One really misleading figure that the Vikings (and the Vikings’ government subsidized lobbyist, Ted Mondale [IMHO]) like to cite to justify giving more than half a billion dollars to Zygi Wilf is the percentage contribution the Vikings are making toward stadium financing. If Zygi’s putting in 40% of the deal, that’s great compared to, say the 49ers, where the public is paying 85% of the price. A whopping $850 million public contribution.
Here is how they are lying to you: Ted Mondale and the Vikings fail to mention HOW the city is paying for their share.
Neil deMause at Field of Schemes breaks down how the city will raise the money to pay the debt:
The city’s share — double the amount initially approved a year and a half ago — will now be repaid by ticket sales, stadium naming rights, $30 million a year in rent (up from $5 million) from the team, $150 million from the NFL, $40 million from the city redevelopment agency, and $35 million from hotel taxes.
See the differences?
49ers: City gets revenue from ticket sales. Vikings: Public builds stadium for Wilf, then Wilf sells and keeps money from ticket sales. Ticket fees are the backup to the backup to the backup backup funding sources in the Vikings bill.
49ers: City gets revenue from naming rights. Vikings: Public builds stadium for Wilf, then Wilf sells and keeps money from naming rights.
49ers: City gets $30 million per year in rent. Vikings: Wilf splits the rent with the City of Minneapolis, who’d be on the hook for $10 million/yr (in ADDITION to the $150 million Minneapolis would pay toward construction costs) to subsidize Wilf’s business.
49ers: $35 million from hotel taxes. Vikings: $150 million from hotels, restaurant, alcohol, and citywide Minneapolis taxes. Between construction and operating costs, Minneapolis would be on the hook for $398 million to subsidize Wilf’s business (if things to right).
49ers: $40 million from city redevelopment agency. Vikings: $21 million from property tax exemptions on the increased footprint of the new stadium.
So, while it may be accurate to say that the Vikings are putting in a larger share than the 49ers, it’s darn clear that saying so is intentionally misleading. While I don’t expect better from Zygi Wilf and Lester Bagley, I wish Ted Mondale would look at who signs his checks before making such misleading statements.