The Vikings-themed lottery scratch-off has exceeded $12 million in sales in a little over six months, and it could be looked at as a potential funding mechanism for a new stadium.
The Vikings stadium debate got a boost Wednesday with the announcement that the Vikings scratch-off lottery ticket was a rousing success and could potentially be used as a means to help pay for a new stadium.
Released in late July, the $10 scratcher that was Viking-themed cleared $12 million, making it one of the most successful lottery programs in the history of the state.
While the lottery ticket revenue is a new potential stream of money to help pay for a stadium, it won't be able to fully cover the cost of a new stadium. Zygi Wilf has stated that the team is willing to pay one-third of the cost of an open-air stadium – if the state wants a fixed-roof stadium, other revenue means could provide the additional percentage of the funding cost for that.
With the Metrodome still deflated at this point, the need for a new stadium deal is being strongly debated at the Minnesota Legislature. The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome ends this year and the team has made it clear that it can't compete in the current NFL landscape without a new stadium deal.
Different proposals are being discussed, but the addition of potential lottery proceeds would achieve what some legislators are looking at for a funding source – those with a vested interest in the team helping pay for it through lottery proceeds.
While there is still a long way to go before the situation is resolved, it has to be viewed as a positive that the Vikings and the state are working together to get a solution done.
Today is the first day that teams can start announcing franchise players. There is currently debate as to which player the Vikings might consider franchising – wide receiver Sidney Rice or linebacker Chad Greenway – if any.
The Vikings have only used the franchise tag once, tagging tight end Jim Kleinsasser in 2004.
Given the lack of a collective bargaining agreement, many teams may look to protect themselves by franchising players to prevent them from hitting the open market. Under typical circumstances, the franchise tag creates resentment among players, but the league may have no choice but to apply the tag in unprecedented numbers.
There is word coming out of those working on the Metrodome that a full roof replacement may be needed to make the stadium safe for players and fans. A meeting is being held Thursday afternoon in which engineers will present their findings on how to best bring the Metrodome back into working order.
The Vikings announced they won't raise season ticket prices next year. It will be the second time in three years they have held fast on season ticket prices from the previous year.
After planning two bargaining sessions between the NFL and the players association, today's scheduled meeting was cancelled – yet another sign that things aren't going well.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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