One year and one day ago, the Minnesota Vikings were in the middle of a battle to secure funding for their new stadium, and gambling was proposed as the best way to get it.
Despite never ever wanting to see the Vikings leave Minnesota I penned an article entitled “Weigh The Gambling Option Carefully, Minnesota” where I discussed the historical gap between gambling revenues promised for such projects and what the actual numbers end up being.
If a person is too poor to buy that new Silverado,” I said in closing the article, “there isn’t a financial adviser in the world that would advise that person to head to the casino to raise funds for the vehicle. Perhaps, if the tax revenue isn’t there and a $323 million surplus is already spent, then the State should consider not placing such a risky bet… with your money.”
As it turns out, it was decided that the public money supporting the stadium project would be raised in large part by gambling, the most volatile of all possible funding mechanisms and things are not off to a good start.
The revenue generated to date is far below what was projected. According to 1500 ESPN, as of February 1st only 130 sites were offering the electronic pulltabs devised to fund the stadium, and it was projected to be up to 900 by this time. Furthermore, those sites are generating significantly less revenue on a daily basis than was projected, causing estimates to drop from $206 a day to $100.
As of right now, the stadium project is costing more than the State is bringing in.
Governor Mark Dayton and other lawmakers are concerned about this issue, but many see little reason to panic, claiming the games simply need to be marketed better and need more time to gain attention.
Dayton could find himself in an interesting position, as the champion of the Vikings stadium project and gambling revenue source, as he may need to search for an alternative funding source for the stadium if things continue to unfold this way.
One of those sources of revenue, and perhaps the most likely could end up being the Personal Seat Licenses that he so staunchly opposed not that long ago.