Watch CBS News

Enough in U.S. Bank Stadium reserves to pay off remaining debt 20 years early

U.S. Bank Stadium has enough to pay off its debts 20 years early
U.S. Bank Stadium has enough to pay off its debts 20 years early 02:05

MINNEAPOLIS -- Imagine being able to pay off your mortgage 20 years early. That's essentially the story with the state's half-billion dollar debt on U.S. Bank Stadium.

In 2012 when then Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill to fund U.S. Bank Stadium, the state agreed to pay $500 million for its share, and to pay back the debt over 30 years using something brand new at the time -- electronic pull tabs.

Republican Sen. Julie Rosen is often credited with getting the stadium bill passed 

"I never thought we would be able to pay this off in ten years. It's an incredible story," Rosen said. "A lot of people thought this was going to fall flat on our face, that state taxpayers were going to have to pay for it."

But now, many legislators appear to agree with Rosen, who is retiring.

Rosen says the state should pay off the remaining $370 million in debt early and continue to use part of the $150 million annual pull tab revenue for a yearly maintenance fund for the stadium. Tens of millions would be left over every year for other causes, and the state would own the stadium free and clear.

Both Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman and a spokesperson for Gov. Tim Walz issued cautious statements, saying paying off the debt early and deciding what to do with e-pull tab revenue will be discussed during the upcoming legislative session.

Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley said, "The opportunity to pay off the debt now would continue the stadium's amazing success."

Bagley said going forward the state should continue to use some of the e-pull tab revenue for a maintenance fund. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.