Remember last week when Vikings Director of Corporate Communications, Jeff Anderson, was freaking out about an article in the StarTribune that raised questions about why the heck we would be giving Zygi Wilf 170 acres in Arden Hills beyond what he would need for a new stadium (and 21,000 parking spaces)?
I can understand if Jeff Anderson doesn’t want to get into this on The Deets or MinnPost or Twitter, but at some point it sure seems like the Vikngs are going to have to explain why they are asking Ramsey County to borrow $300 million dollars (with interest) to provide nearly twice the land the Vikings need to build a new stadium.
Or, here’s another option: The Vikings could say, “We’re sick of answering questions, no matter how fair they may be. Let’s just use our own money to build a new stadium so we don’t have to answer questions about our welfare plans.” One challenge there is that Zygi probably isn’t sitting on a billion dollars, so he’d have to borrow money somewhere. And, get this: Whoever Zygi asks for money from is going to expect to have questions like this answered before handing over hundreds of millions of dollars for his mystery projects.
Back to Jeff Anderson: a week ago, he suggested that Rochelle Olson’s piece in the StarTribune regarding a mockup of the 400 acre Arden Hills site (170 acres beyond that what Wilf would need for his unnecessary stadium plan) was unfair. But, as I pointed out a week ago, the PioneerPress wrote largely the same information a few days before Olson’s piece ran in the StarTribune.
So, the questions remain. Why should we give Zygi Wilf 170 acres of land beyond what he would need for a stadium? And, should we agree to do give Wilf that land, what would he do with it?
I don’t see how the Vikings can expect the public to agree to:
– Give Zygi Wilf 400 acres of Arden Hills without an explanation of what he plans to do with the land
– Borrow $600,000,000 (plus interest for nearly 30 years) to provide welfare to Zygi Wilf’s private business
I suppose it can’t hurt to ask for $600,000,000 plus 400 acres without a full explanation, other than having to read reports that you refused to answer questions about what you plan to do with the land, leading to more people questioning whether the proposal makes sense.
Clearly, many Vikings superfans are willing to give Zygi everything he asks for with little to no regard for the terms of the proposal. Spending other people’s money for your entertainment is a purple tainted priority for some. For example, season ticket holders who’d rather see the general public taxed than their season ticket prices go up.
Zygi is going to have a hard time convincing a large enough percentage of the reality based community why we should borrow and pay interest on $600,000,000, and give him 400 acres of land without a better economic justification and explanation for the land use.
Questions for Jeff Anderson
Were Dave Orrick and Frederick Melo with the Pioneer Press accurate when they wrote:
According to an agreement between the county and the team, Wilf would retain development rights to those parcels, totaling about 200 acres.
Was Ramsey County Commissioner, Tony Bennett, quoted accurately by Dave Orrick and Frederick Melo with the Pioneer Press when they wrote:
“[Wilf] would own the 50 acres up on one end and 120 acres on the south end,” Bennett said later.
Were Wilf’s statements accurately reported by Dave Orrick and Frederick Melo with the Pioneer Press when they reported:
[Wilf] said his primary focus was the stadium itself and that those sites would take five to 10 years to develop.
What are Zygi Wilf’s plans for the 50 acre piece of land next to the proposed stadium?
What are Zygi Wilf’s plans for the 120 acre piece of land next to the proposed stadium?
Let’s be very clear about the Star Tribune’s stadium article today. The Vikings have never had plans for a convention center in Arden Hills.
But you didn’t clarify what the plans are for any of that land. I imagine that you can see how it’s confusing to the public to hear one thing from a county commissioner who’s been negotiating with the Vikings, but only a denial with no clarification in response. Can you see how that makes your statement fall flat?
If you want to be clear, be clear. Denying a plan that’s written down and verified by a county commissioner who’s been negotiating with the Vikings without providing an explanation for what Zygi Wilf plans to do with that land is not being clear.
If Zygi Wilf is going to ask for 170 acres of land beyond what he needs to build his unnecessary stadium, is it unreasonable for the public to ask what you plan to do with the welfare?