Whose backup stadium financing plan is it, anyway?

Vikings scratch off ticket (MN lottery image)

More disappointing news about electronic pulltabs in February seems to make it more likely yet that the state will have to rely on backup financing options baked into last year’s stadium bill.

The first of those backups to blink on will be a lottery game. Minnesota State Lottery officials said a previous Vikings scratch-off game, which ran during the team’s 2010 season and wrapped up in 2011, sold about $12 million in tickets, but netted between $1.5 and $1.6 million for the state’s general fund, after prizes were paid out

It also paid a licensing fee to the Vikings. Lottery officials estimate the team got about $429,000 for the game you see at right.

Team vice president Lester Bagley, after today’s Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority meeting, said that he didn’t know if the team would get a cut of a second lottery series if it had a Vikings theme. (The law calls for a “sports-themed” game.) “I’m not sure if that’s the same scenario we’re talking about here,” Bagley said.

Interestingly, the Minnesota State Lottery says it may not be a scratch-off game. Marketing and sales director John Mellein says the law is broad and could authorize a Powerball-like game, a bar-based game, Keno or any number of other formats. “If the Legislature came to us and said ‘We need to raise X amount of money,’ we’d give them some options,” Mellein says.

There’s also a question about the second backup in the bill: a tax on luxury suites. The new stadium is supposed to have about 150 of them  But it’ll be years before there’s any suites to tax. What, then about the existing 90 suites at the Metrodome? Are they subject to backup funding?

It doesn’t look like it, but not everybody is so sure.

John Pollard, spokesman for Minnesota Management and Budget, the state’s finance experts, was the surest, when asked if Metrodome ticket holders might be charged to “pay it forward” as it were.

“We do not believe we could because the Metrodome is not named in the Vikings Stadium bill,” Pollard said in response to an email inquiry about the matter.

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Heglen, who worked on the bill, left  the door ajar. “The suite tax was always talked about in light of the new stadium, so we’d have to have our attorneys take a look at the legislation,” she said. “We haven’t really thought about it in that regard, so I’m not sure where it would come down. But from our perspective, it was always looked at as something that would be done for the new stadium.”

Lester Bagley was a little firmer when asked if the backup tax would apply at Mall of America Field. “We don’t think it does,” Bagley said. “But we probably need to take a closer look at it. We think its focused on the new stadium, so you can’t blink it on without a new stadium, but it probably needs a closer look.”

  • Jimbob

    Does anyone care about the implications of the funding and who will end up paying the difference? The taxpayers will bear the burden f course, not the billionaire owner or the players.

  • Jimbob

    Does anyone care about the implications of the funding and who will end up paying the difference? The taxpayers will bear the burden f course, not the billionaire owner or the players.

  • PaulJ

    The crowd sourced nature of the internet promotes a fragmented and shallow, sound bite style. Some people may like writing with this quality; I suffer.

  • PaulJ

    PS Those guys in the picture don’t seem to know how to use a pencil.

  • KTN

    “me fail english, thats unpossible”.
    Ralph Wiggums 4th grader

  • david

    Ask anyone born in the UK, and they would say American’s have always butchered the language. But language is always evolving, and one thing I do know is not many English teachers stress writing for your audience. There’s a time and place for text-speak, if the student uses it inappropriately then yes, they fail. Stop blaming the technology if that technology is doing a better job teaching then you are.

    • CUL8R

      OMG, BTW it’s…a better job teaching THAN you are. LOL ROFL

      • david

        Oh snap!

  • Jim G

    Sometimes I find that I need to emphasize that writing and texting are not the same. That it’s easy for me to spot plagiarism. Then the kids will rise to the expectations of their teachers/tutors, but they’ll also sink to the lowest common denominator if you let them. I don’t let them.

  • JQP

    an older generation never understands changes that younger generations apply to their “gifted” language. Essentially – each generation adapts language to communicate among themselves in the most efficient manner. the current “older generations” decry it as loss of standard, functionality, exchange and respect – when in fact – they did the very same thing to their predecessors and …. upon reaching the “age” of authority are masking their cohorts inability to keep abreast of the changes the next generation is creating.

    In short, perpetuating the myth that how they themselves communicate is the only way to do so and that any change or innovation is blasphemy of some degree.

    Give it up boomers and sub-boomers…. this isn’t technology DRIVING the process…… its technology allowing it to happen faster.

    • Laila

      I couldn’t agree more… my grandparents are always talking about how its the end of the world, how my generation is so lazy and awful. I’ve become the most educated person in my immediate family with my Masters, and at 24 I feel that technology and texting isn’t hurting me at all! It’s making me a better writer if anything.

  • Gary F

    Here is something an almost 50 year old guy like me had a hard time believing, but it was straight from the teachers mouth.

    High school kids are submitting their homework on a Google docs site, and rarely ever are printing it out or even writing on a piece of paper. But when they do, like for a math assignment, kids don’t realize they have to actually write their names at the top of the paper. The teacher than has to figure out a handful of assignments each time that don’t have have names on it. It’s quite frustrating.

    Who woulda thunk it.

  • Karen

    34 year old female here. The last time I wrote down even a shopping list on paper was over 3 months ago; last printed sheet of paper, nearly twice as long. My mother would roll in her grave if she saw my chicken scratch.

  • Jim

    Unquestionably. I’m in my early 30’s, which means I came of age at the time the internet was just taking off. From what I see on social media and even in e-mail (which I guess is now email), basic grammar and sentence structure are more of an exception than the norm. I see this not only from my young nieces and nephews in their teens and those in their early 20’s (who came of age when texting began to take off), but also from a number of people in my own age group. That says nothing of handwriting, which really is a different subject altogether.

  • kevins

    I teach at a local liberal arts college. Most students are bright and achievement oriented. I advise them not to depend on spell check when giving me a written assignment, but some clearly don’t hear me. Lots of homynyms situated akwardly, and they lose points as a result. After that, they seem to understand. I don’t see many problems with written expression that I would directly attribute to internet and mobile echnology, but I have had students look at me quizically when I tell them they should go to the college library to research their topics…wikipedia is soooooo much easier.

  • lindblomealges

    In my experience, what’s missing from writing is editing, sentence structure, and variable uses of words’ definitions. The editing, in particular, is crucially lacking because TIME rules writing. The audience, be they professors, customers, supervisors, friends, or family members, wants your thoughts and ideas RIGHT NOW, even if you’ve composed a sentence that contains 4 different, unrelated thoughts jumbled into one. What technology has done is fostered more creativity, especially among teens who have created another language literally through the use of abbreviations.

  • Nature Love

    Technology has the promise to make us better writer in shorter time than ever before. What we need are readers and surfers who care about writing and refuse to read or comment on poorly written online material. Reward good writing within the newly emerging technologies and writing skill will be high.