Vikings stadium: What is Minnesota actually expecting the Vikings to pay?

Amid all the discussion about whether Zygi Wilf and his fellow  Vikings owners can afford to pay for a new stadium, there hasn’t been much said about what he may actually have to pay.

It might surprise you.

  1. Listen

A league loan, personal seat licenses (called “stadium builder licenses” in Minnesota) and naming rights could almost entirely cover the Vikings share of the new stadium– regardless of the outcome of the Wilf family’s legal difficulties in New Jersey. They’re being sued for allegedly cheating partners in a real estate deal there.

Here’s a closer look at the stadium deal in Minnesota. Click start, then click on the play arrow on the lower left to begin the interactive presentation.

And here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: According to the Vikings and published reports, NFL teams have averaged about $154 million in PSL revenue since 1995 and the equivalent of $120 million in present value in the 10 most recent long-term naming rights deals. Add that to an expected $200 million NFL loan subsidized by the league, and that’s $474 million right there.

And that would be just $3 million short of the $477 million the Vikings pledged as their share of the stadium.

Or, to put it another way: if the Vikings hit the NFL average for their seat licensing and naming rights deals, on top of the league-subsidized loan they’ve already announced, that set of three funding sources would cover 99.3 percent of the money the state of Minnesota is expecting from the Vikings and the Wilfs.

Below, you’ll find charts that show the  NFL averages for personal seat licenses and naming rights.

  • Ciaran

    With the NFL’s reported annual revenue of around $10 Billion (that’s billion, with a B), per the Star Tribune a few days ago, one wonders why we little people have to pay anything at all for this playground. Talk about fantasy football.

  • Eric Vogel

    Although I dont feel as the people of Minnesota should have had NEARLY as large a share of the costs, it is of note that the money from the NFL is a loan- the team will be paying it back.

    Its just a little misleading to say that they are probably going to pay only $3 Million.

  • DairyStateMom

    Why should the taxpayers pay ANY of the cost of a new palace that benefits so few? It’s clear that the team and its owners can well afford to finance the stadium, so why aren’t they doing just that? Because, just as in so many other municipalities (including the one I live in, a bit to the south), the folks who decide these things are convinced that ever-fancier places to play are necessary to keep teams in town, that keeping the team in town is good, and that (probably most importantly) the interrelationship of scratched backs among politicians, NFL owners, and corporate entities who buy the most expensive seats assures the status quo. In the meantime, the taxpayers are on the hook for a huge part of the costs, the average person can’t afford to go to a game, and the gulf between the rich and poor just gets wider.

    • Zig E. Steels

      I agree. I would add that another motivating factor of why the state is paying for this is how popular football and the NFL is with their fans. There are some who care little about other political issues going on in the government at the state level or how their elected officials are voting, but when it comes to the Vikings they are a very vocal and losing the Vikings would incite them to vote out the politicians who were behind the Vikings not getting their new palace.

    • Jim Herrick

      Mine is an unpopular opinion, but I feel the same way about the state paying for music and art-related activities.

  • Mick

    Well, yeah. This isn’t news. Or is not breaking news anyway.

    Anyone who follows this stuff knew about he G-3 and G-4 programs long ago.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    We have become Romans.