Lawmakers Plan Backup Revenue Source For Vikings Stadium

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Minnesota lawmakers appear to have reached a consensus about the Vikings stadium funding shortfall.

Top leaders of both parties said Friday that they intend to act within the next few weeks to come up with a backup revenue source.

Just a week ago, Gov. Mark Dayton was telling lawmakers to chill out, and that the e-pulltab revenues would eventually generate enough money to pay the state’s portion of the new Vikings stadium.

It’s the last thing anyone wants to re-open, but top Republican and Democratic lawmakers both said on Friday that the time is now.

The e-pulltabs are generating only a tiny fraction of what was expected to be $35 million in gaming revenue.

And in the absence of any other revenue, a House committee added new taxes on all licensed pro sports memorabilia, including jerseys.

Lawmakers are not in the mood for pushback on this, as pro sports teams testifying against it found out this week.

Lawmakers feel the urgency because the state will sell construction bonds this summer. The tax revenue is needed to pay the interest on those loans.

Some lawmakers want to go back to slot machines at horse racing tracks, and others want the Vikings to give back naming rights to the new stadium.

And there are some who say the Vikings should kick in more money: more than the $470 million the team has already committed.

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