Vikings Fans Get Angry When Their Season Ticket Subsidy is Questioned #wilfare

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Vikings Wilfare Comment

That’s a strange tactic coming from someone begging for hundreds of millions of public dollars to subsidize his or her private entertainment.

34 thoughts on “Vikings Fans Get Angry When Their Season Ticket Subsidy is Questioned #wilfare”

  1. Actually it does help in answering my ongoing question of ‘why viking fans are incapable of starting any financial movement to demonstrate true support of their team.’ Thanks for posting this to aid my understanding of their problem.

  2. I completely agree. The FANS are not taking enough of the blame here. It’s the FANS fault for sure.

    Of course, if the NFL owners reject the idea of using TCF with far fewer seats for 3 years, then the Dome site will never be built and the FANS cannot be blamed. The ticket subsidy issue becomes quite irrelevant as well.

  3. @Rick, the FANS are in a position to allow the Vikings to choose any site that suits them. They could build in Arden Hills, Shakopee, or any of the Minneapolis sites if FANS were simply willing to pay the true market rate for the “fan experience” they claim to value.

  4. @Ed. No,no,nOooo….you have this completely wrong if you think that “any” stadium or even the TajMahal should be financed completely out of the pockets of a minority of FANS who actually buy tickets and attend the games. The vast majority are TV watchers. NFL football is built on TV revenues. Communities support football and subsidize the sport because of a number of reasons including pleasing the majority of armchair FANS, community PRIDE, tourism recognition as an important destination, etc. What each team actually charges for tickets or could charge, is a factor–but only one apple in the basket.

    What you are ignoring is that MAJORITY of FANS who love the team and only watch on TV or perhaps tailgate but don’t get tickets. This group is pretty silent and will bead as hell if the team leaves. They should be blamed if the team leaves for not speaking out earlier.

    The legislature is very aware that there are a lot of voters in the TV fans. People who buy tickets don’t have enough votes most legislative districts outside of the metro area. In the outstate, legislators do fear that if the Vikes leave due to failure to legislate–they will catch hell.

    I suppose I could be banished from posting here, but if you think the cost of the stadium should be placed only on the minority group of FANS, who buy tickets, then I think you have it completely wrong.

  5. @Rick, there certainly are a lot of Vikings fans who loyally watch every game on TV but never attend the games in person. Zygi Wilf makes money off them through TV contracts. But, when it comes to paying for a new stadium, the only people who should pay for it are those who value a new stadium enough to actually pay for it. And, of course, those who have the means to do so plays a role as well.

    A poll released on Thursday came up with this take on where Minnesotans stand on a Vikings stadium:

    A full 59 percent of respondents said they oppose public financing for a Vikings stadium, while just 33 percent support it. But if it was the only way to keep the team in Minnesota, support for public financing jumps to 46 percent, while 39 percent they’d prefer the team move.

    I think it’s safe to assume that a majority of Minnesotans are Vikings fans. But, it’s also pretty darn clear that the majority of Minnesotans aren’t enough of Vikings fans to warrant spending public money to subsidize this single form of private entertainment.

    Which puts the onus on the fans who really do care about the Vikings to a large enough degree to meet Wilf’s corporate welfare demands. Season ticket holders are both passionate Vikings fans and people who likely have the means to come up with the cash Wilf is demanding to build Zygi World. For those who are passionate about the team but don’t attend games, taxing Vikings merchandise, offering Vikings license plates, and setting up a stadium fund people can donate to all seem like reasonable options to extract money from fans at that commitment level.

  6. @Ed.
    Let’s look forward here in time to explain this point. Let’s say we are in year 2015 and the Vikings packed up and left town. In hindsight, the vast majority of Minnesotans are mad as hell about it.

    And who do they blame? And why do they think the team left? You seem to imply the blame goes only on this group of 60 thousandish ticket buyers unwilling to meet the demands of a selfish owner.

    We can only imagine how the general public might feel about a team that left by 2015, but I suspect
    that it will be a much more than just some season tickets holders who failed to pay up for non-ticket buying TV watchers. Apply your same polling question in 2015 and see who the public blames and
    why they think so. What did the public think in Baltimore when the Colts left and in St Louis when the Cards left and LA when the Rams left? I don’t think the season ticket holders were blamed. And Baltimore and StLouis went out to get new teams….so you know the community missed having a home team.

    My advice here…..widen your horizons….think beyond the ticket holder. Don’t worry if Ziggy can’t charge enough for super premium luxury boxes. The demand for the luxury boxes actually increases when prices are raised. Conventional supply/demand logic doesn’t apply to pro sports –just ask the guy who built the Dallas cowboy stadium. The town eats it up and most fans still don’t have tickets.

  7. @Rick, I think Minnesotans are smart people who understand this issue well. They overwhelmingly oppose public funding for a Vikings stadium. They like the Vikings, but not enough to subsidize an NFL franchise. Especially knowing that the team doesn’t need our money. As long as politicians make an effort to negotiate with the team in good faith, rational fans won’t blame politicians if the team decides to leave. Instead, they’ll blame the people with money who refused to put money in to get a deal done (in this order):

    The Vikings franchise (including Zygi Wilf)
    The NFL (who could pay for the stadium or lend Wilf the money)
    Local businesses (who could lower the public’s cost through sponsorships rather than wait for the stadium to be built then cut deals with the Vikings)
    Vikings season ticket holders (much wealthier than average Minnesotans who claim to support the team).

    If fans aren’t willing to pay to help build a stadium, Wilf really hasn’t won much support for his Zygi World dream.

  8. @Ed. The average public subsidy for NFL stadiums is about 65%.

    Apparently, according to your thinking, In MN, however, the voters are really extra smart and do not want to chip in public money for the NFL. And somehow they beleive that no subsidy in MN can work where it hasn’t in most NFL cities. The FANS here, however, are either pretty dumb or cheap because they won’t pick up the whole cost by paying ticket surcharges.

    Your view apparently also concludes that fans in almost all of the other NFL cities (excepting privately financed NYG, Wash, and NE) are really smart or lucky because they get to see games and have the public subsidize their favorite sport.

    I just do not understand why you think MN can have a private facility and most of the other cities have publicly subsidized stadiums and yet the Wilf’s ought to be happy with that and the ticket buying fans should be blamed because the voters here and legislators are so smart to reject subsidies.

    Dallas , as an example, has one of the most over the top and luxurious stadiums which is 44% public money.

  9. @Rick, the average public contribution is NOT 65%. See here for clarification:
    http://www.thedeets.com/2011/10/19/how-the-minnesota-vikings-mislead-politicians/

    Why should MN try to be like most NFL cities when it can try to be like the best NFL cities?

    Green Bay fans are also smart. They put a tax increase to fund stadium renovations a vote. We should do that too. And they renovated rather than build from scratch. We should do that too.

    Your numbers on Dallas are incorrect. See above. We can learn from Dallas by not spending $1.19 billion on a stadium for 10 uses per year.

  10. @Ed. Let’s assume your facts about the 50% average subsidy are absolutely correct. (Brush aside the info I got from 2010 research from the NY Times that I used.)

    In any event, since you seem to concede that other cities, found reason to grant an average of 50%, I am still perplexed why you think MN can pull this off at ZERO public subsidy. I guess you have been talking to John Marty or you perhaps don’t really care about retaining the Vikes as much as you say you do.

    I don’t know if the Vikes are going to leave or not. Perhaps this whole deal will drag on for years and they will stay in the current Dome and we will endure whining and complaints but a real move never happens. There are a lot of possibly scenarios. None seem certain.

    You should look at a scenario where the Wilf’s stay in the current Dome and jack up ticket prices to the point that they do not get a sellout and local TV broadcast is BLOCKED. Then I guess you can join the majority of Vikes fans who watch on TV and complain about the ticket buying fans who could not be squeezed for more money.

    Your logic completely mystifies me here.

  11. @Rick, actually it is your lack of logic that is mystical, more accurately your lack of acceptance that times have changed. It would be nice to live in the lala land of averages, but it seems to me conditions here in the real world have changed since 90% of these stadiums were subsidized and my understanding in the real world is that many recent stadiums deals would like to have a do-over…Cincinnati comes instantly to mind but when you return to the reality-based world you yourself can name a few more without my help.

    Economic factors of the entire world are different now and to pretend otherwise is foolish and lacking all logic. I’d like to pretend my mortgage wasn’t underwater and my employment hadn’t tanked, but my friends and bankers would consider that denial and delusion.

    That is why Minnesotan is different, and that is why other cities who didn’t adjust to reality are wishing they had. Unlike whiny owners who get gov’t to rework deals, the taxpayers only get one chance to get the deal done (and I can’t say done ‘right’ or done ‘fairly’…can you?).

  12. @ other mike. You are entitled to your opinion here, but based on some of the things you said in your last post– I am coming to the conclusion you write without doing even a limited amount of research. Your statements about recent realities on newer stadiums and public subsidies for them are just off base.

    As a suggestion, I think you should buy a copy of a book called “the economics of the NFL”. It is 344 pages long and Amazon has it for 110 bucks a copy–which, for an active and loyal Vikes fan–and I presume you are one–is about the same as a game ticket, parking, a couple of beers and a hot dog.

    Do you generally make arguments about somebody should get in the “real world.”???

    I’d like to think that I know the “truth” but experience tells me that finding the absolute “truth” is near possible. It does help, however, to do some decent investigation and research on a topic before speaking out.

  13. Rick, which would be more important–
    –research by reading about the past financial successes of the NFL…or
    –research by reading about the realities here in MN?

    I suggest you do more of the later, because everything has changed in MN politics not just since the Metrodome was built but in the past few years alone.

    You can point to other cities, other stadiums, all the averages and statistics you want from your book on the NFL Economy. The NFL does nothing for our city but skim off profits to NYC to run their bloated headquarters…what chapter of the book covers that?

  14. @Rick, I’m comfortable with assuming that the numbers are correct. Cory Merrifield compiled them, but made a serious division error that skews the average public contribution by more than 10% of total stadium cost.

    I believe I explained that we can get to zero public money, and linked to an entire post on the subject. Quickie summary:

    Renovate Dome: ~$600 million
    Zygi Contribution: $420
    Fan Contribution: $180

    This probably will drag out for years. If the legislature had the votes, they likely would have kicked off the session with the stadium just to get it out of the way. They don’t so they didn’t.

    Blocking local TV is the NFL’s decision. If they think that’s good for their business, they do it. A Florida politician has proposed a bill that would ban blackouts from teams who accept public money:

    http://htpolitics.com/2011/11/04/fasano-files-bill-aimed-at-stopping-nfl-blackouts/

    Not a bad idea. Why ruin the experience for people who can’t afford to go to the games just because people who can afford to go to the games choose not to go to the games?

  15. @ other mike. Stop now. You are drifting off into speculation about what politicians may or may not do. Maybe you are a politician for all I know. How can you presume to know how voters and politicians will behave in the future?!?

    @Ed. Maybe this deal will drag on for years—but we can’t know that with any certainty.

    There may be some markets where an NFL owner can get big ticket prices for a lousy team performance, like Washington DC, and NYC, but those places have a larger number of entities who will pay incredible prices for luxury suites to impress clients. The Twin Cities is a smaller market–not the smallest. I would guess that if I asked 100 diehard vikes fans, 98% would say there is no way in hell Ziggy will get $180 million out of fans in MN upfront. I am sure he would if he could.

    Have you bought a block of 4 Vikes tickets lately at list price? I bet you haven’t.

    Your imsistence on anything near $180 mil. might as well concede the Vikes will leave eventually because if LA gets it’s act together the NFL will again be playing musical chairs with relocations.

    The only reason why the small market teams can compete is because of the NFL monopoly and restriction of competition buried in federal law. In Baseball, it works a little differently and small market teams can barely compete with the rich Yankees. Green Bay would never be a market of choice for pro sports. They just found a way to sell stock to the public, which keeps them in Green Bay—the league hates public share ownership and will never permit such distributed ownership again. The reality here is rich owners and willing communities ready with public subsidies in the biggest markets.

  16. @Rick, Zygi wouldn’t need to get it up front. That’s not the bar. He could just follow Dallas’ model of 10% down with the rest financed over 30 years, and charging transfer fees for those who choose to sell their PSLs. That’s less than $2,800/ticket. Financing $2,800 over 30 years won’t break a Vikings season ticket holder’s bank (assuming they really care about the team as much as they claim).

    I hope the NFL hasn’t priced itself out of the Minnesota market. But, if they need $650 million in corporate welfare to be viable, it sounds like they may have.

  17. @Rick…whose side are you arguing for now? The points you are making perfectly describe an NFL product that is completely out of touch with the realities of the economy. That they cannot fill stadiums in cities containing their most loyal fans, and that without profit-sharing cities like Green Bay who have filled their stadiums consistently for 50 years would not exist?

    The NFL is out of touch. The NFL is past peak and doesn’t realize it because they are propped up by TV contracts and beer advertisers who are only trying to reach their target audience with one of the few forms of entertainment that reaches their culture.

    Didn’t you read that story yesterday about how Indianapolis expects to LOSE money for hosting the NFL’s premier event–the (gasp) Super Bowl!

    Didn’t you watch the NFL commish on that 60 Minutes puff piece last week–he admitted their biggest problem is getting people back into the stadiums! The stadiums the NFL demands cities build and now cannot fill–that screams past peak to any thinking person.

    Didn’t you read The Deets postings, didn’t you read about Cincinnati’s stadium funding woes that have plunged the entire county into drastic debt requiring huge cuts in police and fire and county services? Read all those stories about the Miami stadium corruption and funding woes. You asked me to research, but you are researching via NFL propaganda instead of city/county/state/country/world economics posted in every paper every day.

    Let the Vikings move on–the NFL bubble is bursting and any city that finances an NFL stadium, especially in this austerity economy, risks more than their political careers. They are unwisely risking the financial stability of their entire community on an entertainment business that doesn’t support their fans or the cities they are located in.

    The NFL skims off all the money and in return they leave communities paying off old stadiums, even after they are torn down–Seattle is still paying off the Kingdome!

    But I’m not drifting off into speculation about politicians votes. I’m in a reality-based world and both feet are under my feet. I’m in a taxpayer-based world, and no taxpayer should support any of these stadium proposals–EVER.

  18. @Ed. Were back to my question if you had recently tried to buy a block of 4 Vikings tickets at list price—which you ducked in answering.

    The point is that the Vikes are already pricing tickets at close to maximum levels—especially if it will take several more years to restore the team as even a possible playoff contender.

    No doubt some Vikings fans would pay $2800 for seat rights. In some cases it might help ticket holders who have no children to inherit season ticket rights.

    But, my guess is that the vast majority would not pay. If it was as easy as you think, maybe you should get a job with the team.

    The NFL is too expensive to operate in the Twin Cities without subsidies. They could probably solve the problem by forcing every NFL player to take a 50% pay cut from the average of $770,000. A few players might go to Canada, but most would still play here. The public really doesn’t have to fund enormous player salaries to enjoy the game. Of course, nobody is even suggesting such a thing—it is easier for owners to negotiate for public subsidy….that is the reality.

  19. @other mike. You just made a helluva good case to tell the NFL to leave theTwin Cities and not let the door hit them on the way out. I guess I thought you were be trying to be helpful to other Vikings fans in the attempt to keep the team here, but it seems you would rather have the team leave instead of having the taxpayer buy into the so-called “NFL bubble”.

    You seem to really despise the NFL for mismanaging it’s business and at the same time are ignoring that this is the most consistently profitable league of any pro sport. My advice is go out and read the book I recommended and then write your posts.

    Thanks for posting the point about the NFL’s challenge in filling stadium seats. It highlights the weakness of Ed’s seat licensing idea.

  20. @Rick…Actually, after experiencing of lifetime of decreasing entertainment value from the NFL (and all pro sports for that matter), all the pieces of the puzzle are fitting together to explain why when you take into account the economics of the NFL and how they treat their fans and hold their host communities hostage for huge ransom generation after generation.

    You raise a good point about stadium fans being tapped out…I agree; and yet, this sport is THEIRS so if they don’t support it, why should a taxpayer/shopper/diner who isn’t a fan? This NFL is a private business, and it should not ride on the backs of taxpayers.

    So in my comments here, I have been trying, like The Deets, to get fans to realize this is their game and to find some way to financially support it–PSLs is only one option, create your own, but the fans have to get into this game. All Viking fans, not just the 80000 ticket holders…and I have been shocked at the bupkis response.

    I used to be a fan, like you and most guys I suppose, but the NFL just makes it impossible to support the game with how it treats us. The NFL demands more and better stadiums, but does nothing to support financially these same demanded stadiums (yet are receiving billions in annual revenues and are incredibly wealthy as an organization AND receive tax benefits that rival churches as being undeserved…but that’s a different argument, at least churches build their own buildings).

    But, I’m actually not pushing an anti-NFL flag up the pole–I’m simply trying to warn the NFL that they have to wake up and stop screwing their most loval fans and communities. That is an uphill battle though, isn’t it? Trying to wake up powerful onwer egos who have been living in the spoiled life out of touch with the common fan, even the Commish acknowledged that part of his job.

    Like America, the NFL is past peak, and given how they keep screwing fans and host communities, looking more and more headed for a crash instead of a gentle slope down. You can’t outsource the NFL overseas…it’s been tried and failed, so when it goes, it will go down hard. The old saying–the bigger you are, the harder you fall–comes to mind.

  21. @Other mike. Sometimes Ed gets off kilter about insisting that the fans who buy tickets should shoulder the burden and the TV fans are just innocent bystanders.

    You by contrast, must live on a different planet altogether. When you come back to earth and visit customs, please designate “alien” on the form they give you. Your diatribe about the demise of the NFL and powerful owner egos on the edge is completely out in left field.

    It’s good to know, however, that you don’t claim to be a FAN but you do spend a lot of time ruminating about the future of the Vikes. We need more non-fans, just like you, to participate in discussions to get the NFL owners in line….for sure. You need to send the NFL commissioner a warning that this whole business model of the NFL is in peril and can’t ever be successful. I am not going to respond to your nonsense anymore.

    FYI. The NFL has by far the best business model of all pro sports for its owners. The NHL and NBA are a different story. Perhaps you should be giving advice to the likes of Glen Taylor or the owners of the Wild.

  22. “”NFL has by far the best business model of all pro sports for its owners.”

    Once again Rick…whose side are you arguing?

    I guess to an NFL owner, I would be an alien.

  23. @Ed Sounds to me like you don’t have a clue about how a “viable business” actually works.

    The NFL has a unique product and a huge amount of FANS. The product is in such demand that cities will pay subsidies to have it. Most of the money the NFL makes, however, doesn’t come from revenues on those subsidized stadiums–instead it comes from FANS who only watch on TV. The NFL TV revenues are paid for by FANS who are willing to be indoctrinated by ads for brand name goods. Bud Light will spend a ton of money just to get the right to be the official beer, for example. Bud Light knows NFL commercials sell beer.

    In effect, the NFL has found that the raw demand for the product is incredibly strong and, at the same time, they league enjoys protection from Federal Law exempting them from competition and being allowed to authorize exclusive rights for cities to have teams within geographical areas.

    I cannot imagine a more “viable” business model.

    I can understand why folks who don’t watch the Vikes and don’t really care about the team also don’t want to pay a public subsidy. What I don’t understand is the TV fans who want the team here and they think they are FREELOADERS, but if the team left they would be mad as hell. (And, I suppose, if they quit watching the games, and the Super Bowl, they wouldn’t have to watch the ads selling them stuff they might want.

    You have ignored the fact that this demand for the NFL product is so STRONG, it can and does command public subsidies. MN, of course, doesn’t have to play the subsidy game.

    The NFL makes the bulk of its money off of TV and the Twin City area is a tiny TV watching area compared to our population centers near NY, Chicago, Florida, and CA. We are just a small speck of TV revenues and the NFL league economics are based on that reality.

  24. Meet Rick–aka the all powerful Oz.

    The NFL has a monopoly. It used to have an entertaining GAME that FANS used to be able to attend in person, but now can only watch on TV.

    And they have these big TV screens, and behind the curtain guys like RICK pull levers to give the ILLUSION they are all powerful and will take their football and go home if you don’t let RICK have his way with your FANS.

    THE NFL game RICK pulls levers for (aka hauling water, hey RICK, we used to use buckets for that!) has been able while America was strong, to get fat and happy governments to cave into their hostage-taking, moving-van-loading ways until 2008 when the economy crashed.

    While the NFL and RICK were playing games, it turns out life was not so good in the REAL world–
    –the economy had this thing called a real estate bubble and the majority of people lost the value of their most prized investment–their home, which resulted in their house being worth less than their mortgage.
    –then job market, after decades of ‘globalization,’ was no longer strong enough to support this debt.
    –then gov’ts, after decades of GOP led taxpayer revolt, finally reached the point where things like Interstate bridges would fall into the Mississippi River during rush hour, and have annual budget battles so contentious so as to shut down the entire government.

    Until finally taxpayers no longer wanted their money spent freely for things like private businesses with monopoly powers, especially one that is a CIRCUS when people are now becoming more concerned with BREAD to feed their families.

    And then the NFL and RICK ran out of places to RUN…and had to go back to being a mere child’s GAME played by grown men who had to support themselves in order to play their GAME.

    …so RICK–if I walked outside onto Washington Avenue here where I’m sitting (mere blocks from the Metrodome!) and took a poll of REAL citizens to ask them to join which of my two movements I’m contemplating–
    1–The movement to raise money for the VIKING stadium…or
    2–The movement to stop any taxpayer money from going to a VIKING stadium…
    –which movement do you think I’d be able to sign up more people for?

  25. @Rick, MSP is the 15th largest media market:
    http://www.proadvance.com/topmediamarkets.html

    So, if being here is good for TV (and it seems like it is since the ratings for games tend to be very high) then I’d expect to see the Vikings stay.

    You’re right about your definition of viable. The NFL does not need public subsidies, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. But, it does hurt communities to invest in projects with negative returns.

  26. @Ed. I would not get too carried away with your list. The difference in size between the top 5 markets and 15 is huge. Florida has many times the population of MN, yet Miami is listed as a smaller media market.

    The way the NFL looks as this is from the standpoint of how to MAXIMIZE the preferred demographics of TV viewers that advertisers want and are willing to pay up. The Super Bowl this weekend is a good example where the viewership is so rich in potential customers– that 30 min ad spots can go for 4mil. This is what drives the NFL’s ability to extract the major portion of it’s revenues from TV networks. MN is a relatively tiny part of this pot of money.

    The NFL can do a lot of things to preserve profits for owners and not take public subsidies. They could cut player average pay from the current 770k and it wouldn’t affect the fan experience. The reality is that pay is pretty high and probably ain’t coming down so the subsidies are on the table.

    Why don’t you post a rant about the consequences of rediculous levels of pay in all pro sports??? It might more sense than proposing seat licenses in a strained economy.

  27. @Rick, Florida also have three teams while MN has one.

    Personally, I don’t care if pro sports franchises pay their players ridiculous salaries. They have the money to do so, so why not? It’s a business. It’s also a business that has enough money to build stadiums without corporate welfare. In the case of NFL salaries, I believe the pool of money players are paid from is largely tied to TV revenues, so as long as those keep going up, so will salaries.

  28. @Ed. Your logic flaw is that the NFL would have a lot more trouble in reducing salaries than they currently have in obtaining public subsidies. My understanding is that they so far all teams have received about $8billion in taxpayer subsidy. This is quite remarkable considering how the profits of the NFL.

    The NFL owners would try to reduce salaries if they could.
    While it is true that salaries are linked to TV revenues in aggregate, teams pay out what they choose to pay up to the salary cap. No team is bound to pay out the capped amount.

    No doubt you are also perfectly happy to pay for Timberwolves salary contracts that never helped the team one whit. They used to pay Brian Cardinal some $80 grand per game even if he sat out on the bench. This is being paid while the city eats plenty on the Target Center.

    What it boils down to is that public subsides and crazy salaries go hand in hand within pro sports franchises. Some teams will go broke—but not in the NFL.

    Why don’t you just come out and openly say you don’t give a rip if the Vikes leave town because you can’t swallow the subsidy requirement ????

    FYI. Florida may have 3 teams, but they have 3.5 times the population. My point was about Miami where the population is quite dense in So FL. Jacksonville doesn’t have this density and is also a less desirable NFL market. Perhaps to prove the point, I should use CA which has 6 times the population of MN and 3 NFL teams. Tx has 5 times the MN population and 2 teams. NY/NJ are similar.

  29. @Rick, I don’t look at the NFL’s financials to decide whether it’s good public policy to build a stadium. The issue, to me, is whether the public should be in the business of forcing citizens to subsidize a private business to such an extreme rate that the public will never see a positive return on the investment over the life of the stadium.

  30. @Ed. If you asked the voters if they want to approve a public subsidy for the Vikings, they would agree with you overwhelmingly and probably say HELL NO.

    If you ignore the intangible value of a regional fan experience for a locally based NFL team, you would never subsidize a stadium.

    If the Vikings leave because another city was willing to subsidize them, then who will care? The NFL probably won’t. The fans will care and many will probably be very upset. Politicians might be blamed for not acting. If it works the same way here as it does in other cities that lost teams, the Twin Cities will be back in the hunt again willing to build a subsidized stadium for the fan experience they missed.

    Only a bean counter would try to put this into pure dollars as you do? You are completely missing the value of intangibles which arise from human nature. After all, those TV watching freeloaders who wear Vikings shirts won’t keep getting a free ride. The only way fans are going to get a free lunch here on TV is if the indians at Mystic lake take a big pay cut due to competition from Racino.

    I heard mystic lake was once cutting checks for $ 36000 every two week for every adult in the tribe. Senjem says he is close to having the votes for Racino—as he told Pat Kessler yesterday. It’s either subsidy or Racino

  31. @Rick, I am not ignoring intangibles. Fans are. While current stadium plans do not make financial sense, if fans thought that having a team in MN was important enough to fund, they would. They haven’t, so they don’t. People who can’t afford to go to a game but enjoy watching them on TV could support a tax increase to keep the team. They haven’t, so they don’t.

    If the only way to meet Wilf’s corporate welfare demands is to expand gambling in the State of Minnesota so we can tax it and earmark those taxes for an NFL franchise, we should just tell Wilf that we don’t have the money to meet his corporate welfare demands. At that point, we will have done what’s best for Minnesota and he’ll be able to decide what’s best for his business. My guess is that he’d continue to play at the Metrodome, where he’s been able to increase the value of his NFL franchise by $200 million in less than a decade.

  32. @Ed. You are absolutely right in that the Vikes could be stuck at the current dome for several years. The grumbling would continue. Eventually, however, the fact that Dome is apparently the 2nd oldest facility in the NFL without modernization, there will be a resolution.

    Your comments about “they haven’t so they don’t” are a bit troubling. You seem to be locked into a point of view and won’t change it under any circumstances…I guess.

    Who knows what will happen to public opinion if we get to the edge of the cliff when the Vikes leaving is a very strong possibility?

    Many in legislature are quite aware that there will be consequences if they do act….and there will be consequences if they don’t act. Public subsidy won’t help anyone get elected. We don’t know what will happen if the Vikings leave. If they stay in the Dome for a few more years–we won ‘t be able to argue about it.

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