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Associated Press, Published July 30 2010

Horner’s Vikings plan: Team pays 40% for stadium

MINNEAPOLIS – Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner sketched out a plan Thursday for a new Vikings stadium that would have the team paying 40 percent of an estimated $900 million project.

Horner told The Associated Press that the state would pay the rest through a penny-per-drink liquor tax statewide, plus revenue from a racino and a tax on game tickets. Horner said that would produce a “state-of-the-art” stadium, likely one with a fixed roof that would keep the Vikings in Minnesota for the next 40 years and bring Super Bowls, Final Fours and other major events to the Twin Cities.

The Vikings’ Metrodome lease expires after the 2011 season and the team has said it won’t renew it. Owner Zygi Wilf has not yet threatened to sell the team or move it to Los Angeles, but Horner said that’s a legitimate risk – unlike when the Twins were campaigning for a stadium in the 1990s.

The Vikings said they liked Horner’s proposal but would be looking to lower the 40 percent share as well as the tax on tickets sold for the new venue. The team lobbied hard to get lawmakers to take up the issue this spring, to no avail.

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