Lawmaker: Casino could pay for new Vikings stadiumby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Republican member of the Minnesota House wants to let voters decide whether a new Vikings stadium should be paid for with a metro area casino.
Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, said he's making the proposal to help break the logjam on the Vikings stadium issue.
"I've got a lot of constituents that want to see a new Vikings stadium, but mostly I have constituents who don't want tax dollars going to build that stadium," said Hackbarth. "This is a good alternative. Allow one privately owned casino in the metropolitan area. Pass a constitutional amendment that would allow that to happen, and then the license for that casino would go to buy a new stadium for the Vikings."
Hackbarth says he has not checked with the Vikings to see whether they support the plan.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has been lobbying for public funding for a new stadium, saying the stadium issue needs to be resolved soon. He and the team have proposed a new stadium and related development on the site of the Metrodome, that would cost more than $900 million.
The Vikings' lease on the Metrodome expires in 2011.