What would you like to say to your legislator about the stadium?

Legislators have announced that they will vote on a Vikings stadium proposal on Monday. Gov. Mark Dayton has asked Minnesotans to contact their legislators and urge them to vote yes. Today’s Question: What would you like to say to your legislator about the stadium?

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  • James Eckard

    I support the $20 million cap payment from Minneapolis. It is immoral and unjust to ask the citizens of Minneapolis to pay for a State asset.

  • Sung to the Doors “L.A. Woman”

    L.A. Vikings gonna have to do

    Got enuff sports teams to support

    Pay for the roads, roads, roads

    Pay for the roads ….

    L.A. Vikings gonna have to do

  • Brad

    Just say no!

  • reggie

    Not that my representative would listen to me, but I’d say that the state has no business financing a stadium for the benefit of out-of-state billionaires. I could see spending public money on enabling infrastructure (acquisition of land, road and sewers, etc.), as we would in other economic development scenarios. Beyond that, not a penny.

    If the Wilfs would transfer 25-33% equity in the team to the public in return for public participation in financing the construction of a stadium, it would be a more compelling story.

  • Larry

    Moar bread, less circuses.

  • Beth L.K.

    Many stadium opponents say that the team’s owner, Zygi Wilf, should pay for the construction of a new stadium. I agree that a new stadium would benefit Wilf and the team greatly but it would also be a huge asset for the State. The NFL would use the building 10 days a year. A new stadium would be used for highschool sporting events and activities. Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Guns N’ Roses, Faith No More, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, U2, Tom Petty, and The Grateful Dead have all played at the Metrodome. The Dome has hosted car shows, boat shows, home shows, the NFL Super Bowl (1992), Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game (1985), two World Series (1987, 1991), and the Final Four Men’s Basketball Championship (1992, 2001), Special Olympics, Olympic Festival Opening Ceremony (1990), U.S.Taekwondo Union National Championships, Billy Graham Crusade, Rodeos, Monster Truck Rallies, the International Alcoholics Anonymous Conference, National Wheelchair Softball… the list is seemingly endless. It would be hard to say that these events didnt’t have a significant economic impact. The revenue generated from these events did not go in Zygi Wilf’s pocket. The construction of a new stadium will support approximately 13,000 jobs. 13,000! 13,000 unemployed Minnesotans would be able to get back to work.

    In December 2001, MPR reported that the Vikes were proposing a $500 million stadium WITH a retractable roof to be shared with the U of M located on the U’s campus. A spokesperson for the U told the 18 person stadium task force that a new stadium remained low on their priority list. Ten years later, the Team is prepared to put up $500 million for a fixed-roof stadium that they would use 10 days a year. The U not only has their beautiful football stadium but thanks to the 2012 legislature, they’ll be able to sell beer on the premises.

    Speaker Zellers says the current plan is not fair to tax payers. Guess what? A lot of the Legislature’s actions are not fair to tax payers. Almost every decision they make is not fair to someone. And P.S. Zygi Wilf and the Vikings pay taxes.

  • Rachael

    Just say no.

    It would be nice to see some political courage and be the first state to stop subsidizing private corporate sports teams. If they come up with a plan to have a new facility paid for by “user fees” and other private parties I would applaud that sort of “stadium deal”.

  • Michael Klumper

    Immoral and Unjust?

    The city of Minneapolis is the one who directly benefits. Take a look at the taxes earned from hotels and the revenue from parking each year.

    The citizens aren’t the ones paying those taxes.

    I know it’s irrelevant to people who live in the Twin Cities… but the majority of us “out-state” people have no interest in paying for your new toy. If we’re forced to pay for it then we’d love for it to be somewhere other than downtown Minneapolis… like the Arden hills site or even as far out as Shakopee. Most of us were thrilled to hear that the stadium might not be in the middle of that place. We drive for hours… I think you guys can stand a couple of extra minutes.

  • Holly Ristau

    Let the people who use it, pay for it. Don’t spend our money on housing for a football team.

  • Otto

    “[…the majority of us “out-state” people have no interest in paying…] I find it extremely hard to believe that there are not large numbers of Vikings fans in out-state MN. I seem to remember that most of them are packed into Legion and VFW Halls watching the games on Sundays.

    User fees baby that’s the way to go. Corporate welfare should be a thing of the past. What is happening to the new conservative movement? It would appear they want to continue subsidizing big business.

  • david

    I wish the the lot of you would put as much energy into say…. everything else that’s way more important. That is to say everything else.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Viking raids ended hundreds of years ago, except for raids on the Minnesota treasury.

  • Bruce

    Just say NO.

  • James

    Football stadiums do not need to be downtown! They can be anywhere. It’s only 8 games a year!

    Just say no, for now.

    Then, revive the Anoka stadium plan next year.

    The Metrodome doesn’t suck. Tearing down the Metrodome, moving the Vikings to TCF for 3 years, and replacing the Metrodome with an essentially equivalent stadium, for $1 billion is just silly.

    Keep the Metrodome for HS football, tractor pulls, etc.

    Build the Vikings stadium in Anoka, where there actually can be enough parking and an opportunity for the Wilffs to make a fortune on other development projects.

    Put in a reasonable amount of money, from normal taxes and user fees, not from an extrmely regressive source of funds, like expanded gambling.

    We have time to do this right. Let’s do this right.

  • todd

    There are many, many highly detailed and thoughtful reasons to oppose the stadium. Support for the stadium inevitably boils down to pride and emotion. Please don’t vote based on pride and emotion.

  • Steff Yorek

    I am tired of legislators and the governor saying that there is plenty of money for corporate welfare for billionaires but no money to pay our schools on time and for health and human services. In addition, there is an end run around democracy happening. The Minneapolis city charter says that if we are paying for a stadium it has to go up for a public referendum. Weaseling out of democracy because you know that the people who are paying the bill won’t support this corporate welfare is outrageous!

  • linda

    My tax dollars go to pay for many things I object to–including salaries for politicians with no back bone. However, I have enjoyed being a Viking fan for many years and will be very sad to lose them. I only have one vote but will certainly remember how my representatives have voted on this issue.

  • jon

    I told my senator what I thought prior to the vote in her committee, She abstained when it came to a vote. It is the only vote I’m aware of I’ve disagreed with.

    I support John Howe in his amendment to make the stadium user funded, but their are still a number of issues to clear up around tax exempt land that is still giving away government funding to a multi-million dollar company.

    The biggest scam in this bill is the use of the words “People’s stadium” sure the vikings may only use it 10 days a year, but they will be generating revenue from it 356 days a year… the people never see a dime back on what they are being asked to put into this deal.

  • Jim G

    Arguments Against:

    Corporate welfare.

    Used for only 8 Viking home games a year.

    Subsidized to the tune of $77.00 per ticket for the next 30 years.

    The richiest getting richier, rich getting richer, again.

    NFL pro-sports business model is corrupt and broken.

    Chance of ever attending a game… slim to none.

    Arguments For:

    High School kids’ Football/Soccer State Tournaments.

    Construction Jobs.

    We need a Minnesota winter playing field.

    Shows that we still can DO things in this contrarian state.

    Minneapolis. Not minnieapolis.

    If we build it, we build it for us, not for them. Protect us from the pillaging of the treasury and I’ll sign-on.

  • GregX

    No taxpayer assistance under any circumstances. Of all the professional leagues , in the USA – football is the wealthiest. TV contracts, sports endorsments, corpoarate partners …. sorry – this is not some local yokel really helping the local community – this some “owner-du-jour” playing a well scripted part of daytime beggar, nighttime billionaire. Go suck an egg.

  • Lance

    I already asked my congressman why, if we were willing to entertain the idea of electronic pull tabs, which are just slot machines, we wouldn’t be willing to at least entertain the idea of the White Earth tribe putting in gaming and paying $400,000,000 up front for the stadium and sharing 50% of their future ‘gaming’ revenues in perpetuity.

    It keeps the taxpayers from being forced to pay for the stadium and opens up a future revenue stream.

    His response seemed pretty favorable. Why don’t you call your congressperson and find out their view on it?

  • jon

    Among those supporting the stadium because of high school sports that can be played there, and tractor pulls, and monster truck rallies, I have news for you, the metrodome works just fine for that right now.

    We don’t need to replace it for those things.

    The only reason I’ve actually heard for replacing the dome is there aren’t enough concession stands, and there aren’t enough bathrooms, and those things are only issues when it’s sold out, during vikings games. Oh, and the vikes could up the ticket prices to make more money, though that doesn’t really justify the public paying for it.

  • Mary

    The Vikings Team is a large corporation that employs a lot of people and spurs smaller businesses profits unlike other corporations. We need to retain the Vikings in Minnesota for economic reasons. To do that we need a new stadium. This isn’t just about the players and the owner making money. Think about all of the other jobs that are connected to the team. Think about all the jobs that are connected to the stadium. Think about the extra shifts that bars put on during the games and the merchandise that small sports stores sell. If any other large corporation in Minnesota was talking about leaving and there was something the state could do to prevent that, the measures to retain that corporation in Minnesota would be taken. It has been done before to the states benefit. We need to do it again.

  • Bethany

    I’m sick of hearing about it! If Minnesotans must pay, (and I can understand the arguments why), lets keep it small and focused on sports fans. And get it over with already! Don’t you have other things to argue about?

  • georges

    It is not suprising that the NFL & Vikings want a new stadium. The Metrodome has been substandard for a long time. In addition to the other problems, it is dark, dingy, ugly, cramped, and smells bad. It’s like going into a stinky cave being used by thousands of pre-civilized man-beasts in need of Irish Spring & PineSol. The new roof has improved the situation…marginally.

    Now, the general framework of a new stadium is pretty simple, as follows:

    The State will pay the entire cost (Arden Hills, or elsewhere on the outskirts of the Twin City area) of a new retractable roof stadium.

    The Vikings & the NFL will sign a 30 year lease with the State, paying rent of 1/30th of the final cost of the project per year.

    The State will have a lien on the team, providing that in the event of failure to complete the 30 years here, the State will become full owner of the Vikings, with full rights to operate or sell the franchise.

    The State will retain full ownership of the stadium, and all rights, including but not limited to naming rights, concession rights, the right to rent for all other events held there, etc.

    The State will legalize gambling all over the State, all types, casino, sports betting, slots, etc., but not run by the State, licensed by the State, issued to private businesses, with only enough oversight by the State to keep them honest.

    The income to the State will be enormous, and cure the problems we now have.

    You can go into a Stop-N-Rob and buy a lottery ticket. You should be able to go in and pull a slot machine handle. Same thing. (I have never gambled, and don’t care to start. My interest is strictly funding for roads and other State projects).

    Of course, this solution makes too much sense, therefore will never be adopted.

    Are you aware of how much money the Tribes funnel to your legislators to make sure gambling is never opened up to honest businessmen?

    By the way: Hey, Los Angeles! We want the name “Lakers” back. You don’t even have a lake. You have a tar pit. Call that team the Los Angeles Tar Pits. We can get a soccer team and call them the Lakers.

  • Ron

    My representative doesn’t listen to me – her party leadership tells her what to do.

    Nonetheless, Minnesota is quickly becoming the “Mississippi of the Midwest” over the past twenty years by shortchanging schools (one of the reasons business chose to come or expand here in addition to improving the overall quality of life for the majority of Minnesotans), shortchanging transportation and infrastructure (again, another reason why businesses come or expand here plus the general quality of life for the majority of Minnesotans, again), shortchanging the parks, libraries, etc. (do you think the business leaders who come or expand here are going to spend all of their time working? plus the general quality of life for the majority of Minnesotans, yet again), etc., etc., etc.

    Deferring money which should be going to common goods which serve so many to support of a single business which serves so few is a boondoggle. That it is even being discussed at a time when Minnesota is in a decades-long decline is embarrassing.

  • In my personal opinion sports do not matter. We are looking at vast environmental ruin and the suffering of billions of non-human animals in modern factory farms.

    So why do we even care about sports? They are fun, yes, but at this point in time there are much more important things to focus our collective energy and resources upon. I would support clean energy to build business, but not a stadium. If the Vikings want it they can pay for it themselves, or they can leave.

    What we need is a revolution of the mind. We need to take a serious look at our priorities.

  • Carrie

    Get it done already and move on!

  • CarlS

    I have my own proposal. I want a new BMW, but I don’t want to pay for it all. I want Minnesotans to help pay for it. I know my current car is adequate. But you see, I can’t compete with the other car owners. Having a world class car would improve my profile and thus increase my business relationships. This would raise my bottom line, which will ultimately increase the tax revenue for Minnesota.

    So please write to your legislators approving of a handout for me. What’s good for me is good for Minnesota. Go Carl!

  • Ann

    They should spend their time and money more wisely. Give financial incentives to companies that will provide real jobs with benefits. Minnesota football fans will find other teams to cheer for in the sports bars. Many of them don’t support the Vikings now.As far as I can tell, the Vikings aren’t owned by a Minnesotan and the players probably aren’t Minnesotans. They threaten to take their tranining camp to other states. We need to help companies that will make a difference in people’s lives as Post-it Notes and medical equipment did.Also, the US gov’t could spend its billions on something other than NASA. I heard an expert admit that it no longer has real value for the people of the US.We need our representatives to be more practical at this time.

  • Sue de Nim

    There’s an old nursery rhyme that goes,

    Hark! Hark! The dogs do bark; beggars are coming to town,

    some in rags, and some in tags, and some in velvet gowns.

    …. and some in Viking horns.

  • Elijah the Tishbite

    No new temple to Footbaal! The prophets of Footbaal are lying when they tell you that the state’s economy will be blessed if we build this temple. Footbaal demands our young men sacrifice their healthy knees and brains in Footbaal’s rituals, not to mention the sacrifice of money and time it demands of all of us. Quit worshiping this idol!

  • Philip

    Football sucks.

  • Deron

    When the Vikings and NFL can be the major contributor and spend as much time debating among themselves then the taxpayers can come to the table. Doesn’t seem right that we should support millionaires.

  • georges

    Let’s not waste any time or emotion crying for the young men’s knees and brains.

    If you explained to each of them that they might end up with knee problems or brain damage from playing professional football, held classes, showed movies, went into great depth about concussions, etc., then asked if they still wanted to play football and get paid millions of dollars a year…..

    ……..each and every one of them would choose to sell the future for the grandiose now.

  • Joe Schaedler

    I’d say vote yes for the new stadium. Although its more of a luxury than a necessity, its expense cannot be avoided as the Vikings are a state asset we cannot allow ourselves to lose (and they will eventually take up the leaving option rather than pay for the stadium all by themselves).

    My only caveat is that we not allow a stadium to be financed at the expense of our schools. They are the single greatest necessity in the the state’s budget, and they should not be forced to make sacrifices yet again for somethign to trivial as a stadium.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I’m reconsidering my opinion on this. It seems doctrinaire ideologues on both the left and the right hate the idea of a state-sponsored football stadium. That strikes me as prima facie evidence that it’s a good idea. (Only half joking.)

  • Steve (vanity moniker here)

    Public subsidies for professional sports teams are economic follies. Simply put, such economic subsidies are economically inefficient, are horrible economic development tools, and they fail to produce the returns on investment to the public that they tout. Overall, studies are conclusive in terms of their bad economic value compared to other investments that governments can make.

    Yet these bad ideas do not seem to die. Politicians get sports fever, they chum up with team owners, take their political contributions, or get captured by the “a major sports teams makes us a first class city” syndrome and therefore want to build a new stadium in their community.

    Finally, remember, professional sports is a business and this is supposed to be America, the land of capitalism. Since we are we supposed to subsidize businesses, especially ones that are profitable? What part of this do politicians not understand?

  • Woodrow

    Public funded sports arenas have always been a bad idea. And in this economy with governments shaking the sofas for spare change, the idea of funding another one, after just building the Twins a new stadium, not to mention the Vikings wanting this palatial arena, is not only stooopid, but it’s absolutely insulting. Why don’t they let the people vote on it? I think if we (the taxpayers) get stiffed with this we should have a recall election for every “representative” who justified giving our money away to billionaire bosses with millionaire employees. If you want to create jobs in the state for the rest of us who need to work 40 hours a week I don’t think selling peanuts 10 days a year will really cut it.

  • Bruce Johnson

    I’m not a knee jerk opponent of funding for a stadium. Nobody wants to negotiate with hostage takers until they are a hostage; I understand why the governor and some legislator want to get a deal done. There are real economic benefits to be had: construction jobs, some economic multiplier stimulating the metropolitan economy, and taxes on all those huge player salaries.

    Since the republicans in the legislature seem intent on blocking any other significant bonding bill that would provide stimulus and jobs, maybe a stadium bill is the only available option.

    But we don’t have good, reliable accounting for the projected benefits. And we especially don’t have good accounting for benefits that could be derived from redirecting that money toward education, health, and other critical infrastructure that’s critical to the welfare of our people and the state’s economy.

    So balancing those uncertainties and risks, I’d say no to a stadium bill and intensify efforts to invest in our people as a whole. If that results in some millionaires leaving the state — killing the hostage — so be it. If I can stomach the concussion machine that professional football has become, I’ll root for the municipally owned Packers.

  • glenn

    As a retired public employee, my observations on this issue have been as follows-

    The Arden Hills site appears to be a done deal- inspite of the show for the press.

    Too many meetings in Arden Hills with the” boys from St. Louis Park” have indicated this team is still run by the remains of the Max Winter gang.

    Indeed, one can see the preliminary underground utility construction, if you look around. It is possible that this construction is for many future projects- but the timing is interesting-

    When the fellow from the Park voted against the prposal in question at that time, it said a lot!!


  • Bob Seidel

    I agree that the public should not be asked to support a private business, especially one that enjoys an antitrust exemption, in the construction of a new stadium. Those of us who live in Hennepin Country are forced to pay for the Twins Stadium and for the remodeling of the light rail system to accomodate game day traffic. We have a white elephant in the Humphrey dome and a costly Gophers stadium already. While my heart bleeds for those who have to sit with the commoners rather than in the additional corporate boxes that are the chief justification for a new Vikings stadium, it seems to me that they could more easily finance their luxuries that taxpayers who can’t even afford regular seats. As our falling bridges have shown, we face infrastructure costs and projects that can keep construction workers active, and seasonal hot dog and beer vendors now have three venues to work. This is a no brainer. Vote against the stadium. Like they’re listening…..

  • Bob

    I’ve been telling my legislators to add user fees (i.e ticket fees, suite fees, signage fees). Too much of the current funding mechanisms fall back onto those who can least afford to use the stadium. It should be common sense that those who do use the stadium should shoulder the brunt of the costs. I think a 7% user fee is not too much to ask.

  • Amy

    No way, no how! I’ve been telling my legislators to tell them not to leave the door open on their way out!

  • Kevin VC

    F the richman’s toys.

    We have a deficit still, bill not paid for schools, and roads that are collapsing…

    And to complicate this with pushing discounts to the RICH on top of paying for a richman’s toy…. WTF!?!

    Seriously, you are there for people, as in flesh and blood people who are trying to train for new jobs, and when there are no jobs or money to train for the changing economy you need to be there for THEM.

    Not those who are benefiting already.

    And who already have a major discount in taxes verses the common man.

    These people actually believe they are genetically superior and ‘enlightened’ beings divinely ordained by god… what a bunch of bunk!

    You are rich because legislators allow tax code to give you tax welfare, and you already have a mechanism for money called money. You just have to sit on it and earn interest….

    Poor people never get to sit on money, and the interest you are gaining are the penalties they are paying for not having money…. They stay poor because they are never given a chance. Give them a chance, by advocating fair taxes and when in doubt, cough up support.

    Maybe if the rich helped out more the poor would not resent them or worse hate them and their smug faces.

  • Lynne

    I’m not a fan of football but it appears that it has come down to pay now or pay significantly more later when MN is awarded an expansion team.

  • tkp

    A Vikings stadium will bring people to Minneapolis 8 times a year. (and maybe every so often once or twice more for the playoffs)

    If the government has $600million it can throw around at stimulus spending, why not build more light rail? Unlike the Vikings, trains can bring people downtown 365 days a year.

    As an added benefit, the owners of trains aren’t petulant billionaires and train conductors don’t get paid millions of dollars to hurt people.

  • Aaron

    Is it unfair to ask me to pay for roads that I do not use? Is it unfair to ask me to pay for parks I do not visit? Is it unfair to ask me to pay for schools when my children attend private school? Pay for welfare when I have worked hard and have a master’s degree? Taxes are part of life and acceptable to me as long as they improve the overall value of life in our state. The Metrodome is used in excess of 300 days per year! It is as much an asset to the state as any of these other items. The jobs and tax revenue added to the state by players, local businesses, etc. will more than pay for the state’s share. Vote Yes!

  • Guy Tolman

    The only way the state should even be considering spending tax payer money on a new stadium is if there has been a study conclusively showing that the money spent on the last stadium resulted in revenues for the state totaling more than what was spent (plus interest). Otherwise we’re just asking people with moderate to low incomes to build a place of business for a small group with extremely high incomes.

  • Craig

    The Vikings live elsewhere, as does the owner. They spend their Minnesota dollars elsewhere. It is a massive economic outflow from the state. Why would we facilitate it with public money?

    For example Both Adrian Peterson and Justin Bieber live in L.A. Both spend the money they receive from Minnesotans in L.A. If Justin Bieber asked all the teen girls in the state to demand a venue better for his bottom line, I think we would reject that idea. Why are we considering when those who swoon for Peterson are demanding it?