Benson will join Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, at a 9 a.m. press conference tomorrow where he plans to rip the idea of using charitable gaming to fund the state's $400 million share of the project's cost. A major portion of those dollars would come from electronic pull-tabs.
Benson said he has two problems with that idea. First, he said electronic pull tabs are not a reliable funding source. If not enough money comes in, there is the risk that state general fund dollars would have to go towards paying the stadium bond debt payments.
"We could end up taking money out of the general fund, which certainly means we are going to be robbing Peter to pay Paul," he said. "We're not going to have money for schools and hospitals and all the other things."
His other concern centers on the moral issues related to gambling.
"I support the Vikings. I want to build a stadium. I just don't want to do it on the backs of compulsive gamblers," he said.
So Benson is going to put forward his own funding idea that relies on taxing tickets, parking, sports memorabilia and luxury suites. Another possibliity would be having a Vikings license plate. He said these taxes would be targeted to people who use the stadium.