Dayton: Vikings stadium bill has '50-50' chance at Capitol

Vikings stadium rendering
This artist rendering provided by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission shows how a new Vikings stadium might be situated on the exiting Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis.
Courtesy Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission

Gov. Mark Dayton said Sunday while he supports a new Vikings stadium, he's not sure it will win approval at the Legislature.

"I'd say it's 50-50. You know, it's there to be gained, and it's there to be lost," Dayton said on WCCO-TV. "I think the various opponents are a lot more outspoken and engaged at the Legislature right now than the people who would be advocates for it."

Stadium talks are now in their 15th month at the Capitol, dating back to the start of the Dayton administration.

A bill is scheduled to be filed on Monday, and formal hearings on the proposal are likely to start next week.

But charitable gambling operators don't support a proposal to pay the $400 million state share by legalizing and taxing electronic pull tabs.

King Wilson, head of the charities trade group, said there isn't enough money to make an expansion worthwhile after the money is taken out for a new Vikings stadium.

"We are open to sitting down, but if it's going to be that electronic pull tabs and electronic linked bingo are going be the sole source of building a Vikings stadium, I think it's going to be difficult, like I said, to bridge that gap," Wilson said on WCCO-TV.

The Dayton administration offered the charities some tax relief on Friday, but Wilson said he doesn't think that will be enough.

He said without tax relief, charities may not be willing to expand gambling.

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