Vikings Stadium would be 4.6% “People’s Stadium” #wilfare

Mark Dayton and RT Rybak have both, embarassingly, called the corporate welfare gift of more than half a billion dollars to Zygi Wilf’s private business a “people’s stadium”. The problem with that characterization is it implies that the “people” have access to it. In reality, the “people” would pay, but have very little access to the stadium. This is outlined in the senate’s version of the bill, where less than 5% of the days in a year would be legally devoted to use by amateur and high school sports:

Sec. 4. USE OF THE STADIUM.
69.31 Subdivision 1. Amateur sports use. The lessee of the stadium must make the
69.32facilities of the stadium available to the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission up to
69.33ten days each year
on terms satisfactory to the commission for amateur sports activities
70.1consistent with Minnesota Statutes, chapter 240A, each year during the time the bonds
70.2issued pursuant to this act are outstanding. The commission must negotiate in good faith
70.3and may be required to pay no more than actual out-of-pocket expenses for the time
70.4it uses the stadium.
70.5 Subd. 2. High school league. The lessee of the stadium must make the facilities of
70.6the stadium available for use by the Minnesota State High School League for at least seven
70.7days each year
for high school soccer and football tournaments. The lessee of the stadium
70.8must provide, and may not charge the league a fee for, this use, including security, ticket
70.9takers, custodial or cleaning services, or other similar services in connection with this use.

Over 30 years, that brings the average subsidy per amateur event to more than one million dollars. These are events that DO NOT REQUIRE a new stadium. In fact, they may not even want one since the baseball configuration of the Metrodome is more baseball friendly for baseball than a football shaped stadium.

Also, notice that there is no mention of using the stadium for inline skating or running. The Vikings talk about how many events the current Metrodome hosts per year. Would a new stadium cut more than 100 events from what the Dome holds? It’s not clear what the “people” are being asked to pay for.

2 thoughts on “Vikings Stadium would be 4.6% “People’s Stadium” #wilfare”

  1. @Ed. You missed a few things.

    Dayton also mentioned what a great venue this would be for “Monster truck mashes” that are highly valued as a form of entertainment for a crowd that you probably don’t associate with. He is clearly making this facility appeal to a much more diverse population segment than just Vikes fans.

    And Rybak is making sure that the Target Center is being taken care of partly to appease council members like Betsy Hodges who somehow champions public subsidy of the Target Center but not football.

    If both the Stadium and Target center are done, then MN will have TWO MORE excellent venues to compete with the XCEL center for highbuck concerts put on by the likes of Madonna where tickets are sold out immediately at very high prices but within a publicly subsidized facility. This is a helluva deal for megamillionaire rock stars too and monster mash organizers who need public subsidy help because our citizens need such events to feel better about life in general. And the XCEL center just will have to compete and offer the concert organizers a lower price to get the business or it will go to the new Vikings Stadium or Target center or TCF stadium.

    Interesting to note that in the last election, many independent voters were very unhappy with life and many decided to vote against in incumbents of either party. This phenomenon had a great deal to do with the GOP gaining in MN and the TeaParty in Washington. Never mind that Pawlenty and Bush mismanagement and lack of vision caused many of the problems we are now stuck with, the voters kicked out incumbent Dems under a belief others could run the show better.

    Nobody that I know of wants to voluntarily subsidize the Wilf’s or any other millionaire concert performer or pep-talk motivation speaker who use these facilities. We can easily shoot holes in these projects. Dayton can get kicked out for these initiatives and Emmer can run the state with a different social agenda and proposals you might really detest. Rybak has said let the voters decide in the next election –fair enough. Maybe a conservative like Steve Minn will run against Rybak using your points above as a political platform.

    In any event, if you think you can pick and choose on stadium issues and refuse to compromise—such as is commonly done by TParty—you might get a lot of thing you truly don’t want with it.

    Dayton and Rybak might not be a dumb as what is implied in your posts.

  2. @Rick, the other uses of the stadium are handled just fine by the current paid for stadium, including monster truck.

    Support of getting the Target Center off Minneapolis property tax rolls isn’t a sign of support from NBA corporate welfare. It’s an attempt to shift the burden to the state, or at least beyond Minneapolis property owners.

    Have you read the articles about how much stadiums make from events like a Madonna concert? They mentioned that we may pay the performers before long. We have more arena sized stadiums than we need in the Twin Cities.

    Saying no to bad public policies is not a case of “refusing to compromise”. It’s showing support for smart public policy by opposing bad NFL corporate welfare proposals.

    Dayton and Rybak are not dumb. But, they don’t appear to be smart enough to explain why giving Zygi Wilf half a billion dollars of the state and city’s money is smart public policy.

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