Do Vikings Fans Understand How Bad of a Deal for the Public Zygi is Demanding? #wilfare

The slideshow below shows an exchange I had with self-described Vikings fan, Kevin_WI. Notice how he assumes that the Vikings generates FAR more revenue for the state than people living in the reality based community believe know:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Pointing out to him that his numbers made no sense got me blocked. Oh well.

While two people may disagree on whether a we should tear down a 30 year old stadium to build a new stadium with a 30 year lease, we should be able to agree upon objective facts like how much tax revenue the Vikings payroll generates. While Kevin didn’t seem ready to believe me during that exchange, perhaps he’ll take the Vikings’ stadium consultants, CSL’s, word for it. The numbers below come from CSL’s report on how much revenue would be generated at a new stadium. They account for increases in payroll over time. Here is what they say would be generated in income tax revenue in the first 10 years:

Kevin claimed $350 million. My back of the envelope calculation on Twitter came to $96 million. CSL’s number (the sum of the 10 years shown above that accounts for income growth and I believe includes taxes from non-player salaries): $155 million.

Over those ten years, the state would spend $38 million per year on debt payments. Ten years at $38 million/yr = $380 million. That’s not even counting the debt payments on Minneapolis’ $150 million construction cost share, or the ~$10 million/yr in operating costs Minneapolis taxpayers would be on the hook for.

Vikings fans and Zygi Wilf would like to see people other than themselves pay for a new stadium. I don’t. While we may not agree upon how to fund a stadium that doesn’t need to be built, we should at least be able to agree upon the financial realities of what Wilf and fans like Kevin are demanding from the public.

3 thoughts on “Do Vikings Fans Understand How Bad of a Deal for the Public Zygi is Demanding? #wilfare”

  1. Interesting, but I don’t believe your including the average amount spent by visitors for each home game or the resulting boost that said money injects into the economy, specifically local businesses. I also don’t see anything about all the jobs created to do the work, the income taxes off of that, or the decline in state unemployment rates (or the change in unemployment benefits that state currently pays). I also don’t see any mention of the fact that the stadium is only used 10 days a year by the Vikings, and can be used the other 355 days by the state, with additional revenue.

  2. @Brandon, that wasn’t an oversight. It simply wasn’t the point of this post. All of those issues have been addressed in previous posts, so try searching if you are interested in the perspective of someone who isn’t begging the public for more than half a billion dollars.

  3. @Brandon. Thanks for posting your point of view.

    I have rarely found credible analysis of the Vikes stadium on this blog or any other source. If you look at a number of academic studies done over the years on public subsidies–they all have problems dealing with fuzzy data and hard to trace benefits.

    It is very difficult to justify a public subsidy based solely on Economics alone—there are many other intangibles which drive most NFL cities to subsidize. Is MN really any different? Probably 90% of the population would say hell no to the idea of subsidizing Ziggy if they didn’t have to. But when faced with the choice of the team leaving or else….the economic reasoning becomes irrelevant.

    As far as I can see, the Numbers on the stadium don’t matter anymore. Legislators who fear the
    wrath of mad voters now control this destiny. It might be all over except for the screaming from subsidy opponents like Ed.

    It’s pretty easy to shoot holes in something like the analysis posted by Kevin_WI. Usually I don’t bother to read it except for amusement.

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