Would losing the Vikings hurt Minnesota’s quality of life?

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has balked at efforts to extend the team’s lease at the Metrodome. While he says he has no plans to leave Minnesota, Wilf insists that the state’s political leaders must find a way to help the team acquire a new stadium. Would losing the Vikings hurt Minnesota’s quality of life?

  • Gerald L. Myking

    The quality of life in Minnesota was good before the Vikings came and would remain so after them. They are nothing more than entertainment on a Sunday afternoon. I live in Mankato and have even had a couple of them in my living room back in the day with the Purple People Eaters, Bud Grant, and Fran Tarkenton. I find this question a little strange, my quality of Life?

  • Richard

    Yes. Losing the Vikings would immediately relegate the Twin Cities to a lower rank among metropolitan areas. It would hurt Minnesota’s self-esteem and have a negative economic impact. During the fall an winter, the shared common interest in the Vikings helps create a sense of community.

  • Tom B

    Yes, I believe that quality would go down if the Vikings left. Sunday afternoons are the best time to enjoy outdoor activities. If the Vikings left, people that are otherwise sitting in their houses will crowd or rivers, lakes and parks.

  • David Kujawski

    Absolutely it would hurt. The Vikings provide a sense of community and shared passion for the whole Twin Cities area. How’s this for a shovel-ready project to help put people back to work: build a retractable roof stadium.

  • Jeremy

    I work at a hotel in Bloomington and I must tell you that if we lost the Vikings it would be devistating to Minnesota. I watch every home game in awe at how people from out of state drive down and spend huge sums of cash on a large variety of items. I watch how wives often tag along to “The Cities” not for the game, but to go to the Mall of America and return with a carload of merchandise. I’m shocked that such a large number of Minnesotans wouldn’t have the insight to see that it’s not about the game on Sunday, it’s the charity works and hotels/stores/employees that stayed afloat because of the Vikings.

  • Clark

    Not at all. Let them move and the sooner the better. If the politicians in this state give the vikings one nickle, they have lost my vote.

    I could not care less if the vikings move.

  • Michael

    It depends who you ask. Every home game the metrodome is filled to capacity with 50,000+ fans. I’m guessing those folks would say, “yes.” And every Sunday, a few hundred thousand other Minnesotans make the Vikings game the center of their afternoon by gathering around the TV set. I’m guessing a large portion of those people are also going to say, “yes.” For the rest of you who prefer to spend your Sunday with a good book, or taking a walk, or puttering in the garage, well, you’ll probably say, “no.” Like just about every other issue of the day we’re probably divided 50/50. But wth so many Minnesotans so fervently absorbed on Sunday afternoons with the Vikings, would those of you who have no interest in the sport be so coldhearted to deny the rest of us our day? Losing the Vikings may not hurt YOUR QOL, but it would certainly diminish the QOL for hundreds of thousands of other Minnesotans.

  • Manuel Colunga-Hernandez

    I think it is ignorant and unlearned of anyone to contemplate the ‘importance of a football team’ when their children are being made into idiots and wage-slaves due to cutting of funding to libraries and schools… oh that’s right we have the military to train them… and there is a ‘WAR’! hey more fodder!!!

    OH SURE give a multi-millionaire and a bunch of millionaire players more room to PLAY… pardon me but the rest of us are too darn busy trying to make a living…

    WHY should I short my lifeneeds and family needs to give it to someone who will NEVER HAVE ENOUGH and always be seeking a new stadium in a few years anyway???

  • Ginger

    No.

    Being rid of the Vikings would improve the quality of life in Minnesota. This state also does not need the self centered, greedy fans who are oblivious to real needs. Asking for a sports stadium when there are people dying for lack of decent food and medical care is despicable.

  • Damon Moss

    Football fan or not, expelling a major source of tax revenue & annual influx of dollars to our community in an already down economy would be stupid. I personally don’t care where the Vikings play, but I am happy that they employ many hotel workers, vendors, retailers, restaurant workers, & the tax revenue that they generate goes to funding many projects & programs.

  • Mike

    NO! And take the Wolves, Twins, Wild and Gophers with you and don’t let the the door hit you in the back on the way out. I am not a sports fan and would be fine with sports staying here, but the big issue for me is their demand that WE the public buy them a stadium for THEIR benefit. I don’t need nearly as much money as they do, anyone care to subsidize my business? For those who believe this will be a “cold Omaha” if any of these teams were to leave have not been to Omaha or many other places for that matter. This state and the Twin Cities have great amenities even without pro sports. Go! Leave! The sooner the better!

  • Adam Rheynard

    Are you serious?! Its is amazing to watch the Vikings win all these games!! They are close and they are so so much fun to watch and just see how much they improve over like one week! and they are a very successful team! and i think it would be wrong to do that to the nfl! why would you ask such a question?! I mean if anything take out the worst team in the NFL! because they arent doing any good to the NFL! Not the Vikings, tons of people would be upset if they removed the Vikings from the NFL!! SO DONT

  • matt

    How about Save HCMC, public schools, MinnesotaCare, et al .org

  • Joe

    Wouldn’t hurt my quality of life. I might be able to catch a Packers game every now and then.

  • Jason

    I love how people claim we need to spend the money on “bigger problems”. A big problem is losing the jobs the Vikings games create, losing the retail money the Vikings bring in as well as the tax base, and losing Minnesota’s most popular sports team by far.

    A new stadium creates more jobs, creates more businesses in a dumpy part of downtown, creates more retail sales, creates more tax money in the long run because the Vikings will actually be able to make money.

    If we’re worried about the poor, why would we throw out an institution that gives more back to the community than any other in Minnesota and gives people an opportunity to make work? Non-sports fans need to realize the benefits of professional sports team to their cities. They more than outweigh the negatives. The Vikings will more than repay Minnesota if Minnesota helps the Vikings.

  • david zuhn

    I’ve read about pre-1961 Minnesota, and there seemed to be plenty of quality of life to go around before the Vikings appeared on the scene. Losing the North Stars didn’t kill the Twin CIties, and bringing hockey back in the form of the Wild didn’t materially improve the Twin Cities.

    Sure, some people will be disappointed in not being able to root for “the home team”. I’ll bet they’ll find a new home team to root for easily enough. And frankly, if they can’t, they were too wrapped up in a single activity anyway.

    So, go or stay, I don’t think it will matter much in any sort of long run. There will be short term ramifications if they leave, especially to 8 or so Sunday afternoons in the fall when the fans aren’t at the Dome. But I’ll bet a bunch of them would be at the U on Saturdays soon enough. Or they’ll wait and go to the Wild games. Or something else. Those dollars spent on “Vikings weekends” will mostly be spent on other activities within MN.

  • Brian Duren

    NO!

    It’s time that men grow up and become mature adults. If a sports-team owner says, give me $700 million or I’ll take the Vikings away from you, just say: goodbye!

    Sports-team owners should be treated like other people who operate businesses in our community. Wilf has the money to build his own stadium. We need to put an end to the idea that the purpose of government is to transfer public funds to the wealthy.

  • Dave DeBace

    I’m all for building new stadium, but please not in Minneapolis. Plus the whole state should take part in paying of it, not just the Cities.

  • Scott

    It wouldn’t hurt my quality of life at all. Professional sports are a business and they need to act like one. If Wilf wants a stadium he can buy one. If he wants a public stadium we the public deserve proportional ownership in the team. This is a business transaction not an emotional one.

  • Steve the Cynic

    If we lose the Vikings, what will become of those poor athletes, many of whom skated through college and have no marketable skills other than football? Don’t we owe them something? And without a local pro footbal team, how will our kids learn the valuable life lessons football teaches, such as, if someone is standing between you and your goal, the right thing to do is knock them down and run them over, or if you’re good enough at sports you can get away with all sorts of mischief with no consequences? And think of all the value football adds to the economy. A new stadium would certainly do more to make lots of people’s lives better than, say, highway improvements, better schools, more access to quality medical care, mass transit, local government aid, and other such wasteful expenditures. Heaven help us if we lose the noble Vikings!

  • kj

    I’m one of those that Jeremy speaks of that live in another state and travel to MN to see the Vikings play. We stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, spend money at the mall and local businesses.

    For those crying about this being a waste of money better spent on are really clueless about the amount of money that the Vikings bring INTO the state.

    If the Vikings go then I, and my family, would have no reason to travel to MN and spend our money in your state.

    Your choice. Keep a long term revenue stream by spending some up front money now or have that money go somewhere else that understands the economic advantages.

  • Matt

    We need to separate two issues:

    1. Enjoying the Vikings (or, at least, valuing their presence in Minnesota culture)

    2. Advocating for public investment of $1 billion for a stadium used 10 times per year, in an economic recession, and despite an unbalanced state budget which has resulted in the potentially-unconstitutional unallotment of funds from public agencies.

  • Keith Rapp

    Of course losing the Vikings would change the quality of life in MN, but it comes with a cost. The question should be phrased “At What Cost is Keeping the Vikings in Minnesota Worth it”?

    The State of MN needs to get out of stadium construction talks at the barrel of a gun. The legislature should disband the Metro Sports Facilities Commission and sell the Metrodome to the Vikings for $1. That would be the state’s contribution. The Wilf’s have proposed to contribute nearly $250M, and the NFL at one time had a program to contribute roughly $25 – 50M. That’s a great start, and the Wilf’s can use the property for collateral and raise the remaining money from seat licensing, advanced sales, and any other mechanism that draws on the fan-base, not the taxpayer base. These guys profess to be experts in property redevelopment, so with a $250M gift of the Dome + property, if they can’t figure it out is there really a solution which does not strong-arm the citizens of Minnesota ??

  • darla

    It is exhausting to be ‘held up’ every few years by wealthy owners with threats of leaving with their team of overpaid athletes.

    Do these teams really bring that much money to the Metro area? I doubt it if you factor in the extra securtiy costs and traffic diversions just on game day.

    These teams cost the taxpayers more and more and prices for tickets go up and up along with their obscene salaries. How can these owners even bring up the question when people are loosing their homes and jobs?

    Let’s spend more money on preschool and afterschool and parenting programs first and if there are any funds left, we can talk. That is the REAL quality of life!

  • Jerry

    This is a weird question. The quality of life in Minnesota is because of this state’s beauty, resources, services and people. It has nothing to do with a sports team and a bunch of excessively paid spoiled brats with huge egos. I hear time and again that pro football is just a business so no, I don’t want to be taxed to help a business build a new facility. Anymore than I would want to be taxed to help Cargill or 3M build a new building. I would guess a majority of Minnesotans aren’t Vikings fans but the majority doesn’t win when it comes to issues like this. These are the taxes that never end. If memory serves, we’re still paying the stadium hospitality tax downtown for the Metrodome which was paid for some time ago. If this is a Minnesota quality of life issue rather than a Minneapolis quality of life issue then all of Minnesota should be taxed to pay for it, not just Minneapolis.

  • Kevin

    I can say without reservation that losing the Vikings would be a tough blow to the collective psyche of our region. For many, it wouldn’t lower the quality of life, but for Minnesota football fans it would, because we would be stuck with the perenially awful Gophers. I see no easy solution to the stadium issue, but I am willing to pay my due for a new stadium.

  • Dave Wilson

    NO IT WOULD NOT HARM MINNESOTA TO LOSE THE VIKINGS.

    Taxpayer’s paying $500 million dollars for a Viking Stadium for a Billionaire owner will harm the quality of life in this state.

    I am a Viking fan, but I know how many people are hurting in Minnesota.

    MPR SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO HAVE ASKED SUCH A BIAS QUESTION. YOU GUYS ARE VIKING STADIUM TAX BOOSTERS.

  • Greg

    If the Vikings were to move away it would improve the quality of life here. Wilf, like other NFL owners, are predatory businessmen who want Minnesotan’s to support his business. We would all find other things to do rather than crowd into whatever stadium and pay exorbitant ticket prices. Football fans would likely be nearly as happy watching football or going to see the Gophers.

  • Jon Schreiner

    I don’t see how losing the Vikings could improve the quality of living in Minnesota.

    I’m as much a Vikings fan as anyone else in this state and I would hate to see them leave; not only for the entertainment value but also for the tax revenues and influx of cash each week from out-of-towners. That being said, I don’t think that Mr Wilf is being fair in asking the state to build him a new stadium during the current economic situation.

    There are many ways that this could be made better. The first couple that come to mind are:

    1. Mr. Wilf should wait until the recession passes before demanding a new stadium or threatening to move the team. This would show a certain level of concern for the people of the state and possibly garner a bit of good will.

    2. If the stadium has to be built, it should be built using only Minnesota labor. That way all of the money that is “given” to the Vikings will stay in the state. Building a stadium will put a lot of people to work for the next year or two.

  • bob

    I guess it would hurt the quality of life for sports fans, but since I am not a fan, it wouldn’t impact me.

  • Jamie

    Losing the Vikings would hurt the quality of life for many Minnesotans. The Vikings bring my family and community together, win or lose, and give a lot of people something to focus on during our long winters. Losing our pro football team would also be a blow to the Twin Cities metro, knocking us down a rung in the way people view us nationally.

    The comments blasting the team as “just entertainment” seem based on class bias. These same people are probably fine spending millions of dollars on “the arts.” More Minnesotans watch and enjoy the Vikings each week than attend theater, etc.

  • NanceLee

    YES! Protecting and sustaining what the Vikings bring to Minnesota culture and community is every bit as important – and worthy of our support – as clean water and the arts.

  • James

    NO.

  • Mark

    No.! Building a stadium for a billionaire owner would harm the quality of life in Minnesota. I also find this question strange. It is only a football team.

  • Nick

    While it is hard to remember now that the Vikings are winning, let’s not forget that during the past few years the Vikings had difficulty selling enough tickets to avoid being blacked out on local TV, including at last year’s home playoff game. This is an issue that you simply would never see in die hard football cities like Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, Dallas and yes, Green Bay. While it is nice to discuss the Vikings as being part of the fabric of the community, when they have trouble selling out a home playoff game, for better or worse they have not reached the community status of the aforementioned teams. Without that community status, their departure would not adversely effect Minnesota’s quality of life.

  • Ed

    Target thinks it is worth paying to name a stadium. We should wake up and realize every time the vikings are called the MN Vikings on national TV it is an advertisement for MN. We have a lot of national companies here. It helps. Look at Portland OR, same size high unemployment. We are a player they are not for national companies. We only build roads to help the large corp.s get us to work. Every Sunday the Vikings play in MN, 10 million in taxes for the state.

  • Lawrence

    WE’RE ASKING THE WRONG QUESTION.

    The right question is, will we want a Professional Football team AFTER the Vikings leave Minnesota because we did not build a stadium for them.

    Trust me, when I say the Vikings will leave if they don’t get a stadium because there are 5 cities that want a professional football team: Los Angeles, San Antonio, Buffalo (after the Bills leave), Jacksonville (after the Jaguars leave), and Toronto (who are hosting the Bills now).

    When the North Stars left, we Minnesotans had a difficult time imagining this state without hockey. When the Twins were nearly contracted, we Minnesotans had a difficult time imagining this state without baseball. And when the Lakers left, we fought to get and keep the Timberwolves here. Each time we allow a team to leave, it cost more money and time to bring them back. And eventually, we all want the team back.

    Ask Seattle, now that the Supersonics play basketball in Oklahoma City. Ask Baltimore after they let the Colts bolt for Indianapolis. Ask LA after the Rams slipped off to St Louis. Ask St Louis after the Cardinals flew to Arizona. Ask Cleveland after the Browns traveled to Baltimore. And ask Houston after the Oilers slid their way to Tennessee.

    There are ALWAYS other cities that are more than willing to bring a pro team to their streets. We just have to decide if we want a team or if we don’t. If we do, build a stadium for them. If we don;t, don’t bring another profootball team back here ever again. Those are our choices.

  • kent Matthews

    Yes, it would. All you have to do is look around the State of Minnesota and count the number of Viking jerseys and bumper stickers. When you meet a stranger in the fall, other than the weather, the first topic of conversation is the Viking’s.

    he team is a socially unifying force for the good in our community. Unfortunately, it may take losing the team to realize the impact of the loss to a lot of people.

    It is time for the leaders of the state to come to some compromise with the owner in order to build a new stadium that is funded by both the public and the owner. Good luck.

  • Everett Flynn

    Yes… it would be sad and our community would be lesser for it. But, more importantly, the concept of spending tens of millions of public dollars (if not more) to build a stadium for this entirely private enterprise is an obscenity in any economic climate. But in the current economic situation in which our state finds itself, it is a vulgarity of immense proportions. WE HAVE MUCH LARGER PRIORITIES FOR OUR PUBLIC DOLLARS! If the Vikes’ ownership is shallow enough to resort to the threats to leave, good riddence. Get outta Dodge, already. We’ll miss ya, to be sure, but it’ll be nice not to have this tired financial gun pointed at our heads anymore. We have bigger, more important problems to solve here than how to build another billionaire a stadium. Trust me, by any measure of worthiness, we would be a far lesser community if we decided to spend the kind of money Wilf expects we should to build the Vikes a stadium.

  • Robert

    If Minnesotans determine that a football team is a public good that government should pay for, then we should do what we do with every other public good: Either we should own some or all of the football team (like we do with roads, bridges, the military, and public utilities) or we should bid out the service by contract (like we do with public-private partnerships).

    Those who reflexively balk at a “government takeover” of sports need only glance over at the Green Bay Packers…the smallest media market of any major sports team, but one with a storied tradition of championships (how many do the privately-owned Vikings have?).

  • Lynn

    I think we should help pay for a new stadium, its a building that makes Minnesota look good and we the fans enjoy. However, this money should not be levied through taxes but rather from an alternative method such as slot machines at the race tracks here in Minnesota and when enough money has been raised for the stadium, money from this revenue stream can be put back into the general budget to pay for necessary services for Minnesotans

  • Chad

    No. We’d be better off without rich citizens holding our professional teams hostage and extorting tax money.

  • Thomas Evans

    Abandoning the Metrodome after only a couple decades of use is ridiculous. Enough money and effort has already gone into making sure the roof is secure and now the Metrodome is in perfect condition. The Vikings can’t even fill the Metrodome as is stands. This relates to a problem that the entire NFL has with getting people to come to games when sitting at home is so much easier and better in many ways. Any threats the team’s owners’ make in regards to leaving Minneapolis are just a bluff. I encourage fans and our city government to play hard with the Viking’s owners and management and don’t give into their requests. Instead bring shame on the owners and management for their greed and selfishness at this time of economic crisis for the City, the State, and the Nation. Calling out the Viking’s management on their bluff will not only preserve the city and state morale for the team, but it will mean that we get to keep the Metrodome as their home.

  • bsimon

    Nope.

    My quality of life isn’t impacted by what a bunch of jocks do on 16 sundays a year.

  • Lois Braun

    Absolutely not! Let’s call the Viking’s bluff and let them go. Our state will be better off without them and their extortionist ways.

    Our quality of life has nothing to do with how we rank with other cities on the professional sports scene and everything to do with the quality of our education, health care, natural resources, and other services. For me personally, quality of life in Minnesota is great because of its clean air, clean water, and abundant opportunites to get out in nature. If we are going to subsidize sports, let’s subsidize the kind of sports that gets ordinary people out being active and healthy.

    If Vikings fans want a new stadium they should raise their ticket prices. That’s the way every other business has to operate. If they can’t raise enough money that way, then it means that they aren’t worth it for the fans.

    If one cent of taxpayer money is given to the Vikings I will seriously consider refusing to pay taxes, sending what I owe instead to organizations that serve real human needs.

  • Terry Goken

    In the long run, I do think losing the Vikings would hurt the “quality of life” for minnesotans, specifically those residing in the cities area. Has anyone here who says “no” ever even been to a game? Have you seen how many people show up, how much money they are willing to spend on memorabilia, jerseys, food, beers, etc? I bet 9 out of every 10 people at a home game have Viking jerseys, and the dome isn’t the only place where you buy those folks. You can find Viking merch just about anywhere, Wal Mart, Target, and a hundred other stores in MOA. I understand a lot of people are pressed for money, but not everyone. Short term speaking, we need to keep the Vikings here so the wealthy population of MN, and yes there most definitely IS a wealthy population, will spend their money on a local franchise, not one in Boston or Indianapolis. And for you who say, “We have the Twins, the T-Wolves, and the Wild,” listen. A sold out Metrodome is what, 60 thousand plus for a Vikings game? What bout the Target Center, 18,500? Now I have never been to a Wolves’ game but i don’t see them selling out a high school gym with a record of 2-14, and the Wild sell out every night, but the X only holds 18,000 plus as well. The only comparable venue would be Target Field, but again, the 40,000 is significantly less than a sold out dome on sundays. Not to mention, how many jobs would be created just for the construction of a new stadium alone. The building of Target Field has kept my step father off the unemployment line, and he works at McGrath Sheet metal right here in White Bear Lake. Building another stadium would help out more than just local construction workers.

    People, I am sure Wilf isn’t asking to build a stadium with the likes of Jerry Jones’ monstrosity down in Dallas. Would it be so bad if we tore down the dome and built a new stadium in its place? I vote we do that, I’d be happy to donate, and the Vikings could play in TCF Bank Stadium during the construction process.

  • kt

    No.

    Minneapolis is known far more for its arts scene (music, performing, …) and food than it is for its overpaid football team. People might believe it’d be a great loss, but we’ll soon find other things to push our money into that might benefit everyone in a more tangible way.

    Take my team, please!

  • Dan

    No. I really think that as a state, we need to be focusing on bigger issues than funding the needs of a mult-million dollar sports team (I agree with the post that ‘Matt’ made earlier this morning). With the current state of MN budget I was very surprised to see the Vikings get all ‘high and mighty’ about their needs. Would we be having this same type of discussion if the Vikings were 5-6? I guess winning a few games changes everything. There is a list of ‘quality of life ‘ items for the state to address and the Vikings are on it, it’s just for me, they’re further down in priority. A fun team to watch no doubt, but my ‘quality of life’ will not suffer if they were to leave.

  • jmcgovern

    Yes . . . the Vikings has history here in Minnesota. Thousands and thousands of fans grew up watching and supporting the Vikings. It would change the quality of life for many Minnesotans if we were to lose the Vikings to another state. It would not only impact our state, but our neighboring state such as Wisconsin. The Packers and the Vikings have always been rival teams. Each time the two teams meet, they bring in thousands of fans to their respective state. The local businesses for both states would lose out on a lot of money if we lose the Vikings.

    I’m sure the people want the Vikings to stay. But the problem is we’re not willing to pay for it. And we shouldn’t. Our hard-earned tax dollars has a much bigger priority than helping a billionaire build a stadium for his sports team. I think Ziggy Wilf needs to work harder at getting his lease renewed at the dome or find other ways to build a new stadium. The hard-earned tax dollars of Minnesotans should not help pay for a new stadium.

  • http://mattweighsin.catnamedpig.com Matt T

    I wonder if we changed the question to, “If the Walker Art Center or the Guthrie Theater closed…” would people have the same opinion. Our lives would go on if we lost the Vikings, our art, or our biggest & best theater.

    However, as a whole, they work together, along with corporate campus for Best Buy, 3M, General Mills, etc. to create a positive image for the city and state. And of these, the Vikings, probably add the most exposure for Mpls & MN.

    If the Vikings leave, it not only would impact the local sports scene, but think about how much coverage (and readership) the StarTribune gets in print & online, because of the team. The radio station, KFAN-AM 1130, would probably survive, but throughout the year, their coverage is probably 50% Vikings, whether it’s November or May.

    We need to find a way to keep the team here, in a new stadium. The Vikings are going to put up a huge amount of money for a stadium they won’t even own. They’ll lease it the days they play games.

    MN legislators dragged their feet for too long, which is why this is so urgent now. The Vikings have been at the table for a decade or more. Our leaders need to get to the table and figure out a solution, along with the Vikings and the city of Mpls. The time is now, not next year.

  • Tai Koma

    One side assumes the Vikings bring in money through hotel stays, tourism, spending in the local area by sports fans. The other side assumes the added cost of security, police at the stadium and breaking up bar fights, DUIs, downtown congestion cancel out any financial benefit the Vikings may bring in.

    But does anyone have the hard dollar values? How much more do we spend on police on game days? How is the rate of DUI on a game day different than on a regular day? How much of a change in occupancy at local hotels or number of dollars spent at the Mall of America happens on game days? If those numbers exist, someone has to have them. That would tell us how the Vikings affect the quality of life in the state better than shouting guesses based on personal experience.

    I’m not going to get into the argument of what it gives insubstantically to a fan’s sense of well being and personal happiness, because for every fan leaping with joy on game day, there’s a non-fan imagining the headaches the stadium traffic and entitled, rude fans will bring them. Is the fan’s joy at having the team somehow greater than the non-fan’s desire not to be annoyed? That’s not a value you can quantify or say for sure that one should rule over the other.

    As for whether we should pay for the stadium: Ask the voters. They’ve said no in the past, they’re likely to say no in the future. But like the sales tax for Arts and Environment, maybe some day the voters will say they want to keep the Vikings. But if not, lawmakers shouldn’t go around them to cater to big sports corporation interests.

    If Target or Wal-mart wants to come forward and say “Hey, we’ll BUY you a stadium, just put our name on it.” Or if the fans want to raise the money themselves through changes in ticket or merchandise sales, then all be it. Go ahead, I doubt you’d face much push back.

    If we’re going to whine about corporate bail-outs to AIG we shouldn’t be turning around and begging for bail-outs to the Vikings.

  • justacoolcat

    There’s a lot going on here,

    First we have the money issue. I’m in the camp that believes money is generated from having a sports team and stadium and I’m not talking about the ancillary money like hotels and restaurants, but the real money e.g. taxes on events and labor. Those sporties make a lot of money and we tax every one of them that makes their way through town. Not to mention other types of entertainment that use the venue.

    That said, I am a big football fan, but I don’t believe losing the team would harm Minnesota’s quality of life. Our fine state has a lot to offer and something else would fill in the void that football would leave.

  • Bill Wittenbreer

    The loss of the Vikings would not impact the quality of life in Minnesota. We have a very rich sports culture already in Minnesota-Twins, Linx, Wild, Wolves, U of M Athletics, MNSCU atheltics, the private colleges all have sporting venues and not to mention our high schools.

    Economically, the loss of the Vikings would probably not be noticed. The economics is pretty clear that professional sports contribute very little to the overall economics of the state.

    Bill WIttenbreer

  • Ann

    I’m not interested in football, so losing the Vikings would not affect my personal quality of life. Certainly others have different feelings. However, I wonder whether the reports of the higher incidence of traumatic brain injury and dementia among professional football players affects fans’ enjoyment of those spectacular crashes.

  • Steve D

    Yes, losing the Vikings would impact the state negatively.

    It would be a shame to lose them because our law makers are not fiscally responsible and cannot balance their budgets.

    I balance my budget. I pay my taxes. I attend Vikings, Twins and the Guthrie theater. They are all an important part of the ‘cities experience’.

  • Steve

    No

  • Steve D

    Losing the team would have a negative impact.

    Put a solid roof on the stadium and save $200 million. Take the owners contribution (half) and begin paying the loan using those funds. Have the state kick in their contributions in 4 years. Economy should be on the rebound, legislatures will have learned how to balance the budget like every other tax payer. Fund it with scratch off tickets, pre-sale seat licensing and put a lot of people to work…

  • Vince Hyman

    We would feel the loss of the Vikings, to be certain. I’m not a football fan, but I am a fan of the value of culture–all types of culture–to the success of a state. And this year I have been watching the Vikings faithfully; Favre has brought a lot of excitement to the team.

    I do not support building the Vikings a stadium unless the team becomes a public benefit entity. This could happen in two ways: 1) Minnesota State (or a consortium of its counties) buys the team outright OR 2) a nonprofit incorporates to own and operate the team as a pubic benefit. This way, “we” would truly own the Vikings and would never be held hostage to a profit-making group. Thus the Vikings would become another important cultural enterprise, like the Guthrie, the Minnesota Opera Company, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Zoo, Fresh Air Radio (KFAI), Minnesota Public Radio, the Walker Art Center, and so forth. All are important contributors to the culture of the state as well as important attractors of economic investment. They are all nonprofits with a mission of benefiting the public through their cultural offerings. Thus I happily donate to (some of!) these organizations and believe in public support for them via their tax-free status, their capacity to accept donations and seek grant funding, and so forth. This is one of the vital roles nonprofits play in our economy. The Vikings are free to join in this approach. They could even generate a surplus “profit,” though it would be used to improve their public benefit rather than increase the wealth of their trustees, should they form a nonprofit. I’m all for that.

    Sadly, the Vikings are NOT such an entity. Wilf has made no suggestion that he would sell or donate the team to a nonprofit or to a governmental agency. He is in this business for his own reasons, likely a combination of profit and personal glory. That’s fine, but he should not expect me to chip in my money to improve his profit and status, and he certainly should not expect me to negotiate with him given his interest in holding the state hostage to his ownership of a cultural icon. The icon is not worth it, though it’s loss would be deeply felt. This is bad policy, bad politics, and a bad use of public good will. It is reverse Robin Hoodism of the worst kind.

    If the Vikings truly are an important, vital part of our cultural heritage, than we should own them. Then we can decide whether they need a new stadium or an improved one or none at all, and we can do so on our own timetable and with our interests in mind, rather than Mr. Wilf’s or some future owner. The current private-public partnership in which the public bears the risk so the private party may benefit appears to be all the rage among team owners and Wall Street bankers. It is grossly unfair, and one wishes Mr. Wilf and people of his ilk would have the sense of decency to see that their demands for public funding are at minimum unfair and in many cases bold-faced extortion.

    We have a tried and true system for owning and promoting important cultural icons, raising money to support them, and making it possible for them to be sustained as a public benefit for the future. That system is called “going nonprofit.” It would be nice if Mr. Wilf used it before begging for my money.

  • Matt

    @Steve D – even if the state balances their budget, there still won’t magically be $1 billion for a stadium. Congrats for balancing your budget – everyone should – but then this stadium would be the equivalent of buying a million dollar cabin up north, despite making deep cuts to your average lifestyle in the interest of balancing your budget. It just doesn’t make sense.

  • Penny Myers

    Yes, losing the Vikings would have a definite negative impact on life in the Twin Cities. Along with other cultural assets, our NFL team is the difference between us and North and South Dakota and Iowa. Whether you are a football fan or not, the additional tax revenue from the team as well as the benefits to local media-print, TV, web, you name it is very valuable to the state. Also, keep in mind how much more money it would cost to try to lure another NFL team in the not so distant future when we decide-hey, maybe Minnesota deserves a professional football team. Although, football is not for everyone-it’s still hands down the most popular sport in the state. We can find a creative solution to get a stadium built and keep the team here.

  • Laura

    The QOL will be directly affected by the loss of services at HCMC, school funding, health care funding etc. etc. Please take the time to look at the financial loss, and the myths of “bringing in money” that comes along with publically funded stadiums. Sell shares to the stadium; let the fans pay for it, along with commercial interests. Name the Stadium after Best buy, Target, or 3M. I am a Vikings fan, and watch the games both at home and at the Dome. But please can we get our priorities straight- NO PUBLIC MONEY FOR STADIUMS. If that is the only choice –let them leave.

  • C.R.M

    Yes – we need the Vikings it’s great for business and serves as a positive income vacuum from surrounding cities & state. We must find a way to responsibly replace the aging Dome. Unfortunately we couldn’t do it a few years ago when it likely would have been cheaper than when the team’s performance was less than it is now and the city/state had more leverage than Ziggy.

  • Ruth

    Yes, the athletes pay a large amount of taxes on their highly inflated salaries not to mention the jobs and businesses which benefit associated with the business of professional sports. It is a good thing for the state to have professional sports teams.

  • James

    If the loss of the Vikings can be shown to reduce the quality of life in Minnesota, then they are a vital natural resource.

    If there is a threat to remove that vital natural resource, the state should use its powers of eminent domain to keep the resource. Then, when the state owns the team, it can then use state funds to maintain the resource.

    No state funds for blackmail by a team that only provides entertainment for 8 Sundays a year (and a few more during random years).

  • Rod Sylvester

    Savethevikes.org rally at the state capitol on December 3 from 2-6. Please be there and keep the Vikings in MN.

    Minnesota needs the Vikings for financial and community reasons. There are many good comments made already!

    Please go to Savethevikes.org and we will see you at the rally at the MN State Capitol on December 3 from 2-6. Please be there and keep the Vikings in MN. Thanks for your Support! Win Vikings!

    Rod

  • http://Savethevikes.org Rod Sylvester

    Savethevikes.org rally at the state capitol on December 3 from 2-6. Please be there and keep the Vikings in MN.

    Absolutely, we MUST save the Vikes

  • Mary

    Loosing the Vikings would definately affect the quality of life in Minnesota in a negative way. People like to concentrate on the big saleries of the owners, players and coaches. What about the thousands of minimum wage jobs that are created at the dome providing 2nd jobs for many people. What about the extra bar staff that is needed throughout the state? The extra taxi drivers? There are an aweful lot of people who have jobs because of the Vikings, and they pay taxes on those wages. Here’s another thing to think about, what about the revenue generated by charities because of the Vikings. There are a lot of high school sports teams that sell concessions at the dome during games to fund their school programs. Many bars do raffels during 1/2 time for team gear, meat, etc. to raise funds for the local charities like the Lion’s, Elks, JayCee’s (sp?) and kids sports. True our economy is in the klink right now, but think on your local level how it would be affected if we lost the Vikings. Can we afford to fully fund our kids sports teams, marching bands, scouts, if we loose another fund raising opprotunity? Nope, another program lost. Let’s think about the big picture people. If it major league sports wasn’t important to this state, why did we build the Target Center, Excel Center, and a new Twins statium?

  • Al Heebsh

    Imagine life in this state without millionaire and billionaire panhandlers. How could we possibly go on?

    I really wish that all of the biggest, wealthiest corporations with extremely highly compensated employees would demand that the state pay for their factories and office buildings under threat of leaving the state. Why should we stop at subsidizing the salaries of professional athletes and team owners who operate with a business model depend on public subsidies?

  • Mary

    I think it would be a great impetus for folks to come to appreciate good old Big Ten football, right in the same city, which would in turn be good for the U of M’s financial picture, which would be good for the students of the U of M, which would be good for the state…

  • Michael

    Hahaha… You might as well ask Vikings fans if they think that govrnment should support the arts, and especially MPR. I think you’d get the same sort of “thumbing our noses” response that the hoity-toits here are giving. Sports fans on an MPR website? No, not many. Frankly, I don’t give a hoot about classical music or the “arts” either.

  • Eric Gossett

    Didn’t the Vikings spend as much money or more on lobbying as they were requesting the last time the new stadium proposal was being pushed?

    If they have so much money for lobbying, why not just go build (and own) a private stadium?

  • Jim Kelly

    Tricky question MPR—Hurt the quality of life in Minnesota? Probably not. BUT if instead you asked—-Would it be less fun to live in Minnesota without the Vikings? Absolutely positively YES!!! Of course we are Minnesotans—-so were not suppose to have fun. That’s why the Gophers are the perfect match for us. Nobody has ever been accused have having fun while watching a Gopher’s football game.

  • Brief Al

    The Vikings are a privately owned entertainment company. As such they provide entertainment to a select, interested audience for a fee. I really have no statistics on what percentage of the population comprises this audience but surely it is a minority of the general public. The owner of that company, Zygi Wilf, seems to feel he is not making enough of a profit from his investment. That is a legitimate concern for any business owner. However, he and his customers need to deal with this problem. It is in no way a public issue. Those who love the Vikings may feel their quality of life would be lowered if the Vikings left, but I and millions of other Minnesotans wouldn’t be affected in the least. Thus Mr. Wilf should ask his customers if they are willing to pay more to keep the Vikings here or not. If they, dedicated fans that they are, are not willing to pay Zygi more, then he needs to decide whether to move the team for more money in his pocket or keep them here and live with a more modest return on investment. I fail to see how the general public is involved at all.

  • Gene

    I don’t think losing the Vikings will hurt the ‘quality of life’ in Minnesota, but I do think it’s already in jeopardy from the budget cuts and lose of jobs Minnesotans face … before we give more to the already-rich, let’s take care of the the needy.

  • http://www.VikingsToday.com Chris

    Would it hurt the quality of life? Depends on who you are I suppose. There are some that it would and others that it might not. Even if you arent a Vikings fan, the team brings in 32 million dollars a year in tax revenue. Do the math and you can see what that means to our state. Just as some are doing now, back when the Metrodome was built, people complained it was too costly and that the owners of the sports teams should pay for it, well it paid its self off 20+ years ago and has been a profit maker ever sense as well as supplying the state with hundreds of millions in tax monies. You are an absolute moron if you do not support this, end of story.

  • Laura L.

    Losing the Vikings absolutely would NOT have any impact on the quality of life in Minnesota. What DOES have an impact on our quality of life is subsidizing billionaire sports team owners to the detriment of important social needs such as the provision of healthcare, education, transportation, shelter, and food for the needy. I cannot believe a state as supposedly “progressive” as Minnesota repeatedly allows team owners to engage in the extortion of hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars for fear of losing a particular team. It’s YOUR money. Would you rather it improve your state or improve Zygi Wilf’s net worth?

  • Craig

    The tax revenue argument is silly, professional sports are a drain on the local economy because ticket money comes out of Minnesotans’ pockets and travels to the states in which the players live, generally California and Florida, where it is a great boon. Any profits beyond that go to the Zygi’s home state. If you believe the income tax makes up for this why not send even more money to people living in other states, so long as the state can skim %7 of the outbound cash.

    When the state subsidizes other industries or organizations (including MPR) it is the salaries that are spent, repeat spent locally that benefit the community, not the tax revenue.

    As for local support jobs related to the Vikings, people will continue to spend a certain amount of their income on entertainment. For every hotdog vending job lost at the stadium there will be a popcorn vending job gained at the movie theater.

  • julia

    what do you think is more important to quality of life? football or successful families? pawlenty’s unallottment of $237 million from human services, i think that was a bigger impact on quality of life for minnesotans than the loss of a football team would ever be.

  • Donna

    Maybe, but it’s not enough to pay tax dollars for a stadium. Especially when the state is loosing revenue by the minute. I could however go along with a 1/4 paid by the city it is in, 1/4 paid by taxpayers from the entire state, and 1/2 from vikings owners. I think that most people feel the vikings owners are not kicking in enough.

  • Scott

    Could you imagine all the quiet peaceful Sundays in Minnesota? Heck yes, I think the quality of life would be affected. Would it hurt the quality? Hell no! Its a bunch of over-paid athletes with some criminals mixed in (although the later maybe keep some of the news outlets going). Several ‘major’ cities around the country survive without local nfl teams. I think we would too…

    Go Vikings… to Los Angeles!!!

  • scott

    Professional sports athletes and the owners make a lot more money than almost all of us ever will. Why should our money go to increasing their incomes or pay for new stadiums?

    People keep saying the team brings income to the state. But how do the taxpayers outside the Twin Cities benefit? No one up north or down south gets any benefit from it, but they still have to pay.

  • Shane Hart

    Yes, losing the Vikings will adversely affect the quality of life (clearly not for everyone).

    However, the Metrodome optimized its fiscal viability by hosting the Twins, Vikings and Gophers.

    In recent years, owners have had their way with the public, and be have produced very nice, sport specific stadiums. Have we unwittingly provided the rope for the teams to hang themselves? I have no idea what it costs to run a stadium; I imagine it can not be cheap. How does the U of M pay for their new Gopher football stadium that hosts a dozen games a year? 352 days of the year unused–but it must still have bills.

    The Twins have 84 games a year at their new stadium. The Timberwolves about half that.

    So every stadium must be competing for satellite events, like rock-n-roll shows, monster trucks and various high draw events.

    My guess is our tiny little town can’t afford all of these stadiums. So maybe Joe Mauer will be sent to NY so we can pay for our shiny new stadiums.

  • Shane Hart

    Maybe MPR should find out what it costs to run a stadium.

  • Mark

    Short answer: No.

    Next question, please

  • Janet

    We mustn’t blame the very, very small minority of sports fans who are apparently unaware of the needs of others not so fortunate. There are many sports fans who have replied to the question of whether losing the Vikings would affect quality of life in MN by saying that, while they like sports, they believe that Mr Wilf, as a private businessman, can pay for his own stadium. Some have said there are priorities that need to be dealt with before a new Vikings stadium is built. These priorities have a huge affect on basic quality of life for so many people, especially in our present economic crisis. There are far more people opposed to building a stadium for a billionaire than there are ardent supporters of a stadium subsidy. But realistically, it doesn’t matter what the majority think, regardless of our so-called “democracy”. Those in office will make the decision for us, as they did with the Twins stadium. When it came to the Twins stadium, Peter McLaughlin, Randy Johnson, Mark Stenglein and Mike Opat of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners helped us lose our right to a referendum, all the while proclaiming their helplessness. Some major players in the legislature helped the Twins stadium by nullifying the public’s statutory right to a referendum, making an “exception” because they knew what the outcome of a referendum would be. Remember the names when you vote: Margaret Anderson-Kelliher of the MN House of Representatives (running for Governor), Steve Kelley of the MN Senate, Dick Day (Republican Minority Leader of the Senate) and Brad Finstad (author of the winning Twins stadium legislation) . On the local scene, RT Rybak became a booster after running on an anti-stadium platform, when the Finstad proposal came forth and he changed his mind. The Mpls City Council stood by and watched it happen, although they could have and should have stopped it. At a very tough time for Minneapolis, the Twins stadium is and will continue to be a further drain on the resources of the City of Minneapolis and all of Hennepin County. Even after the legislature abandoned democracy, the Mpls mayor and City Council could have acted as watchdogs for democracy. Shame on them.

  • Leslie Martin

    Minnesota’s quality of life? Yes. Mine? No.

  • thatguy

    Vikes definitely increase quality of life both socially and economically. It’s an extreme honor to have an NFL franchise representing your state…especially one that is in a small market but known for playing the game right, having quality character, and high winning percentages.

    People who disagree don’t care about the facts…just a simple number that they can’t comprehend.

    SAVETHEVIKES.ORG

    MINNESOTAMOMENTUM.COM

  • Jason

    I’m from Iowa and really don’t have a horse in the race on if you keep the team. I know you are crazy if you don’t know the money the Vikes bring to the Twin Cities. I come to 3-5 games /year and drop $400+ into your state every game between gas, restraurants, hotels, bars and the dome. Many people do this from Iowa, SDak and NoDak. This money will just go to SL or KC.

  • Khatti

    What am I supposed to say? I’m a rabid football fan, I want the Vikings to stay, and I’m willing to spend my (and of course everyone else’s) tax money to keep them here.

    This is not to be confused with actually liking this prospect, I simply dislike all the other prospects more. Frankly I think that it’s time to extract the ownership of the Twins and the Vikes and the Wolves from private hands and setting them up in some sort of public corporation — similiar to the way the Packers are owned. “Socialism!” say you. “F***kin ay!” say I. If you want me to cough up the cash to pay for the Vikes new digs it’s time to stop talking about leases and for Zygi to hand over the the team stock.

    I’ve heard that, after the Packers, NFL owners made public ownership illegal under the bylaws of the NFL. But all of these people are businessmen, who would know better that laws are made to be broken.

  • Matt

    I bet my corporation brings in $32 million a year in taxes or more. Maybe we should pony up to the state and ask for our new headquarters (after all, ours was designed by the same folks as the Dome) lest we move our HQ to LA! What a joke. Build it yourself, Zygi.

  • Will Shapira

    Like Carl Pohlad before him, Zygi Wilf is a public bloodsucker. He won’t dibulge his net worth and the gutless media including MPR won’t ask him.

    How dare he try to extort $700 milion out of our treasury when people are losing their jobs, their homes and going hungry? He can take his Vikings and go to LA or wheverer else he wishes.

    I couldn’t care less if we lost every pro sports team. They are a drain on public resources, add nothing to our alleged quality of life and undermine the commonweal.

  • Will Shapira

    Correction: in my rant vs. the Vikings it should read divulge, not dibulge. If Wilf’s net worth or an approximation thereof were made public, the ballgame would be over; he would be exposed as a billionaire and that would be that. (He wisely refuses to expose himself.)

    When will MPR ask him? About the same time the stadium-mad Star Tribune takes a Minnesota Poll on the issue?

    MPR should make these comments available to the Strib. That’s MPR editor Eric Ringham’s alma mater, after all.

    MPR also could hold a town meeting on the issue. It would far more useful and interesting that those too-precious hoity-toity book chats at the Fitz.

  • EzE

    I saw Prince in the press box last game. Between him and the Zygi cartoon, they can take over all of Eden Prairie for all I care and build the largest stadium in the universe over the entire burb…or Blaine, or whatever suburb.

  • carolyn kaehr

    YES.

  • Heidi

    Absolutely not!

    The Vikings are business, a BIG business, that benefits a wealthy few while receiving invaluable media attention for free. My business should be so lucky!

    Government should not be in the business of assisting private business (and especially the business of games and gaming for the wealthy) when there are underfed, homeless and unemployed people with life and death needs.

    Reliable research indicates that professional sports add little to the economy above what smaller business utilizing the same space would generate. Let the bars, restaurants, gift shops and other businesses that THINK they benefit financially from having the Vikings in town share the expense for the new stadium with Wilf, the players and season ticket holders.

    The best things about Minnesota are not the Vikings! Just go outside and see for yourself!