How willing are you to help pay for a new Vikings stadium?

Last week the Minnesota Vikings renewed their drive for a new stadium to be built largely at public expense. How willing are you to help pay for a new Vikings stadium?

Given the state’s budget crisis and budget cuts to such vital needs as education and health care I feel it is appalling to fund a new stadium with taxpayer dollars. I am outraged. -Lisa Kleingarn, Minneapolis, MN

I love the Vikings but unless Ziggy is going to put up around half for his team’s new stadium neither will I. -Alan, Bloomington, MN

I’m not willing to pay for any portion of any new stadium. Enough is enough…middle class America subsidizing Millionaire Players and their Billionaire Employers, when will it end? -Jim, Saint Paul, MN

Zero for Zygi. -Mark Buckholz, Minneapolis, MN

I would rather pay for new schools instead of stadiums. Our tax money is not endless; some sensible prioritization please. -Kate Herberg, Mankato, MN

Stadium funding is inappropriate use of tax dollars; especially when education funding and other expenses that benefit everyone are lacking. -Suzanne, Minneapolis, MN

Absolutely not! Let’s be the state that proudly ends the era of supporting billionaire beggars! -Laura, Eden Prairie, MN

Yes, if we get a percentage of the revenue once it’s built. -Marty, St. Paul, MN

Public money should go into a new stadium ONLY if we get an equity stake in the franchise, with our portion of profits to go back into public coffers. -Peter, St. Paul, MN

Any stadium funding mechanisms should be voluntary. User fees, a racino, etc., can provide a reasonable compromise solution to this question. -Wade, St. Joe, MN

Why would i pay for something I’ll never use? I’m already paying for the Target Field, I’m not a baseball or football fan anyway. Let the owner pay for it or let the Vikings go. -Mark

I’d be glad to pay for the public health option – Vikings never. -Linda, Minneapolis, MN

It does not matter what more than 50 percent of Minnesotans think when the commission, like with the Twins, is SOLD OUT. -E.R.Sotomayor

The Vikings play eight games a year…my kid’s school runs 215 days annually, and the experience lasts more than four quarters and an overnight hotel stay. No question where I’d invest 950 million. -anonymous text message

  • Micki

    Not at all.

  • Dawn Sillars

    Spending public dollars on a football stadium would be a slap in the face to the citizens in our society who have unmet needs.

  • Della

    Absolutely not willing to pay a cent to finance a new stadium for the Vikings.

    Maybe they can take their new quarterback and move the team to Wisconsin.

  • Eleanor

    I am willing to pay for things that help build community: education, healthcare, food and shelter, the arts, renewable energy resources, infrastructure such as roads and bridgess. Sports are entertainment with a commercial focus and I don’t have the time and interest for this. I wouldn’t pay one cent for a new stadium.

  • Peter

    The Vikings need to win a championship and prove any money the public gives them will be put to good use before we even think about giving them a new stadium.

  • Sara Smuk

    The teams that have received new stadiums have done so because they earned them. The Vikings have been nothing but a disappointment to the Minnesota fans. Funding a new stadium in the midst of the current economic climate is quite ridiculous and the Vikings should be ashamed that they are doing so – funding could be put towards more pressing issues. The dome has been their home and changing that will not bring them a better season.

  • Deb Staley

    No.

    It is not an issue of how successful the team is; for a community needs to support a team the team during the good times and the bad times.

    But before financial contribution to the Vikings for a stadium, we have basic needs of the community that need to be addressed first, we need adequate funding of public education; health care; infrastructure, other public services.

  • kinnell

    Not at all willing.

    The team should try saving some of the money it pulls in to pay for it by themselves, I’m sure they pull in enough cash.

    A brief search online shows that the 2008 salaries of the players was over 100 million dollars, they should try reducing their costs before asking the public for help.

  • Jeanette

    Hell No! Let them pay their own way. If the leave Minnesota so sad–more for the other teams and cultural events.

  • Fred Olson

    No WAY.

  • Steve

    Not one single cent of state or public money should go to building an immense facility that will only be used by the owners eight (8) times a year for it’s primary purpose.

    If Mr. Wilf wants a new stabium, he is perfectly capable of putting together a deal with banks and other investors to build one. Better yet, let him purchase the Metrodome at a full and fair price from Minneapolis, then make sure he pays full taxes on the property.

    In case Mr. Wilf hasn’t heard, we’re in a recession and he has no right at all to expect the state, county, or city to provide him with what amounts to welfare for the rich while average Minnesotans are losing jobs and homes.

  • Not a single red cent. I am losing my job because of LGA cutbacks and now we’re supposed to pay for a stadium?! I think not. Not before everyone is back to work would I even discuss it. Oh, and since that will be never….

  • LMBA

    The public needs to contribute some – but certainly not all or most of the financing. Football is a huge draw for people/businesses who may move & visit this city. Like it or not, the Vikings are a big part of the identity of this city and state. For many, professional sports means as much as the arts means to others. It’s about maintaining our identity as a major American city and that includes professional sports teams. As a community, we profit from the Vikings presence in many intangible ways.

  • Jim

    I think the question is how much are the people benefitting from a sports stadium willing to pay? Since this proposal is to use tax revenue, perhaps the players, coaches, vendors, and owner(s) should take a furlough day, as many public employees are currently having to do, and have that income applied to reducing the cost. After, we could reasses the situation.

  • Stephanie

    Not at all.

  • bob

    I pray our legislators will develop some moral courage and say no to taxing us for a stadium.

    Why are people with money coming out of their ears — the owners and the players and the corporate interests who populate the skyboxes — so reluctant to pay for their own playpen?

  • Martha

    Not until we have universal health care for all. If the NFL owners come out in favor of affordable, quality health care for all citizens, I will support their effort for public option stadiums.

  • Anna Williams

    NO WAY.

    When we have good health care for all Americans MAYBE I would consider it…

  • Scott

    I would think about it when the governor increases funding to municipalities so I can get property tax relief so I can afford to keep living here, everyone has health care coverage, those looking for work are employed, I can watch a game on TV without having to buy cable TV or worry about blackouts, professional athletes act professionally off the field, and they can demonstrate benefit to me from my tax dollars.

    Shy of that, if they have the gall to hold us hostage to threats of leaving if they don’t get their way and get tax funding for a new stadium, can we dress up in Togas and throw VIkings to Lions in the new coliseum?

  • Joe Schaedler

    I just wish the state could get a cut of the stadium’s income proportional to the percent we pay for its construction & maintenance costs.

    If we pay for half the stadium, then we get half the ticket income, we pay for a quarrter, we get a quarter, and so forth.

    That would make public financing for these stadiums actually profitable for the public, go figure that.

  • Susan

    After we have:

    – single payor health care

    – jobs with living wages for all who want them

    – support for education

    – help for people who are facing foreclosure

    – affordable housing

    Maybe then… Let’s work on the needs for the community first.

  • Caroline

    No new Vikings stadium…no no no no no! I feel sorry for the Minneapolitans who were forced to pay for a new baseball stadium! Football, and its environs, is a crude way to spend tax payer dollars

  • Tyler

    If the Vikings need someone to pay for their stadium, then the citystate needs to have a finacial stake in the team. Any profits during the season and any profits if sold could come back to the city/state when and if the team is moved. People need to take the emotion out of it.

  • Douglas Hall

    Absolutely not!

  • P

    Hell no!!!! Are they going to take away our say in it like the Twins did?

  • Brian

    The Lowry Bridge in Minneapolis has been closed for the past 2.5 out of five years, with no new bridge in sight. Next year, the Camden bridge will be closed for 7-9 months. I will be driving an extra 4500 miles in detours because the city/county/state has no money left from my taxes to fix these things. Now people want me to pay for a stadium? No, no, no.

  • Murg

    Absolutely! As much as it takes! Footbal teaches kids such wonderful lessons, like, if someone is standing between you and your goal, the right thing to do is knock ’em down and run over them. And pro athletes are such wonderful role models. I sure want my kids to learn that if they’re good enough at sports, they can get away with all sorts of things ordinary mortals can’t.

  • Joe

    I’d say willing. If we want a football team every so often something like a stadium upgrade needs to happen. Who should pay for it would be those that benefit from it including the owner, the fans, the metro area and the greater state. Maybe it should incremental based on who benefits the most. it would be a huge mistake to let the team move away.

  • Alexander Valoczki

    I have not been able to afford health insurance for 8 years. I have applied dozens of times yet I never qualify for MN Care or any other health program.

    But the Vikings need a new stadium so sure, I can keep going without so those millionaires can make more millions. (sarcasm)

    Honestly, why don’t the Vikings sell BONDS to people who wish to invest in a new stadium instead of forcing all of us to pay for it just as many municipalities and state governments do to raise money for new bridges and schools?

    Why should the Vikings get special privileges from the tax payers?

  • No way! Tax dollars spent this way go directly into the pocket of the millionaire team owner. Compare that to paying for state healthcare, infrastructure, or job creation programs that benefit great numbers of people struggling to make it in Minnesota. Not to mention that our state is, and will continue to be, running huge deficits.

    The real question: what do we do about media outlets that, beholden to lucrative sports coverage (e.g. Strib’s new Vikings paywall), constantly plug these highly unequal subsidies?

  • Maureen Rocheford

    Will someone please show me the numbers that actually prove that any professional sports team actually adds more than it costs for our communities? Really – infrastructure construction and maintenance, security, stadiums, etc. Where are the numbers? If we can’t, we don’t build. Simple as that. If, an only if, there are no homeless, no need for food shelves, no schools lacking in resources, no cuts to our judicial system etc., then let’s talk about a new Viking’s stadium. Also, if one is built, how about including no parking and mass transit as the only way to get there to support our efforts for a healthier environment?

  • Noelle

    NO.

    I have no problem seeing my taxes go towards public services that we direly need right now (um, health care anyone??), but at this point in the economy, one stadium was more than enough for us to pay for. Last time I checked, the Metrodome isn’t falling apart.

  • Steve

    No taxpayer money for a Vikings stadium. Have we become a nanny state for billionare’s sports team owners? Football is supposed to be a macho sport.

    If they want a stadium, manup and have them finance it themselves. This is riduculus to spend money on sports stadiums ,when we have our bridges collapsing and people being denyied health care.

  • jim from orono

    No. Absolutely not. My property taxes went up 20 percent last year. I expect another double-digit increase this year. I don’t want to pay for a new factory for businessman Wilf.

  • CJ

    I don’t want my tax dollars supporting a commercial enterprise that operates like a pyramid scam where the top dogs make huge money while whining about needing support and courting that support with hollow promises of economic growth for restaurants and parking lots. I live in rural MN, where times are tough and a proposal for a stadium by corporate fat cats seems downright obscene and out of touch with reality. It starts to smell like the fall of Rome when the governor supports the building of a new “coliseum” while homlessness rises and foreclosure haunts the streets of every town.

  • Brian

    NO tax dollars for a private stadium.

    There are far more pressing needs for tax dollars, education anyone?

    How about, billionaire owners and millionaire players pay their own way.

  • Eric

    No. I lived in San Diego, and the Chargers tried to hold the city hostage with the “give us a new stadium or we’ll leave” ploy, and it was frustrating–nobody wanted the team to leave, and nobody could afford the new stadium. I don’t blame the Vikes for trying this, because so many other cities have caved to this type of pressure, but a) someone has to draw a line in the sand and it might as well be us, and b) the timing of this request lacks any recognition or respect for any of the current difficulties the average fan is experiencing.

    The only way I would ever support public funding is if the ticket price were guaranteed to be affordable for an average fan. According to a recent survey, with a family of four, it costs an average of $412.64 to see an NFL game. Who are we building the stadium for? If enough people cannot afford to pay to attend a game, and the games are blacked out so we cannot watch it on TV, the fan base will erode so much that the funding will amount to another giveaway to an industry with a failed business model, i.e. a sport that no fans can or want to watch.

    Please, Mr. Wylf, renew your lease. You are fortunate to be in your position, and my purple and gold heart is in your hands.

  • Karen Bristle

    Absolutely not. Even if we were not in the middle of such tough economic times, I do not believe that tax payers should pay for a new stadium. There will always be needs of far greater importance in our society.

  • Gary

    No! It is unbelievable that this nation can seriously debate whether we can afford a national health care program, fund critical human service programs, support public schools, etc.; and even bring up the option of tax support for a sports complex. NO! NO! NO!

  • david

    Well, given so many other things that truly require statewide support, such as:

    * adequate repair on roads & bridges

    * mass transit that works for more people

    * health care

    * higher educational facilities in good repair and accessible to all

    * access to libraries & sports facilities for our children

    I think that the people should declare open season on any Vikings lobbyist that comes poking around the Legislature. And that goes for any government official (at any level) who comes around asking for the people’s money to buy a stadium for millionaires who live elsewhere.

  • Al

    Absolutely not! If the state paid for the buliding I work in my employer could afford to pay me a ridiculous salary too. Why should I subsidize a privately owned business? It’s not my fault the owners don’t pay players reasonable salaries, which would allow them to be able to afford their own stadiums.

  • Rob

    When we’re engaged in a public debate about whether we can afford to provide health care, extend unemployment benefits to those out of work, fund early education programs, etc. any discussion of providing public funds to build a bigger and better cathedral to the worship of paid entertainers is foolish. Where are our priorities?

  • W.

    I believe the current administration may indeed build a new stadium, and they may subsidize the tickets as well. Unemployment brought on by short-sighted fiscal policy and ridiculously low taxes may be with us for many years, and it is possible that the government will turn to bread and circuses to keep the hungry and jobless pacified.

  • Angela Bunke

    Why should we build an elaborate new stadium for spoiled brats like the Vikings players who will only play there 8 or 9 times a year? Let them find their own funding, if anyone is willing.

  • CC

    Why do we need so many stadiums???? Can’t anyone share?

  • Chris

    VOTE on it!!! I am a fan of a different team living in MN. It’s a democracy, so if the majority says yes then I am willing to pay more. Even though I won’t ever use it.

  • Nila

    ABSOLUTELY NOT

    I am frustrated by the lack of opportunity to vote on whether my tax dollars are used to build stadiums for professional athletes.

    Those who profit from professional sports are the ones who should pay the “cost of sales” on their income.

    Nila

  • Jeff W.

    We need to rethink our priorities in both this state and country. Sporting events are not nearly as important as solving our larger problems. How do we care for the poorest in our society? Let’s show our concern and care for the least among us before continuing to support this private business.

  • Nila

    ABSOLUTELY NOT

    I am frustrated by the lack of opportunity to vote on whether my tax dollars are used to build stadiums for professional athletes.

    Those who profit from professional sports are the ones who should pay the “cost of sales” on their income.

    Nila

  • Miller Friesen

    Yes: The simple fact is that unless the public helps to pay for, we will not have a team. I think it is also true that major sports teams enhance our lives, and the state ws live in.

  • Michael

    If taxpayers were to pay for any part of the stadium, then they should be able to receive an equal percentage of the revenue. The idea of paying for a new stadium, but then only receiving “taxes” on direct/indirect revenue that might be generated by the stadium is a poor investment strategy. Subsidizing private businesses on the hope that it will generate tax revenue makes no sense. Having the public “investors” in the project requires the public to get a fair share of the revenue produced. That is the only way I would support any taxpayer funding for a new stadium.

  • Jeff

    YES….having a local team creates jobs….building a new stadium will also create jobs. The cost should be shared by all who will benefit….team owner, media, and the taxes payers.

  • Whitedoggie

    Hell no, I would contribute $0. Let them move to LA.

  • Curt

    I’d be glad to help pay for a new stadium, as soon at the state pays for a multi million dollar place for me to set up a business that will return millions to me too.

  • Mark

    A billion dollars for a facility that will be used approximately 8 times a year??? Hmmm. And then hand the keys over to a private owner???? Hmmm. And then, like Target Center, have large sections of the building available only to the super-rich????? Hmmm. Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to buy the Vikings, and then tell them they’ll play whereever we say?

  • Bryant

    The Vikings sure are entertaining to watch given their exciting skill players, chocking, trading, and Favre. I don’t doubt a new stadium would enliven their cause. Right now, we our nation and state is in a massive deficit. Local cities and towns need to turn internally to support ourselves and turn progress into reality to support a national agenda. Commercial enterprises are definitely apart of economies but education, transportation and healthcare are ranking higher on my list and more people benefit. Healthier communities, healthier society. May the rewards (i.e. stadiums) then follow.

  • Bill Gleason

    No new stadium – now.

    Have the Vikings and Gophers share TCF stadium.

    In future expand TCF to 80K seating as planned for.

    Both teams play in Dome for a year during construction

    Don’t like it NFL (and U of M)?

    Bye, bye Vikings.

    —————————–

    This whole situation was totally predictable. Lack of leadership on the public side and the U of M side has led to the current fiasco.

    Oh, and a gentle reminder: Stadiums don’t win games. I can’t wait to hear people whining when the Twins have to play outside in the Spring or on days like tomorrow. The same thing will happen when the Gophers have to play in foul weather.

    Be careful what you wish for. The Dome has always been full for a good game. It truly has been a home field advantage for us.

  • Joseph Miller

    I would have to see the numbers on how many jobs this would actually create and how much money it would put back into the community. Another thing to consider is what kind of jobs would this create? Dead end jobs or ones with lots of advancement opportunity? Would those jobs come with worthwhile health benefits?

    On a more abstract note it seems America is far too concerned with financing means of entertainment on the governmental, corporate, and personal level. Entertainment and recreation should be the secondary consideration after we deal with issues that really matter like health care.

  • Krista

    It is morally reprehensible to build a stadium for a bunch of overpaid millionaires while there are people in this country going without food, health care, and shelter. Our society is sick to even consider it.

  • Gerald Myking

    I have seen no benefit by Minnesotans outside the metro area for having a professional football team. I really question how much the metro area has benefiited. If support is to be given to sports programs it should be given to OUR schools and OUR colleges.

  • Natalie

    ABSOLUTELY NOT

    The stadium is used for football, which is a for-profit business. I don’t believe tax payers should pay for “private” business enterprises. Those who profit from professional sports and use the stadium should be the ones who pay for the cost of building the stadiums.

    All other for-profit businesses have to use their income to support their infrastructure. So should professional sports teams. If football franchises can afford to pay their players millions in salaries, they should be able to afford to get a long-term loan to pay for building their stadiums.

    The only public support I would consider appropriate would be a local tax only on the specific geographical area (a few blocks)adjacent to the stadium which could benefit from the stadium’s use. Greater Minnesota has absolutely no benefit from supporting a new stadium in the Twin Cities.

  • Chris

    The biggest problem is that the Queens already designed the stadium without taxpayer input. The tax payers should vote on the amount we should give them if any. Then the Queens can decide what kind of stadium THEY can afford, or get additional money somewhere else.

  • David

    I am in the “No” camp but no one listened to me when the State bailed out NWA, built Target Center for the Timber Wolves, built a hockey rink for the Minnesota Wild, built a new football stadium for the Golden Gophers, or built a new baseball stadium for the Minnesota Twins so I don’t expect them to listen now. My only request is that if public dollars are used that it be a loan with interest and that the loan is fully secured and personally guaranteed by the owners until the loan is repaid.

  • Becky

    NO!!! Not until we fund education & health care. Things that will strengthen our communities now and in the future.

  • Mike in St Paul

    Given the current environment on the issue, I know my opinion will be unpopular, but I have absolutely no problem giving money to the Vikings to build a new stadium. However, there are caveats. First, state money should only pay for a portion of the cost. Zygi has to kick in some as well. Second, like the Wild, there must be a clause dictating that if the Vikings try to leave that the Vikings will pay the full cost of the stadium and ownership goes directly to the community.

  • michele

    No.

    At the bottom of this dispute, many supporters including some state and local leaders, seem to think the Twin Cities is just a bigger Omaha, NE without the Vikings. This is just false.

    We are home to one of the largest and highest quality land grant universities, as well as 7 highly rated private colleges/universities. Additionally we have superb cultural/arts options with the Walker, MIA, Guthrie, and many other fine and alternative arts opportunities.

    We are home to Best Buy, Target, Cargill, United Health Care, Medtronic, and others.

    For our size we have a wealth of resources. If the Vikes want to leave…adios and catch you later. We’ll do just fine, thank you very much!

  • Ann

    No thanks. I can think of a lot of better uses for my tax money.

    Since so many cities have now built new stadiums, shouldn’t we be able to do an actual fact-based analysis of whether or not new statdiums and retained sports teams help local economies? We’ve had plenty of bad economies lately in spite of all the new stadiums. Did the cities with new stadiums fare better or worse (in jobs, tax revenue, etc.)?

  • Paul

    If the stadium is used for more than just the Vikings, shows a good return on the investment, and doesn’t unfairly burdan some while rewarding others; I’d be very willing to put my two cents in.

  • No. None. Nada. Not a penny for any stadium.

    It’s a GAME. It creates no wealth nor new jobs. Quality of life benefits maybe, but then MPR could offer to share their Arts & Culture sales tax.

  • Tim Farrell

    It is nothing short of tragic that this question is being asked. MPR disappoints in the extreme for even posing the question.

    Under no circumstances should the public purse be used to fund stadiums for profit-making teams.

    With virtually every economist of every political stripe saying that economic recovery will be very slow and deficits will grow, how can this even be considered?

    Stimulate the economy, and minds, with investments schools, libraries, museums, parks — truly public and enduring assets.

    Thanks.

  • kates

    No. thank you.

  • John Anderson

    I’m willing to pay for it only if it is tied to state-wide single payer health care.

  • Phill

    As much as sports is a private venture, it should be self supporting. The stadium itself is part of the private venture and needs to be scaled to the earnings it can generate.

    The public has two interests in investing in the stadium. First, large companies (read: employers) use sports to network, and without big-name sports we are at a business disadvantage. Second, a large grouping of people no matter what point will drive the need for public safety and law enforcement.

    Investment in infrastructure=yes, investment in revenue generation=no.

  • Sherry

    NO. The difference between arts funding and sports funding is that the arts do not generate millions for owners. This is why I DO NOT support tax payer money for sports teams. User fees, yes. Contributions by rich team owners, yes. Tax payer money. NO, NO, NO. I am not anti-sports, just anti tax dollars to fund a stadium because the team owner cannot make a big enough profit with the team playing where they are. They need more money, pay players less. Tax sports ticket and “stuff” sales – there are many options that do not involve taxing everyone.

  • Jason

    Not at all willing to pay anything. Hennipen county residents already had their (MN) constitutional rights violated with the Twins’ stadium. We will not stand for this again. Let Wilf, the NFL and ticket sales pay for it, and hopefully move it out of Downtown. Talk of changing the constitution to allow state sponsored or run casinos is beyond inappropriate.

  • Richard

    Not one dime of public money should be spent on a Vikings Stadium. Nor should any special tax fund the stadium. We have far more important things to be concerned about, affecting a vastly greater number of people than Vikings’ players/fans. If the Vikings leave, odds are, based on nearly every study made, it will have zero impact on our state economy.

  • JB

    No Way!

    Ad an Anoka County resident, I was very happy when the county dropped the proposal to build a stadium near Columbus Twp. If Mr. Wilf wants a new stadium, he should get busy with his social networking, and find some friends who want to go in to it with him.

  • Dan

    The issue is worded wrong. Look at the history of the Dome. It was not a public subsidy for sports teams, but a state investment in infrustructure that paid back more than five times over. If the state doesn’t invest, it will not get its share of the hotdog sales. The Vikings need to work on their sales pitch. “Invest in our stadium plans and heres how much the state will get back.” And not in vague spin offs, but direct state refenue returns on investment.

  • Ed

    I don’t get much work these days but the work I do get is primarily in LA and they are so excited that we might not build the Vikings a stadium. They are poised to take them.

    I support funding the stadium. It is advertising for the state. But I think we should retain the rights to name the stadium. If Target believes that it is worth paying to have a stadium called Target Center, stadium so that every-time it is mentioned their name is mentioned. We should name it 10,000 lakes stadium so it is truly and advertisement for the state. I am also sure that the state enjoys the 10 million in tax revenue every Sunday.

    If you don’t believe that it is the state’s job to develop business you must be against roads, schools and every other type of government support to help business grow. Roads aren’t built for the people they are built to create a good transit system for business.

    Don’t be naive that’s for Fox TV viewers. Has anyone heard how many time the MN Twins are being mentioned on national news these days. Marketing! The state needs jobs.

  • Bill Enright

    San Antonio Vikings, anyone? Let Zygi con some other suckers into building his palatial playpen for that bunch of over-paid prima donnas. We have far too many pressing economic issues of real concern to waste any more money stadium nonsense.

  • pete theisamnn

    If Z Wilf is so committed to MN he should add 30,000 and a retractable roof to the Gopher stadium. All this at his expense.

    For years colleges and high schools have served as a free farm system for pro football. It is time for them to give back.

    When he gets done paying for the 30,000 seats and the retractable we’ll have a building that is used for 16 days per year.

  • Scott

    Oh, absolutely, but why tax the citizens when we can borrow the money, like we (the governor) do for all our other needs! Let the next generation pay the loan.

    Taxes are too unpalatable!!!

    –from the responsible members of the Minnesota Taxpayers League

    But seriously, the sad fact is, in this game (NFL) you pay to play and be entertained. That’s how it works. Don’t like it? Then some other sucker city will pay them.

    It’s just like politics. We get the representatives we deserve, and these days, we require television to bring information to us, which costs big bucks. We are sooo stuupid…

  • JO

    How much money for something that is used only 7 or 8 times a year???

    I love the irony of professional sports, poor and middle income people actually pay alot of money to watch millionaires run around throwing balls to other millionaires while making money for billionaire owners…

  • “:North” West

    No, Never, Nyet – Businessmen should pay for their own property, not the public.

  • Jeff

    Why does the faint of keeping a sports team in Minnesota always seems to fall on the shoulders of individual citizens? …i’m about as willing to pay for a Vikings stadium as the Vikings are willing to help with my mortgage payment!

  • If the city pays, say, 75% of the stadium then they should reap 75% of the profits. As far as I see it the city pays for 75% of it and reaps none of the profits. I love the Vikings but not enough to give Wilf more millions.

  • Luis Pedroza

    Actually,

    the poor and “middle income” as you call them are likely to pay no federal taxes this year. They are actually set to receive tax breaks this year.

    However, I do agree that it is a waste to build a stadium only used for football because of the loq frequency in games. I would rather see a multi-purposed venue for concerts, football, etc etc… but we seem to have those things already. Let the Viking move to LA.

    “How much money for something that is used only 7 or 8 times a year???

    I love the irony of professional sports, poor and middle income people actually pay alot of money to watch millionaires run around throwing balls to other millionaires while making money for billionaire owners…

    Posted by JO | October 5, 2009 12:37 PM”

  • Andy H

    Mixed feelings

    I don’t mind helping pay for a new stadium. However, if I buy a car and take out a loan; the thought is, in 4 years I’m done paying for the car. The same should apply here; but it seems once we tack on a luxury tax; it never goes away.

    And let’s be honest, in this economic time who wants to pay more money for anything?

    If you tried to make your way through downtown Minneapolis (and St. Paul) this weekend you would know there is a large benefit to having successful sports teams in your area. Between the Twins, Vikings and the Marathon; hotels and restaurants were packed.

    Unfortunately, most people don’t see the benefit of sports in the economy. The problem is, that it’s not really a direct benefit to the people footing the bill.

    What people don’t see is that athletes pay state taxes in the state they play in. Yes, A-Rod pays a Minnesota state tax every time the Yankees are in town. The state also collects tax from every new job that’s created through a new stadium project (from construction to bars). Ultimately, that money (in theory) returns to us (Minnesota residence) in the form of public education, civil servants, etc.

    The other issue is; we are considered one of the top media markets in the US. What does that do? Those that work in our local ad and marketing agencies can tell you.

    It would be nice to see local business step up and offer their hand first, since they are the ones that will have the most visible benefit for such a project. But, frankly, it’s embarrassing that a state our size cannot support major market sports teams. 8 home games a year or not. Football is big business in the US. And it benefits everyone in this state.

  • judy

    Nothing all the sports teams can move to Timbuctu and then the State could spend money on children, elderly, sick and those needing some help.

    Thank you

  • Brian

    If a new Biking Stadium gets people out of their cars to start exercising, I’m all for it, and don’t mind paying higher taxes!

  • Ron

    NOT A DIME!

    I love football. But I love my children and our neighbors more. Our schools, roads and other NEEDED public services which improve our lives AND make Minnesota businesses prosperous are in sad shape. We are becoming the Mississippi of the Midwest.

    Even in good times, not a dime. No more corporate welfare.

  • P.A.

    I am bias, a Bears fan, so no, I do not want to pay for a Vikings stadium. That being said, I am tierd of non-government individuals making money off tax payers. Here’s an example. George W. Bush owned the Texas Rangers. He threatend to have them leave Austin if they did not get a new staduim. The city raised/created temporary taxes and built a staduim, thereby raising the value of the Texas Rangers. Bush than sold the Texas Rangers for a profit. Most of his personal wealth was from that sale. In a sense, it was nothing more than Bush taking (extorting) money from taxpayers and putting it in his own pocket. Now Ziggy is going to do the same thing. The issue is people get so wrapped up into sports. At least the Bears’ new staduim owned by the City, and does not increase the wealth of an already very rich man.

  • Josiah Hagen

    I’d be willing to pay for a stadium, if the Vikings were a community owned team like Green Bay.

  • Beth

    In order to be more comfortable, I would like the vikings to pay for me to live in a bigger apartment and pay off my student loans. As a thank you for paying off my debt and buying me a place to live, I will let them come watch me run around in my nylons for only $50, 16 times before spring comes. See that’s probably what it is. They don’t actually like wearing purple tights in winter. They’re just willing to humiliate themselves to thank us for our financial support. So we’re like pimps really.

    No i don’t want to buy them a new stadium. I’d rather keep my dignity.

  • Rick Lindberg

    Not a penny should be spent of public money. We have serious needs in our communities and a football stadium is not one of them.

  • Mary

    I am very willing to pay a few extra cents tax wise like we did to pay for the dome. It would be a huge economic loss to the state if the Vikings move because of not getting a new stadium. The Vikings are a large corporation that brings in a lot of tax income. Think of the job losses. Building a new stadium would actually help people keep jobs. Isn’t that one of our big problems in society today?

  • Keith

    Do we remember when we lost another national sports team? Let us not forget the costs associated with recruiting a new team to replace the MN North Stars (1967-1993) and the effect loosing that team had on local economies. Consider the time and money spent on recruiting there replacements… Oh yes, there is another one, no? THE LAKERS (1947-1960)?!?!? Are we really even debating this, have we learned nothing from past mistakes? Children!!! -seriously let’s learn from our mistakes, they are not mistakes if we learn from them and not repeat them…, right?!

    Consider: If the Vikings do not get a new stadium, they will leave, what are the economic impacts of those lost salaries (income tax revenues from the Vikings players AND the visiting teams), the lost sales to business that profit from game days, not to mention the employees of those businesses. The Vikings will leave, the Metrodome is not competitive in the NFL, the team does not have the ability to make money through the Metrodome, and like every other NFL team does! LA and other cities see the value and THEY WILL PAY FOR IT! We need to find our collective intelligence and not only look to tomorrow when making choices about the future of our community and state –WE NEED TO LOOK BEYOND THIS YEAR INTO THE NEXT DACADE AND MILLIENIUM – IF we want to remain competitive. We are said to be one of the most educated communities (by various polls), let’s live up to the reputation.

    Additionally consider, Gopher-YES, Twins-YES; Vikings-NO, really?

    Of course the facility will be used for other events, as asked in another response.

    What better location for the new stadium than where it is, light rail in place, transportation infrastructure in place!

    This new stadium is an investment in OUR community. If we want it to sustain itself we need to make the necessary investments. Raise my property taxes if it means we continue to have some of the highest property values in the Midwest, maintain one of the higher standard of living in the Midwest, and that we do not become a COLD Omaha without a NFL team…

    New construction of the stadium will support more than 13,000 jobs, LOCALLY! More than half of the cost to construct the stadium will go towards salaries, $577 million; that is $577 that will be spent locally and inhibit further foreclosures and defaults…no?

    Furthermore, the State contributed $0 to the construction of the Metrodome in 1982. The Metrodome has generated $245 million in state tax revenues. In our district alone in the year, 2008, +$240k in property tax, state tax withholding on players and staff, +$10.8 million, sales tax on tickets and merchandise, +$2.7 million, admission tax, $4.3 million – TOTAL LOST tax revenues W/O A NEW STADIUM: $18.1 MILLION PLUS! Please consider the worse case scenario before arguing trivial, short-sighted, objections to supporting a NFL team who contributed $18.1 MILLION to our tax revenues in 2008 ALONE!

  • Donna

    Why is every hand out of taxpayer funds considered socialism by Republicans, but this hand out by a Republican to the Vikings isn’t? Get real, I won’t pay a dine toward it.

  • Damon Gates

    I don’t care about sports, I therefor say “No.”

    However, in lieu of the proposed addition of slot machines at race tracks, how about legal football pools at the new stadium?

  • Dee

    Not at all willing. Our family is not interested in professional footbal, never go to the games, never watch on TV. This is priority zero.

  • kennedy

    Not at all willing.

    If the Vikings leave, I’ll probably see more football. We won’t be subject to blackout rules when they don’t sell out.

  • Keith (the other one)

    Keith’s long rant on lost taxes if we don’t build a Viking stadium is a false argument that was debunked by multiple experts in previous stadium debates. The fact is the only new tax revenue that sports teams can claim are the income taxes from the home and away team players (he estimates $10.8 million). The rest of the revenue he claims is lost is actually just spent on other things. If you don’t buy a jersey from a business near the stadium, you’ll spend it on a restaurant and a movie. Interest at 3% on $1.2 billion means debt service of $36 million each year. Stadium supporters just don’t want to recognize that building stadiums is just an entertainment subsidy.

    As to his argument about the cost to replace the Northstars, those were private costs, and nobody has a problem if private citizens want to spend their money attracting a team, we just don’t want our tax dollars supporting it. How about this for an alternative? Take the money spent in the future to attract a replacement for the Vikings, and spend it now on a private stadium?

    He also states “WE NEED TO LOOK BEYOND THIS YEAR INTO THE NEXT DACADE AND MILLIENIUM”, and then makes the case that we should build the stadium because of the construction jobs that would be had. Given the long term costs of debt service on $1.2 billion, we’d be better off just giving those workers 3 years worth of salary.

    The bottom line is, the state only has so many bonding dollars, and any rational analysis of the various needs would place a stadium way down on the priority list. Stadium supporters want you to base a billion dollar decision on pure emotion, just like a car salesman. Minnesotans are smarter than that, which is why legislators had to concoct a smoke and mirrors strategy that let county officials approve the bonds without a public vote to get the Twins stadium built.

  • Harry Wernecke

    NO, a thousand times, for the good reasons listed above. With all our public needs, we should give money to millionares? What could be more ridiculous? When I was a kid spectator sports were entertainment. Now, the name of the game is money for a selected few. And I should subsidize this? Let’s start being rational.

  • CJ

    Kevin says “This stadium is an investment in OUR community.”

    Got a problem with that, Kev. MY community is a three hour drive from that proposed stadium. I know it’s hard to remember when you live in a population hub that there are other spots on the map that have relevance. But you know what, there are. And most folks in those places find this entire debate banal, to say the least.

    Lots of claims get tossed around about all the great things a big league sports team does for the city/state it affiliates with. But really, if that was true, the boosters would have concrete data to back their proposals. Where’s the facts? I never hear them. I have yet to hear a convincing argument that proves this kind of investment has impressive benefits that offset the costs. I suspect it’s more like a wash.

    Does anyone really think enough somebodys will enhance our worker pool and income tax base by moving to Minnesota just because there’s a pro football team in the capital city? If that were the case, my brother would have moved to Dallas long ago.

    I really hope us bright, articulate Minnesotans can come up with community investment ideas of greater breadth, depth and vision than a stadium. Really.

  • Jill

    I am not willing at all. Our tax dollars should go toward the common good, not the private greed. When everyone has full health care coverage, our children’s education is well-funded, our environmental concerns are addressed, our support systems for those who need it are in place…then perhaps some of my pennies could go toward a new stadium. In the meantime, perhaps players’ salaries could be capped at something reasonable and the remaining billions could be used by the team to build a new stadium.

  • Loren

    Let’s get it over with. It’s going to happen. I’d rather not see the silly process gobbling up time and resources for another ten years. I would prefer the following conditions: If we subsidize the team, they ought to give the state the rights to the team name. I don’t mind a bit it the team moves, but I couldn’t bear hearing about a new Vikings stadium alongside the LA “Lakers”. That nonsense still hurts after many decades. They there also ought to be an agreement that the taxpayers who pay the subsidy ought to have access to the games via free TV channels.

    My real vote is for a half billion dollar subsidy for facilities that would encourage people to get off their couches and get some exercise.

  • Erik

    I have no problem using tax money to pay for a new stadium—as long as we use a luxury tax to pay for it. The people who get the most benefit from a stadium are the owner, the players and the corporations who use sports as a marketing tool to sell their products. Since they get the financial gain, they should also pay the price. It also ensures that only people who can realistically afford to go to games at the stadium are saddled with its cost.

  • Steve Schley

    No public funds for such a private enterprise. Target pays for their new stores, movie cineplexes pay for their new locations, and they do so based on whether they think their business will succeed and support the investment. The restaurant down the street made the investment; it didn’t pay off and they’ve closed. Why can’t pro sports groups do the same calculus? Instead, they practice extortion by threatening to leave for another market.

  • Lydia

    NO, not one penny should be spent for a Vikings stadium (or any profit making venture).

    Also, not one more minute of our elected politicians time should be spent on this effort. We have a horrific deficit in this state that needs to be addressed, so no wasting time on public money for stadiums.

    There seems to be some kind of competition between billionaire team owners on who can get the most public money for their playgrounds.

    JUST SAY NO!!!!

  • Elizabeth T

    No,

    no

    no

    no

    no

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How many millions of dollars do the Vikings make for the owners every year? Have the owners pay. We clearly demonstrated when the North Stars left that major sports leagues are not critical to the Minnesota economy.

    My 5-year old son wanted to buy a toy with his piggy bank money. It was $13. His piggy bank only had $5. Wow … he couldn’t buy what he wanted. No parental subsidies.

    The Vikings want a new stadium? Tell them to save their money.

  • bsimon

    If there is public funding for another subsidized stadium, it should be targetted in such a way that Hennepin County taxpayers are exempt, as we are already funding a Twins stadium. I understand Anoka county desires a stadium, perhaps Anoka county taxpayers are interested in funding the venture.

    p.s. To those that desire to hit the owners with a tax on the wealthy, the owner of the Vikings is not a MN resident. And if we’re going to tax the rich, perhaps we can find something more productive to spend the money on than a subsidy for the rich.

  • Steve Rowley

    Any politician who votes one penny of my tax dollars to finance a stadium for owners Wilf et. al. will not get my vote at their next election.

  • alex

    I’d be willing to consider it, if the “rest of us” got something in return, like the outdoorsmen/arts partnership last election that bridged something of a cultural divide in this state.

    How about us non-vikes fans get a new concert hall in Saint Paul, or a third light-rail line, or money for mixed-used neighborhoods that will keep our urban cores strong and vibrant.

    We’ll pay for their football when they step up and help the community, how about?

    Not to be “us-them” about it. (too much.)

  • Jeremy

    Have the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community buy the team and finance the stadium. No state money, it keeps team here & it eliminates state racino/casino competition.

    Now that’s a public/private partnership.

  • Tammy R

    Only if the Vikings win the Superbowl!

  • Steve the Cynic

    What does it say about us that this question draws more comments than something really important, like health care reform?

  • Dale

    NO!!

    Let the owner of the Vikings, the players and Tim Pawlenty pay for it!!

  • Dennis

    Surely health care reform has already been asked… at least once. Besides of which, a new Vikings stadium is far more probable than health care reform anyway.

  • Greg

    Amy Winehouse might phrase it, “They try to lobby me their stadi’m and I said ‘NO, NO, NO'”.

    With the driving force of new stadiums being the owners’ desire to get pubic assistance to create the suites and other revenue generators they need to increase the value of their asset, I say NO!

    They can use their own money. UNLESS… Ziggy would commit some commensurate percentage of the gain on the eventual sale of the team back to the taxpayers who help fund a new football cathedral.

  • Arthur LaRue

    Probably no…however, what percentage of total cost was provided by taxpayers for Orchestra Hall, the Ordway, the Guthrie – that might serve as a useful cap on welfare for the Vikings.

  • Terry Posch

    NO! Personally I’m not into Sports. I do not want my tax dollars paying for a Vikings Stadium. Maybe if we, the citizens of the State of MN owned the Vikes, we could then consider it. But no way right now. Let the sports fans who go to games pay for it AND the owners. How about considering that money for Education and other High Priorities that are really needed in this State. It’s a shame for Mr. Wilf to even think of asking for us to give him our tax money. What’s wrong with his money? Some school sports activities have to be cut because of no money in some school districts and now they want us to pay for a Vikings Stadium? What’s wrong with this picture? Think about it!

  • Agrippa

    Not a thing, Hennepin County was already sold out for the new Twins Stadium, and the suggested cost of the New Vikings facility is the cost of at least another LRT line. The Vikings will have to wait for an 80/20 match: 80 % contribution from the Team and owners and 20% from the state, they must also promise to never move the team to any other sport venue effectively making them a state entity.

    I wish the best of luck to the Vikings and this is the year to go all the way, which wouldn’t hurt their prospects for local fund-raising.

  • Patrick

    No way. I live in southern Minn. We used to get to see them on TV alot. No more. There are people getting rich from sports(players, staff, investors, etc). Let the profiteers invest in their own clever schemes. This state is sinking into the ethical abyss with its casino/sports financing agendas.

    And another schemer in this is the lending institutions.

    And crybaby Favre was the last straw. BOOOO!!

  • Dan

    Zero of course. The question is offensive! Why would any hard-working taxpayer want to subsidize an enormously profitable private enterprise like Pro Football? Absurd, but the political process almost ensures that we’ll all be forced to pay millions under the guise of a contrived indirect benefits. Actually, the Vikes should be paying the MN taxpayer a royalty for using the State name. How about putting those millions into subsidizing education… or subsidizing health insurance… or infrastructure.

    We need to unite against this thing. The Twins stadium needs to be the last time we get fleeced by the pro sports elite.

  • Jim Maloney

    A complicated question . . . It is unmistakeable the popularity of the Vikings and their collective impact on Minnesota culture and entertainment (and the Dakotas, Iowa and beyond). The Monday Night Football game broke records . . . Politicians follow the ratings too . . . find a way to get this done..

    They Vikings provide an economic benefit to Minnesota . . . they are worthy of a new stadium and public funding assistance commensurate with the public benefit that having an NFL franchise in town entails . . .

    The whole sports world was focused on Minnesota last night. The Metrodome is an anachronism; near the botoom in the NFL in revenue generation and should be replaced with a retractable roof stadium (could be used for other uses year round). We are spending money oon stimulus constructionn projects . . . let’s to likewise and build the new stadium.

    The original Cleveland Broowns left town for Baltimore years ago when they were left out of the facilities update group (the MLB Cleveland Indians had Jacob’s Field constructed). Cleveland fans were in mourning for years (as were the Baltimore fans when the Colts left). The Browns and Colts were each ultimately replaced, requiring more net money than it would have cost to keep them in place.

    TIF financing and other public funding mechanisms are used to keep profitible industry in town . . . for the benefit for the local economy and cultural benefit. The solution should absolutely include investment by the Vikings in a fair cost share, but provide help to keep the Vikings in Minnesota . . . It still isn’t right that the L.A. NBA team is named the “Lakers”. If the Vikings leave, there would be an immediate committee formed to lure a replacement NFL team . . . and it would cost much more than the alternative . . .

    Keep the Vikings in town, period

  • Elizabeth T

    The whole sports world? Gotta tell you … that is the “US market”, not the whole world (most of whom think a football is a black & white sphere)

    The world’s attention is on Minnesota because of some regional game? Gotta tell you – the east coast doesn’t care about this little rivalry.

    Attention on Minn. for football?

    I would be much more proud if the whole world’s attention was here because our high school graduation rate was 95% for all socio-economic groups.

    Now, gotta tell you … THAT I would happily spend a billion dollars on.

    Economic benefit to the state? Bah, humbug!

    A highly educated work force – THAT brings economic power to the state, not just a few blocks of Minneapolis.

  • Matt

    The Vikes provide hundreds of jobs and millions in tax revenue to the state of Minnesota. Let’s also remember that the Metrodome provides facilities for Minnesota High School playoffs and numerous other events. Simply put, the Vikings aren’t the only ones who use the Dome (and they won’t be the only ones to use its replacement). Anyone who thinks the state shouldn’t kick in their fair share is insane.

  • David Gelerman

    Here is an easy inexpensive “fix” for the Stadium issue

    Zigi says they cannot operate on the revnue generated by the dome. How about instead of Spending 1.2 billion dollars on a new dome, we just ad 100th of a penny tax to pay the 20 or 30 million dollar difference and just give him the cash. That 20 to 30 million would be less than the interest alone on a 1.2 billion loan.

  • Doran

    A person must really be stupid to give someone their money for a playground and then turn around and pay them again just to watch them play, oh and the people they gave their money to… ARE RICH! For the money for a new stadium, adjusting for inflation, it is more financialy sound to keep the dome and start another franchise.