Tom Hackbarth, a lawmaker of Minnesota State, has coined the idea for the addition of slot machines in the racetracks of the state. Tom Hackbarth (a Republican State Representative for Minnesota) announced that the higher revenue through slot machines could help generate revenue for financing a new stadium for Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.
The cost required for building a new stadium is calculated to be US$1 billion by experts. US$700 million would be contributed by state funds.
Hackbarth has suggested that the state could modify its constitution to permit slot machines at two area racetracks in Minneapolis namely:
• Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus; and
• Canterbury Park in Shakopee
Hackbarth prefers Slot machines installation would avoid the raise in tax to generate the stadium construction funds. Minnesota has recently completed work on new stadiums for:
• Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins; and
• University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team
During a recent radio interview Hackbarth said that the former indoor facility used, which is Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, is not fit for the task of conducting sporting games or big concerts. The Metrodome dates back to 1982 with an artificial turf and inflated roof.
Local residents are worried that once the Vikings’ lease of Metrodome expires by 2011 the team owners might move the franchise to another place. In case Hackbarth’s proposal is accepted the decision would be laid before voters in the upcoming general election. If the revenue from slot machines would be enough to support the construction costs of the stadium, the funds collected later could be saved in the general funds of the state.
A native tribe group operating casinos in Minnesota is against Hackbarth’s suggestion. They are cynical about the revenue that could be generated from Slot machines. They feel that the revenue from slot machines could not support the construction costs of stadium.