A Reality Based Look at The Vikings’ Proclaimed Tax Contributions #wilfare

Paul Udstrand has taken a look at the numbers Target Corp Home Field Advantage has been using to mislead politicians into supporting a more than half billion dollar gift to the Vikings. While I’ve pointed out the organization’s efforts to mislead politicians and the public through a misleading push-poll, Udstrand has taken a look at the tax revenue numbers the group claims the Vikings generate.

It’s nasty stuff. Udstrand points out that the Vikings must be pretending that players in the past made as much money as players do today in order to meet the tax revenue from income taxes they’re claiming.

They also, conveniently, take credit for ALL of the revenue from ALL events that have happened in the history of the Metrodome. That includes the Twins, Gophers, Timberwolves, NCAA Final Four, and Superbowl among other events.

It’s worth a read for people that have an interest in understanding how much the public stands to lose on this deal. In the end, one may decide that it’s worth losing tens of millions per year to subsidize what Wilf won’t pay, Vikings fans including season ticket holders won’t pay through ticket prices, and local corporations won’t pay for luxury boxes.

Personally, I think the public can do far better than what’s been negotiated in the current stadium bill. A bill that guarantees that the public will lose money in order to subsidize a private business is a bad bill. Regardless of public financing gift scheme, the bill needs a dramatic makeover to reach a point where the public doesn’t lose money on this deal.

9 thoughts on “A Reality Based Look at The Vikings’ Proclaimed Tax Contributions #wilfare”

  1. <<<>>>>

    While Udstrand may have some good points and shoots some holes in the HomeField supporters analysis, nobody should believe this is a complete and thorough view, because it simply isn’t. This type of analysis is complex and never definitive and a reader should not raise expectations that it will provide the “truth” and make the decision clearer or easier….because it won’t.

    Oh– if life could be so easy that someone could come up with a page of clear-cut numbers that produce an obvious conclusion that everybody can agree……dream on.

    Ed has said that the “public can do far better”, but seems to be short on viable ideas how Dayton and the legislature can actually negotiate a better deal. It’s a noble idea to say the state could get a better deal…and I am all for it…..but another matter when the specifics come forward.

    Talk is cheap….and if there is a way to get the state a better deal please do tell Dayton about it.

    The public is certainly at risk here, but since the Vikings only actually use the facility about 10 days a year, most of the risk is probably centered in the other 350 days and what value non-Vikings events at the new “Peoples Stadium” will bring to the community.

    (And Dayton already cited the Monster Mash truck events…..there’s more too……perhaps the facility will be nice enough to house the enormous funeral for Sid Hartman when he croaks…..and perhaps a larger than life statue of Sid as well…to remind fans of his larger than life sports columns.)

    But just how “public can do far better” is still a mystery to me. Ed needs to explain that.

  2. @Other Mike

    By golly you have come up with a good idea. I wonder how the Wilf’s would react to a law requiring public disclosure?

    On the other hand, I suspect that if they disclosed the financial statements you would find that the Vikings team was bought with a lot of borrowed money and has very little available cash flow—so it wouldn’t change the stadium deal much.

    This is better than your “silk road” comments that Ed ducked out on responding!!!

  3. In fairness to Ed, you ducked the silk road (which was really if gov’t had 500 billion to pick a winner, they should pick developing state-based alt energy companies/jobs) too.

  4. If the first House committee hearing is any indication how the GOP is playing it’s cards–the stadium is a done deal. No matter how much slop is in writing, they watched a video about the positive things charitable gambling does for the Brainard Fire Dept and guess what— the world is a wonderful place and the committee votes to approve. There is nothing that is going to stop this train–it appears–there are not enough John Marty’s, Betsy Hodges, and Ed Kohlers to stop Wilfare.

  5. MPR has just posted an analysis of what it beleives the Vikings are putting up to pay for the stadium. What is relevant here is that the Personal Seat Licences (PSL’s) that Ed beleives should be tapped out to the max—have already been factored in to the financing. The Wilf’s apparently will use PSL’s to reduce their burden as much as possible .

    One factor that hasn’t been discussed here much is that with the new stadium, the Vikings will be paying the highest rent in the league. While some folks here complain about public subsidy, the reality is that other NFL cities have caved in much more to rich owners. This is NFL reality.

    The MPR LINK is:
    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/04/04/vikings-stadium-wilfs-share-of-the-cost/

  6. And that rent will go to reduce the bonds, right? No, it will go to maintaining a billion dollar stadium to NFL levels. And only for 30 years…leaving the last 10 years of debt unfunded except for taxpayers paying for yet another razed stadium (a la Astrodome and Kingdome, et al).

    This is the NFL model. There is no ROI, it is an extractive business providing weak entertainment (promises of winning teams 10 days a year for 30 years) in exchange for 40 years of taxpayer subsidies.

    It is also the bankster model. Given this fragile justification for financing a billion dollar stadium, no bank in its right mind would make this loan without a taxpayer guarantee. The comfort of which will allow the banksters to load it up with annual fees and transfer fees going to and from each segment of the annual money shift. Which is why a State Bank of MN is needed to cap that leakage at a sensible servicing expense.

    But, fans gullible enough to froth at the Super Bowl prospects of these Vikings are perfect rubes to fall for this scheme. Quite a legacy to pass on to their kids…sorry there are no jobs, but at least we kept your precious Vikings to distract you for a handful of days each winter. You should go down there some day and see the VIP parking lot fill up on game day, it is inspiring.

  7. @other mike. Actually Ed proposed some time ago that you could fill a stadium rich guys paying huge amounts for personal seat licenses.

    I think you are very wrong if you think that this stadium deal was foisted upon hapless Minneapolis residents. Ed would not have needed to give his IPhone pep-talk to the Commerce committee had MIGA not been so successful at brainwashing both the GOP and DFL legislators that a stadium deal could have been done without pull tabs. The latest White Earth proposal shows what a enormous boatload of profits is being hoarded by the Tribes with Twin City casino business. All that is needed is to reallocate existing money being gambled into a stadium deal.

    I am surprised you and Ed didn’t figure it out sooner. The Wilf’s are going to get their stadium on their terms. I guess that MIGA hoodwinked more than a few people and now it is a pull tab deal with your favorite 3% tax. You guys have been waisting your time with arguments that skirt the inevitable outcome.

    There is still a possibility though–I think that is coming from various sources– that Brodkorb could DE-RAIL the Senate if he fessed up about conflicts of interest various folks had on EXPANDED gambling–and perhaps the current deal is squashed. I think that is what the White Earth group and Ramsey County dudes are hoping for. Neither group has given up. I doubt that anything could get done at the Capital if Brodkorb’s latest lawsuit forces a firing of Ludeman and a bigger uproar over who pays the legal costs for mealymouthism.

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