Spending money is fun. Spending other people’s money is even more fun. That appears to be one of the things the NFL has learned over the past few decades when they figured out that cities and states were stupid enough to subsidize their businesses.
In fact, it’s not just fun to spend other people’s money. If you can socialize the cost and privatize the profits, you can really rake it in at the expense of taxpayers. It’s a brilliant business move from people who care more about their wealth than the communities where they run their businesses.
How does spending other people’s money influence the financial decisions of a man like Zygi Wilf? Here are a few examples:
– The Minnesota Vikings are proposing to build the 3rd most expensive professional football stadium in NFL history ($1.1 billion). The only two that cost more were Dallas ($1.19 billion) and New York ($1.6 billion), and the NY stadium is shared by the Giants and Jets. The Jets and Giants worked together and didn’t ask for a dime of public money.
– Wilf is demanding public land and public subsidies so he can build his publicly subsidized dream on 400 acres of land, which is nearly ten times the area needed to build a stadium. This is because, in addition to a new stadium, he also wants to build a 21,000 car parking lot where he’d controls the revenue, a mall, and a business park. It’s much easier to dream big when you’re spending other people’s money. For comparison, two downtown Minneapolis sites only require 49 and 41 acres, since they would rely upon existing parking ramps, LRT, Northstar Rail, and people walking from downtown condos and hotels for transportation rather than building a humungous parking lot for 8 regular season home games per year.
– According to Ramsey County Commissioner and Vikings Wilfare Advocate, Tony Bennett, Zygi Wilf is only willing to sign a 30-year lease on the stadium they are demanding the public borrow and pay interest on $650,000,000 to build for him. That is such a boat load of Wilfare that the public would not see even one dollar of net positive return on their $650,000,000 investment over those 30 years. As you can probably imagine, the net return for Zygi Wilf and the Vikings organization would be far better than the burden he’s demanding the public absorb.
Other people’s money. It’s good if you can get it, but stupid if you’re the ones giving it.