This is Part II in an epic series on Skol Girl’s epic justification for giving public money to Zygi Wilf so he can make his business more profitable, while offering us little in return. It is my understanding that the state earns around $19-20 million/year in tax revenue from the Vikings while they operate out of the Metrodome. Wilf wants a new stadium with twice the skyboxes as the current stadium, along with 21,000 parking places he can charge for. And, he wants, oh, $19-20 million/year of public money from us to make that happen.
Additionally, has anyone looked at the economy lately? Pretty rough, eh? But, in Skol Girl’s words, if you question giving $600,000,000 to Zygi Wilf’s unnecessary stadium project, you are committing “economic bigotry”.
Now, back to Skol Girl’s justification of this horrendous plan where she walks us through the myths that are keeping Zygi Wilf from collecting his
welfare Wilfare checks.
Perception: Minnesota shouldn’t provide a new stadium for around 60 millionaire players and coaches and their billionaire owners.
Reality: The Minnesota Vikings employ 115 people other than the players and coaches.
That comes to $5,217,391.30 per person in public welfare to keep Zygi Wilf from forcing them to relocate to another city.
Including players and coaches, that number is closer to 200 employees, all living in Minnesota and paying property taxes, sales taxes, vehicle registration fees, transportation taxes, income taxes, etc. to the state of Minnesota.
That brings it down to only $3,000,000 in public welfare per employee that Zygi Wilf is trying to extract out of the public.
On a game day at the Metrodome, the Vikings organization supports 2,800 full- and part-time jobs.
I used to be one of them! Zygi Wilf wants to take those jobs away from Minnesotans if we don’t give his business $600,000,000. These are generally not high paying jobs, but they are jobs of people who really need the money. In fact, many of the people working jobs like these benefit from public programs that we would have a harder time paying for if we gave hundreds of millions of public dollars to Zygi Wilf’s private business.
Here is an offer to those 2,800 workers: We could either give Zygi Wilf $600,000,000 so you can drive out to Anoka to work concessions or clean the stadium, or we could cut each of you a check for $214,285 today. Take your pick.
While the players and coaches are wealthy, there are numerous people who aren’t wealthy who work either for or with the Vikings franchise. It is remarkably callous of the local media to play a part in screwing those folks out of a job.
Let’s be clear here: It’s Zygi Wilf that’s the callous business person who’s putting his personal fortune ahead of the lives of 2,800 low paid but hard working Minnesotans.
Incidentally, the Vikings treat their employees well. During the recent NFL lockout the Vikings did not lay-off their staff or reduce staff hours even though other NFL teams did. I think that’s surprisingly generous and fair considering it’s hard for an NFL team to generate revenue when the team’s players are locked out.
So we should give them $600,000,000 to thank them for doing this? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to provide unemployment benefits by, say, $599,000,000?
Perception: The Metrodome is still a viable facility that the Vikings could continue to use for years to come, especially now that it has a new roof and new turf.
Reality: While it’s true that the new roof is probably going to be good for several years to come, the Metrodome is an outmoded facility, a total relic when compared to modern stadium construction.
This goes to show that, even with purple tainted glasses, Skol Girl is capable of discerning the difference between a want and a need. For example, a boy without the latest XBox may explain to his parents that his gaming system is outmoded. A total relic, in fact, compared to what his friends have. But, he may not understand that his parents are having a hard time paying health care bills, for his education, or for their transportation needs. When told by his parents that they can’t afford it, he may whine and complain, but that doesn’t change the financial picture his parents are facing. But, he could go out and get a job so he could pay for it himself, just like Zygi could pay for a new stadium himself if he really really really wants one.
Oh, who am I kidding-it’s a dump. The locker rooms are dismal and cramped, making it difficult for media to talk to players after the games.
Purple tainted pretending that a want is a need.
There aren’t many luxury boxes, which limits the team’s ability to bring in revenue-something that other NFL owners are quick to point out.
Sounds like a good reason for Zygi Wilf to pay for a new stadium himself. Perhaps he could ask the other NFL owners to pay for it for him? How does this justify public welfare for Zygi Wilf?
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been vocal in his irritation in his team’s profits being used to subsidize less profitable franchises like the Vikings.
If Skol Girl thinks that Jerry Jones’ bottom line is a justification for providing $600,000,000 in welfare to Zygi Wilf, her glasses are more purple tainted than I thought.
The fan experience at the Metrodome isn’t great either. There’s no room for tailgating near the Dome. Although the Dome was built to have thousands of people sit and cheer during a game, it isn’t built for any kind of fan convenience during halftime or after the game. During halftime a fan can either use the bathroom (trough urinals boys!) or buy a snack, but if you try to do both of those things you’ll likely miss the third quarter.
It sounds like Skol Girl is again confusing a want with a need. If she WANTS this, she should take it up with Zygi Wilf rather than taxpayers. But, what’s even more strange about this complaint is the attendance numbers at the Metrodome. If the experience is so bad, why is it so crowded? As Yogi Berra said, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
And, more important than fan convenience, in a post-9/11 America, there’s a heightened attention to public safety at stadiums, convention centers, and other large facilities considered prime targets for a terror attack. As anyone who has ever inched along the narrow concourses after a game at the Metrodome knows, evacuating that building quickly and safely in the event of an emergency would be almost impossible.
The terrorists card, Skol Girl? Really? Granted, terrorists may have a harder time finding Arden Hills than downtown Minneapolis, but this type of fear based corporate wilfare lobbying is really over the top.
That’s the end of Part II of Vikings Stadium Myths Exposed, Exposed. In case you missed Part I.