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Lawmakers Scrambling To Fund 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) – There’s a fight over the money troubles surrounding the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, that’s supposed to cost about $975 million.

And the state has agreed to pitch in about 35 percent of that, paid in part by electronic pulltabs. But that new form of gambling hasn’t caught on.

Now some lawmakers want the Vikings to pay more for the team’s new stadium in downtown Minneapolis. And yet Gov. Mark Dayton and other top Democrats are supporting a plan to impose a pro sports memorabilia tax on athletic items, such as jerseys.

Some lawmakers say it’s far too early to give up on pulltabs, but critics say it’s getting too late for a stadium fix.

“We gave $500 million to a private enterprise on an extremely flawed plan,” Rep. Bob Barrett said. “We did that with an e-pulltab plan that’s 95 percent short. We have a lot of egg on our face.”

Rep. Tom Anzelc asked for patience.

“Don’t throw in the towel,” he said. “Give it a chance.”

One more idea gaining currency is to just tweak the law, and take a bigger share of pulltab revenues, abolish paper pulltabs altogether, or allow unlimited numbers of machines in bars.

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