Are professional sports teams a part of Minnesota’s cultural heritage?

Some state leaders have said they are open to the idea of using money from the state’s Legacy funds to help finance a new football stadium. The money would come from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund generated by a sales tax that Minnesota voters approved in 2008. (MPR is among hundreds of organizations that receive money from the fund.) Today’s Question: Are professional sports teams a part of Minnesota’s cultural heritage?

  • Kurt

    Absolutely.

  • Peggy Korsmo-Kennon

    Interestingly phrased question. Of course in the broadest sense sports are part of our cultural heritage–the real question should beL Under the provision of the Legacy Act would professional sports teams qualify for funding. To my knowledge they do not have a 501(c)3 status. I would see an art or historical exhibit on the Vikings as appropriate, or a theater piece or dance performance based on football as appropriate. But a stadium NO!

  • Pupr

    This is not a football town. If you’ve ever lived in one, you’ll agree.

  • erick

    This is the wrong question. After all, 3-M, Pillsbury, Cargill and Target are also – broadly speaking – part of our cultural hertiage. The real question is whether helping millionaires and billionaires and major corporations was the intent of the legacy fund. If the intent was to help organizations with limited and uncertian funding sources then the Viking stadium does not qualify.

  • Neil

    No. It’s a “professional sports team” franchise. Why are we proposing to subsidize businesses, especially ones that are profitable?

    Welfare capitalism is alive and well.

    The question that was on the 2008 General Election ballot stated:

    “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to dedicate funding to protect our drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore our wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve our arts and cultural heritage; to support our parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore our lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater by increasing the sales and use tax rate beginning July 1, 2009, by three-eighths of one percent on taxable sales until the year 2034?”

    Yes ……

    No ……

  • Steve the Cynic

    Sure, they are. But “a part of Minnesota’s cultural heritage” is not the same as good or necessary or worth spending public funds to preserve. Do Norwegian-Americans have a duty to eat lutefisk, just because it’s part of their cultural heritage? Should Minnesota spend legacy funds to subsidize lutefisk suppers around the state? Should taxpayers’ money be used to subsidize a billionaire’s ambition to build a billion-dollar lutefisk emporium?

    I don’t think so.

  • GaryF

    MPR is an 800lb gorilla in the public radio industry and they get a government handout. As Jesse Ventura said years back, MPR has nicer stuff than any station he’s ever seen.

    KFAI, KMOJ, now that’s low end struggling public radio that needs a subsidy.

    If MPR gets one, the Vikings get one. If the Vikings don’t get one, MPR shouldn’t get one.

  • anna123

    Not in the sense intended by the Legacy Amendment.

  • Wade

    No, they are not. Minnesota is known as an outdoor state with many natural resources. Logging, mining, educational medicine and beer. That’s MN heritage.

    A bunch of overpaid gorillas sucking on the governments teet is not MN Heritage.

  • Bill

    No. As mentioned previously, it’s “corporate welfare”.

    I’m a fiscal conservative who Is a huge fan of the Vikings, Twins, the Wild and a bit late to the Lynx’ success. But that does not mean I want my tax dollars to fund their business enterprise. Quite frankly that question was not on the amendment that I voted for. If folks want to use taxpayer money to subsidize and build a stadium for the Vikings, put it on the ballot and let the voters have their say in the matter.

    Voters voted for and passed the “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment”. Sorry I just don’t see anything in there about sports franchise subsidies….

  • Bill

    This question sets up a false equivalency between culture and sports teams, in order to pry open access to arts and cultural funds. Sports teams are privately owned entertainment entities that already enjoy vast sources of commercial revenue. Lets not crowd out the needs of small community not for profit cultural organizations at a time when billionaire owners refuse to open their books.

  • Mike Allen

    Nope.

    If they were owned by the people of Minnesota, yes.

    But I think the spirit of the Legacy Amendment was to preserve heritage that might be lost because of money.

    Business is GREAT for the NFL, there is no risk of that folding.

  • Karl Gilbertson

    Perhaps the questions of whether the Vikings are our culture or not is not even pertinent. The Legacy funds were not set up to protect multi-million dollar behemoth sport franchises. Rather, they were intended for cultural aspects of Minnesota that can not be sustained without a boost. The Vikings, whether cultural or not, do not need any boost from taxpayer dollars.

  • david

    A top-notch education used to be a part of our culture and heritage, but that went down the toilet long ago.

    F*** the vikings and the NFL. They are the last corporation that deserves corporate socialism. Try not to let the door hit you in the A** on your way out when you go to LA ziggy.

  • Karen McCauley

    Aside from the many well-phrased comments already placed here regarding the use of public money for private enterprise and the original intent and voter approval of the Legacy Amendment, if the Vikings were truly part of our cultural heritage, I don’t think they would be trying to extort money from taxpayers by threatening to leave.

  • Colleen Mullins

    No. No. No. It’s so clearly against the language of the amendment , I cannot believe we are still talking about it. It is simply, against the law.

  • JBlilie

    Absolutely not!

    It’s bad enough that we are contemplating state and Ramsey County taxpayers subsidizing some New Jersey billionaires. Now, we are going to take our arts and conservation money and subsidize them further?! Hello?

    The reason the Wilfs are demanding a new stadium is because they aren’t quite making quite enough millions currently, in the Metrodome, according to their desires.

    This reminds me of the Wallstreet thieves bankrupting the country, sucking up taxpayer bailouts, and then, … then … rewarding themselves with millions in bonuses.

    Outrageous!

  • Holly Ristau

    NO. NO. NO! How about having people who enjoy sports pay for them????? I know it’s a radical idea, but the Vikings are a sports team that has never done anything for the STATE of

    Minnesota, just The cities. Legacy funds are making a major difference in out state Minnesota. We shouldn’t have to pay for the metropolitan area to play.

  • Greg Kapphahn

    No, they are NOT. Ziggi is demanding a deal wherein Ramsey County cleans up a brownfield site, one of the MOST developable close-in sites left in the metro area, then hands him the keys to a new stadium, built with taxpayer money, and development rights guaranteed to make him massively MORE wealthy. Let him pay for it himself or find some wealthy partners to help him. NO state or local money should be spent to enable this reverse Robin Hood ripoff

  • Jay Lyons

    Absolutely not. Oh, wait, I forgot the Vikings’ luminous cultural icon Chris Cook. Or the art of a pass bouncing off Bernard Berrian’s alligator arms. Give me a break. It’s a convenient way for cultural reactionaries to steal money from arts and cultural organizations they don’t happen to like.

  • Raging

    Absolutely NOT! As someone said at Occupy MN People’s Plaza: There are People who are paying attention to what is going on in this country and other People who worship at the Viking’s Temple. We have 100,000 families in foreclosure in Minnesota and Occupiers who just want to use tents at night. Yet our Politicians are taking money from the 99% to pay for a stadium for millionaire ball players and their billionaire owner. If our legacy is “stealing from the poor to give to the rich”, then we have a shameful legacy. The Vikings are Not our legacy, they are a symptom of what is wrong with this State.

  • Philip

    I heard from someone recently that there are only two things any biographer needs to write your story. 1) their personal calendar. 2) their checkbook register. The first item will tell everyone where you spend your time. The second tells everyone what you find important in life.

    You put your money where your mouth is.

  • YES, it was cemented in 1965 when the Twins broke this 5th graders heart in the seventh game of the World’s Series.

    It was re-cemented when the Vikings went to four Super Bowls.

    Remember, the question is nothing about who pays for what.

  • Carol

    NO! There’s no way the Legacy Amendment was set up to pay for a professional sports stadium. Or to clean up the future site of a professional sports stadium. I agree with the other very articulate comments here – paying for the Vikings was not the purpose of this lovely amendment.

  • Steve

    The idea that the Legacy Act would be used to funnel money to a for-profit sports team is wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to begin.

    But that it seems clearly unconstitutional is the simplest place to start. Any effort to direct this money towards the Wilf family business would end up in court for years.

    In a year of bad public policy on both the state and federal level, this may be the lamest idea yet. I vote NO!

  • Dan

    No

  • louie48

    Absolutely NOT!!!! This was never the intent of this constitutional amendment. Instead, it was meant to protect the very programs that suffer every time there is a budget deficit and are suffering under this current legislature.In fact, I seem to remember that this fund was given as a reason why the Republicans could cut money to these programs-because they would get money from the fund. I fail to see what is wrong with the current stadium. This is yet one more example of legislative theft. It certainly clearly demonstrates where the Republican values lay- protect business owners and billioinaires and lay waste to the arts and the environment.

  • John O.

    No. And take Sid with you.

  • GilesB

    This is the seventh of eleven guiding principles for the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund:

    “ACHF funding is intended for non-profit organizations for work that is open to the public and conducted for the benefit of Minnesotans. It is not intended to fund for-profit enterprises.”

    Has everybody forgotten what happened to the Tobacco Trust Fund? Robbed so TPaw never had to fix the MN deficit.

    This is precisely why politicians aren’t trusted with money.

  • Gary

    Professional sports teams are not part of Minnesota’s cultural heritage; they are part of Minnesota’s pop culture–a big difference! Taking from the Legacy funds to help fund a Vikings stadium would do disservice to Minnesota’s environment, arts, and culture, and take our state legislature to a new low.

  • GregX

    “Posted by GaryF” speaks “pork-barrel-ese” better than anyone today. trying to guilt us into spending money Gary Old boy – is just pure BS. ………….imagine Senatah Gary chastizing his foes ….. : …… why sen-ah-tah Liberaline .. we have given prodigiously to yowah prah-jects and ah find that your reticence at spending ah mere wahn-hunnert times thet amount on my measly community aid program for prez-ah-vation of a venerable , aynd down on its luck, spowts her-ah-tij is simply , sir, mystifiying. they need our help – the organ-o-zation … the niffle can’t help them. they – can not help themselfves. the simple fact is …. sir …. that professional foooooot bawllllll is the ownly thang keeping our proud state from becoming utter chaos. Those fine young millyun-hairs are an example to us all … ah ..uh.. we must preserve our 50 year old her-a-tij for all of its season ticket holdah !!!!!

  • Marty Scherr

    Yes pro sports are definitely part of our culture. I think the issue at hand is that the Comings are not a winning team program and people are getting tired of that. Develop a winning program and then lobby for a stadium. Otherwise get out of MN.

  • HermanKain

    Nein, Nein, Nein.

  • Larry M.

    In the broadest sense of the question, yes, just like salt on our roads in winter and rusting cars are, do we want create a rust museum? No. I would not be against a Science Museum exhibit on how rust works, or for that matter a History Center display on the Vikings. Since the term “Cultural Heritage” language term was used in the question and the understory talks about the Legacy Funds, we can make the assumption the question is getting at is, “is it appropriate that Legacy funds be used for a Vikings stadium?”. The clear answer again is no. The Legacy funds put into our constitution by our citizen voters is to be aimed at operating cost funding of non-profit arts and cultural organizations. So proposals to use legacy funds would simply be stealing and unconstitutional as the Vikings are not a non-profit and the funds would not be going to operating costs.

  • Neil C.

    Yes, sports teams are part of our cultural heritage. The Twins’ wins and the Vikings’ losses on the big stage are part of who we are.

    While I agree that spending Legacy Funds on a stadium for millionaires and billionaires seems very wrong, the whole Legacy thing seems more than a little tainted to me already.

    In the “No new taxes; we’re broke environment,” I have no idea how it passed in the first place. Now money is pouring in and pouring out with very little accountability, weak governance and no doubt a few undeserving organizations or people benefiting improperly.

    Spending a couple of $10’s of millions a year on a sports palace doesn’t seem that much worse that not really knowing where a couple of $10’s of millions a year are going now.

  • Jaclyn

    This should be common sense. Obviously the MN Vikings have nothing to do with preserving the arts or environment.

  • Carolyn

    No. It’s unconstitutional. The Vikings are a for-profit, professional sports team. They (obviously) can move at any time. The sport they play is not one the indigenous people played. Unlike public lands or public art, game attendance is not available to everyone and does not connect people to the history and culture of Minnesota. The Vikings in no way “protect our drinking water sources; protect, enhance, and restore our wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; preserve our arts and cultural heritage; support our parks and trails; protect, enhance, and restore our lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater”

  • Noelle K-J

    I do believe that the teams in Minnesota are part of our legacy but that being said, what other arts, history and natural resources that are supported by the legacy act make the kind of profit that an NFL team does??? NONE! There are no billions of dollars ever spoken about in the arts. Include a game preserve on the site and a Nordic history museum in the stadium and then PERHAPS using $$ from the Legacy Act could be considered.

  • kirby

    I can add very little to the comments above but I feel that one aspect of the cultural heritage of NFL players is the significant number of criminal proceedings that follow these thugs. I don’t see tax dollars used for a un-needed stadium as rehabilitating these anti-role models. One professional American football team in the state is adequate, Go Gophers.

  • Margaret

    NO.

    The comments here are great – others have said it better, but the main reasons: the Vikings are a for-profit business and if they were truly part of MN heritage, they wouldn’t be threatening to leave for another state. It is an entertainment business – fun, but not “cultural heritage” material.

    The stadium debate is ridiculous to me in that the team only has 10 games at home before playoffs. 10 games and how many hundreds of millions of dollars subsidy do they want? 10 games.

  • Craig

    No. It was never the voter’s intent in passing the amendment that the funds be used for building a stadium to make rich men richer.

  • Bear

    Answering THE question precisely and not high jacking this for a political agenda: YES, all that we know and experience is part of our culture. Our culture is an amalgam of the good, the bad, and unfortunately the ugly.

  • Bear

    To those posting regarding the “intent” of the legislation, most legislation has unintended consequences or are later “interpreted” to meet the ends of some special interest. So, if that is the leg on which you stand, then lobby for the strict application of original intent for all laws, start with the healthcare reform and lower premiums.

  • Steve

    I think the Vikings from Scandinavia are a part of of heritage, not the vikings from pro football. In addition the Legacy Act should not be for a team that has a legacy of losing the big one.

  • Julie

    No way! That money was set aside by the people of MN for things that have a hard time getting funding – protecting the arts and environment. Wealthy professional football teams are not falling into that category no matter how politicians want to twist this pool of money.

    And if the Republicans decide to use this funding in their twisted version of balancing the books without raising taxes, they should expect to be looking for another job than the part time one at the Capital!!!!

  • Canoes represent Minnesota’s cultural heritage. We even picture one on our vehicle license plates. I own a small MN business that builds canoes. Does that mean I’m entitled to Legacy Funds. ABSOLUTELY NOT. Neither is Ziggy Wolfe or the MN Vikings.

  • kurt n

    They are certainly part of our sports heritage, but cultural, not so much. Target is part of our heritage too, does that mean they could ask for and receive funds from the Legacy Amendment?

    Argue about the Legacy Fund, and whether the amendment was needed, but since it passed with 60%, my inclination is people like the idea of supporting the non-profit sector. Reading the language of the amendment, there is no mention of giving money to a sports team.

    Legal challenges would keep this tied up for years, and would likely produce an unfavorable outcome for the VIkes as overreaching.

  • John M

    Nope. In fact The Vikings represent the most debased aspects of our culture. Plus they broke my heart in the seventies. They are currently in such complete disarray that the fact that they are trying to rally for support almost seems credible. But no, that is not what Legacy Funds are meant for.

  • Stevie Rawn

    If you consider that the “Love Boat” scandal on October 6, 2005 on Lake Minnetonka, allegations of Moss’s assault, or allegations of Cook assaulting his girlfriend represent part of Minnesota’s cultural heritage, then you may consider the Vikings as a part of that heritage. Personally, I think these over-payed players are a bunch of rich thugs trying to take economic advantage of this wonderful state.

  • Jason

    No more than Leeann Chin or Hamm’s beer. They are all products offered to the public for the purpose of monetary gains. The team does not represent or advance any true cultural heritage.

    Any perceived cultural significance of a professional sports team is an ascribed quality and should not be compared to the intrinsic artistic merits of the arts.

  • michael

    Yes, professional teams are part of our cultural heritage. This cultural heritage consists of overpaid owners, officials, lobbyists, and players, some with possible or real criminal backgrounds. This cultural heritage also consists of sports centered around gratuitous violence, cheap swill in plastic cups and poor fashion sense. Therefore a cultural heritage fund should be used to support professional teams.

    Just kidding.

  • Steve Wright

    I believe there is NO way a for-profit (and seemingly greedy) owner of a professional sports entertainment team should benefit from a fund that was set up to help support the efforts of the Arts community and the environment. Non-profits benefit from this fund. It seems clear that the Vikings owners are more interested in personal and corporate profit than in any greater-good for the people of Minnesota.

    While there are a number of definitions of culture, I believe this one is appropriate:

    “…the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.”

    I dare say that there is little in this definition that would remotely describe anything related to the Vikings.

  • david

    The only reason this is even being brought up is because some slimy politician brought it up do deflect us from the real issue, that the slimy politician need to DO THEIR JOB and make a decision, and then face the consequences. There are not enough vikings fans to guaranty their re-election, but there’s enough to make it very hard for them to get re-elected. No public vote, no legacy fund maneuvering, if pandering to ziggy is the best thing for the state, then DO IT! other wise shut up and show ziggy the door!

  • Denise

    When the voters of Minnesota passed this amendment funding a stadium was not what we had in mind.

    Why don’t the Vikings cut all the players salaries by 15% and use that money to build the stadium?

    Our Swim Club sells coupon books to raise money. They could do that.

    Or better yet, sell food door-to-door to raise the money. That is what High School Arts programs have to do!

  • Kyle

    Part of our culture, yes. Heritage, no. Your heritage cannot just arbitrarily move or be moved to another city or state and suddenly become someone else’s.

  • WinonaKath

    NO. NO. NO.

    Did the professional sports teams help get the Legacy amendment passed? NO. Many arts, historical and environmental groups did all the work on this legislation, and did it for the BETTERMENT of ALL Minnesotans.

  • Sandra Weston

    If only the question were rhetorical.

    Pretty much by definition, one’s heritage cannot simply pack up and walk away. Ball clubs not only can, they do.

    That’s aside from the fact that that amendment specifically refers to ARTS supporting culture and heritage.

  • David

    I think most people voted for the amendment because they felt the money would go to environmental projects within the state. But, I believe a lot of the money currently goes to the Historical Society, cultural buildings, art initiatives, salaries, etc.

    When was the last time anyone went to one of these cultural events anyway? I thought the Guthrie was broke and laying off staff last year? I think spending money on these programs as a waste of money, because only a small portion of people actually attend these events.

    Obviously, we need to fund the stadium someway, and this is a option that put up to a vote would probably pass as well like the original amendment.

  • Alison

    Sure they are a part of our cultural heritage. If we are talking about a historical reflection, say a part of a MN sports history exhibit at the History Center then consider funding from the amendment funds. But that isn’t what this stadium is. This is a new place of business for a privately held, for-profit business.

    As for the arts side of the argument: professional sports have never been considered arts under any reasonable definition of the arts that I have seen.

  • Andrea

    I have to agree with what many of the other responders have said. Could it be argued that the Vikings are part of the cultural heritage? Yes.

    Do they qualify to use cultural heritage funds paid by taxpayers, based on the language in the referendum? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    And for the record, I agree with the many others who have said they oppose public funding for private special interests, such as the Vikings. I’m fine if they go elsewhere.

  • Teri

    When I voted for the Legacy amendment, the Vikings were the furthest thing from what I believed I was supporting. I was voting for clean air and parks and a vital arts community.

  • Kathy

    The legacy amendment was proposed to guarantee some funding to public and non-profit organizations which contribute to our quality of life, but which are at risk of state budget cuts or shortages of grant funds. I voted for the amendment because I saw this as a pool of money the legislators would have no control over to fund their pet projects or de-fund programs that don’t fit their politics. The Vikings team is a profit-based organization, owned by an enormously wealthy individual who wants us to foot the bill for a stadium so he can pocket even more of the proceeds. No way does this justify raiding the legacy funds.

  • Dan Guynn

    NO! This is not what I voted for!

    Besides, professional sports teams are legally allowed to leave the state… they are no state’s (nor city’s) property and thus not part of it’s heritage. The Lakers are now in L.A, they came from Minneapolis, previously from Detroit; the Senators moved from D.C. and became the Twins. The Colts absconded in the middle of the night from Baltimore to Denver, to be replaced by the Ravens from Cleveland.

    The players are traded like (overpaid) chattel. A sports franchise is just a jersey color. Let them leave!

  • Jeanne

    NO. It’s unconscionable that anyone is even considering using the Legacy funds for the sports!

  • Phil I Stine

    Reading the list of posts 61 by10:30 am, I have become aware of my Karmic debt. My unhealthy lifestyle of Sunday afternoons, Monday nights encroaching on Friday evenings and Saturdays too of couch potatoe-ism. My disgust of men in tights and disregard for any other artistic value not to mention my contempt for those who feel we should invest in our environment has responded in this post.

    Well said. I dutifully genuflect in submission and beg forgiveness for my wholely blind-sightedness

  • Dan

    This one fits in the “you’ve got to be joking” category, but it should really scare us. The idea of taking those funds and subsidizing a billionaire’s private enterprise is exactly the kind of special-interest pick-pocketing of the taxpayer that has people of all political persuasions fed up with government. I say let’s “Occupy the Metrodome”.

  • Sandy

    NO, nothing dealing with them is in that category. Just a lame attempt to steal from the state of MN.

  • John P II

    Sports or athletics may be part of MN culture but definitely not professional sports teams.

    I can’t believe anyone would seriously suggest that a Vikings stadium is an appropriate use for Legacy funds, and it saddens me that some of these people are in positions of great influence in our state.

  • Lawrence

    Actually, yes, professional sports teams are a part of Minnesota’s heritage beginning with the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers (1946-1958) who were bought from the Detroit Gems, and who moved to Los Angeles when people stopped coming to Laker games. The Minneapolis Lakers drafted NBA great Elgin Baylor and became the first West Coast NBA Team by 1961. The rest is history – the Lakers are the second winningest franchise in NBA Championship History. Meanwhile, the North Stars came in 1967, the Twins in 1961 from Washington D.C., and the Vikings in 1961. Prior to that the Minneapolis Marines/Red Jackets were an NFL team in the 20s and 30s.

  • Jim Hencinski

    Professional football a cultural heritage?

    Give me a break!

    If this is the best excuse that big buisness owners can come up with as a justification to fleese me of my tax money and then charge me an outrageous admission price for the privilage of watching overpaid athletes play a game during these hard economic times, then they must think we are all idiots.

    Sadly, I’m afraid that just enough of us ARE such idiots.

  • Michael

    The Vikings are as much a part of our heritage as 3M, Target, or Best Buy are. They are all for profit businesses, started and based here, that are associated with our state in a national way.

    But the latter above contribute far more to our economy, standard of living, and way of life, than the Vikings, or any other pro sports team ever will. We didn’t rush to help them, or pass sales tax increases to provide new facilities to Delta to prevent them from moving. Or get involved in the fight and funding for Thompson Reuter’s proposed and now failed expansion in Eagan. And I’m sure we had nothing to do with paying for Medtronic’s new facility near the proposed Arden Hills site.

    Are the Vikings important? Sure. Are they associated with Minnesota. Sure. But they are simply a for-profit business in the end analysis. They don’t deserve or need money from our Legacy fund, or any other taxpayer dollars.

  • Kevan

    Ziggy isn’t simply asking for a stadium, he wants the state to build “Ziggy World” for him and he’s holding the Vikings hostage to get it done.

  • Minnesota’s professional sports teams do become part Minnesota’s cultural heritage and do comprise a portion of Minnesota’s cultural identity to the rest of the world. When outsiders mention Minnesota they typically mention our lakes, our winters, or The Vikings. However, there are many more culturally meaningful ways to use the resources of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund than to dole out funds as corporate welfare to a billionaire real-estate wheeler-dealer from New Jersey. Pro teams have made a practice of holding communities hostage to curry favors, and extract hand-outs and tax incentives. As long as jobs and living wages are under siege by a do-nothing Congress, Minnesotans must evaluate priorities, then try to distinguish wants from needs.

  • Randy Blum

    No – stop the madness! A football team is clearly beyond the boundaries of the definition of ‘culture’. One could just as easily say that an Arby’s or Valleyfair is part of our culture. The taxpayers should not have to subsidize successful or even unsuccessful businesses, save for infrastructure support like roads, etc. Let the costs be borne by those who desire the service, just like other enterprises.

    I’m happy to see the Vikings and professional sports in Minnesota, but let them pay their own way. If other states want to subsidize sports teams, then so be it.

  • Linnae Middleton

    When will we go to these great lengths (seeking ‘any solution’ and a special session to consider gambling and/or Legacy money) for our decrepit schools & educational system.

    The payoff of a $300 million school rebuilding plan would be a lot longer-lasting than helping a NJ businessman keep a team in Minnesota, and the construction jobs would be spread throughout the state.

    Kids who are well educated offend less, are more inventive/resourceful/resilient, and have better incomes (pay more in taxes).

    Citizens, where are our priorities?

  • Tony

    Just stop.

  • Craig

    The difference between subsidizing the Guthrie, or the U, or a high tech startup, or MPR, and subsidizing the Vikings is that the employees of the former spend their salaries here in the state; and beyond that, when the work day is done, they engage their intelligence and creativity in our community in countless ways all year long. The Vikings’ players, and owner, would spend their subsidized salaries and profits elsewhere, because they live elsewhere.

  • Owen

    I agree with GaryF and Neil C. Especially the unintended consequences part. Voters should have been aware of that when passing the Legacy Amendment.

  • Jay

    Absolutely not. Subsidizing professional football was not the intent of voters. Read the amendment—. This is just one more reason why the public distrusts and, in many cases, hate politicians.

  • Lance

    Bread and Circuses

  • GaryF

    You know, we can’t give money to a MENS football team with being politically correct and giving money to the Minnesota Valkrye women’s football team.

    http://www.lflus.com/minnesotavalkyrie/

    Come on folks, lets be politically correct!

  • Definitely, when you talk about the state of Minnesota with people from other states during the football season the Vikings always seem to come up. To deny that sports are part of our cultural heritage is to deny a large part of the history of this state.

  • kimMN

    Maybe MN has bigger worries than the deals our government does with all to little transparency…but after reading the latest news it is no surprise we see those in office arranging deals like the stadium with out revealing all the players ( no pun intended) and who really benefits. Maybe we need more ex CIA officers to investigate as they did for the Hawaii documents?

    ” Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, the chief of Stand Up America, a national security expert and FoxNews contributor, says the “Certificate of Live Birth” released in April by the White House as “proof positive” of President Obama’s Hawaiian birth is a forgery, but the FBI is covering the fraud and no one in Congress is willing to tackle the situation because of fears of a “black backlash” if the failings of the nation’s first black president are revealed.

    In an interview today with Greg Corombos for WND, Vallely, who previously has expressed concerns about whether the Obama administration is in violation of the U.S. Constitution, said, “His actual birth certificate has never been found in Hawaii nor released from Hawaii hospital there, Kapiolani hospital there, if it in fact did exist.”

    “We’ve had three CIA agents, retired, and some of their analytical associates look at it, and all came to the same conclusion, that even the long-form was a forged document,” Vallely said.

    “No members of Congress will take this on. The word I get out of Washington is that they don’t want to challenge this because it would be in fact a felony offense and in some cases may be even treasonous and [they are] afraid of a black backlash from some of the urban areas,” Vallely said.”

    That would help account for the fact they had NO records of the mother ever staying at the hospital or that the Selective service records show a different state of residence with a social security number that doesn’t quote match up or_ that back in 1961, birth certificates in Hawaii still used negro_ not a continent such as African was used for describing the father..someone forgot that when the birth certificate was “found” and then copied for the media.. Barry stated in his book ,each state he was in, after returning from Indonesia, yet Connecticut was never mentioned..his selective service card number shows that state.

    Does MN care about truth and honesty and valid voter registrations or more about new stadiums? Just a thought.

  • GG

    No! Arts & Culture legacy funds are NOT intended for capital items like buildings. They may be used to supplement –that is, to add to — programs, but they should not replace programs already in effect. The voters and the Legislature already decided.

  • Nate

    The more wealthy people plunder the taxpayers like this, the less incentive taxpayers have to be honest on their taxes. We’ve become accustomed to this kind of behavior on the national level. Hearing about bull like this on a local level, I wouldn’t blame anyone for becoming a tax evader.

    On the topic of a new football stadium, is this just a way to get the state and Ramsey County to pay for cleanup of the old munition land in Arden Hills?

  • georgiana anderson

    No Way! If these guys need money for something they knew was coming down the road,they could have thought about it before now.They could have passed their own amendment to get the money.The Arts Legacy is not theirs to take Or steal from, if you will, and I take it that way .With the anti environment jerks out there,the Legacy money for the environment is even more important.

  • al

    people, it’s all about building Zigi Dail, we are the home of the shoping mall, what is more mimmesotan then acres of parking with aimals on the light poles, it’s our culture.

  • BARBARA THOMSON

    SPORTS ARE DESIGNED TO BE MONEY MAKERS. IF THEY WERE NOT, THE COMMON PERSON COULD GO TO A BALL GAME WITHOUT SPENDING THE WEEKS FOOD MONEY! ZIGI IS A REAL ESTATE MAN AT HEART, PERHAPS HE SEES GOLD FOR HIMSELF WHEN HE LOOKS AT ALL THOSE GRASSY ACRES.

  • James

    Clearly a hot topic. Fun to read the responses.

    About 5 “yes’s” in response to the actual question.

    About 10 “no’s” in response to the actual question.

    And 50+ people answering the unasked question and suggesting that using Legacy Funds for a stadium is somewhere between illegal and obscene.

    I wonder if the sample is representative?

    I wonder if the decision makers read the responses to MPR’s Question of the Day?

  • Elijah the Tishbite

    The prophets of Footbaal are all liars. Don’t listen to them.

  • Steve the Cynic

    “And 50+ people answering the unasked question and suggesting that using Legacy Funds for a stadium is somewhere between illegal and obscene.”

    And why is that a problem, James? In the context in which the question is asked, a simple yes or no is misleading. It’s like asking a public figure, “Yes or no: Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

    And you have to admit, broadening the discussion to the legacy amendment is a lot less off-topic than re-opening the ridiculous “birther” conspiracy theory.

  • Paul and Carol Anderson

    No! We are writing to register our strong opposition to use of any amount of the Arts & Cultural Heritage Funds for a Vikings stadium. A (wee!) portion of that is our tax dollar and we don’t favor our tax dollars of any form be used for a stadium. MORE importantly, this is not at all what these funds are for, at least what we had in mind when we voted for the Fund (a darn good idea, in our view). Nothing is sacrosanct if politicians are allowed to do this.

  • Peter Parker

    Nope.

  • Michael

    Yes, the Vikings are part of Minnesota’s cultural heritage.

    That being said, there are things that have been part of our heritage that are no longer extant but are now relegated to history (the Metropolitan Building in Minneapolis and Swede Hollow in St. Paul to name two). And like those other things, we would miss them if we lost them, but life wouldn’t end.

    Like many Minnesota sports fans, I am split on this issue.

    I’d be most inclined to put this question to a public vote (of course, we do not have the luxury of that much time on this issue). Even if it was decided that the team qualified for Legacy funds, it should get no more than an equal share of the Arts & Cultural portion of the funds that any other qualifying organization would receive. I would absolutely oppose their receiving a lion’s share of available Legacy funds.

  • Henny

    No.

    While we’re busting the Legacy Amendment lockbox wide open and letting the doubloons spill out we should also pay for light rail, since there used to be trolley lines and this is an update of that cultural heritage. Let’s pay for airport expansion since that extends the cultural legacy of Lindbergh. How about subsidizing Canterbury Downs/Park in honor of Dan Patch?

    I can’t believe this is even being suggested. When will these laughable twisted follies stop?

  • James

    Steve the Cynic:

    I don’t disagree. The real point of my post was the followup questions. “Is the sample representative and do the authorities read this?”

    If the sample is representative, using Legacy Funds for the stadium would appear to be political suicide.

    What are your thoughts on whether we are representative?

  • Betty

    “I say let’s “Occupy the Metrodome”.

    Posted by Dan | October 28, 2011 10:48 AM ”

    Yes-Yes-and-Yes.

    Let’s Occupy the Metrodome Roof.

  • Apostolos P Kizilos

    Absolutely not.

    There is nothing in football that fits the definition of culture. Culture is the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. Enough distortions of language and meaning.

    There are better uses for the Legacy fund than increasing the wealth of the top 1%. As for the people who enjoy watching the sport, they can watch teams that play the game and pay for their own stadiums. We cannot support private corporations with Legacy money and claim to be true to the letter or the spirit of the law that created the Legacy fund.

    Use the fund for Greening and Preserving the natural beauty of the state; use it to support adult education on MPR and PBS; use it for advancing the creativity and innovation of our youth; use it to stage artistic and intellectual presentations and contests among schoolchildren. We have enough sports mania and we should not use public funds for more. The well being of our children depends on excellence of the mind, not on building muscles in professional contact sports.

  • Jason

    No. The very question seems so absurd. People have to stop thinking of culture in such broad and shallow terms. A product sold by a private entity for profit is not part of my heritage. It carries no more cultural significance than a case of brand-name soda pop.

  • Steve the Cynic

    “What are your thoughts on whether we are representative?”

    If by “we” you mean folks who are posting here, we are absolutely not representative of anything. For one thing, it’s a self-selected sample. For another, lots of contributors are evidently using multiple names, essentially voting twice or more. For yet another, I have to wonder how many of the aliases are actually people disingenuously posting opinions they don’t hold, in order to ridicule them under another alias (something must admit I once considered doing but decided against). Numbers of postings on the side of any given opinion here are completely irrelevant. The usefulness of this forum is solely in evoking a range of opinions and the rationale behind them.

  • Zeke

    Is this a trick question?

    I have a better one:

    Should MN taxpayers subsidize a successful business enterprise.

    Or:

    Should MN taxpayers give money to a successful businessman so that he is better able to increase and develop his real estate holdings?

  • Anna

    Government should not be in the sports business. Study after study shows that it is having a good team that promotes economic viability of professional sports not new, taxpayer subsidized stadiums.

    It is frightening that our legislators are thinking about taxing us for a new Vikings Stadium when our public schools are failing and roads are crumbling…and we have just borrowed from the future to close a budget deficit. Shame on them all.

  • T

    No since “Cultural heritage” is often defined as something unique and irreplaceable.

    Professional sports teams are neither unique and are replaceable.

    Let em’ go!

  • Leanne

    The wrong question is being asked in this debate. The real question is “what did the citizens vote on when the Legacy amendment was on the ballot?” Never was a sports stadium part of the discussion at that time. To link the two NOW is to circumvent the vote of the people. To use Legacy money to subsidize a business is a travesty. I would suggest they appeal to their players to cough up a few million to help out.

  • Woody

    Allow “medical marijuana” to be sold in MN and tax it to the high heavens (no pun intended). Pay off the school districts and then consider how these so called sin-taxes could be applied to fund an entertainment venue such as a Vikings stadium.

  • Matt

    Absolutely.