It was interesting to listen to Lester Bagley get crushed by Kerri Miller on MPR. It gave me the impression that he spends most of his time talking to people who bleed purple, so was unprepared to answer questions on why the Vikings deserve $650,000,000 of borrowed public money.
One of my favorite lines from him was when he said that “it’s tough to lead” on stadium issue due to a lack of public support. Actually, that’s not a sign of things being tough to lead. That’s a sign that politicians are listening to their constituents’ opinions on Wilfare financing.
Bagley also explained the Metrodome’s hot dog problem. It’s certainly true that it’s tough to buy a hot dog during halftime at the Metrodome. That tells me that it’s time for hot dog vendors to pool their money to help Zygi Wilf with his financial shortcomings. Personally, I deal with the hot dog problem by buying hot dogs from the vendors that walk the ailes. Frankly, I don’t have a hot dog problem at the Metrodome. And certainly not one that needs a $650,000,000 solution.
Dedicating car, hotel, or lottery taxes to pay for a Vikings stadium are NOT examples of “user-based financing”. User-based financing means taxing the users. As in, why doesn’t Wilf just raise ticket prices by the $45/ticket it would take to let the market cover the stadium’s cost? Or have each season ticket holder chip a $15,000 check over to Wilf for Personal Seat Licenses? It doesn’t take Wilfare for Wilf to build a stadium.
Bagley continues to use the term “local partner” to describe “secondary source of Wilfare to provide $350,000,000 in Wilfare on top of the $300,000,000 in Wilfare provided by the State of Minnesota”.
When Bagley says “our lease is up” it’s not a case of being kicked out by a landlord. We’re the landlords, and would love to see the Vikings continue to run their business in a paid-for stadium. But, Bagley seems to use the term “our lease is up” as a veiled threat that they will leave if we don’t provide $650,000,000 to the team.
Between yesterday’s MPR hour with Ramsey County Commissioner, Tony Bennett, and today’s by Lester Bagley, i can see why the Vikings are having a tough time selling the public on borrowing $650,000,000 for the Vikings, then paying interest on that debt for decades.