Vikings Stadium Myths Exposed, Exposed Part IV

Welcome to Part IV of my epic response to Skol Girl’s epic justification of public welfare for private businessman, Zygi Wilf, so he can move his football team 10 miles, build 21,000 parking places, and charge us $600,000,000 to do so. In Part II, Skol Girl explained that tax revenues are not fungible when viewed through purple tainted glasses. While one would think that the state would have a limited ability to extract tax dollars from the public, Skol Girl explains that money for stadiums doesn’t cut into what can be spent on things like schools, health care, unemployment support, or bridge maintenance.

Now, back to Skol Girl:

Skol Girl:

Perception: Minnesota needs to focus on creating jobs to help ordinary, hardworking people through this recession, rather than building stadiums.

Reality: On Labor Day in Detroit, President Barack Obama said that there are a million unemployed construction workers in the U.S.A. who could be put to work rebuilding the nation’s bridges and roads. In moving forward with upgrades to the transportation infrastructure around the proposed Vikings stadium site in Arden Hills, Minnesota legislators have a chance to put people in construction, one of the hardest hit segments of the economy, back to work and might even be eligible for federal grant money to help make it happen.

We could put people to work repairing our ailing bridges, schools with deferred maintenance, upgrading bandwidth to communities around the state, building new facilities and parks and zoos, or, building a new stadium for a guy in New Jersey who already has a stadium but wants a new one with more sky boxes that corporations can deduct as an entertainment expense. It’s all just a matter of purple tainted priorities.

Skol Girl:

In addition to the embarrassingly neglected roads around the TCAAP property, construction on the stadium itself is projected to support 13,000 jobs, 7,500 of those jobs in construction and trade work, over the three years of construction and paying $286 million in wages. Hmmm, I wonder how many unionized workers you’d need to build a stadium? Probably a lot, so I have to wonder why organized labor interests in Minnesota aren’t getting out their purple and gold pompoms right now. Heck, isn’t that one of the goals of labor unions? Union members may want to consider lobbying their union representatives to support a Vikings stadium project.

Imagine what could be done if all those people were put to work building things that we need rather than something Zygi Wilf wants?

Skol Girl:

And. even if some of the work on the stadium is awarded to out of state companies, it will still stimulate the local economy because it will inject money into the local economy that would not have been spent in Minnesota if not for a new stadium. Out of state contractors working in Ramsey County will have to find a place to stay in Minnesota while working on a stadium (hotel tax), they’ll have to fill up their vehicles with gasoline (transportation tax), they’ll eat in restaurants (sales tax) staffed by Minnesota workers (income tax), and in their off hours they’ll take in leisure activities, like a movie or a baseball game or buying a book (more sales tax), all here in Minnesota.

Imagine what could be done if all those people were put to work building things that we need rather than something Zygi Wilf wants?

A construction project of this magnitude that also involves transportation infrastructure, would, like the WPA programs during the Great Depression, put a lot of ordinary people in the hard hit construction industry back to work. Stadium construction means jobs-jobs for ordinary people.

Imagine what could be done if all those people were put to work building things that we need rather than something Zygi Wilf wants?

Skol Girl:

This post doesn’t address all the mistaken perceptions out there regarding the Vikings’ efforts to get a new stadium, but it hits a few and, in the coming days, we’ll look at more of the mistaken perceptions swirling around the stadium issue.

Keep em coming.

Skol Girl:

In the meantime, if you want the Vikings to stay in Minnesota, get vocal. Talk to your state representatives, talk to your neighbors and friends, talk to your union representatives. Minnesota Momentum and Save the Vikes are both good places to go for information about how you can get involved in the fight to keep the Vikings in Minnesota.

Sounds good. Let your legislators know that our economy needs jobs and improved infrastructure, but doesn’t NEED a new football stadium. Sure, it would be nice, but nice things are things we buy when we have extra money. Not when we’re cutting healthcare, deferring payments to schools, and driving up property taxes to help balance the state’s budget.

Skol Girl:

And if you are from out of state and visit Minnesota for Vikings games, please write to the Minnesota Department of Tourism and tell them that having an NFL team is a tourism draw. Right now people are focusing on the cost of the stadium, rather than the cost of losing the Vikings. Let’s change that.

Yes, call the Minnesota Department of Tourism and ask them how many more out of state tourists we can expect to have visit if we build a new stadium to replace the stadium we already have. Ask them how many would come to watch their favorite teams no matter where they play. Ask them how we would have more tourists visit when game already sell out. While you’re at it, call the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors bureau and ask them if they support public funding for moving the Vikings to the suburbs.

That concludes what I think will be a four part series on Skol Girl’s epic justification of public welfare for Zygi Wilf’s private business.

At this point, I feel like I should start taking Skol Girl’s advice. If I offered to move to Arden Hills to build a home while tearing down my current home in Minneapolis, would you cover 60% of my costs? What if I offer to have the same number of jobs after I move? What if I offer to build a parking lot for 21,000 next to a wetland? I really think you should support this. Why? Because it will help me be more profitable.

Frankly, if you don’t support my plan, you’re an economic bigot.

In case you missed Part I or Part II or Part III.

2 thoughts on “Vikings Stadium Myths Exposed, Exposed Part IV”

  1. SkolGirl = “In addition to the embarrassingly neglected roads around the TCAAP property”

    These roads are neglected intentionally because this site is a Superfund pollution site. And one of the major unaddressed questions is–“what is the likelihood of a Billion dollars of heavy construction and a 21000 car asphalt lake going to do the Rice Creek watershed that supplies the drinking water to much of the east metro St Paul area?”

    My guess is nothing has been done to account for this seemingly large and likely problem. But of course, it is just drinking water for 500,000 people for the next 10-20 years…not Zygi’s problem.

  2. Ed, you’ve brought some increased light (at least among your readers) to a lot of the stupidity surrounding this issue.

    Stadiums moving to the suburbs is a ’70’s and ’80’s trend that most teams worked to reverse in this century. Most professional sports teams that have built new facilities recently resisted the “cheap land” of the suburbs to put their stadium central to transit, retail, lodging, and multi-use parking. One notable example is the New England Patriots…their stadium is in the suburbs surrounded by a new shopping mall and a vast parking lot. I’m guessing that has more to do with the lack of a suitable sit in central Boston (have you seen real estate prices there?) than anything else.

    The reason that Wilf latched onto this Arden Hills site is because it was the most advantageous one for him and his own personal development interests. He is manipulating the gullible people of Minnesota like Skol Girl by whipping up Vikings nostalgia and the baloney assertion that the Vikings are our hometown team. They are not. They are the personal property of a New Jersey real estate developer. Yes, they have a nice tradition of playing here, but the are not our team.

    The only way I could ever, in my wildest dreams, support a new stadium for the Vikings was if they decided to change their business model and sell shares to the people of MInnesota to let average fans become the majority owners of the team. If the team is going to benefit from a public investment, then the public should be allowed to financially benefit from that investment.

    This issue needs to come to a vote in Ramsey County, and it needs to be defeated, and if that means they move away so be it. My friends that live out there are horrified at the prospect of a behemoth stadium and all the associated game day traffic being situated so close to their homes, and they are further horrified that their county commission would so willingly sell out to the interests of an out of state rich guy. I promise you that some of those commissioners will be handily unseated come election time.

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