Should constitutionally dedicated funding to the outdoors, environment, and arts be used to help pay for a Vikings stadium? In a poll of 807 adult Minnesotans of varying backgrounds, 77% said they opposed the idea. That’s a pretty clear “NO” from the people.
However, some lawmakers think that it’s a good idea to use Legacy Amendment funds to pay for a Vikings Stadium. The Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment, which Minnesotans voted for in 2008, generates revenue for clean water, outdoor heritage, arts and culture, and parks and trails. 19.75% of the sales tax goes to arts and culture. The suggested use of Legacy money on a new Vikings stadium would come from the Arts and Culture portion of the funding.
This paragraph was taken from the Legacy Amendment home page as one of the guiding principles for the fund: “ACHF (Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund) investments will substantially broaden access to performances, exhibits, programs and resources; foster long-distance participation through broadcasting, the internet and other technologies; actively engage Minnesotans in their history in creative and imaginative work; and create opportunities for all Minnesotans to get directly involved as artists, historians and critical thinkers in their communities.” I am not convinced that football fits this definition. Thankfully, I am not the only one who agrees.
There are a two key lawmakers who are taking a stand against this diversion of Legacy funds. Both Republican Senator Bill Ingebrigsten and Republican Representative Dean Urdahl are against the idea. Ingebrigtsen was quoted in an MPR news article on the subject, openly opposing the use of Legacy funds on a new Vikings Stadium. Urdahl was also quoted, assuring the public there are many other options for funding the new stadium that do not include use of the Legacy funding. Ingebrigsten is the chair of the Senate Environmental Resources Committee, and Urdahl chairs the Legacy Funding Committee in the House. I am relieved to know that these lawmakers are doing their best to protect the funds that have been dedicated to protecting Minnesota’s arts and culture, which is a vital part of what makes our state unique.