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Minnesota Vikings Licenses Plates? Bill At Capitol Would Make It Reality

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- Minnesotans could show support for the Minnesota Vikings on the road with a special license plate adorned with the team's mascot if a bill at the state legislature is approved this year.

Proceeds would benefit the Minnesota Vikings Foundation, which focuses on health and education initiatives for kids. To get one, drivers would need to make an annual donation of $30 to the charitable organization.

"With the passage of this legislation, motorists across the state of Minnesota can make a measurable difference in the lives of youth and families by leveraging their passion and fandom for the Minnesota Vikings," Brett Tabor, executive director of the foundation, told a Senate committee Thursday.

Nineteen other states have similar laws that benefit 24 NFL team foundations, he said, emphasizing that no money would support the team itself or its ownership.

The foundation conducted a market survey that it says projects 1.15 million motorists would be interested in purchasing the special plate. The survey—and an application free, which the foundation paid—are two requirements to get a bill considered in the first place.

"I have no doubt that it will quickly become one of the most popular plates we'll see on the roads in Minnesota and each dollar is going to go towards the Vikings Foundation to do great work in this state," Sen. Julia Coleman, R-Waconia, said.

The proposal has bipartisan support, but its future at this point is unclear.

Sen. Scott Newman, chair of the committee that reviewed the bill Thursday, said lawmakers have "license plate requests lined up around the block" and the Vikings' plate hearing prompted other professional teams' interest. He suggested creating a plate with all of the team's represented.

State law requires special plates be authorized specifically in statute, not by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

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