Pat Kessler’s Reality Check segment on 12/7 took on the oft-repeated Vikings talking point that the team is “contributing” the 3rd largest amount toward a stadium in NFL history.
Here is how they attempt to mislead the public: They use 2011 dollars for their contribution but not for the teams they compare themselves against. For example, the Patriots put $340 million in private funding toward their $412 million stadium in 2002. By the Vikings’ rationale, the Patriots contributed less than what the Vikings are willing to contribute. Yet the Patriots’ contribution accounts for 82% of the entire cost of the stadium. Were the Vikings to chip in a share equitable to what the Patriots did, the Vikings would need to up their share from $407 million to $902 million.
Were the Vikings to match what the Patriots contributed on a percentage basis, I’m sure the Vikings would have the votes they need to come up with the additional $200 million.
Heck, Rybak proposed giving the team $300 million yesterday. And, the beauty of that deal (building a new stadium on the Metrodome site) is that the total cost is closer to $900 million so the Vikings would only need to come up with $738 million to match what the Patriots did for their stadium.
If the Vikings were willing to stop playing semantic games and start coming up with real money, I’m sure a stadium deal could get done.
It’s time for the Vikings to stop misleading the public and start pledging the kind of money it takes to make this a fair deal for everyone involed.