State will wait until summer to decide on backup Vikings stadium funding

Vikings scratch off ticket (MN lottery image)

The AP’s Brian Bakst says the state finance director plans to wait until this summer to decide whether to “blink on” alternate funding for the Vikings stadium as pulltab revenues lag behind projections. Jim Schowalter spoke to the House Ways and Means committee yesterday.

The backup revenues Schowalter can count on include a tax on stadium suites and a sports-themed scratch-off game offered by the Minnesota State Lottery. They’re written into last year’s stadium law.

But with electronic pulltab revenues running only a few cents on the dollar compared to initial projections, those backups may be of limited help.

Lottery officials say the last Vikings-themed lottery game yielded only about $1.5 million during the run of the limited-edition game, a far cry from the tens of millions in debt payments the state would need.

With a projection to build 150 stadium suites, a $1,000 per NFL game surcharge on each would only raise another $1.5 million or so.

Officials initially projected the debt service on the new Vikings stadium would run more than $30 million per year.