The Big Story Blog

Are Vikings part of our cultural heritage?

Posted at 9:55 AM on October 28, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport

We're still waiting to hear word from meetings this morning between Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders over the next steps to a possible Minnesota Vikings stadium deal.

It gives us a chance to step back and look at one of the more interesting proposals to fund what would be the public portion of a stadium agreement. Some state lawmakers have broached the idea of using money from the state's Legacy funds.

This is sales tax money made part of the state constitution by voters in 2008. It flows into several funds and goes to lots of organizations, including MPR News.

The amendment reads:
19.75 percent shall be deposited in the arts and cultural heritage fund and may be spent only for arts, arts education, and arts access and to preserve Minnesota's history and cultural heritage.

Do the Vikings feel like a fit for "Arts and Cultural Heritage?"

Here's a look at the "guiding principles" for spending the Arts and Cultural Heritage money over the next 25 years.

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So are the Vikings Legacy-money-worthy? It's hard to see it. But it's also politics and pretty much any language can be finessed. Recall the cigarette tax in 2005 that lawmakers referred to as a "health impact fee."

Readers are having a robust debate over this at the MPR News Today's Question page. Share your thoughts there or post something below.

Vikings officials aren't taking a position on whether the team should qualify for Legacy money, but they made it clear this morning that the team is a big deal to a huge portion of the state, particularly the Twin Cities.

Vikings-Packers game brings HUGE television ratings: 71 share (#1 in all markets) and 711,000 Twin Cities households.
Oct 28 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

That's about two-thirds of all Twin Cities metro households that watched the Vikings-Packers game Sunday.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.