Vikings Stadium Poll Results Explain a Lot #wilfare

Survey USA’s polling of registered voters reinforces what we already know about Vikings stadium Wilfare sentiment: Minnesotans support the team until the team asks for Minnesotans to cover the majority of new stadium construction costs. While people may want a new stadium, they don’t want it enough to spend their on money.

Interestingly, the most popular idea among people polled was to renovate the Metrodome. That’s an idea I’ve mentioned here before. Vancouver’s BC Place is the model for that. They did that with their Metrodome style stadium last year for $554 million, so 1/2 the cost of building a 21,000 car parking lot (plus stadium) in Arden Hills, and more than $300 million cheaper than building a new stadium at the Metrodome site from the ground up.

Perhaps this is starting to sink in?

Stadium Funding with PSL and License Plates Fan Funding

Vikings Fans Share of Wallet

The latest Ramsey County stadium financing proposal illustrates how greedy Zygi Wilf’s NFL franchise has become.

Ramsey County’s new plan would raise $5.4 million in parking fees from non-game events and $2 million in naming rights to parking lots. A 3 percent admissions surcharge would be included.

Bagley said the team needs the parking fees for operational costs and he said the ticket surcharge specifically was ruled out in the initial county deal.

In a nutshell, any stadium funding idea that puts the burden on fans is a non-starter for the Vikings because it cuts into how much money the Vikings can extract from fans.

Why should the public build a parking lot on the Wilf’s behalf where the Wilf’s pocket the parking revenues? Why shouldn’t the county use a ticket surcharge to cover some of their costs? Because Zygi wants that money.

Here are a few additional questions Survey USA could poll the public on to get a feel for Viking stadium Wilfare sentiment:

– Were the public to pay for a stadium parking lot, should revenues from the parking lot go to the public or Zygi Wilf?

– Were the public to pay for the majority of a stadium’s cost, what percentage of revenue from stadium naming rights should go to the public?

– Should revenue from Personal Seat Licenses go toward reducing the public’s share of a stadium deal or increasing Zygi Wilf’s profitability?

– Should a Vikings stadium be subject to property taxes, or should home owners and other local businesses subsidize the Vikings through their own property taxes?

– If a stadium costs Y, and the Vikings are willing to pay Z, Y – Z = X. What percentage of X should be paid by Vikings fans, and how much should be paid by the public through taxation?

111 thoughts on “Vikings Stadium Poll Results Explain a Lot #wilfare”

  1. Put it on the ballot in November so each and every citizen in Minnesota can vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to financing yet another sandbox for the millionaires that wish to play in it. Or just add the cost to the price of the tickets. Have those, that wish to see the Vikings play in a new stadium, help pay for that stadium. It is not fair to foist the cost on to everyone. No one I speak with wants the Vikings here any more. They are spoiled. What other group of highly paid employees could demand what they are demanding.

  2. Yep. It’s not fair. Polling shows consistent results that the vast majority of voters prefer NOT to fund a Stadium for rich private owners. The legislature and Dayton and Rybak are not getting this message and are going full speed ahead.

    What the poll doesn’t show is what the voters would favor when the emotions get to a higher level and show real fear that no public funding means no NFL.

    The poll does show, however, the there are more voters who will consider gambling expansion. For the time being, the politicians are not considering this option in any form of open debate. If public subsidies are eventually shot down–it seems very likely there will be a full court press on using expanded gambling.

    There seems to be some evidence that Rybak can’t get the council on board. Sen Baak says he can deliver 12 DFL votes for a new stadium. That means it’s really up to about 15 GOP Senators to kill it. If Rybak can’t get the votes–it will move to the court of the GOP who may re-consider some demands that Pawlenty put in a letter to the Tribes. ( Go do some research if you want to understand this issue.)

  3. @Rick, as we got closer and closer to the deadline where the Vikings could announce plans to relocate to another city, we saw just how much support the team has with the public. Sure, a few Vikings fans got worried, but life went on for the vast majority of Minnesotans. We didn’t see an outcry from the public to suddenly meet Wilf’s demands. In fact the Survey USA poll was taken during that period and showed, again, that the public overwhelmingly favors full private funding for a stadium. Not a casino where the money is earmarked for a NJ businessman. Fully private.

    We also saw that fans, when faced with the possibility of losing their beloved team, did NOT step up to offer to pay. Instead, they proved that they are willing to let the team walk if the only way to save the team is to actually pay true market rates for tickets that cover construction costs of a new stadium.

    We also know that a racino has nearly no shot. Heck, the state chose to shut down the government last summer rather than increase revenues through a racino. After doing that, do you really think they’ll turn to a racino to pad the profits of an NFL team?

  4. Quoting Ed : “ we saw just how much support the team has with the public —-.We didn’t see an outcry from the public to suddenly meet Wilf’s demands— when faced with the possibility of losing their beloved team, did NOT step up to offer to pay.”

    RE: There seems to be screw loose in Ed’s analysis. Where is the nexus behind this argument? Did the fans hold a pep rally at the Dome with Bud Grant saying why he thought the Vikings were important to the MN culture and the fans told Bud to go to hell? I think Ed is having a hallucination here.

    Quoting Ed “the only way to save the team is to actually pay true market rates for tickets that cover construction costs of a new stadium.”

    RE: A novel idea that apparently hasn’t worked in almost every single NFL city. Go out a sell stock for 200 bucks a pop like Green Bay did and see what that builds. This is just unrealistic thinking bubbling up into utter nonsense.

    Quoting Ed. “We also know that a racino has nearly no shot. Heck, the state chose to shut down the government last summer rather than increase revenues through a racino. After doing that, do you really think they’ll turn to a racino to pad the profits of an NFL team?”

    RE: Judging the viability of Racino on the 2011 government shutdown is pretty typical of the kind of lousy logic Ed seems to consistently use on these posts.

    The idea of racino or expanded gambling isn’t new and a number of the GOP legislators who are now in power have endorsed racino for some time.

    It has been reported that the GOP national committee woman, Pat Anderson works as a lobbyist/advocate for racino—and this touched off a war with Brodkorb who is out of the picture now.

    And the racino folks are promising to also fund the state education shortfall as well as the stadium, which is politically attractive.

    FYI– The issue of racino is going to be with us for a long time even if the new Stadium doesn’t need it for funding, because the actual profits of the Tribes in gambling will outrage most voters if this information ever gets disclosed publicly. The Tribes fight public disclosure and apparently have a legion of some 40 attorney//lobbyists/advocates who are assisting them in preserving the tax free Perpich gambling monopoly windfall. The whole process is very corrupt and the Tribes are being shaken down by plenty of consulting type folks just to keep public data secret and to preserve tax exemption. Do some research and you will want to puke.

  5. @Rick, I agree that interest in exploiting gamblers will not go away. But, I also don’t think it has the votes needed to expand the state’s gambler exploitation industry.

    Bud Grant HAS been dragged out to support stadium subsidies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4URLgEIQvyQ

    It didn’t work.

    Vikings fans and non-fans have something in common. None want to meet Zygi Wilf’s corporate welfare demands. Fans aren’t willing to pay with their own money. Non-fans aren’t willing to pay with the public’s money (regardless of funding source, including gambling).

  6. @Ed Thanks for posting the definitive YouTube video on this subject. You certainly have convinced me that the Bud Grant exposure didn’t work and there isn’t much hope that it never will.

    You have also convinced me it is a complete waste of time inarguing with you and your speculation about the role of fans and their financial willingness or capacity to contribute. Perhaps you mixed up a batch of your own version of fan kool aid and drank it too!!!!

  7. @Rick, if fans are unwilling to pay, why should non-fans? That’s something fans haven’t been able to explain. To me, the issue appears to be that both fans and non-fans like the Vikings but not enough to subsidize the majority of the costs of a billion dollar stadium.

  8. @Ed. You are being way too logical. Should non-fans have been forced to pay for the Twins Stadium?

    There are rabid fans, Tv only fans, tailgate fans, lukewarm fans, fair-weather fans. As a amalgamated group, I suspect they greatly exceed the number of non-fans. I count you as a stalwart non-fan.

  9. @Rick, if look looked at a Venn diagram of people who are Vikings fans and people who are unwilling to GIVE the public’s money to Zygi Wilf for a new stadium, you’d see a large overlap.

    I didn’t support the Twins deal either, but at least it has 10 times the home games and 5 times the attendance of the Vikings for far less in corporate welfare.

    If Bakk can deliver votes based on no gambling, and the GOP won’t support spending money from the general fund or increasing taxes to pay for a stadium, what would a bill look like that would actually bring together enough votes? Keep in mind that this has been Mark Dayton’s focus for nearly half a year now and he hasn’t been able to find the votes.

  10. @ Ed. At least you have convinced yourself that a stadium deal won’t fly and Dayton can’t get the votes. I wonder what you might say in the future if the Stadium gets built with a big subsidy???

  11. @Rick, you seemed confident that a deal would get done until I illustrated se of the hurdles such as finding money without raising taxes, raiding currently spending, or gambling (raising taxes).

  12. @Ed. Since you brought the subject up, I didn’t bother to comment on your stadium funding post because I felt it was amateurish, incomplete, and generally worthless. The analysis done by Merrifield is selective and biased and misleading. I think this is a topic that neither of you should be involved.

    As far as the stadium goes, I suspect that Rybak will slowly run out of solutions. The Mpls council won’ t go along, anyway. The idea of electronic pull tabs will fizzle because of conflicts with existing non-profits and eventually the stadium discussion will migrate to Rep. Hackbarth ‘s just introduced bill to build in Arden Hills with Racino and no public subsidy. The conservative GOP members will embrace it, the DFL won’t like it but enough will vote to approve. MIGA will launch a huge fight in court and with Lobbyibg but Dayton will sign the deal.

    Can I be any clearer???

  13. @Rick, what’s not clear to me is how you can suggest that giving state revenue to the Vikings would not be considered a “public subsidy”. If the state brought in an additional dollar of revenue, the state should put that dollar toward the state’s greatest needs rather than Zygi Wilf’s wants.

  14. @Ed Let’s say, for a minute, that no matter how the Stadium is built, if the Wilf’s get something for nothing it is basically a public subsidy in one form or another. If the Tribes pay for the stadium because the politicians are afraid to directly tax the Tribal casinos, it is an indirect public subsidy.

    At this point, the State collects no revenue from the Tribes gambling operations other than payroll taxes. Diverting that revenue source to a Stadium construction is much easier to do than to take funds directly out of the state operating budget. It’s political expediency.

    You, however, are making huge value judgments here about what you “personally” think that the states “greatest needs” are. Not all voters or politicians agree with you on this issue although some clearly do.

    For that matter, if one applied your logic, the Twins Stadium never would have been built, nor the XCel center, nor would that city of Minneapolis have agreed to absorb operating losses on the Target Center. All of those public subsidy deals happened and you probably never would have voted for any of them.

  15. @Rick…your arguments continue to amaze me in their lack of clarity. And how you like to throw in exaggeration and obfuscation statements like “You, however, are making huge value judgments here about what you “personally” think that the states “greatest needs” are”…when in fact the Deets blog has been on the leading edge of posting fact and news gathering links cutting through the myths of pro sports e-CONomics.

    Then, you come along many weeks into these postings with the solution to all our stadium problems–Non-Indian Gambling. Which is worse money societally being used to fund bad money economically.

    I hear their new motto is “Completing the predatory financing loop for the declining America.”

    But, after reading these comment for these weeks now, I feel no interest in engaging them further since they devolve into that old argument about arguing with an idiot and losing because of being drawn down to their level and losing due to their years of experience in creating specious rebuttals.

  16. If the tribes gave money to Zygi Wilf, that would not be an “indirect public subsidy”. That would be the tribes doing as they wish with their own money. It’s not a source of money available to the state to diver. It’s not our money.

    Not everyone agrees with me on this, but the majority of Minnesotans do agree me that a Vikings stadium should be entirely privately funded.

    Yep. Correct about the other stadiums. Elected officials went against the public’s best interest to take on debt it didn’t need to take on for the benefit of multi-millionaires and billionaires who aren’t going to pay for their own stadiums until the public starts saying no.

  17. @Ed (First of all, I think it is your responsibility as host of this blog to respond to posts by the “other mike”).

    You might not quite understand how the tribes end up paying for this against their wishes. It is not voluntarily on their part and the lobbyist/advocate force engaged on the part of MIGA will tell you exactly that.

    Here is the issue. Currently the tribe at Mystic Lake enjoys huge profits and virtually no competition and doesn’t pay taxes. The State of MN can change this by legislating an income tax against the casinos or it could open up new gambling competition for the tribes. Either way the tribes give up profits against their wishes.

    Now if the taxes collected by the State are used to fund a new stadium—who do you think paid for it?

    Or if new competition is allowed and Racino comes in a pays for a stadium—whose pocket did this come from—can you think of anyone but the tribes at Mystic Lake or Treasure Island.

    If you think that the tribes are doing this voluntarily and choosing to give money to Wilf, I suggest you give Mr. McCarthy, the MIGA chief lobbyist a call and give him your point of view and thanks.

  18. @Rick, don’t worry about The Other Mike. He’ll be fine.

    Perhaps this could be the first time in American history where we haven’t changed our mind on an issue in a way that hurts the tribes? Your “Indians are making too much money” argument doesn’t win me over.

  19. @Ed. If you haven’t researched the background of tribal gaming in MN, I doubt you will ever comprehend or appreciate what I am telling you.

    Step back a few years on the National scene when Abramoff was connected. Enough said.

  20. @Rick, perhaps you could point me to some background info I could read so I can better understand why we need to take money from tribes so we can give it to Zygi Wilf to make up for the lack of financial support Vikings fans have shown regarding this stadium project?

  21. @Ed. Thanks to the link to the article. I suspect that it is accurate in Senjem doesn’t have sure footed Racino votes—AT THIS POINT IN TIME.

    The article also confirms that Racino is still a viable solution–and you probably can be sure the reporter got that from — off the record. Dayton is reluctant to take on the tribes because they probably have been the biggest DFL donor over the years. The Tribes will take this to court. Former Chief Justice Magnuson has opined the the tribes can only tie this up as a Constituional issue for a short period of time and the Tribes will lose.

    This a process. As long as Rybak muddied the water with shaky ideas and Dayton keeps dancing around gambling expansion–it will take some time to eliminate the things that don’t work such as direct public subsidy (as you have Harper about) and electronic pull tabs. Thankfully, nobody other than you thinks that seat licensing is the magic bullet. When the dust settles, there will be a stadium proposal and ( or possibly a White Earth Casino) will be part of the deal. Then there will be the dreaded yes or no vote that most legislators hope can be deferred.

  22. Personally, I believe that funding schools is much more important than a stadium. Some legislators probably believe that too, but they chose to close the budget shortfall in 2011 with a mirage Financial structure on the backs of the schools. Blame your legislator and the Governor and a long list of politicians who served in the past that created the problem by never facing up to fiscal reality.

    As far as a legislative bill being introduced, which pots school funding against Stadium funding–it could possibly come up. It’s yet another argument for using Racino to help the schools, fund the stadium –instead of direct public subsidy– and possibly even help the poorest tribes.

  23. @Rick, Racino proposals have been around forever. What makes you think that this will be the time when the state decides to increase exploitation of the state’s gambling community in order to divert funds from other taxable forms of spending?

    It’s odd to hear you say “Thankfully, nobody other than you thinks that seat licensing is the magic bullet.” As in, thankfully fans are unwilling to subsidize the cost difference between what Zygi wants and what Zygi is willing to pay for, which may help justify corporate welfare through slot machines?

  24. @Ed I hate to say it, but you really don’t know much about the NFL business model. Your incremental revenue idea from seat licensing has already been factored into what the Vikings are chipping in.

    The Vikings have said they don’t think that MN has the potential for these types of seat licensing revenues as do the stadiums in NY and Dallas—but you can be sure they will collect as much as possible especially for the premium seats on the 50yd line and close to the field. Your idea isn’t new and it isn’t incremental either.

    As far as racino or expanding gambling, here is a link to start if you want to know more about the background of indian gaming in MN.

    You should or probably also know that most of the tribes live in third world poverty and the idea that what Perpich signed has made little difference for them.

    Among the Tribes, there are the “haves” and the “have-nots.” WHite Earth is the largest and the poorest. Mystic Lake and Treasure Island tribes are the “haves.”

    The Mystic Lake tribe is rich and doesn’t do squat for other tribes nor the State of MN. Even the members of the tribe cannot find out where the enormous amount of money goes and what share comes back to individuals. There are a large nubmer of middlemen taking a share of the rake, but it’s all kept secret from public view.

    It has been said that in one northern MN tribe, the accounting records were all kept in a shoe box in the CFO’s closet at home. They are protected from competition, unionization, and data secrecy.

    Nobody knows where the money really goes, because the MIGA group fights the disclosure of public information under the guise that it would disclose competitive secrets. If you read this and look into the matter, I think you might take a different view about the monopoly Perpich created and it can be re-negotiated and, in fact, most other States have done exactly that.

    http://www.maquah.net/miscellany/casino06.html#October_22_2004

    My guess is that if you look into the topic, you might change your past posts.

  25. @Rick…I want to apologize for going over the line earlier. I let my frustration overcome my sense. I’m sorry about that.

    You state in the comment above “I hate to say it, but you really don’t know much about the NFL business model.”

    This is not true…both Ed and I ‘know’ the NFL business model, it is just we are standing up against it instead of meekly accepting their adverse conditions and trying to avoid the worsened economic position that would result.

    If we were merely ignorant, we could be informed by all this media and fan and NFL chatter and walk away; but the truth is we do know the NFL game and we are sick and tired and refuse to take it anymore.

    We both were fans and maybe Ed still is, but my fan era ended years ago after seasons were wiped out by labor disputes and franchises betrayed communities left and right, and it has only been reinforced as stadium e-CONomics in Cincinnati, Miami, et al have exposed just how rich the NFL is and how increasingly poorly they have treated their most loyal fans and communities…who would I be as a person, to now knowing this evil, continue to support it? I’m taking a principled stand against it and I encourage you to do the same.

    If you see gambling as an answer for state budget woes, then take that stand independent from the NFL, because it is painting your gambling stance with the ugly black brush that colors the NFL.

    The NFL is past peak. It’s entertainment value was better 20+ years ago and is in an awful death spiral of greed, power, money, uber alles, and denial of the outright harm they portray on their own fans, their most loyal communities, and the entire American society now.

    And I think people are realizing it now, but they can’t seem to break their addiction and it is an addiction when a person can see the harm their fix is doing and yet continues to seek their fix and enable others to continue harming themselves, acting out again and again against their own best interests.

    Ed has done a service here, and I’m trying to help, and I encourage you to do the same…to stop the NFL from harming MN and get them to realize they have become the problem, not us who will not build them yet another billion dollar pleasure palace.

  26. “an awful death spiral of greed, power, money, uber alles, and denial of the outright harm they portray on their own fans, their most loyal communities, and the entire American society now.”

    Yikes! Was all of that going on before the Madonna halftime show?

  27. Some observations about this morning’s stadium announcement

    1. Gov. Dayton thanked the Wilf’s more than once. This is much different than the constant trashing of the Wilf’s we have seen on this board—particularly from Ed.

    2. Dayton said no state funds involved, which is very much in tune with Ed’s posts that the public is against public subsidies.

    3. Minneapolis, however, will pony up $150 million up front and $188.7 million in operating expenses. This money must be coming from a stash stored under the IDS center and no doubt the reluctant council members will join the bandwagon. It’s all on the back of Rybak.

    4. They figured out a way to crank up funding for doing improvements on the Target Center and the legislature may not have to lift a finger to see this happen.

    5. The State will get the money from electronic pull-tabs. These are mostly bought in bars and the patrons who buy them usually consume liquor at the same time and probably are mostly Vikings fans as well. So this is a way to get the “fans” pay the freight.

    6. The MIGA group and Mystic Lake Tribe have once again dodged a bullet. It appears that they have been able to channel political contributions and influence to keep the State from seizing any profits. The Sioux tribe at Mystic also has fended off the Chippewa White Earth tribe who once fought them in a major Indian battle at CutFoot. The White Earth folks tried to help the State, but the MIGA group fought them off. All is well at the Capital, donors don’t have to be offended and the state pays zip it just shifted to Rybak in Minneapolis.

    7. The deal is not done. It’s just another set of “terms.” Who knows if it will fly?

  28. @ Other Mike You and Ed know how the business model of the NFL works? Thanks for the declaration of fact on this matter.

    It seems you are not a fan, but spend a lot of time on a subject that mostly matters only to fans —and mostly doesn’t matter to non-fans. It only makes sense if you are a rabid opponent of all pro sports. You seem to be committed to crusade of sorts to help people act in their own “best interests” that they don’t seem to be aware of in the first place. (Ed really should come out of hiding and comment on this “best interest” aspect.)

    I doubt I could find another person in the entire country who is preaching that the NFL is “past peak.” Maybe there is some crackpot who thinks as you do, but the NFL likely will be twice as rich in 10 years from now.

  29. @Ed
    Check out MinnPost and more about details of the Dayton/Wilf/Rybak pact to build the Metrodome East. Do you think that the StarTribs land could have been part of the deal?

  30. “spend a lot of time on a subject that mostly matters only to fans —and mostly doesn’t matter to non-fans”

    –Wrong again. It is out of the hands of fans as soon as funding comes from taxes, and you know that Rick, so why do you mislead people with statements like that.

    My ‘best interests’ are–
    –I’m a Mpls resident, which means my property taxes fuel this secret stash of money that you state is hidden under the IDS.
    –And of course that also means I’m a state resident, which means all my taxes are subjected to this NFL scheme.
    –And I’m seated right now in a Mpls downtown restaurant, which if I read the news yesterday correctly–the tax/fee load on my food/beverage tab is the highest in the nation…BEFORE all this stadium snafu and this deal will not improve any of that situation.
    –In fact, this restaurant is a taxpaying entity, whereas all of the Zygi-Stripmall-landia restaurants/bars will be given an unfair competitive, tax-free advantage over this longtime loyal taxpaying business.

    But, this is all seems to a hobby for you, you follow it for the political gaming tactics and not because you have to pay these taxes, so why do I bother to explain them? What is your ‘best interest’ Rick?

  31. I’ll repeat it–the NFL is past peak.

    Don’t base it on revenues, that is weak…everything costs more than twenty years ago when the NFL peaked.

    And of course you seem to be one of those black-white guys who can’t deal with grey, so let me be clear–just because the NFL is past peak does not mean they have collapsed into nothing. Merely it means they are on that glide-path downward and have been for about 20 years.

    But don’t take my word for it–
    Take a poll–
    Ask NFL pollsters–
    Talk to TV executives–
    Talk to beer advertisers–
    Talk to fans outside stadiums–
    Talk to fans in bars/restaurants–
    Ask fans who no longer bother going anywhere to watch the game.

    Just be sure to ask the questions well if you want the truth, anyone can load up a b.s. poll, but trust me when I say I’m not alone in saying the NFL is past peak.

  32. @ other mike

    I don’t live in Mpls. I have no influence over what the politicians do in Mpls. If you vote, you have more by letting them know how you feel about the stadium. Do they give a rip about what you think.

    Personally, I think the state could have come up with a much fairer deal for all, but both the DFL and GOP have been influenced by an Abramoff type lobbying effort done apparently within the law on behalf of some shamefully rich Tribes. It still might happen with Racino or a White Earth casino if there are enough Mpls folks of your mindset who shoot down Rybak.

    As far as your NFL over the peak statement—please post one single credible web link that supports it!!!!

  33. @Rick, I’m familiar with how the NFL has used PSLs in the past, and the economic realities of the Minnesota market. If fans aren’t willing to chip in money to reduce the public’s share of a stadium, then the market isn’t viable for a new stadium. That’s fine, since we already have an existing stadium with a new field and roof that the Vikings can use and fans can enjoy without taking on more than half a billion in debt payments.

    Obviously, it would make more sense to charge more for PSLs for premium seats than the nose bleeds. But, illustrating that people loyal enough to buy season ticket are unwilling to pay less than $100/mo to support their team’s new stadium dream goes to show how little support their is for the stadium Wilf wants the public to build him.

  34. @Rick,

    1. I generally don’t thank people who ask me for money they don’t need to build something the public doesn’t want (if it’s built with their money). Dayton should not be thanking Wilf either.

    2. It’s quite a stretch to claim that the state wouldn’t be giving money to Wilf when the state would be giving money to Wilf. Money from pull tabs would go to the state and the state would then hand that money over to the Vikings rather than use the money on actual state priorities.

    3. The Minneapolis share is 33X what Rybak is authorized to spend without a referendum.

    4. Did they? I didn’t see an explanation for how the Target Center welfare program would be funded.

    5. Rather than pretend that pull tab users are Vikings fans, just have fans pay if they want to subsidize Wilf’s corporate welfare.

    6. Assuming that this plan has legs. Senjem mentioned Racino within a few hours.

    7. The easiest solution is to have the public stay out of it. The Vikings and Vikings fans should figure out what’s best for themselves based on the money they have to work with collectively or can raise privately.

  35. @Rick, I’ve been avoiding international data roaming in Toronto for most of the day.

    A person can be a fan of a sport while not being a fan of a sport business’ business practices in the same way a person can be a fan of an iPhone while lobbying Apple to use better labor practices to manufacture the devices.

    The Other Mike has linked up this “past peak” NFL theory before:
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7559458/cte-concussion-crisis-economic-look-end-football

    Makes some sense to me. If fans grow sick of watching athletes destroy their brains, lawsuits due to CTE kill college programs, and parents stop letting their kids play football, wouldn’t the sport decline from where it is today?

  36. From what I’ve seen mentioned on Twitter, it sounds like some Strib land may be in play. As I understand it, it would be available to Zygi Wilf to develop with businesses where he wouldn’t have to pay property taxes or sewer fees. Quite a deal when one is competing with neighboring locally owned businesses that actually contribute to the city’s tax base.

  37. Here is another reason why the NFL is PAST PEAK–

    http://www.google.com/search?q=concussion+discussion&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Also, locally, which Rick wouldn’t know it seems, we have just finished a month long local Concussion Discussion.

    The NFL also has just absorbed the Dave Duerson lawsuit as I recall…the first of many I am sure.

    But ultimately the NFL is past peak because the NFL no longer can stand on its own merits. It has to extract usury term from its remaining fans and communities, then be propped up by politicians unable to say ‘no’ and who give away all the tax benefits of having a team.

    Literally, how many cities are left who will fall for this crap? They are talking expansion for LA, but can’t even begin to talk about what city might foolishly pair with them.

  38. @other mike

    I think you should be talking to your own mayor— about how cities are all being fooled into funding the rich NFL owners— that is if he would give you any attention at all. Perhaps you need a pep talk from Rybak to get on board!!!

    While the concussion matter is very serious and tragic for players it is rediculous to assert that it confirms the NFL is declining. They are not blind to this problem and the chance of it even making a small dent compared to it’s resources is remote. You are grasping at straws to justify very weak logic.

  39. Rick, just do your own poll, don’t waste your time on my ‘very weak logic’ and use your own.

    The concussion issue isn’t the NFL’s problem, it is all of football’s problem…and as Ed mentioned above, if all of football declines, so will the NFL, right? Somehow this is weak to you?

    But regardless of that–the NFL is past peak now! There is nothing left for them to do in the game and no more acts they can add to their surrounding circus. Billion dollar stadiums built to hide the lack of value in the game.

    It is not TV that is causing stadiums to be empty, and it is not blackouts that create the malaise of the fans–the greater problem, it is the lack of entertainment value for the time investment.

    It is the nature of the game itself to become boring. It is just men playing a boys game, and they have reached their limits 20+ years ago. The game itself lacks ways to improve itself…better balls (done), better refs (done), better players, better drugs, better coaching, done done done it has all been done.

    So, it repeats upon itself where each game reminds you of another game that fell into the same pattern, and yet that prior game was better.

    Why was the prior game better–because it was played by YOUR team, one that was not just attached to your community and called yours. It wasn’t create 50 years too late, and it didn’t move from Cleveland or Houston.

    And it didn’t get bought by a used car salesman from San Antonio, threatened to move to TX or LA, then get sold to a NJ real estate developer, who then gets handed tax-free public assets.

    The game is no longer the game…it now has been for 20+ years a real estate scam, a predatory financing scheme to strip public money away from nostalgic rubes.

    When I think of the NFL, I USED to think about great plays made by great players in great games between great rivalvies…no more. Now they all are plug n play components without permanent attachment to anything…completely disposable and I have witnessed them being disposed of.

    Have you noticed how NFL discussions now quickly become a case where you stop because you “Never argue with a man whose job depends on not being convinced.” — H.L. Mencken

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair

    “Fascism will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible.” ~ Sinclair Lewis.

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” ~ William Samuel Johnson

    This is the face of the NFL today…predators preying on their most loyal fans…past peak for 20+ years.

    Do your own poll if you need affirmation…I don’t need to see the results to know what I feel.

  40. @other mike

    It’s pretty clear how you feel about your perceptions the the NFL is on the decline. What is not clear is if your perceptions border on reality.

    Good luck in your crusade. Apparently there are few if any MN politicians in power who are buying it. The stadium goes forward.

  41. @Ed. I don’t think that the majority of politicians want to voluntarily do anything for Zigy. Most would prefer not to be forced to vote on a stadium. Many legislators say this is a 50/50 deal with their constituents. No matter how they vote–there will be plenty of hate mail and very few love letters.

    Your question is pretty much irrelevant anyway because there hasn’t been a bill which had to pass committees up until now. When then dust settles–I do think that the stadium wins by a close vote. The current deal will be tweaked and pull tabs probably won’t be enough. According to MinnPost, Rybak found an end around the council and it may not matter what they think.

    Please predict if you think the stadium will be built or not. If it does get built, will you attend the ribbon-cutting and congratulate Rybak and Dayton and THANK Zigy Wilf too????

  42. “Good luck in your crusade. Apparently there are few if any MN politicians in power who are buying it. The stadium goes forward.”

    Seriously Rick, it is amusing to consider your logic–
    –a ‘perception’ unshared becomes a ‘crusade’…no, it is my opinion, which you asked me to describe, so I did…I asked you to do your own poll if you wonder if the NFL is past peak.

    Then–when a ‘stadium proposal goes forward’ becomes ‘few if any MN politicians in power who are buying it’…why would you conclude this?

    It is merely the stadium proposal that appears to be sent forth to the state legislators and city council to consider–finally, after months (years) of false starts these same MN politicians will have something to reflect their ‘power’ upon, not ‘buy’ into.

    These are the types of logic disconnects that make it hard to follow you (and frustrate me); honestly, I’d welcome some logic to explain why a stadium should be built on the public dime. It is the lack of logic and void of business sense that drives me away from supporting this proposal.

  43. @Rick, why would I thank Zygi for leaching off the State and City?

    I believe a Vikings stadium deal with eventually get done. Maybe not this year.

    The legislature can move fast on stuff that makes political sense. This this doesn’t, they haven’t. It’s not for a lack of bills. Tom Hackbarth’s Racino proposal landed with a thud last week, and the Shakopee one received just as poor of a reception when that was proposed.

    I don’t believe Rybak should attend a Vikings stadium ribbon cutting ceremony if he doesn’t honor the city charter’s requirement for a referendum on spending more than $10m on a pro sports stadium.

  44. @Ziggy, to – theoretically – bring more money into a community than it costs to build and maintain the convention center. Interesting parallels to building an NFL stadium, eh?

  45. Sounds like if you are a major city that you would probably want both.
    Let’s get the stadium bill passed and move on.
    A Super-Bowl and Final Four would bring in tons of money and free advertising.
    A Super-Bowl commercial is worth 3 Million dollars. The Super-Bowl would be like a 5 hour commercial for the state of Minnesota.

  46. @Ziggy, if you believe a city needs an NFL team to be a major city, can I assume that you’re willing to spend your major city money to help Zygi out?

    You understand that the Super Bowl is on the first Sunday on February, right? Were you to film a commercial about the State of Minnesota, is that when you’d film it

    And, finally, get out a spreadsheet and actually attempt to back up your financial statements. If building a new stadium was a lucrative endeavor, it would already be approved. Based on the marginal support from Wilf and Vikings fans for this project, it would be a net loser for the public. Even Rybak, and Minneapolis’ CFO admitted to this last week during the stadium hearings they held in Minneapolis.

  47. Stadiums and convention centers are good for cities.
    Minneapolis wants both and both they shall have.
    A couple of bucks out of your pocket won’t be missed.
    Stop being so cheap.

  48. According to various studies throughout the country, being chosen as the host city for a Super Bowl has an enormous impact on the local economy. A study by the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business showed that Super Bowl XLII – held in 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Tempe, Arizona – generated over $500 million for the State, including over $314 million in direct spending. Meanwhile, the Sports Management Research Institute found that Super Bowl XLI in 2007 brought over $460 million and almost $280 million in direct spending to the Miami area. Finally, Webster University concluded that Super Bowl XL in Detroit, a market comparable in size to the Twin Cities, generated $274 million, including nearly $170 million in direct spending, for the metro area. The only Super Bowl played in Minneapolis, Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, had a $120 million direct impact on our community.

  49. 120 Million all the way back in 1992!
    You might have been in Alaska when that happened but it happened!

  50. Economic Impact/Return on Investment

    The Vikings pay $20 million annually in State and local taxes. In 2001, the team paid $11 million per year.
    Visiting teams pay approximately $1 million per year in taxes to the State of Minnesota.
    A report by Convention, Sports & Leisure said a new stadium and the retention of the Vikings will generate $26 million annually in tax revenue upon stadium opening. Tax revenue will grow significantly during the life of the facility.
    In 2011, over 40% of Vikings Season Ticket Owners live outside the 7-county metro area and 27% of STOs live outside the State of Minnesota.
    A study by the University of Minnesota on the Vikings-Cowboys playoff game in January 2010 found that non-metro game attendees spend nearly $6 million in restaurants, hotels, retail stores and on transportation in the Twin Cities per Vikings game.
    The Metrodome was built for $55 million, including $33 million in public dollars. The State of Minnesota contributed none of this money but has received over $320 million in tax revenue since the facility opened.

  51. @Ziggy, stadiums and convention centers are good for cities when they provide a positive return on investment. When they don’t, they’re not. I’m not cheap. I’m willing to spend a lot of money on things that provide a good return. Personally, I value public education and helping the least well off in Minneapolis and Minnesota more than subsidizing Vikings fans’ tickets.

  52. @Ziggy, you’re throwing around some big numbers, but here’s a reality check. The cost of debt payments on the money you’re demanding from the public is even larger than what the Vikings return to the public through sales and income taxes.

    Regarding spending at Super Bowls, that is only relevant if the sales tax rate is nearly 100%. You don’t seem to understand that $120 million in spending doesn’t generate $120 million in revenue. It’s a common mistake. If you understood that, perhaps your approach to begging for a Vikings stadium would change?

    BTW, I was in Minnesota in 1992. If you haven’t watched the Super Bowl halftime show from then, look it up on YouTube.

  53. @ Ziggy Ed gets many things wrong, but I think he is right that you can’t make a case for building a stadium just because of the possibility of Super Bowls. Would the NFL ever consider coming to MN again in January?

    It’s pretty hard to justify a new stadium just on the economics alone. There are benefits that cannot be measured and Ed tends to ignore those.

    My guess is that many of the legislators are looking ahead and concluding that the majority of the Minnesota population really enjoys having the Vikings here even if there is public subsidy. They truly fear the repercussions of being blamed if the team leaves. (Dayton and Rybak won’t be among those blamed if the team leaves.)

  54. @Ziggy, honestly, if you want to understand this stuff, pay attention. I know that I’ve shared this link with you before. Perhaps you didn’t comprehend the data the first time. Give it another look. Look at the $320 million figure. Notice how it rolls up ALL of the revenue created at the Metrodome rather than just what the Vikings generated?

    http://pudstrand.fatcow.com/blog/?p=329

    Put another way: The Vikings revenue covered the cost of a stadium over 30 years if you ignore interest (which, as you can probably imagine, is one heck of a generous thing to do). Now, the Vikings want to build a stadium that costs 6X as much as the Metrodome in today’s dollars. See the problem?

  55. @Rick, the intangibles are where the Vikings fans see value that I don’t believe the public can justify. Clearly, a person willing to paint themselves purple, create a tailgating vehicle, buy a ton of Vikings gear, pay for tailgating parking, and buy season tickets sees more value in the team than the average person buying deodorant at a Minneapolis Walgreens who’d be forced to subsidize Zygi through taxes.

    Dayton, Rybak, and the legislature has done a poor job putting the responsibility for saving the team on Vikings fans.

  56. @Ed

    You just shot yourself in the foot on the old trap of you think you can decide how people should act and what they should spend their money on.

    In comparison, the other prominent people who do this moralist behavior stuff are folks like Archbishop Neinstedt and Michelle Bachmann.

    And you seem to be bashing Dayton and Rybak, who are probably the most powerful DFL leaders in the State so it is very logical to conclude that you have been a hard-line right-wing TParty type all along. You might pass the GOP purity test. Maybe next time, Mpls will get a really lousy mayor. You could do much worse than Rybak.

    You are right that Dayton didn’t put enough pressure on the fans when he force Zigy to agree to sell some number of “affordable seats” in the new Stadium. This means Zigy will have to get his share extracted from the richer fans.

    FYI. The fans will end up paying bigtime. Their money won’t go to reduce your subsidy but it will go to reduce Zigy’s share of the new stadium costs. Does anyone else on this blog believe that the Vikings fans who attend games are getting by too cheap??? Give us a break. Should Zigy try to find a way to take money from TV fans too?

  57. @Rick, that is a twisted analysis of my comment. I’m not telling people how to spend their own money. I’m telling them that they can spend their own money on whatever they see enough value in to spend it on.

    We’ve been over your oddball characterization of how my position on this issue differs from Dayton and Rybak.

    Vikings fans are getting by too cheap. They are unwilling to cover the market costs for what they are asking for. Demanding entertainment subisidies illustrates that they are too cheap to pay themselves. Clearly, they are spending quite a bit of money. But, like me, they don’t see enough value in a new stadium to pay for it. It’s one thing that Vikings fans and I agree on. We differ on what to do about that gap.

  58. @Ed.
    Interesting to see that you place more trust in GOP leadership to kill a Mpls stadium than you do in DFL. I only wish I could lock you in a room with Dayton and Rybak to hash this out!!! No doubt you will soon be arguing that social programs should be shut off because they are inefficient and some money goes to buy lottery tickets and illegal drugs—so if a few cheat we deny the benefit to all.
    That is GOP talk—but I wonder where you would draw the line?
    You may belong in the GOP. There are hundreds of public projects which used money that would have never been built applying your system. We subsidize all sorts of private businesses for plenty of reasons–the only way you can stop highway spending is to go to a system of toll roads like is done in states like FL that shun taxation. As it appears now, you just see the stadium just as another toll road purely funded by a private operator.

    Yep–It’s them cheap fans–as you characterize them–the ones that by the expensive tickets and high priced beer and actually should be held at fault.

    Apparently you have not figured out that a public subsidy is the means used to distribute the burden to all of the TV fans. It ain’t perfect, but it may work well enough.

  59. @Rick, I think you are quite aware of how someone could support programs that support the general welfare without supporting a proposal that would be a drain on the public to benefit people doing far better than average. Those expensive tickets and high priced beers don’t generate enough tax revenue to meet the debt payments on Wilf’s corporate welfare demands.

    If this is about making people who watch the Vikings on TV pay, a state wide sales tax (or other general fund spending) would be a better fit. Or, a tax on cable TV. Or, Zygi could simply use the revenue he makes from TV to pay for the stadium himself, then run pledge drive commercials during games.

  60. @Ed. Your blog eats my posts and then they disappear. You must be trying to muzzle my comments. Am I about to be banned as you were by a Pro-stadium site?

  61. Little Eddie can’t handle the truth! LOL
    He deletes posts that don’t back up his weak argument.

  62. Facts

    Jobs

    According to Convention, Sports & Leisure (CSL), building a new stadium will support 13,000 jobs, including 7,500 full and part-time construction jobs with nearly $300 million in wages.
    The construction industry is currently experiencing nearly 20% unemployment in Minnesota.
    Over 90% of the materials and labor value is expected to go back to Minnesotans.
    Upon completion, a new stadium and the Vikings will employ approximately 3,200 full and part-time jobs. Vikings game days currently employ 2,800 people.

    Economic Impact/Return on Investment

    The Vikings pay $20 million annually in State and local taxes. In 2001, the team paid $11 million per year.
    Visiting teams pay approximately $1 million per year in taxes to the State of Minnesota.
    A report by Convention, Sports & Leisure said a new stadium and the retention of the Vikings will generate $26 million annually in tax revenue upon stadium opening. Tax revenue will grow significantly during the life of the facility.
    In 2011, over 40% of Vikings Season Ticket Owners live outside the 7-county metro area and 27% of STOs live outside the State of Minnesota.
    A study by the University of Minnesota on the Vikings-Cowboys playoff game in January 2010 found that non-metro game attendees spend nearly $6 million in restaurants, hotels, retail stores and on transportation in the Twin Cities per Vikings game.
    The Metrodome was built for $55 million, including $33 million in public dollars. The State of Minnesota contributed none of this money but has received over $320 million in tax revenue since the facility opened.

    Quality of Life

    One out of every two Minnesotans, or approximately 3 million people, follow the Vikings each Sunday either on TV, radio or in person at the stadium.
    Over the past three years, the Vikings have averaged a 65 TV share, meaning 65% of TVs that are turned on during Vikings football are tuned into the game.
    A new stadium will be publicly owned, operated by a third party and available for national and community events throughout the year. The Vikings will pay $13 million in annual operating expenses / capital improvement funding.
    Over the last several years, the Vikings have donated over $500,000 annually to charitable organizations, as well as thousands of autographed items. In 2010, the team donated over 3,000 items in the five-state area.
    In the summer of 2011, the Vikings helped serve 1,000,000 meals to underserved children in the Twin Cities.
    For the last five years, every player on the 53-man roster and the eight practice squad players participated in the Vikings community outreach program.

  63. Ziggy, all of those facts have been debunked, most in that posting that Ed asked you to read and now you are ignoring.

    But, let’s even say all your facts are correct, just for fun and because Rick likes to debate bad facts–
    –those past facts are not part of this proposal.

    All the income streams have been pointed toward Zygi in the current proposal and away from the city and state. In the future 40 years as proposed, Zygi gets free land now and tax-free going forward; and all revenue streams from naming, parking, whatever retail/business for this ‘people’s stadium’ goes to him, not the people.

    This new Dome will become a blackhole sucking in all monies and will return nothing to the community but for the player’s salaries being taxed.

    It puts him alone in a retail/business advantage over every other business owner in that community who DOES pay their taxes, which is a 7-15% advantage right from the top…do you have a chance to compete against that? NO, that is why the Dome area will continue to be a dead zone.

    The NFL is past peak, it uses the fans own loyalty against their better judgment while robbing these loyal communities of their own development funds.

    It has turned into the Goldman-Sachs vampire squid sucking communities dry, and just like the internet bubble of 2000 and housing bubble of 2007 this pro sports bubble will burst. You can see signs of it already in Cincinnati, Miami, Sacramento for the NBA, and elsewhere. Don’t ignore these warning signs.

    Deal with the current proposal, decide on the future ROI, not the past glories. Even Bud Grant says fund hunting and fishing and not this stadium boondoggle.

    Then after reviewing the real proposal, if you like the NFL entertainment that much that you can accept that, that is your vote not mine. That is why the referendum is needed…even if the city charter doesn’t require it, it should be demanded out of good governance.

  64. @Ziggy. Although it may not be helpful to address Ed as “little Eddie”, I think you have focused correctly on the intangible benefits of a team. On a purely economic basis, which Ed insists is the ONLY way to view a stadium proposal—in almost every NFL city it has been near impossible to make a clear cut case. Factors such as how much money leaks out of the community are very difficult to prove.

    I suspect that we are now going into a different phase now that a legislative committee took a vote and refused to support the stadium. In some ways this might be a test for every other legislator to get community feedback. No doubt phones are ringing and stadium supporters are screaming. The Vikings at some point will pull out their guns to show that the possibility of the team leaving in increasingly real. Sid Hartman was the first to join the bandwagon with a column explaining how the Wilf’s have less visible business partners who Ed may not have known about. It’s also worth noting that the Vikings CFO last night said the team is not producing any cash flow in the existing Dome.

  65. Thanks Rick. This article might help the future debate–
    http://real-economics.blogspot.com/2012/04/cruel-stupidity-that-is-economic.html

    Here are some money quotes to ponder on how the NFL/Zygi might really work in tandem with a community instead of just being extractive. Economics matters, and it is not as complicated as this awful stadium proposal was WHEN you stick to the fundamentals instead of skipping them as was done in that deal–

    “If a corporation cannot survive on its own it deserves to die. If a corporation’s survival serves some vital social or security need and it cannot survive on its own, then it should be socialized rather than publicly subsidized. After all, public subsidies to privately held corporations already are a form of socialism, it’s just that much of the money goes into private pockets rather than serving the public good.

    That we are even discussing [related topic] is itself proof that the political systems of the developed world are but servants to private industry. When people have money to spend they also have taxable income. When people have money to spend the businesses that profit off their spending also have taxable income. A reviving economy means greater government revenue because more people and businesses are contributing to it. A reviving economy means fewer government outlays, not as a form of social punishment but because there is less social need. It’s not complicated.”

  66. @other mike

    Dream on. If it is true the Vikes have no cash flow and the non-Wilf partners are shaky about wanting to stay in MN, the Vikings are about tapped out here. They will wait a couple of weeks to see if the legislature takes an up and down vote. The GOP is already setting up to blame the Dayton for not getting enough support from his own party.

    If Minneapolis is dead, someone will try to revive Arden Hills funded by Racino in a special session. The White Earth group could come into play if MIGA argues the tribes are being exploited. If the deal gets done in Arden Hillls, Mpls will have to deal with a dome abandonment issue. Rybak always wanted to be Govenor and will be in a catbird position to say “I told you so.”

    If you think MN will keep the Vikings by getting more money from the Wilf’s are fans—I have a bridge to sell you. Ain’t gonna happen.

  67. As always Rick, your political gamesmanship savvy sounds spot on; which brings me back to my very first comment about the stadium…about how these stadium deals encapsulate everything that is wrong in America.
    –public subsidies of private business
    –entertainment over producing anything of value
    –politics games over societal gains
    –and an ever shrinking taxbase to fund these extractions is left holding the bag, which is now a backpack, down by the river.

    So, they can definitely do all that you propose…or they can do something right for a change.

  68. The University of Minnesota extension service did an analysis of the impact of a 2010 Vikings playoff game, and put that amount at about $5.8 million.

    They only include the 25,000 out-of-metro visitors to the games, because economists believe that local residents would simply shift their spending to other activities rather than stop the spending entirely if the Vikings left.

    In that playoff game, visitors spent $1.5 million on restaurants, $1.4 million on hotels, $1.2 million on retail, along with $720,000 on entertainment, $657,000 on transportation, and $211,000 on parking.

    For a regular season game, the impact would likely be less than the money spent on one playoff game, according to researchers.

    Still, $50 million would be a sizable impact for 10 dates.

    To compare that to other local events: Meet Minneapolis said the 2011 American Legion convention brought 12,000 people to town, with an economic impact $13.572 million.

    In economic impact, Minnesota would need four of those major conventions to equal an entire season of Vikings games.

  69. @Ziggy. Forget the economic analysis. There is no way you can justify a stadium on pure dollars of economic benefit. You are arguing with the same approach that Ed does where he picks and chooses the property he wants to illustrate a point. Stadiums are built because the sports are popular and the cost of subsidy per person is nominal. We just have a few shortsided folks posting here that operate much like the TParty and oppose things from a narrow point of view.

    It appears that Dayton is now talking about a different location so it appears that it would be Arden Hills. Mpls folks will have to reflect on the prospect of an abandoned Dome and paying for Target center shortfalls. The GOP is bracing for a political firestorm and they are already placing the blame for yesterday’s vote on Dayton and the DFL. I suspect that Rybak will take one more shot at saving his deal and if he keeps finding more stubborn citizens like Ed and Other Mike–he will move on to running for Governor. Arden Hills is looking better every day. The White Earth folks may solve the State’s problem but create more issues for Minnespolis if a deal is funded out of a downtown Casino.

  70. Rick,
    You still haven’t figured out that its not Democrats or Republicans, its both.
    Democrats blame the Republicans and the Republicans blame the Democrats. Round and round we go. Either way we get screwed!

    Also, stadiums do have a positive financial impact on a City and State when you factor in all the events over time. What’s a Super-Bowl commercial go for 3 Million? A Super-Bowl in Minnesota would be like a five hour commercial for the state. Show me where these economic geniuses have factored that in?

  71. @Ziggy You are right in that if the Viking leave town it will be a hot potato issue with the GOP and DFL blaming each other. My understanding is that the DFL leaders Bakk and Thiesen both think they have enough DFL votes to pass a stadium bill if enough GOP members will vote yes. The GOP controls both legislatures and simply has to get a majority of the GOP legislators to approve.

    Actually, the head genius of sports in MN is Sid Hartman and he has factored in Super Bowls and Final Fours and NCAA playoff games as well. Counting all of that, there still isn’t enough. You must not be aware of several economic feasibility studies that were done in Dallas and other NFL cities that built new stadiums recently. No publicly subsidized stadium NFL has ever proved to have a positive economic return. Some sports stadiums have proven to be disasters for taxpayers including the Timberwolves site.

    Ed and Other Mike are not visionaries, but they have done enough homework to know that a publicly subsidized stadium will never pay off. Do a Google search on the economics of the Dallas Cowboys stadium to see what is considered in these studies.

  72. Rick,
    Do these studies account for such things as advertising dollars from major events such as the Super-Bowl or Final Four? I think not. Most of these so called experts slant the out come in favor of one group or another.
    Stadiums do have a positive economic impact on states and cities.
    Why do they build convention centers with public money?
    Also, I wasn’t just referring to the stadium issue when I made the comment about Republicans and Democrats.

  73. @Ziggy. There are dozens of studies done by universities and think tanks that have no vested interests in stadiums–they mostly due exhaustive investigation of any possible benefit of public funding. You can Google most of them.

    Only Ed is qualified to answer on convention centers.

  74. Hmmmm…

    If rumors are true that Hennepin county is about to get in the act with a Farmer’s Market site adjoining The Twins ballpark, then I wonder what Ed and Other Mike will hate about it????

    Stay tuned……

  75. Rick,

    I can’t find one study on stadium financing that includes the positive impact of advertising during the Super-Bowl or Final Four.
    I did find multiple studies that find a positive economic impact by stadiums.

  76. @ Ziggy. Here is a link to a Baylor University study which attempted to consider every single possible benefit from public subsidy of a stadium for the Cowboys. In terms of Super Bowl potential Dallas is much more favorable than MN because of weather and also because they are marketed as Americas Team”. The Cowboys now have a much larger stadium than what any of the local proposals would bring to MN plus it is extremely luxurious compared to a MN facility. Jerry Jones said his intention was to build a stadium to get Super Bowls. By contrast in MN, this is a remote possibility In any event, the Baylor researchers could not find enough benefits to absorb the subsidy.

    http://business.baylor.edu/Tom_Kelly/cowboys.doc

    In any event, it looks like Hennepin county is working on another plan where they can impose a sales tax without a vote needed and Ed and Other Mike will just have to swallow hard.

  77. Regarding what I will hate about the next stadium proposal, as I’ve said before–
    –I hate the NFL model, where they extract monies from their most loyal fans and communities. They went past peak on March 28, 1984. Google that date and the top 3 response is when the Colts moved away from Baltimore, the NFL’s first true stab in the back of loyal fans and community. So, until they balance out the scale to return money back into their fans and communities, here are some things I would like if they were included in the next proposal–
    …if it wasn’t tax-free to these private businesses–why should they get a free-ride, if I opened even a 100 sq ft office downtown I’d have taxes to pay.
    …if it wasn’t a billion dollar stadium–there are all kinds of articles written about how the in-stadium experience is not better for the fan in these new stadiums, so why build them for a billion dollars. Both TCF stadium and Target Field were about 500 million.
    …if the NFL would allow fan/community ownership ala Green Bay. Everyone knows the Packers aren’t moving, and even though the stock is worthless to creditors, it obviously isn’t worthless to the rubes who buy it. The ploy of relocating teams around the country has backfired on the NFL, so why can’t they open their eyes and change that bass backwards anti-fan, anti-team/community rule.

    As for the city, county, and state (and even national) governments–
    …why has pro sports gotten most favored nation treatment? They produce nothing but entertainment diversion, and if half of the brainpower that goes into Monday Morning Quarterbacking and Second Guessing Coaching went into creating businesses and solving production issues, maybe the country would stop spectating their lives away and create jobs again.
    …why build these luxury stadiums with our tax dollars? Public subsidies are supposed to be productive uses, to create clean water so our citizens are healthy, to create transportation routes so people can get to work and home safely, to educate our people so they can be better employers and employees. Not build better circuses where the expenses are subsidized while profits head out of town.

    Pro sports are the halftime show in America. The most ironic thing that occurred during this debate was Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl ad encouraging Americans to get back to work. The NFL extractive model is past peak, something they could get away with decades ago when America still had businesses paying taxes, but times have changed.

    But Americans can’t get back to work until they stop being spectators in their own lives, and living their life to watch these games. You can’t work when you are distracted watching pro sports, it used to be something you heard on the radio while you were working on your car or business, not they other way around.

    All this said, I’m not anti-sports, but I am anti-sports-uber-alles. Sports teach kids about the need for teamwork and discipline. But they should be more participative, not spectative, to combat obesity.

    And pro sports have a place, as a distraction and not as the center stage in people’s lives. When the game ends, we can’t be breaking TV sets and vomiting in parking lots. We all have to grow up and get some work done, and good business leadership and governance would understand the role pro sports should have in society.

    I guess those are the high points. What would you like to see in the next proposal?

  78. @other mike. Ed really should comment on your posts, but he apparently went into hiding or is too scared to do so.

    My view is that you preached your theory that the NFL is “past peak” about 95% of the crowd would see you as a crackpot.

    Inefficient and unworthy public subsidy decisions are common. You apparently haven’t a clue that it is a part of living in a democracy. Perhaps you would prefer an unelected but benevolent despot to run your city!!!

    In the big picture, the size of the subsidies you and Ed keep harping about are piddly. Even if MN didn’t have one sports stadium it’s citizens would still be subsidizing all of the other stadiums in the USA financed with tax exempt muni bonds. We all pay for it in the federal deficit costs of borrowing from the Chinese. The Congress wrote the tax code to allow tax exempt treatment for stadium bonds.

    You should travel to DC and lobby to change the tax code and get rid of pro-sports anti-trust exemptions and also force pro players to take an 80% pay cut.

  79. Rick,

    That Baylor study does not say anything about the benefit of Super-Bowl advertising. It doesn’t even mention anything about events such as the Final Four or any NCAA events.
    Also, it seems the tone of the report is very negative towards any stadium. I think the people who created that report had a negative outlook before they even put it on paper.

  80. @Ziggy. Good thing your asked specifically about the economic value of hosting a Super Bowl. I believe that the Baylor folks looked at this and concluded that the effect was either zero or it would cost the city more than the revenues earned. Indianapolis actually was a big net loser on it’s Super Bowl with the new stadium and you probably could conclude that Minneapolis would be a similar case.

    I understand that you really beleive the economic benefits of a subsidized stadium would meet Ed’s standards–but even Ed doesn’t think it is possible.

    For a better understanding, read the following link:

    http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-02/super-bowl-lands-on-taxpayers-backs-as-stadium-deal-turns-sour.html

  81. Ed is working…it is just you and me (and Ziggy…go SB advertising, save us!!!)

    The NFL is past peak. Public subsidies for arenas and stadium (and likely convention centers…unless you live in Ziggy’s world) are also past peak.

    It is due to all the anti-tax and austerity measures of the past 30 years…it is time to admit these effects have stripped away the ‘public safety net’ and that includes subsidizing public stadiums.

    To ignore this reality just accelerates the decline of the American Empire. You can erect all the bronze statues of Zygi you want, but that don’t pay the bills.

    What to you want to see in your next stadium proposal?

  82. @other mike. I would like to see a local Government authority that can ride roughshod over your resistance to increased sales tax for a publicly subsidized stadium regardless of what you and Ed think. It would be nice if we could just get it built and shove the whiners aside.

    Perhaps Opat and Stenglein at Hennepin County already have that authority. They just might shove subsidized stadium deal at a different location down your throat and it won’t meet Ed’s standards. Oops……maybe I just let the cat out!!

  83. “In the big picture, the size of the subsidies you and Ed keep harping about are piddly.”

    –Didn’t the MNGOP shutdown the entire state over a smaller amount?

    –Didn’t the MNGOP-led DOT allow an interstate bridge to collapse into the Mississippi River for less?

    I’m not fond of your definition of piddly.

    The USA GOP party for 30 years preached the value of less taxes, they staked not only their entire party on that mantra; but the entire nation…we are living in that nation, a nation that can no longer afford to subsidize pro sports facilities.

    To think otherwise is to live either in the past or in denial.

  84. “…local Government authority that can ride roughshod over your resistance….”

    This is so sad, the last untapped fund (short of the Park and Rec) is the Hennepin County, which was tapped for the Target Field as I recall. Seriously, can Opat and Stenglien shove a billion dollars of stadium subsidies (Target Field + Zygiworld) into .15 tax rate? What kind of implosion do you prefer?

  85. But honestly, if you were to ask me for my proposal of how to spend this ‘piddly’ 500+ million dollar city/state subsidy amount, the last thing I would spend it on would be pro football–
    –I’d thank the NFL for its 50 years of Viking football, tell Zygi to use th 2012 season to find a new location, thanks for the memories, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
    –I’d create the State Bank of MN based on the ND model.
    –Then with that bank, I’d take that 500 million to provide $500,000 dollar zero interest loans to 1000 MN-based entrepreneurs…all these loans stipulating that MN jobs must be create for MN markets and be repaid in MN, and the State Bank of MN has a 10% stake in any successful venture for 30 years.
    –I’d offer the Metrodome free to any business willing to pay its taxes and provide local jobs…and if not, then it can serve as the home offices of those 1000 MN-based businesses above if they need a start-up office.

    Just sayin…there is a whole big world out there besides the NFL.

  86. @ Other Mike. You seem to be an expert on the TParty. That’s why I have always assumed you were a closet right-winger with a socialist twist.

    You are right that the GOP prefers to fund economic growth through private enterprise, but your idea to lend 1000 entrepreneurs cash out of a government bank is bizarre and foolish. If you knew anything about how loans are made through SBA guarantees, you might have a clue.

    If you lent 500 mil., I’d say 400 mil. of that would go into default and probably zero would be recovered. Your bank would go bust. I don’t run into damn fools very often–but I just did.

    Get Ed to defend your nonsense. Even he won’t.

  87. Ah Rick, let’s dispense with the labelmaker. If you must put my politics into a genre, let me help you. I’m not Tparty, I’m not DFL or GOP…I describe myself as an Independent Too Independent to Join a Party. The only thing that happens when a person joins any party these days is that their voice is immediately quieted and co-opted.

    Why would I want that…why would you? If I have any affection for a party, it would be the Non-Partisan League, which was a populist movement that helped win farmer and worker rights back in american reformation era of 1900-1920.

    But that was then, this is now, and there is no populist movement as the professional political machinery and the ruling oligarchy have won control of society…and what a mess they have made of it.

    Then they ran out of ideas when their anti-tax globalisation empire collapsed…sure, they were richer than ever, but never with more fear, and they have no idea what to do about it. Which is why I’m speaking up, to give them ideas.

    Back to the Bank idea–it is a jobs program, it isn’t supposed to make the state universally rich like Goldman-Sachs, but instead it is supposed to do what state banks are supposed to do–give out loans for good ideas, to support the local community and foster fellowship and a support system where the profiteers refuse to go.

    Similar to the SBA–it too was a jobs program and isn’t supposed to make stockholders rich…that is a big part of the problem with corporations, that they can no longer do long term visionary R&D out of risk that stockholder profits will shrink in the next quarter and the executives will be booted. Steve Jobs was the rarest corporate executive because he was able to keep stockholders fear in check.

    Research the State Bank of ND–it handles the ND student loans, it finances the state bonding projects, it has competent executives with six figure compensation packages instead of eight. It takes care of their state, it keeps their money circulating within their state where it can support local growth and their residents. But mostly, it keeps the modern era Goldman-Sachs robber barons away.

  88. Its funny that you guys base your entire argument on a study or studies that don’t even consider all the forms of income.
    I don’t know who is more foolish the people who claim to be experts and put these shoddy reports together or you guys.LOL

  89. @Ziggy, OK Tell us all about these forms of income that nobody ever considers in these “studies”? Here is your chance.

    FYI. There are many more of these reports that you would probably call “shoddy” from prestigious institutions like Stanford and the Federal Reserve that probably will break your heart. I suppose you would consider yourself one of the “geniuses” or experts that Sid Hartman refers to in his columns.

  90. @other mike. I do believe that your largely irrelevant diatribes –which have little to do with the topic at hand, being the Viking Stadium and public subsidy– are actually hurting Ed’s chances of building traffic on this blog. This is confirmed by the fact that nobody, except me, responds to them.

  91. Rick,
    Can’t you read? Super-Bowl or Final Four income derived from advertising during these events.
    Like I have stated a Super-Bowl commercial is worth 3 Million dollars. A City hosting a Super-Bowl has more or less a 5 hour commercial for that City and State.
    Show me any report that takes this into account. That is just one item and their are plenty more.
    I could show you reports from the same schools and institutions that tell a different story.

  92. How about the ASU Carey School of Business or Webster U?

    According to various studies throughout the country, being chosen as the host city for a Super Bowl has an enormous impact on the local economy. A study by the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business showed that Super Bowl XLII – held in 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Tempe, Arizona – generated over $500 million for the State, including over $314 million in direct spending. Meanwhile, the Sports Management Research Institute found that Super Bowl XLI in 2007 brought over $460 million and almost $280 million in direct spending to the Miami area. Finally, Webster University concluded that Super Bowl XL in Detroit, a market comparable in size to the Twin Cities, generated $274 million, including nearly $170 million in direct spending, for the metro area. The only Super Bowl played in Minneapolis, Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, had a $120 million direct impact on our community.

  93. Current stadium plan a great deal for Minnesota.

    The people of Baltimore provided 87 percent of the financing for their new stadium after the Colts left town. In St. Louis, public financing for their new stadium came 100 percent from the public after the Cardinals moved. The citizens of Cleveland put up 76.5 percent of the funding for their new stadium after the original Browns left for Baltimore. And in Houston, public financing for Reliant Stadium came in at 73 percent after their first team left town.

    The current Vikings proposal has the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis providing 56.2 percent of the financing for a new building — public financing through taxation remains a question mark in the deal, but it would certainly be lower than that percentage. The Vikings would provide 43.8 percent of the stadium financing.

  94. Fine Rick, all I was doing was explaining taxdollars can serve the public instead of being a resource pool for the NFL. You seem to concede the NFL has no public ROI, so it is a net negative public subsidy enriching the NFL and its select group of owners.

    So explain to me again, why is this a good use of 500 million dollars over 40 years of debt for a 30 year lease where all the income streams are pointed to Zygi? What are these intangibles that can take out and eat later?

  95. @other mike. You ( and Ed too) should be reading Ziggy’s justification for a publicly subsized stadium and directly respond to it. He seems not to be listening to my arguments that it is difficult to justify a stadium on economic benefits.

    The stadium deal will get approved in one form or another while all the players full well know that the subsidy cannot be recovered. But the cost is spread out and most people are willing to pay it except for people who are not Vikings fans. ( You appear not to be a fan but like to talk about it.

  96. My opposition to the stadium is based on economics, not fandom…why does the NFL get a free pass, does Medtronic, 3M? Where can I get my free pass? How many Facebook fans does my business need (bearing in mind my needs are not a billion dollars, more like $40,000)?

    As for Ziggy’s arguments, I thought you explained them perfectly, but he is intent on ignoring reality…but I’ll try to help.

    To me, the core of his argument is that advertising dollars are excluded from the valuation of the NFL. That they produce ad dollars where none would be in the absence of the NFL. Let that debate begin…in the absence of facts, it would go on until exhaustion.

    But to me, the real flaw in Ziggy’s argument is that he refuses to follow the money. Use a Coors beer ad example–the money goes from Coors to XYZ ad agency to the TV station to the NFL.

    Ziggy sees a Super Bowl ad go for 3 million and thinks that is one check that ends up in the hosting city/state’s bank when not a penny of it ends up there. Where does it go…most likely to the NFL in NYC, where again most likely via some complex clause in a NFL governor’s revenue sharing deal it gets allocated out to the owners? Maybe the host team’s owner gets better than a 1/30th allocation, but where is his bank…NYC, Caymans?

    The NFL, being a private business with very opaque accounting (due to the ludicrious tax exemptions of pro sports), makes it next to impossible to know the real flow of these monies. But you could likely go to the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana books next year to verify that none of it ends up on their doles.

    Which also means any local ad spend gets sucked out to NYC in the hope some of it attracts a visitor in to that business. Most like net negative, but these businesses can live in hope like the rest of us, eh?

    So besides these fantasticly complicated studies Rick has pointed out, you are left with intangible NFL benefits to justify a billion dollar stadium, and fuzzy logic whereby the surrounding small business owners that do pay taxes to try to justify some benefit from NFL presence.

    Except another bad negotiation point of the Viking proposal was to grant Zygi a tax-free zone (is this an Indian reservation or something, maybe Zygi can build his own casino now…heh, heh, just kidding…I hope).

    Anyway, this tax-free status gives him a 7-15% advantage over every other downtown business…I’d say that’s unfair to those very surrounding small businesses that are supposed to be asked to enter/stay in the stadium dead zone.

    So maybe Zygi can’t build a casino, but is there anything to stop him from building a hotel, a bar, a restaurant, a sporting goods retail, hell why not strippers and blow…why stop at tax-free?

    Does this help?

  97. Okay, the mere mention of economics causes eyes to glaze over, so let me clarify things–the problem is not the new Vikings Stadium.

    The problem is the billion dollar cost, which creates a huge debt load. This debt shackles everyone (city, state, citizens–both as taxpayers and fans through the ever increasing costs of being a Viking supporter) for 40 years from being able to use that money for other opportunities.

    This is wrong on so many levels–socially because we reduce our diversity of options, economically because of the opportunity costs of being locked to one option, and morally if you go buy into the sins of debt arguments.

    But also, as I’ve expressed earlier–the NFL (and pro sports in general) are hugely over-valued and a bubble that will burst, especially due to these super-extravagent, single-use stadiums being worthless to anything else. That is why there is a Roman Coliseum…a monument to one size doesn’t fit all.

    Change is coming, and like all bubbles, you don’t want to be the last one in when the pyramid collapses on you. Don’t think change is coming, think again…the guys who instruct world business leaders are giving the speeches now–
    http://real-economics.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-economic-thinking.html

  98. @Other Mike. I think you are right in your focus about where the money for the super bowl ads really ends up. It is difficult to trace.

    I think the answer is that the NFL is able to negotiate very rich contracts with the TV networks. The TV payments go to the league and are shared by all teams, but much of this goes out the door to pay the huge player salaries required. The labor contract is tied to NFL revenues and the biggest element in revenues comes from TV.

    A host city does get some benefit from having a super bowl. The folks who have researched this at ESPN say that the benefits are real but considerably smaller than promoters claim. My guess is that if Minneapolis got a new stadium and the NFL promised a superbowl as part of the deal, the city might get a net benefit of, let’s say, $20 million from the increased activity. This is a long way from the amount of money included in the subsidy.

    Your pep-talks about the NFL going past peak and the world falling apart are falling on deaf ears. You might note that the NFL rattled its sabre and talks about a possible sale of the team while Zigy’s private jet is conspicuously seen in Southern California. The NFL is putting the full court press on reluctant legislators who are likely catching hell from fans.

    The stadium will get built. We will subsidize the Wilfs. And if we turn down this deal, it is likely the state will try to get another NFL team in just a few years at a much higher price. Sid Hartman did an excellent analysis yesterday on what has happened in other cities. Nobody in power seems to care what you think. (And maybe Sid Hartman will be seen as a hero by Vikings fans.)

    I think Sid should be invited to be part of Stadium negotiations because he knows exactly what you ought to be thinking!!!!!

  99. Phase 2.

    So, is that what passes for a response…we have to do it, so if you don’t agree you must be smoking. Great response, and well played arguments in the caving in side of the negotiatting table. The always-done-this-way argument went out with Happy Days reruns.

    Guys–what was your house worth in 2006? What is it worth today? Do you feel the American economy was better in 1980…or today?

    You can go on making decisions like it is the past, but I suggest you face economic reality before you make this decision, because it will strip your state of monies you will never regain.

  100. I deleted a couple of Ziggy’s comments where he turned to personal and profane attacks on other commenters. Ziggy, you can do better than that. If not, start your own blog.

  101. Sad to see…it reminds me of what the Thoughtful Bastard wrote last year about how the elevation of sports in our society has poisoned discussions of issues–
    http://pudstrand.fatcow.com/blog/?p=162

    Life has become a game, where winners had the strongest team and losers made poor calls and somehow deserved to lose. Winners get the whole win, there is no compromise, you take the ball and ram it down your opponents throat, forgetting that this opponent isn’t wearing a different colored jersey. In fact, he may be your neighbor, the one who pulled your daughter’s car out of the ditch last winter and goes to your church on Sunday.

    Oddly enough, even the players of this game they worship it, seem to get that pro sports is not the end-all better than their fans. While the TV station at the end of each game race off to their pundits or the next game, most of the players are out on the field shaking hands, some taking a knee in a prayer circle, and catching up with old friends and ex-teammates.

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