As you read the this the brave legislators in the state capital are deep in debate about giving a $600M donation to the richest and most successful professional league in America. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m torn because on the one hand I do love the Vikings. I love having an NFL team here, and I think without the team this town would seriously take a huge step backwards.
Yeah we still have the Twins and the Wild and the Timberwolves. I get it, but there something about an NFL franchise that says big league.
On the other hand, that’s an awful lot of money for a private business. We just went through this with the Twins. Back in 2007 the situation was the same, local private club needed taxpayer money to build a new house for themselves. There was no way it was going to pass a vote, Minnesota had passed legislation a few years earlier requiring a popular vote for tax increases, and since it wasn’t going to happen.. well the state legislature and the city of Minneapolis had to pull some midnight shenanigans to get it through.
Without a vote.
But it was the Twins, and we love the Twins, they’re a part of the community, same as the Vikings. Well before we go too far with that thought remember that Carl Pohlad was a cheapskate bastard who tried to sell the team off and when that didn’t work tried to dissolve the team for $150M check from MLB. Carl put a gun to the legislators heads and really demonstrated that any care about keeping baseball in Minnesota was predicated on us giving him $250M. Sorry Sid Hartman, it is what it is. And BTW Sid, Bobby Knight is an asshole too, he treated a lot of people like shit, I don’t care if you do call him your close personal friend.
One of the provisions of the Twins stadium bill that we’re dealing with now was when they stripped funding for the Vikings out of the package. Now we get to enjoy NFL doing to the same thing to Minnesota. Putting a gun to our heads and demanding public money for their private business. This time the amount is $600M, but the threats and the arguments are the same.
- The team is has lowest revenue of any team in the league.
- The building is the oldest or second oldest in the league. (in baseball this doesn’t matter as much as vintage parks are “cool”)
- LA is looking for two new teams and the Vikings will move there if they don’t get what they want here.
This whole thing is getting tiring. One of the legislators, and I don’t know who made the comment that spending money on a new stadium now is like laying carpet in your house when the bedrooms are on fire.
The Vikings, on their website point out that the Twins and the Timberwolves and the Mall of America were all built with public funds. True, but all three combined are less than this. AND, the Mall of America puts a shitload of funds back in the coffers. Every model I’ve seen of the Vike’s stadium does not.
They do not however, list the Wild as and example. the Xcel Center was also heavily subsidized by public money but the ownership of it, is the City of St. Paul NOT the team. The NFL doesn’t like those options.
Ya know, the stink’n ink’s barely dry on the largest television contract in history and they’re still here begging. I agree we need a new stadium for the team. I just think Ziggy should be paying for it. Paying for most of it anyway.
Lets face facts here, the economy in this state is a mess. We don’t have the money for this and we probably can’t afford 4 major sports franchises in this town. 5 if you include the Lynx. (kidding k kidding)
This isn’t about paying lower taxes, our taxes are plenty low as it is, this is about priorities and paying for private businesses.
I started out in the argument on the other side of this argument and want to point out that my friend Ed Kohler over at thedeets.com has really clarified my thinking on this, he’s been a crusader on this cause from day one. And he’s been up against a firestorm of criticism on this, Vikings fans are passionate, I get that, I hate to see sports teams leave. Ed’s taken his share of abuse despite being calm and collected in his arguments.
But in the end, it’s a business and it’s money. And public money should not be propping up a business, especially one that’s this successful. If LA will pay Ziggy more to go there, so be it.
I’ll miss football and this town will suck when they’re gone. But you know, I don’t have a Lambo in my garage and that sucks too.