Minnesota Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, planned to announce on April 5 at an 11 a.m. news conference that he has sponsored a bill to fund the state’s portion of a new Vikings stadium to be operated by the White Earth Tribe, reported WinonaDailyNews.com.
The tribe would finance the state’s portion of the development and construction costs of the Viking’s facility with an upfront payment of $400 million, said Erma Vizenor, chairwoman of the White Earth Tribe, who was expected to join Miller at the conference. In return, the State of Minnesota would regulate and audit the new Twin Cities metro-area casino. Under the proposal called MinnesotaWins, casino net revenues would be split 50-50 between the tribe and the state. The tribe first pitched its MinnesotaWins proposal on February 16.
“When I’m traveling across the district I represent in southeastern Minnesota, the issue that comes up by far more than any other issue is the new Vikings stadium. I agree that it’s time to get something done, and I’m extremely excited about this idea,” Miller said in a statement. “It is definitely the most financially sound and economically feasible plan for the taxpayers in the State of Minnesota, as well as its possibility for creating jobs and the economic stimulus this would help provide to the members of Minnesota’s largest and economically poorest tribe.”
The White Earth Tribe has also pledged to use some of their share of the net revenue to improve housing, schools, community clinics and more to provide an economic boost to northwestern Minnesota and the metro area.
In addition to providing a new stadium for the Vikings at virtually no cost to the state, the MinnesotaWins casino but will be an economic stimulus for White Earth Nation and all Minnesotans, Miller said. “This $700 million construction project, for which White Earth has already been approved for financing, would create an estimated 2,500 jobs during the construction phase and an estimated 2,000 full-time jobs after completion. When combined with a new Vikings stadium, we would have approximately $1.7 billion of construction between the two projects and well over 5,000 jobs during the construction phases.”