ST. PAUL, Minn. - A northwestern Minnesota tribe said Thursday it will make an upfront payment of $400 million to the state for part of a new Twin Cities casino.
The White Earth Tribe made an announcement at the Capitol saying the money would cover the state's share of construction costs for the proposed Minnesota Vikings stadium that would be built on the current site of the Metrodome.
In a statement from tribe chairwoman Erma J. Vizenor, the White Earth Nation says their $400 million contribution would remove "the need for the state to use bonds and, in doing so, removes any doubt or delay that comes with a bond issue. Minnesota will have the money, the Vikings will be able to proceed in a timely manner - taking advantage of today's low interest rates and favorable construction costs - and taxpayers need have no concern that they will be on the hook."
The White Earth Nation had previously proposed building a casino in the Twin Cities to help pay for the new stadium.
The tribe's proposal says the casino, a $700 million construction project, would bring in between $726 million and $1 billion for the state in the first five years. Their estimates say first year revenues would be $140 million.
The proposal, called "MinnesotaWins," says the tribe and the state
Additionally, Vizenor says the casino would create 2,500 construction jobs and 2,000 full-time jobs after completion.
The Minnesota Vikings want to build a $975 million dollar stadium on the east side of downtown Minneapolis. City leadershave pledged support for a new stadium and now the issue of how to fund the stadium rests in state lawmakers' hands.
The White Earth Tribe currently owns and operates Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn., and is the state's largest tribe.