Vikings stadium back at the Capitol

joe atkinsJust when you thought the Legislature was done with the Vikings stadium, DFL Rep. Joe Atkins is getting the band back together. This time, it’ll be a look at those pesky pull tabs.

The 6-term lawmaker from South St. Paul has scheduled a Jan. 16th meeting before his House Commerce Committee to talk about “Electronic Pull Tabs, Minnesota Racing Commission, Minnesota Lottery overview.” Odds are that discussion will touch on not just the Vikings stadium funding plan, but electronic blackjack, bingo and all manner of gambling.

Atkins also has other venues on his legislative agenda. Here’s his No. 3 item on the committee update he issued this week:

Sports/Entertainment/Convention Center Facility Operations & Cooperation.  Currently, publicly-funded facilities like the Target Center and Xcel Energy Center compete with each other to attract the same national and regional conventions and entertainers.  Since current law prevents the venues from working together, the national conventions and entertainers pit our publicly-funded venues against each other to negotiate unfavorable terms for our Minnesota venues.  As a result, our publicly-funded venues struggle to make money.  We are proposing to set up an administrative framework that allows the various publicly-funded venues to cooperate in bidding.

That’s one of the leftovers from the stadium debate in the last two years — the “global solution” that never really got resolved during the Saints/Wolves/Vikings hubub.