The great stadium debate

What percentage of a new stadium should the Vikings contribute?Market Research

Budget, cuts in child protection, same-sex marriage, guns, voter ID, abortion — they’ve all put in an appearance in one fashion or another at the Capitol this year. When is the Vikings stadium going to make an appearance?

The new majority has a member to carry a Vikings stadium bill, but it hasn’t been filed yet. It will eventually.

As with Target Field, the goal is to (a) make more money by (b) making it more expensive for you to attend. The trick is figuring out (c) how to make you not mind.

MPR’s Tim Nelson has a story today that examines some of the ways this is going to be done.

Tomorrow on MPR’s Midmorning, we’re going to discuss all of this and, hopefully, say something about public financing of stadiums that hasn’t been said before.

The guests are:

Ted Mondale, chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission

Judith Grant Long, associate professor of urban planning at Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Neil deMause, co-author of “Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money Into Private Profit”

I’ll be live-blogging the hour to provide your analysis. Supply it in the “comments” section below.

To lead us off, here’s a study issued last year on sports franchises and the economic impact of communities. It finely details the various details that teams get.

  • Ben Chorn

    high ticket prices are successful for great teams in great stadiums… I’ll let you fill in the variables on that equation for our MN sports teams to see which one works

  • bsimon

    I wonder how bad the economy will have to get before people start to rethink the idea of publicly funded stadiums for privately held businesses.

  • Tyler

    You want public money for a private enterprise? Issue shares like the Packers.

  • Karl S.

    Where’s the option for less than 30%? They can follow the North Stars for all I care, if they’re going to be leeches about it.

  • Mark Snyder

    I question (b) slightly. While many seat prices did rise, my seats at Target Field are actually a bit cheaper than what I paid for a similar number of tickets for the Twins at the Metrodome and my view is better. My seat at TCF Bank stadium cost about the same and is much better than the one I had at the Metrodome.

    I used to think that renovating the Metrodome made more sense than building a new stadium for the Vikings. But after having now attended games at Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium, I don’t think the Metrodome is worth renovating. I do think the Vikings need to pony up a much bigger share of the cost of a new stadium than they’ve offered. They should be offering 40% minimum.

  • Albatross

    What the heck!? Where’s the ‘100%’ option?

    Whatever the public component is, the public should have THAT SHARE OF THE REVENUES. This whole line of nonsense where the public contributes but only gets the peripheral return of “increased bar revenues” is utter madness. And the same morons urging us to support this are the ones who don’t want “socialism” or “government interference.”

    I’d say “0%,” but the last time I did that the Twins simply bought off the politicians and forced through the funding over my and everyone else’s objections. So give them whatever percentage they want, but DEMAND THAT SHARE OF THE REVENUES.

    You’d think this would be easy to understand.

  • Xopher

    Will the new stadium be built before food prices double and gas is $5.80 a gallon? The race is on!

    I’m giving even odds.

  • MR

    The Patriots, one of the most successful NFL franchises, built their own stadium without public financing. Jerry Jones covered between 60 and 70% of the Cowboys’ new stadium. And with a $6.2 billion deficit, Minnesota is being asked for 70% of the cost? Even the Yankees didn’t get that high a percentage.

    If they want public funds, treat the public as investors and give the public a share of the profits from stadium operation.

  • Kimberly

    I would say at least 75%. Studies show that communities do not benefit as much from stadiums as much as previously thought. In a time when we are cutting funding for schools and basic government functions, it’s crazy to think that the tax payers want to pay for a new stadium.

  • John P.

    I personally like the idea of revenue sharing. but I think I recall reading that selling stock like the Packers did is no longer allowed by the NFL. I believe the same is true for major league baseball.

    As for cutting us in for a percent of revenue based on our invenstment; They do not publish their revenues, so how would we know if we are getting our share? These teams are all privately held and all of the the revenue figures you see are just estimates. That’s why you and I can’t buy stock. They really don’t want you to know how profitable they are. It’s a little rich guy club. This makes subsidizing them all the more irritating to me.

  • Joshua Clark

    I don’t understand how, in this budget “crisis”, public funding for a new Vikings Stadium is even being considered. By funding this stadium it means that we will have to further cut state funding to state government jobs, roads, education, etc…

  • Brahma Dathan

    Why should public money be spent for a private party? When it comes to critical issues such as education, transportation, and health care, many legislators are enthusiastic about cutting. Who cares about the average person?

  • Jon

    I agree with many, why are we funding this with public dollars?

    Tell you what, once the plows funded by public dollars start clearing the snow off my drive way (public funds being put to private use) Then the vikes can get public funds for the stadium, as long as it isn’t down the street from my house.

  • Marie

    My daughter read me a chapter from the book “Target Field” this evening…the same discussion we have today occured upon moving out of the Met Stadium and keeping the Twins…this is a venture for public/private investment, the Vikings are Minnesota …identity, investment,community. We need bright ,smart people who will bring all these elements together…build the “Caribou Field” for the Vikings and use the pine trees we are removing from Target Field!

  • chad

    I think its laughable that the tycoon Vikings owner is probably a right-winger (assumption). But then when we talk about a new stadium, its “socialism” all over the place. Why is the question “how much” and not “does MINUTE have ANY place investing in private business?

  • Allen

    It’s sad that given all the troubles we face, including one of the worst budget deficits per capita in the country, that so many of our state leaders are eager to bend over backwards to give public money to a private business. We need to end corporate welfare.

  • jason

    the vikings and their fans can pay for their own playpen

  • Donna

    The majority of comments here are against our tax dollars being spent to subsidize private business which, I think, reflects the general feeling in the state. We are talking about welfare for millionaires at the same time as pay freezes for public school teachers. This is ridiculous. I hope the voices of regular people are heard during this debate. I don’t want to see another stadium rammed down our throats while education and health care suffer.

  • Tom

    My comments were deleted and I don’t know why. I was trying to post comments during the mid day program. What happened ?

  • Bob Collins

    No comments have been deleted.