Vikings Stadium: Rehab vs. New, Gambling Revenue, & Blake Huffman

MPR reports on the benefits of the state’s historic preservation tax credit program. This is designed to encourage businesses to rehab older structures rather than tearing them down to rebuild. The state believes they will spend $10 – $12 million/year on this program.

Strangely, it’s been 24 hours since that story ran and not one Vikings Wilfare supporter has suggested raiding that fund for the Vikings. I suppose, to qualify to the credits, the Vikings would need to renovate the Metrodome rather than tear down a perfectly good stadium while building a 21,000 car parking lot in Arden Hills.

The article does mention one of the benefits of rehab over building new that unions probably understand well: it’s labor intensive work compared to starting from scratch. Labor = jobs.

Another MPR story looks at the economic uncertainty of demanding money from tribes based on news out of Duluth regarding their tribe-owned downtown casino:

Since 1986, the band has shared about $6 million in revenue annually with the city. Two years ago, the Band stopped making revenue sharing payments to the city. The city sued. The band argued their contract violated the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

In a decision Monday, federal district judge Susan Nelson agreed. She ruled the tribe did not have to continue sharing revenue for the next 25 years, as stipulated by the original contract.

Blake Huffman vs. Tony Bennett

Shoreview city council member, Blake Huffman, is running against Ramsey County Commissioner, Tony Bennett, to bring some sanity back to the Ramsey County board. Clearly, it’s not in the best interest of Ramsey County residents to borrow $350,000,000 with interest in order to clean up a Superfund site, only to pave over it with a 21,000 car parking lot. Residents know this, yes Tony Bennett wanted to force them to pay for it over the next 30 years without a vote (knowing it would have no shot at passing).

Here’s Huffman’s take:

My opponent, “Touchdown” Tony Bennett is the chief cheerleader for a taxpayer-funded stadium. Worse yet, Touchdown Tony doesn’t believe you should have the right to vote on the new $300 million tax he wants to impose to pay for the stadium. That’s just wrong!

Yes, I’ve been a vocal opponent of the billion-dollar, taxpayer-funded stadium boondoggle. The Metropolitan Sports Commission recently reported that Tony Bennett’s stadium plan will “compromise the county’s and the region’s ability to finance other projects.”

The report goes on to state there is a “potential total gap” in funding of $85 million, representing 7.6 percent of the overall project cost. If Tony Bennett has his way, we can make a fair assumption this $85 million will be passed on to the taxpayers.

You can find out more about Blake at

2 thoughts on “Vikings Stadium: Rehab vs. New, Gambling Revenue, & Blake Huffman”

  1. And we have our new Ramsey County Commissioner.

    But that’s not enough, this Arden Hills proposal has to go away with outgoing Tony Bennett…if the Vikes move to Arden Hills, booting Tony out of office is merely closing the barn door after the horse has left.

    This wasteful proposal has to be stopped first and foremost.

  2. Pingback: Blake Huffman Article on The | blakehuffman

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