The Vikings Stadium Welfare Debate: @savethevikesorg

It turns out that people lobbying for the Vikings Stadium Welfare Program don’t like having Zygi Wilf’s business interests described as welfare:

Vikings Welfare Tweets

They don’t think “welfare” is an appropriate description of Zygi Wilf and the Vikings organizations’ begging for government funded financial aid:

Vikings Welfare Tweets

Apparently, we’re not supposed to call providing Zygi Wilf’s private business with public dollars corporate welfare:

Vikings Welfare Tweets

Because, according to Christopher Tubbs (@CMTubbs) and @VIKESSTADIUM, it’s not a fact, but an opinion that government funded financial aid for a person or organiztion in need is welfare:

Vikings Welfare Tweets

Here is the deal: if you’re asking for corporate welfare, it’s welfare. If you don’t like the label, don’t ask for government funds for your private sports entertainment business. Don’t try to pretend that the label doesn’t fit.

In reality, welfare isn’t a strong enough word to describe giving public dollars to a private, wealthy, entertainment business. True welfare helps people that are REALLY IN NEED, not people who are REALLY IN WANT. A more accurate term to describe the Save the Vikings plan is “Fiscally Irresponsible”.

12 thoughts on “The Vikings Stadium Welfare Debate: @savethevikesorg”

  1. I couldn’t possibly agree more wholeheartedly. The disingenuous nature of the debate and the fact that the legislature is spending more time on a stadium than the budget enrages me to biblical proportions. Our politicians just want to feed a few more Christians to the lions to keep everyone entertained.

  2. I’m not a big Vikings fan, but I can empathize with any fear that they might have that the team might pull up stakes. I do follow the Twins and was quite pleased and relieved when Target Field opened. I think the “welfare” phrase is a bit cutting. Maybe that’s the reason for the reaction.

  3. @Rat, pulling up stakes is one possibility. If the Vikings are taking more than they give to the community, they should go away.

    The Save the Vikings negotiating arguments with the Vikings appears to be:

    1. Don’t leave.

    2. Please don’t leave.

    3. Please please please, we beg you, don’t leave! Just tell us how much money you’d like (not need, like). We don’t have any money, but we’re willing to to open a racino just so we can give you more money!

  4. Groveling is never attractive to witness. But any guy who has been married any length of time knows it may not only be necessary, but also effective.

  5. @Rat, couldn’t agree more. It’s quite likely that the MN GOP is willing to cut higher education, special education, and healthcare, while giving their constituents money to Ziggy Wilf.

  6. Words tend to change meanings over time.

    Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil govern-ment (Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828).

    And then to satisfy the more progressive agenda:
    The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), gave a new meaning: “Public relief – on welfare. Dependent on public relief”.

    And if we do an online check of Webster’s dictionary we find the following:
    “aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need”

    Is there really a NEED for Ziggy Wilf to get “public relief”??

  7. @Veteran Patriot, it seems like the safety net of public relief is quite vast if it’s large enough to offer support to private entertainment companies like the Vikings. Personally, I believe in limited government. As in, not publicly subsidizing private entertainment enterprises.

  8. You’re missing the point. It’s not welfare because Ziggy isn’t getting any money. The state will own the stadium, not the Vikings. And the state will use the stadium more (300+ days a year for 500+ non-football events) than the Vikings (up to 12 games a year max). And despite the fact that the Vikings won’t own the stadium, the will pay more ($407 million) to have it built than the state ($300 million). The Vikings will also be paying 90% of the $15-20 million yearly operating costs to run the stadium. So, by definition, the word “welfare” really doesn’t fit.

  9. By the way, I’m not pro stadium or a Viking fan. I think the amount of money we spend to watch grown men play games is disgusting. However, I do read and I do know from the facts of this circumstance that the word “welfare” really doesn’t fit. It’s a waste of public spending for the state to build itself another stadium, but it isn’t welfare.

  10. @Jim Bratz, here is the challenge I have with your comparison of the prospective days of Vikings vs. non-Vikings use of the stadium. They are in no way equivalent uses, and in no way require equivalent facilities.

    Here are two examples of non-Vikings uses of the current Metrodome: Rollerblading and running. If this debate was anywhere near honest, Save The Vikings supporters would be willing to admit that indoor rollerblading or running do not require stadium seats, box seats, a field, scoreboards, concessions, press boxes, team locker rooms, bathrooms for 60,000, etc.

    The specs and total costs of the new stadium are built around a single use: Ziggy Wilf’s private business.

    If it’s a good investment, Ziggy would want to own the stadium and rent it out on the Vikings’ off days in order to help cover his costs. That, apparently, doesn’t make financial sense, so Ziggy is asking for welfare instead.

  11. Jim Bratz says that the state will own the stadium. Let me laugh! It will be known as the Vikings stadium, the Vikings franchise will benefit from it, and when they get tired of it and ask for a new one, this ‘stadium of the people’ will be a huge piece of useless rubble.

    Are people crazy? What kind of future do we want for Minnesota? A poorly educated, unhealthy crowd of pleased Viking fans? Put together the proposed budget cuts + subsidies to the Wilfs, and that’s what you will get.

  12. @William. Great point. The stadium itself is a depreciable asset. The day we pay it off is the day the Vikings ask to throw it away and provide corporate welfare for the next one.

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