Do the Minnesota Vikings Realize that They Are Asking for the Most Public Money in NFL History?

Here is an interesting excerpt from the Pioneer Press’ coverage of the Vikings’ lack of interest in being given dozens of acres of prime downtown real estate for $1:

[Sen. John] Marty questioned the need for the rush, particularly when he said public opinion is running strongly against using public money for a stadium and the $650 million-plus contribution in Minnesota “would be the largest taxpayer subsidy of any sports team in history, period.”

Jeff Anderson, the Vikings’ director of corporate communications, said he couldn’t verify that claim.

It’s “probably accurate” that it’s the largest public contribution for an NFL stadium, he said, but the Vikings’ owners also are putting up the third-largest private contribution for an NFL stadium.

Probably accurate, Jeff? Do you read your own consulting firm’s reports? Take a look at the data CSL put together for you:

Public/Private Funding for Stadium Projects

Now, take a look at that data compared to the Wilfare you’re demanding from the public:

Money Extracted from Public for NFL Stadium Financing

Also, I just realized that Jeff Anderson never got around to explaining what Zygi Wilf plans to do with the excessive amount of land he’s demanding in Arden Hills. While a stadium fits on less than 30 acres when places in downtown Minneapolis, Wilf is demanding 400 acres in Arden Hills. A good chunk of that would to go building a 21,000 car parking lot that he can charge fans to park in (rather than parking in municipal ramps and meters downtown where the public would benefit financially). But, there has also been a mock-up of a convention center at the Arden Hills site.

Jeff Anderson and the Vikings organization have failed to explain what they plan to do with the public land they are demanding be given to them so the public can pay to build a parking lot (and stadium) on it:

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?

You said on Twitter:

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?

We having been seeing much honest communication from the Vikings’ Director of Corporate Communications regarding Wilf’s plans for the public dollars he’s demanding.

2 thoughts on “Do the Minnesota Vikings Realize that They Are Asking for the Most Public Money in NFL History?”

  1. Ed-
    You may have something along these lines in the works, but perhaps it would be interesting for a data collecting guy to collect the totally public information about some of the political donations the players in this fiasco have made. If, say, Lester Bagley and Tony Bennett had donated to Republican candidates, it might be reasonable to assume that they are Republicans and that, as such, they feel that the Government’s bailout of GM and The Banks (and the stimulus package) was a poor use of public funds. It might be fun to square that attitude with their desire to extract 650 million dollars from the citizens for the profit of one, already wealthy, individual.

    Of course, perhaps my presuppostions are wrong and the gang to which I’m referring is a bunch of bleeding heart, Oxfam attending, MPR listening, tree-hugging, Birchwood Cafe-eating, hippies. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

    Thanks for all your work on this issue!

  2. @Fygar, this is proving to be an interesting issue partly because it doesn’t break down party lines. The small government Tea Party types on the far right oppose it because it involves public spending. The far-left crowd opposes it because they see a roll for government, but not as a source of income for multi-millionaires.

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