Vikings: Lottery ticket could help pay for stadium

The Minnesota Vikings say its successful lottery scratch-off game might help pay for a new stadium.

Proceeds from the $10 game could help pay for an estimated $700 million to $1 billion stadium project, the team said. The game has brought in $12 million since the team partnered with the Minnesota State Lottery last summer.

Team spokesman Lester Bagley said the idea of having similar games be diverted from regular lottery coffers to help fund a new stadium was "kicked around" during last year's legislative session.

"It's a user fee, a voluntary piece that [benefits] the state," he said, adding that other NFL franchises have used lottery revenues in recent years to help build new stadiums.

The Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens both used state lottery game proceeds to finance stadiums.

But lottery proceeds would be relatively small in Minnesota. About three-quarters of lottery sales receipts go to prizes and overhead.

State lottery director Clint Harris said the partnership has provided a great service to loyal Vikings fans who are also lottery players.

The scratch-game featured a $200,000 prize with a chance to win a season ticket package for four fans. Players could also earn points to win team merchandise.

The Vikings are entering their final year in the Metrodome and won't renew their lease on the building in 2012.

Owner Zygi Wilf has said he has been contacted by prospective owners in Los Angeles.

Bagley said using lottery money to generate some funds for a new stadium is a creative way to help fuel Vikings pride. It is an element that should be considered as the discussion heats up at the Legislature in the next few months, he said.

"This is an important asset to the state. We need to find a way to get our arms around this issue and move it forward," he said.

(MPR reporter Tim Nelson contributed to this report.)