Odds don’t look good for Vikings ticket lottery plan

MPR photo illustration

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority put and end today on one of the more obscure twists in last spring’s stadium drama: a plan to help finance the stadium with a Vikings ticket lottery.

Here’s the relevant language from the bill:

The authority shall study the feasibility of conducting a raffle for  chances to win a pair or other limited numbers of prime seats
(such as lower deck, 50 yard line seats) in the stadium for professional football games for the duration of the lease or use
agreement.

Ironically enough, the champion of the plan was Golden Valley DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler, often a critic of the stadium. (He was one of the “no” votes struck a near-fatal blow to the deal in the House Government Operations committee on April 16. You can hear his vote at 3:57:12 here.) Winkler came out later in favor of the plan, and actually voted for it in the end.

And to add a little MORE to the irony, consider that MSFA executive director Ted Mondale is co-chairing Winkler’s 2012 re-election campaign and Winkler was one of the stadium players that worked on Mondale’s 1998 gubernatorial run (including MSFA communications director Jenn Hathaway and Gov. Mark Dayton’s chief of staff Tina Flint Smith.)

Anyway, the familiarity wasn’t enough to rescue the plan. The staff report on the raffle said it was probably going to be more trouble that it was worth:

Even assuming the best scenario – the prize is donated by the Team at no cost to the Authority, the raffle is operated in such a way that no tax is due, and the allowable expenses are average – the yield would be approximately $73,500. This yield is relatively modest considering the number and complexity of legal restrictions applicable to the raffle.

So, there you have it: feasibility studied. Boom lowered. And if you want those 50-yard line seats in the lower bowl of the People’s Stadium, you’re going to have to get them the old fashioned way and buy them.