Is the stadium bill a good deal for Minnesotans?

The stadium deal approved by the House Monday night shifted some of the costs from the state to the Vikings. The bill requires the Vikings to pay more and give the state a share of the proceeds from naming rights. Today’s Question: Is the stadium bill a good deal for Minnesotans?

  • reggie

    We’ll see if the “deal” holds, once the team owners whine about it. In cutting the public contribution by $105 million, the legislature moved in the right direction. Only $293 million to go…

  • Rollie

    So this is what tax reform looks like.

    Corporate Welfare lives on…

  • georges

    Our “extremely liberal” Democrat Party governor is, for anyone who does not know, one of the richest men in the entire world. Therefore, it is no surprise that he is willing to help out the rich when they want more of the middle class money funnelled to them.

    Moreover, if a stadium is built, it will be in downtown Minneapolis. Why? Because downtown Minneapolis is where the “old money” will benefit the most from the middle class building a stadium. Old money is the Carlsons, the Daytons, etc.

    When the Twins first moved here, they needed a place to play right away, so Met Stadium had to do, even though it was a minor league Stadium out in a cow pasture in Bloomington. But you could drive right in, park, and walk a few feet. Everything since has been built downtown…and they don’t care how many blocks away you have to park, or whether your car will be broken into. Tough for you. The Old Money has to make money. The problems that makes for you and me is of no concern to Dayton.

    Dayton is in this for…Dayton.

  • This whole debate reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Minneapolis’ own philosopher genius Paul Westerberg: “The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting drunk.”

  • Aubrey

    I hate to let the facts get in the way of a your rant there georges. But it was a bipartisan vote, both sides of the aisle supported this bill.

    I found it particularly satisfying to see the GOP vote in favor of transferring wealth from one class (middle class) of folks to another class (billionaire/wealthy). This must be what the GOP means when they talk about “class warfare”.

  • todd

    Of course it is a good deal! As our one and only source of worth as humans, the Vikings deserve much, much more. Since the state of Minnesota came into being in 1960 (the idea of any true feeling of statehood without an NFL team is just laughable), we have provided our cultural saviors with a mere two stadiums! We should feel deeply honored, humbled, and chagrinned that the Vikings are willing to give us a single dollar. If life were truly fair, all Minnesotans earning less than $250,000/year would be pressed into service without pay to build this minimally-acceptable new stadium. How could we EVER put a price on the Vikings when they gave us our souls?

  • Steve the Cynic

    Of all the options for corporate welfare, a new Vikings stadium is in the running for worst. The only redeeming value of American football is that it teaches the value of teamwork, in contrast to the doctrine of the Invisible Hand, which teaches that dog-eat-dog jungle rules is the recipe for a prosperous economy. Other than that, football teaches that if people are standing between you and your goal, the correct thing to do is knock them down and run over them. And the football system teaches young people that if you’re good enough at sports, you can get away with all sorts of misbehavior and get by with substandard academic performance.

    And then they have the gall to fund it with more gambling, which will cost society more than it will bring in. If people are dumb enough to gamble, that’s their problem, but the state has no business encouraging it.

  • Rich Floyd

    It’s doubtful that a Vikings stadium does anything more than shift revenues from one sector of the economy to another. More importantly, even if it did have a positive impact on the economy, it is simply wrong to support corporate welfare on the backs of hard-working people, many of whom have a hard time making ends meet. Finally, paying for a stadium through an expansion of charitable gambling will have a negative impact on society, and on our welfare programs due to increased numbers of addicted gamblers. And speaking of charitable gambling, I guess the Vikings and their owners are now eligible for charity. Let the Vikings build their own stadium!

  • Mark in Freeborn

    The stadium deal is good for season-ticket holders, fatcat luxury box owners, the owners of the team, the NFL in general, the construction workers and other trade workers that will build the place (at least for awhile….), and the people who will work there hawking beer, chips, and Viking junk. As for the other 98% of Minnesotans……not so good a deal. I have never quite understood why the Metrodome isn’t considered a stadium anymore, other than the old song-and-dance about how the team can’t make enough money playing there. So what? How’s this our problem?

  • Downtown Resident

    No. Any bill that supports handouts to billionaires and misbehavied, overpaid athletes is a loser. For every fan dressed in purple at the Capitol, hopefully there are hundreds who will quietly go to the polls in November and vote the incumbents out of office who voted for this travesty.

    I live in downtown Minneapolis, I have zero interest in the Vikings (in fact I wish they would leave), and yet I am stuck paying for their stadium. It makes no sense. I cannot believe the legislators turned down a revision that would have made people actually attending the games pay more.

  • Elijah the Tishbite

    Don’t believe the false promises of Footbaal!

  • georges

    The legislature, here in Minnesota and every other State, has always existed to serve the wealthy. Look at what they do, not be fooled by what they say.

    Both the Democrats and Republicans in elective office at any level of government do exactly the same thing.

    The middle class is where the money is. Therefore, the middle class is where the thieves go to steal money for the wealthy.

    Oh, sure, they throw some at the poor, too. And, when you give money to the poor, they spend it. At…ahhhh…….Target stores.

    Which benefits….the very wealthy Dayton.

    What a beautiful circle, man.

  • Sue de Nim

    Why is it good public policy to subsidize a huge profit-making business based on selling the spectacle of ritualized combat?

  • Jim G

    It’s about as good as it gets in this chaotic state government. The state’s share dropped 105 million. That’s a better deal than what was being offered a few days ago. Yes, this is corporate wealthfare. Now, I don’t want to hear anything more about cutting welfare for the neediest of our friends and families. Austerity is a dead-end: just ask the Europeans how well it worked for them. Long live bipartisanship or what passes for it in our oligarchic democracy.

  • georges

    Bread and Circuses, sue de nim, Bread and Circuses.

    A sure sign of a morally bankrupt society.

  • Philip

    Football sucks.

  • Bear

    Finally the legislature makes a bipartisan decision. Best thing to happen for the vitality of the Minnesota community present and future.

  • Dimitri

    It’s a better deal than was on the table, but the Vikings are still making off like bandits. I wish I could summon up the fake outrage when my 50% off deal gets changed to 40% off. In most people’s world, that’s still a great deal.

  • Terry VanDerPol

    I just heard a guest on the Daily Circuit doing analysis of this deal. A caller argued that if we’re going to subsidize the Vikings stadium why not a new barn for the dairy farmer down the road? The guest responded that the difference is that the Vikings (a private business) provides entertainment for people in and around the Twin Cities, so a subsidy is appropriate. They provide a public good. Apparently the dairy farm (a private business) does NOT provide any public good. Has the whole world gone nuts?

  • Pria

    Let us vote on this, and you will see that Minnesotans do not support any public funding for a Vikings Stadium. This is for the wealthy,

    and it will get shoved down our throats. If all states stood up to these billionaires, and made them pay for their own stadiums, it would be a better place, but it is all about greed.

  • Jay P

    The governor and the legislature seem to have an unrealistically optimistic perception of the economic impact per dollar of stadium financing.

    No one disputes that the jobs from the construction of the stadium will have a positive economic impact.

    But once completed, the stadium’s regional impact will be mostly PART TIME jobs, few with benefits, and few offering a livable wage.

    By contrast, the jobs created with the construction of a hospital, educational institutions, or even city infrastructure would have a better FULL TIME job per public dollar investment ratio than a new Vikings stadium.

  • georges

    Hospitals? Educational institutions? There are already thousands of those in Minnesota. No need for more.

    On the other hand, how many NFL teams are there in Minnesota?

  • Linda

    I am opposed to any public funding for the stadium. If you haven’t told your representative and senator how you feel, you can find them here.

    Lets get our opposition in their inboxes!

  • Benjamin Wenker

    Since stadiums simply don’t generate the economic activity necessary to offset the enormous subsidies that the team owners hold governments hostage in order to extract, and since professional sports are more than capable of supporting themselves without taxpayer assistance, stadium proponents are basically saying that they are ok with billionaires stealing from the rest of us so sports fans can ‘have’ a team. All of you should be kinda embarrassed.

    If you really want to understand how this all works, do some research. I’ve even gone to the trouble of making you a link (takes you to Google Scholar, Sports Subsidies).

  • Bear

    Beyond the “temporary” jobs and “revenue” created during the three year building period, which is substantial, state and local governments would loose $32.4 million in tax and fee revenue per year with no Vikings team and new stadium. Now how does that money get spent? How much would personal and property taxes go up to offset this?

  • Richard


    This is the type of nonsense that goes on when a planet criminalizes Cannabis/hemp. People’s values get distorted deleted and generalized.

  • georges

    No NFL team in Minnesota means no income taxes from the players or team.

    The players make alot of money. Peterson alone would pay a few million in MN income tax over the run of his current contract.

    The players on other teams pay MN income tax when they are here for a game.

    A Super Bowl will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to MN.

    Think about it. It is unlikely that Minnesota will lose anything over the 30 years. And, we will be entertained. And, we will not be looked down upon as a place that is so hick we can’t even maintain a football team.

    Pass me the garlic chips, please.

  • fed up

    Let ’em go. Use the money on the people of MN that actually need it.

  • Ann

    I think our legislators could spend their time and money giving incentives to businesses that provide real jobs with benefits.If they do help the Vikings, I hope I NEVER hear again that the Vikings want to move their training camp out of Minnesota. Time magazine had a chart that showed MN is one of the top states in tax rates for income, property, sales, and corporate taxes. Minnesota loves to pay taxes, but those taxes also keep a lot of professionals and businesses out of MN.

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    Investing public funds in a new Vikings stadium would be fine if the state’s citizens actually approved of it through a vote, like we approved the Legacy Amendment in order to get funds for our natural environment and the arts.

    Even a vote, up or down, from citizens most affected by a new stadium (Twin Cities Area) would make the decision valid.

    One can’t with a straight face say that the government spends too much and is broke, and then turn around and approve an expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars on a stadium.

  • Bear

    LOL … back when the legislator was considering a referendum, several frequenters of this blog were whining the legislators are derelict in their role, “that’s what we elected them to do … we can’t vote on every single issue … etc.” Now that legislator did vote, and passed the bill by a fair majority, you want to take it out of their hands and hold a public referendum.

    Not passing this would have had grave economic consequences for the Metro area. It’s not just the cost to build, the economics have multiple vectors – cost to build, tax revenues, fees, merchandise sales, food and beverage sales around the stadium, lodging, and so on – ALL of which must be factored into the analysis. In total the stadium will have a positive impact on the local economy; no stadium a negative impact. For those proposing not to support building the stadium and let the Vikings go, how do you propose replacing just the $32 million in revenue the state and local governments will LOOSE?

  • CarlS


    How did we ever get this far in even legitimizing the discussion? From the very beginning the mere mention of a subsidy to a rich, private entity should have been laughed at. Somehow it became acceptably plausible, then anticipated, and now a vote away from being reality.

    Rather than with some hidden tax I think everyone who supports this should have the money physically taken from them in the form of cash. It’s the only way they will appreciate what this thing means.

    “Too big to fail” – adherents of the bailouts, 2008

    “Too hard on the club” – Lester Bagley, MN Vikings, 2012

    “Too gullible for democracy” – alien overlord of New America, 2036

    PS: I’ve heard Bagley enough to see that he is a patronizing bully. His persona is enough of a reason to not give a dime to the Vikings.

  • scott

    I support a Vikings stadium. The more they pay the better, but it would be a travesty to let them go. In 5 or 6 years we’ll miss them and spend much more on a stadium for another team. Just get it done.

  • georges

    “I think everyone who supports this should have the money physically taken from them in the form of cash.”


    And then have the increase in State revenue given back to them in the form of cash.

  • JasonB

    No. I’ve noticed that some proponents have a narrow, simplistic, and emotionally reflexive view of the issue.

    Like any fanatic it is not just a football team, it’s our team, beloved and irreplaceable. They make sophomoric “get ‘er done” rally cheers, and bristle at any discussions of funding or state priorities. I doubt they truly understand the real impact, even on themselves, of subsidizing a stadium.

    Even our elected officials take a similar stance, resorting to childish scare tactics like “I can’t imagine a state without the Vikings” (Rep. Hosch. – DFL, St. Joseph). Apparently some proponents will pitch anything that might make us believe we’d be losing a piece of our souls if this deal isn’t done.

  • davidz

    Goodell and his minions have decided that we are to pay for the NFL. Their corporate cronies in the House have voted to make this happen, at the expense of those least able to afford it. All in the name of entertainment and profits for the 1%.

    Heavens, no, this is not a good deal for Minnesota.

  • Craig

    The players don’t live here, nor does the owner, they take their Minnesota gathered revenue and spend it in California, Texas, Florida and New York, to the economic benefit of those communities.  Minnesota holds on to a tiny sliver of the money via taxes as it flows out of the state.

    One might analogize it to a Porsche dealership, where there are a few local jobs, and some sales tax revenue, but most of the purchase price of the car is leaving the community. And even though the dealership might lend some prestige to the area, and even though the local Porsche owners would be inconvenienced to loose it, we wouldn’t subsidize it.

  • Elijah the Tishbite

    Governor Ahab should quit worshiping at the altar of Footbaal!

  • georges

    We subsidize all the time. Businesses, corporations, individuals…sometimes it seems that the only activities the State and local governments are involved in are subsidies of one kind or another.

    Our government intices businesses to move here from other States, indeed, other countries, by promising tax subsidies. Towns and Cities do the same.

    We susidize individuals all the time…and find out through their EBT cards that they spent the money in bars and on vacations to the Virgin Islands.

    At least we will break even or better with the Vikings. And be entertained in the bargain.

  • CarlS

    “And then have the increase in State revenue given back to them (Minnesotans) in the form of cash.”

    – georges

    If you’re referring to tax revenue, the state would collect that even if we didn’t subsidize the stadium – just like every other business. If you are referring to additional returns outlined in various revenue sharing proposals, can you verify that it would be a profitable or at least an equitable return?

    You make it sound like an investment. That doesn’t make sense. The Vikings have the means to build this themselves, and then they could keep all of that revenue. Why cut the state in on a portion of their “deal”? It only would complicate things for them, and they’d get less in return. I find it hard to believe that the Vikings are that nice, considering they keep threatening to leave, which by the way is a hollow threat. They don’t sound that nice to me.

    There’s a reason why they want a chunk of state money. In the end it means more money for them. Any talk of equitable money coming back to the state just doesn’t add up.

  • David Poretti

    Cutting back on police, nurses, teachers and firefighters while we make a palatial gift to a billionaire in the name of idol worship is sick.

    It can’t be about stadium revenue – the dome is already sold out. 65,000 tickets is 65,000 tickets – it doesn’t matter if the seats are shiny and new, they are sold out.

    Can’t be about cash flow – the TV revenue and jersey sales makes ticket sales look like a bug on a windshield.

    Can’t be about a stadium being a good investment, even with other activities making up another 355 days per year. If that were the case, if the stadium had any sort of profitable return on its own accord, Ziggy would build it himself. The fact is, there isn’t one stadium in the country that is profitable. Not one. Not one, even when you include the collateral income, from bars and parking.

    Could it be about greed? That making a billion $ isn’t enough, if we can get Minnesota to make an emotional decision that defies logic, we’ll make even more money?

    Could it be about parking revenue? If that is the case, it would be cheaper to build a couple of big parking ramps near the existing dome and give those to Ziggy.

    Could it be that the team will be worth more in re-sale if they have a new stadium to go with it?

    I found it very interesting how the public conversation went from where to build to how much to spend (it started at about $350,000,000. Then it was at $600,000,000. Now, were are pushing nearly $1,000,000,000). The question as to whether we need a stadium (or the Vikings) was completely skipped over.

    If the Vikings leave (And just where will they go? There is zero interest in L.A. in coughing up any $, and California doesn’t have enough money to put TP in the highway rest stops.), I’d bet football fans will rediscover the Gophers and put some folks in their shiny, and largely empty, stadium. Think of the other big schools in big cities without an NFL team – Nebraska, Ohio State, Texas, Wisconsin, they sell out every game and have enough money left over to finance the athletic departments. The Gophers fall from being a national power coincidently coincides with the Vikings coming to town and cannibalizing the Gophers revenue stream. The Gophers were national champions in ’60 and ’61; the Vikings show up and that’s all she wrote.

  • georges

    “If the Vikings leave (And just where will they go? There is zero interest in L.A. in coughing up any $, and California doesn’t have enough money to put TP in the highway rest stops.)…”

    There is no need for government to cough up any money in Los Angeles.

    The Vikings could play in the Rose Bowl. 92,500 seats in a beautiful open air stadium in warm and sunny Southern California.

    Just pay a little rent, and suit up. Ahhhh…..paradise.