Editorial: Hamilton's reasonable planA deal to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium seemed imminent a few days ago, yet legislators continued to offer last week new ideas to keep pro football in the state.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
A deal to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium seemed imminent a few days ago, yet legislators continued to offer last week new ideas to keep pro football in the state.
Four Republican lawmakers, for example, brought forward a bill that significantly increases the portion of the stadium cost contributed by the Vikings. At this stage of the game, it seems like a waste of time to be putting forth ideas that the team would merely scoff at.
Another Republican, however — District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake — had a proposal of his own.
For starters, Hamilton’s bill specifies Arden Hills — the Vikings’ original preferred site for a new stadium — as the facility’s location. That alone should get the attention of the franchise.
Hamilton’s proposal also includes the team’s paying $425 million for construction, the state contributing $549 million and Ramsey County (where Arden Hills is locating) paying $10 million a year. The state’s portion, Hamilton said, would come from bars trading in their paper pull tab and bingo games for electronic plan.
The use of gambling revenue, of course, is the stickiest part of Hamilton’s proposal. Yet as Minneapolis leaders continue to fail to reach agreement on a new stadium plan, it only seems reasonable to bring Arden Hills back into the fold while introducing a revenue source that — though it’s a gambling revenue component — simply modernizes something that’s already in place.