Zygi Wilf: Minnesota Vikings Welfare Queen

Paul Merrill broke down the redundancy of Strib comments regarding Vikings stadium talk yesterday, and I thought I’d ad my $0.02 on the ROI of public funding for professional sports entertainment stadiums.

This is my Joe 6-Pack perspective: If team owners could make the case that community subsidized stadiums provided a positive return on a community’s investment, there would be no debate about whether a stadium should be built. Politicians aren’t stupid enough to say no to projects with net positive returns. It would be the easiest sell in the world.

Clearly, the numbers don’t work. Because of that, welfare queens like Zygi Wilf tend to rely on feel good intangibles to justify giving hard earned tax payer dollars to support a billionaire’s business rather than investing the money in our local hospitals, transportation or education needs.

As long as I’m pissing on the Vikings stadium proposal, I may as well go full stream by pointing out that it’s disgusting that our government allows companies to take tax deductions on the cost of box seats. Essentially, this is transfer of income from tax payers into the pocket of Zygi Wilf:

The proposal calls for a stadium with 65,000 seats, up from the current 63,500. More important, it would give the stadium 7,500 club seats and 148 luxury suites — the big moneymakers in sports stadiums. The Metrodome currently has just 242 club seats and 99 suites.

John Marty explained the absurdity of Zigy Wilf’s pan handling in a column on MinnPost:

To put this into terms to which we can relate, Bagley wants taxpayers to subsidize each of the 65,000 seats at every Vikings home game to the tune of $77 per ticket. That is $77 in taxpayer money for each ticket, at every game, including preseason ones, for decades to come!

This is an easy problem to solve. Just add the extra $77 onto the price of every ticket to every game (and don’t let people take work related tax deductions on those tickets). What? People wouldn’t pay an extra $77 per ticket? Well, it sounds like Zigy Wilf needs to stop being such a welfare queen and pay for the stadium himself.

As far as I can tell, Zygi Wilf is holding up a cardboard sign asking for around $620,000,000 to pay for his teams entertainment complex where they play 8 regular season games per year. As I understand it, he says he’ll kick in $250 million out of $870 million to build a building, yet keep any profits the building generates.

To me, that’s a sign that Zygi has either incredible small balls, or has some of the biggest balls in the entire world. Who, in 2009, has the gonads to ask for a government handout for a professional sports entertainment complex while unemployment is high, many people have no health care, and our roads need plenty of work?

Zygi Wilf is a very special man who’ll suck harder on the government’s teat than you could possibly imagine. All I can picture right now is his face taking the shape of a penis pump while lobbying our elected officials for hundreds of hard sucked dollars for an unneeded sports entertainment complex. If only we’d agree to spend $620 million hard earned taxpayer dollars, Zygi could earn hundreds of millions on our backs through profits on government subsidized corporate box seat sales.

Is the stadium deal too good to be true? If your last name is not Wilf, the answer is obvious.

Dear Zygi: If you’re truly a football fan and not just a high rolling welfare queen – and if the stadium actually makes financial sense to build – prove it by paying for the stadium yourself. Prove to the rest of the country that the NFL is a sustainable business without government subsidies. If you don’t have enough cash on hand and don’t have good credit, ask a few friends to help finance the stadium privately. That should be an easy sell if building a stadium truly has a positive return. Right?

By the way, I noticed that Sid Hartman was too much of an ass kisser to mention how little of the stadium would be paid for by Zygi Wilf, yet did everything he could to justify the cost of the stadium over everything else the state of Minnesota should be investing taxpayer dollars in. I wouldn’t expect anything more for Sid Hartman. What a douche.

21 thoughts on “Zygi Wilf: Minnesota Vikings Welfare Queen”

  1. I want a pony.

    Why would Zygi pay for it himself when no other owner would? Why would he pay for it when Pohlad didn’t have to? Why would Zygi do it when he knows he could move the team to another city with a new stadium?

    I agree with you in theory, and I would love to see it happen, and I think some city needs to stand up to the pro sports leagues, but it will have to be in babysteps. Instead of giving them $500m, maybe we offer them $250m, and force them to be creative in how they get the rest of the money.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but to expect or want Zygi to pay for it is naive.

    The other question the state has to ask itself is if we want the Vikings. I’d be fine with them leaving, but I doubt that would ever happen. Would we rather pay $500m now, or $750m in 5 years, or $1b in 10 years when some state leader thinks we need to bring back the NFL.

    If the question was to either raise taxes for education or for a stadium, obviously I would go for education, but I really wish they would do both.

  2. It pains me to say this, but the Packers really have the best situation. Not having a single owner, but more of a community, would be a great thing. So if taxpayer money is going to the stadium, you know that it’s not just lining the pockets of some already rich dude.

  3. It pains me to say it but I agree that the Packers have it right. MN should have bought the team when they were sold last time.

  4. Well Moe, then the Packer’s model should be our model–We will fund Zygi’s stadium as soon as he makes the community majority owners.

    Otherwise, was Minnesota really such an awful state to live in back in the 1950s before anyone ever even heard of a Minnesota Viking? Maybe it is time for families to find healthier things to do on Sundays than set aside the whole day to flopping on a couch with a six pack and a bag of chips.

  5. Yeah, cause that’s what we all do on Sunday. No one listens to games on the radio while running around the lakes, or sipping fancy wine and eating a charcuterie plate, or drinking tea. Every single football fan is an idiot and shouldn’t be treated as evenly as an fan of the arts or environment.

    Again, I’m not saying I support taxpayers funding a stadium, but compromises need to be made when both the owner and the people of Minnesota will benefit from this.

  6. Ed, but won’t the stadium improvements help the bottom line for the Packers corporation?

    Kygi has our balls in our hands because he bought a team with a lease that was going to run out soon. We can’t force them to stay in the Dome. We can force him to pay for his own stadium, but then we have to live with them leaving town.

  7. @Moe, here are a few nuggets on the value to Green Bay Packers’ shareholders:

    Shares of stock include voting rights, but the redemption price is minimal, no dividends are ever paid, the stock cannot appreciate in value, and there are no season-ticket privileges associated with stock ownership. No shareholder is allowed to own more than 200,000 shares, a safeguard to ensure that no one individual is able to assume control of the club.

    Shares of stock cannot be resold, except back to the team for a fraction of the original price. Limited transfer of shares (ie., to heirs and relatives) is permissible.

    Buying land on the moon may be a better investment.

  8. That’s good to know. I guess my main point was that with the Packers, not one group owns them, so any improvements made won’t just line the pockets of a few. It may not benefit everyone, but it’s not a handout to a person like Zygi or Pohlad. That, and the Packers couldn’t really leave town for greener pastures because of the system they have in place.

    The Dome was such a huge mistake.

  9. Val, fair point in the graphic nature of this pist. I have a hard time respectfully disagreeing about taxpayer funding for entertainment complexes. Perhaps Ziggy would be willing to give up equity in exchange for taxpayer’s investment in the stadium? Or is that too fair of a deal for taxpayers?

  10. On the equity point, are Green Bay’s property and any city sales tax higher/lower than other comparably sized cities or even compared to Mpls? Of course any public money would mostly be state so how would the funding benefit Angle Inlet?

  11. @Val, state funded projects don’t have to benefit everyone equally to be justifiable. I may never use a road to Angle Inlet, but it could still benefit fellow Minnesotan’s transportation needs.

    Tax subsidies for private sports entertainment businesses don’t fulfill any state need that I can think of, which makes it a poor investment whether people as far away as Angle Inlet find the Vikings entertaining or not.

  12. Seems The Deets scooped the NY Times —
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/25/sports/25stadium.html?_r=3

    So, now after all those worthless MDE postings about nothing issues, how about they take on a real issues–
    what are the governor candidates positions on giving Welfare to Wilf, and how will the GOP fund a stadium for Wilf without raising any (meaning local, property or sales…not just state) taxes? How about Gov BridgeFAIL’s favorite ‘user fee’ approach?

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