interest rates are extremely low, we have a budget surplus, we need construction jobs, and the deals in place take almost nothing from people who don’t “want” to pay. It doens’t come out of general taxes. Mostly user fees paid by people directly benefiting from the facility.

        Your net economic loss argument completely ignores entertainment value of having the most popular sport in america in your backyard. It ignores the shame value. It ignores the fact that some people prefer to live in a state with the NFL, even if they don’t conciously think of it that way.

        • Sal

          Why should we line a billionaires pockets?

          It’s NOT a good deal for Minnesota.

          Google these words: Publicly financed stadiums.

          • Mayhem

            How do you think they became billionaires in the first place?

            Anyways, google “publicly financed stadiums” and you get quite a few of them….whats your point?

            Soccer is the most popular sport, eh? On what planet and which galaxy?

            • Jenny

              The point is that publicly financed stadiums are an economic loss. Jobs and investments that otherwise would have been created are gone.

              Don’t be fooled. When people are trying to take your money, often they will lie.

              • Mayhem

                So 32 stadiums in 32 cities were built, mostly from public financing, because the powers that be decided to get into something that was going to be an economic loss for their city/state?

                I dont think so.

                If that were the case the NFL wouldnt exist.

        • Hot Coco

          Soccer is America and the workds most popular sport. So strike 1. Shame? Really you want to use public money to avoid your own shame? strike 2. People prefer to live in a state with an NFL team? Really, really? Then move. Strike 3. You and your ridiculous arguments are out with the queens!

          • John

            SOCCER!? Who gives a rats rear about soccer! I say if you don’t like the Vikes, then YOU move. Problem solved!

          • Matt

            Per capita, the NFL is much more successful than Association Football. I’d argue it’s also more popular.


            If 100 out of 1000 people prefer apples to oranges, but 70 out of 100 other people prefer oranges to apples, which is really more popular?

    • @Real Talk Snitch

      “eliminate the need for new taxes”

      Are you kidding me? This is A NEW TAX STREAM! Once it’s paid for, the taxes stick around to grow government. Seriously, understand that premise and your argument falls apart. Stop growing government.

      Keep a 50 year tradition in the state… yeah, a tradition of embarrassment and failure. We don’t need that type of attention anymore. Have some pride in this state and throw out the trash.

      • Julia

        Negative much? You sound like a fun peron.

      • Real Talk Snitch

        How about you STFU untill you learn to string together a couple coherent sentences in English. I literally have no idea what the hell you are talking about!!

        Aren’t you late for your group home meeting or something?

  • Kevin

    Why is it even an option to give half the money to the Tribe? Doesnt it make more sense to have the state build it and take ALL the money? You know so they can pi** it away like the Tobacco money?

    • Real Talk Snitch

      Because then they would have to raise taxes to fund construction and operation of the casino which…..lets get real.

      So allowing the indians to completly finance the construction and operation of the casino, yet still giving half the money to the state for nothing other than allowing them to build…..doesnt sound like a bad deal buddy.

    • stands with an arrow

      Kevin….I applaud your viewpoint on this topic, more so, because you are from the arrow shooting descent. If what you have posted prior is correct, that you ARE from Native genes, I acknowledge and accept your “diversity” views.

      • Hal

        KEvin is ignorant of the laws governing gambling in the state

    • stretch

      Thank you if it’s that easy the state should own the casino. Why is there a monopoly on casinos? Is it not illegal for any other business to monopolize?

  • john

    Sounds like a great plan. 50% of something is better then getting nothing. If the tribe is going to pay to build this thing and the State get another revenue stream lets get it done.

    • Peace

      The problem with going into business with the Tribe is we could end up losing part of St. Paul to them and they could ultimatly not have to share a dime with us on the earnings from the casino. It would be up to the Federal Courts to decide if White Earth ever decided they no longer liked the arrangments they agreed to.

      • Disgusted

        Really? Hmmm…. History is full of BROKEN TREATIES — I don’t recall the Indians doing the breaking of the treaties.

      • @real talk snitch

        Hey Real Talk Snitch. What you some big black broad who can talk about natives? lets start getting rasist i can do it to.

        • Real Talk Snitch

          Racist? It was a tounge-n-cheek response making light of the plight of the Native Americans and how they got straight up jacked for their goods.

          • politicianssux

            @Real Talk Snitch, I am Native American and what took place is no different than any other war in the histry of the world. The losers live by the rules set by the winners. The difference in America is that the loosers tell a story and get sympathy, in any other country there are no loosers as none survive or they are running for their lives. So by changing the rules, it is for the common good including the Indians as more jobs and more state revenue allows the state to do more for everyone. NOTE, I am not a democrat and I am not a republican, it is only a matter of fact that the winners make the rules after any sort of military action. As has been proven many times over and over again, competition is good, as long as it is free enterprise, say like another Indian casino or Don Laughlin, versus a private enterprise trying to compete with the state of Minnesota.

  • john

    What do you have against tribes?

  • Rod

    Ziggy ought to build his own stadium with his OWN money that way he can take in all the money. AND, the players can take a pay cut/freeze to keep their job like many workers have done!!

  • john

    I hope they build this thing so people can get all worked up and try to do something about it and make a big scene.

  • Bill

    This would not be downtown anywhere. It would be in Arden Hills on federal land. The only place to put a stadium.

  • Kelly

    “White Earth officials said they’ve already secured the money needed for development and construction.”

    DId this money the the tribe has secured come from State and Federal grants that have come from taxes?

    • Peace

      I’m sure most is from federal money as White Earth (WE) is a very poor tribe. They pretty much survive on federal assistance.

      • @peace

        oh and what about the foriegners who come to the us and live off the federal assistance? huh? yeah they are the ones taking our jobs and wasting our tax dollars but you want to talk about somethign you know nothing about.

  • jr

    They already have this plan in place and the get all of the tax revenue from it. It is called a Racino. This plans creates more jobs statewide and not just in the city where it is built. It also ready today and does not need 12-18 months of construction. I give the indian tribe credit though at least they are using their heads. If Mystic and Treasure Island were not so greedy they would have ponied this up a long time ago. 70% of people support Racino. There should be no amount of political donations from anybody that overide that kind of public support for any project.

    • TL

      Mystic and TI have money in TCF stadium and Target Field….and they contribute plenty to the state otherwise. I dont think they’re obligated to get involved in every stadium or building MN wants to build.

  • TL

    @ Joyce

    I believe them tribes said the exact same things to us whities about a 160’ish years ago or so…maybe even further back.

  • politicianssux

    win win win. Except the democrats have not taken payouts from the poorest tribe in the state yet.

    • KLS

      finally the state will receive some benefit from a casino.. this should have been done from the beginning. Although the casino and the stadium should be sited in Arden Hills where the parking is unlimited. Minneapolis does not need or deserve another stadium.

  • DesJarlait

    I have a better idea. Instead of the White Earth Nation,how about the Red Lake Nation partner up with the state.

  • buddy

    Build it, i think white earth can do it.

  • Michelle

    way to go white earth . you are a genius. and if you need any help i am there…

  • it'll bite you

    How ’bout Zippy pays for it himself? This thing doesn’t even begin to pass the smell test. The state of Minnesota has no effin’ business being in the business of casinos, professional sports, or anything other than PUBLICLY owned roads, bridges, land, etc.

    Our legislature can’t do anything right, not a single thing. Do you seriously believe they know how to run a casino, a stadium, or anything more complicated than chasing stray dogs and cats? They can’t. They really can’t.

    The ONLY sure bet is that the state will mess it up and it will come back to bite the taxpayers – very, very hard.

    Zippy needs to keep his hands out of the government and the government needs to stay out of private enterprise.

  • Niki Cooper

    Really Joyce? Have you EVER read a history book? Are you aware of the fact that non of this land we live in and call MN would be “ours” if our ancestors hadn’t killed the native tribes and sent them to live on reservations? This is the least we can do, and good for White Earth for coming up with this. I hope it happens!

    • Hot Coco

      @ Niki
      How far back in history did you read? The tribes were killing each other for land and enslaving each other before the white man landed in MN. How are territory wars different when they are tribe-on-tribe?

    • linda anderson

      I am with you Joyce.
      and forget about it Niki. Just think if this country is still belong to the native you think the US can become so good right now. You may think I don’t have much knowledge about history, but I will go with what ever have more sense to me, beside I don’t want to pay more taxes. Think bout your family if you have children

      • Mayhem

        Sorry Linda – but, do you even know what you just said?

        Anyways, @ hot coco – that was their way of life – true, men having been fighting over territiries since the beginning of time anywhere in the world….look at the mideast now….natives wanted peace and offered land to us then we got greedy and instead of asking nicely, maybe they would have and maybe not but it didnt matter, we attacked them and what we couldnt kill, we made promises with them (treaties) we had no intention of keeping. So we killed some more. Might interest you to know that the practice of “scalping” is actually a whitey practice. The Natives didnt do anything to us that we didnt do to them first.

  • TH

    The tribe operating the casino in Duluth had an agreement to share the money with the City of Duluth. They recently stopped paying and the feds agreed that they don’t have to pay. What happens if the White Earth tribe stops paying and the feds say they don’t have to?

    • @th

      more power to them

      • Brett

        That’s exactly WHY this is a BAD deal. It is NOT a win-win situation. When you come up with one though, I’m willing to listen, instead of some stupid, flippant response.

  • politicianssux

    Build it, I rather give money to my White Earth brothers than those Crooks at Prior Lake. Especialy since they will actually give something to the State of Minnesota that will benefit us all. as to your concerns TH, that is easily solved. If they quit paying, we quit going there or the state just parks a bunch of snow plows in front of al the doors.

  • Linda Conroy

    We need a casino that is run by the state not a tribe. 100% should be given and run by state and NOT 50-50 buy casino. I do not go to their casinos right now because they never pay taxes which they should be -like the rest of us.

    • @linda conroy

      your probabley some WHITE TRASH who lives off the assistance just worried you might be able to find a job if the tribe was to build an casino.

      Like the rest of us?????? we dont want trash like you. the natives do pay taxes. and waht about the stupid towel heads and slant eyes that are coming to the us and wasting our dollars and not paying taxes?

    • John

      Educate yourself before you start spewing numbers that yank out of thin air.

    • Loralee

      Are you seriously living in the real world? I’m a Native American woman. I have held a JOB for the past 27 years. I pay a mortgage every month. I pay federal income tax every two weeks as well as once a year on April 15th. I pay state taxes and relestate taxes. I RECIEVE NO ASSISTANCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT! and by the way some of the richest non-Native American farmers in America get more assistance from the government than any Native American that I know! Can there ever be a debate without all of the racism?

      • X-Puffer

        Way to stick it to her Loralee!

      • ann

        I agree that some farmers get way more assistance then needed. Why do they get assistance anyways? Is there a web site to go to find out what farmers get in assistance every year.

        • Observer

          All the data is readily obtainable by Googling Environmental Working Group 2011 Farm Subsidy Data Base.

    • @real talk snitch

      hey you crack head do you even know what your talking about. your probabley some white cracker sitting in some nasty trailer court living off the public assistance.

  • Darrell

    We take the tribes land away, put them on reservations. If I was a tribe I would remind our goverment of the above. But they still want to help the tax payers. My hats off to them. Wake up gov.

    • @ Joyce


  • Suzanne

    Listen to the jocks whine and complain when the state will not take public money and give it to Zygi.

    I thought Jocks were manly, but they cry like little girls and throw tantrums when they don’t get their way.

    Man up.

  • DougT

    As they say:

    Only a fool wold argue with an idiot…….

    It will become a reality because the Unions and other associated bureaucrats want it. Its about money and they do not care what they do to get it

  • Stanley Peterson

    I did, but leave it. Some idiot from your station do not publish it!

  • gear_daddy

    White Earth is dangling a carrot in front of the state. They say “Let us build a casino in the metro, and then the State can collect some taxes from it and get a little revenue sharing”. White Earth has little to lose here, because such a casino would be a windfall of profit for them, regardless of the part of the dough that the State gets to keep.

    So, the state gets some additional revenue out of this. Wowsers! Now that they have all this extra money, they can pay up for a Stadium, right? (And how is this any different than what the Racino proposal will bring to the State again?).

    The thing is that this changes nothing about the economics of building the Stadium, i.e. whether the amount the State pays is a “good deal”. It just sweetens the pot and makes it easier for the State to swallow the idea of giving a ton of money for this Stadium plan.

    The State should still think about how much money they give into this Stadium idea and weigh whether it’s a good deal for the State in the long run. This changes nothing about the negotiation IMO.

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