Is Rybak Spreading Misinformation About Vikings Impact Hospitality Industry?

I mentioned earlier today that RT Rybak claimed at last night’s Vikings stadium forum at Nokomis Community Center that 10% of downtown hotel revenue is attributable to Vikings games. As I mentioned in my previous post, that seems hard to believe, considering that they only run their business 10 days per year while there are people in town visiting businesses, going to conventions, and vacationing in Minneapolis 365 days per year.

A Deets reader decided to look into this and sent in the following analysis of that claim:

If by some miracle, each Viking fan that stayed in a hotel room had their own room, then 27% of all fans would have to be staying in a hotel for a night over the 10 games of the season and preseason.

Since double occupancy (at the bare minimum) is likely the norm, bump that number to 54%.

No chance. None.

No chance? None?

What if we also account for people who come to town for games and stay with friends and/or relatives?

What is we also account for people who stay at cheaper hotels in the outer suburbs rather than staying in downtown Minneapolis?

What is we also account for people who stay near the Mall of America then take the back LRT train to downtown for games?

The problem here is that Rybak doesn’t really believe that figure either. Yet, he’s been repeating it to help sell the stadium to people who may mistakenly take him at his word on this issue.

Additionally, whatever benefits the Vikings do contribute to the local hospitality industry already exist. We have an NFL stadium downtown. It’s paid for. We don’t need to heavily tax the hospitality industry in order to build it because it’s already built, has a new roof, and a new field.

37 thoughts on “Is Rybak Spreading Misinformation About Vikings Impact Hospitality Industry?”

  1. So it begins with bad data.

    Then it extends to politicians repeating this bad data.

    Then it echoes with media repeating the politicians bad data.

    Then it ends with decisions being made and justified with bad data being unchallenged or accepted without enough thought…you know, for the team, because it prevents losing the team, or a hotel, or a restaurant due to losing a team.

    Fear-based decisionmaking, because that has worked so well this past decade especially.

    You know, because it provides jobs, because we need billion dollar stadiums for jobs, because we might lose the NCAA Wrestling tournament or some religious convention or something if we don’t have a billion dollar stadium.

    This is probably the weakest hour of political representation in the history of our state.

  2. Is someone being extremely naive here?

    There is nothing that unusual about labor unions promoting public construction projects. If anything, the Republicans have long complained that the labor unions have way too much influence with the DFL in MN. Politicians in the DFL have always been cozy with unions and this is a huge voting block.

    After reading Ed’s posts and tweets and Mike’s comments, I would swear you guys are Republicans and will be sure to vote for a Republican against Rybak in the next election.

    This is much more business as usual as you might think it is. You apparently haven’t been close to how things get done in a democracy. The politicians are influenced by a lot of things and probably much more than you can imagine. You have a point of view, they know it. And they are getting plenty of feedback on the Stadium.

    Rybak is not stupid. He believes that this is good for the city of Minneapolis and doesn’t feel that every itty bitty detail must satisfy 100% of voters. T

    he Vikings were working with Arden Hills until Rybak snatched the project away along with help from Dayton who completely caved in to the tribes.

    The idea that the market can work it out with the Vikes is pure Republican ideology, but this possibility is so remote that even the Republican leaders don’t beleive it. There is no way the Vikings will build without public subsidy just as has happened in almost every other NFL city. Ed lives in dreamland on this point….its a hallucination, perhaps.

    Rybak put himself into the fire for sure—but he also thinks he is right and will probably be re-elected by a strong margin. There will be some sourpusses who will withhold a Rybak vote in the next election but they probably will be few.

    It didn’t have to be this way. If you read the Minnesota Daily opinion piece about gambling– and the– MinnPost story about Expanded Gambling by Marlys Harris–it should be obvious that this stadium deal could have been done differently, but the MIGA lobbyists won the battle. In the meantime, we have normally liberal citizens trashing DFL leaders and apparently hoping to put the GOP in power.

    Makes no sense to me.

  3. Rick, the reason it makes no sense to you is that you ignore the source of the problem–
    –this is not a public works project,
    –this is a billion dollar stadium for a highly profitable and highly private NFL,
    –and you also ignore how times have changed since 2007, so all those prior (and much smaller than a billion dollar) projects that were quickly absorbed by a state with a productive economy and ignored can no longer be.

    Read Amy Klobuchar’s book about the 10 year battle it took to build the 200 million dollar multi-use Metrodome in 1982, and who is being naive now in 2012 to think a billion dollar single-use Zygiworld makes sense?

  4. @other mike. Let’s assume, that until you deny it, if a subsidized stadium is built in Mpls–you will vote for the Oppenent of Rybak in the next election. The Republicans will be happy to welcome you!!

    Your assessment of this stadium seems to apply to the Twins facility more than the Vikings. The Twins do have a single use stadium exclusively for private owners.

    The “People’s Stadium” as Dayton calls it, is a very different deal . This is a venue that is committed to the Wilf’s for only 10 days per year. It is available to non-Wilf’s for the other 355 days. Sure we could use the old Dome for non-football events , but why? If the Vikes pack up and leave it will be available 365 days a year to Non-Wilf events.

    Cleary you haven’t shown much vision here about the future.

    My guess is that you are being very shortsighted and if the Vikes leave we will be back in the game again seeking a new NFL team with a subsidized stadium just as it happened in every other town that lost an NFL team and now including LA. Either you swallow a subsidized stadium now or later—it is just a matter of timing.

  5. @Rick, fans can pay for a new stadium now or later. It’s their choice.

    The current stadium bill gives Wilf more control over the stadium than you suggest. For example, it gives him exclusive rights to bring a soccer team to the stadium. Why? Because Ted Mondale negotiated a bad deal for the public that doesn’t deserve our support.

  6. Actually Rick, I have been very clear about my vision of the future, and just because it doesn’t involve hooking taxpayers and gamblers to pay for a billion dollar Viking stadium, you seem to reject this alternate future.

    I out of hand reject every one of your either-or choices–
    –that I have to fall into the Republican party because I disagree with a stadium plan…why?
    –that if the Vikings leave town then a new team is needed…why?
    –that if the team leaves the city will somehow flounder…why?

    I can’t recall the exact quote, but it was in the book Treblinka where the prisoners discussed an uprising and the wisest man concluded “In the absence of a choice, I’ll take the third.”

    It is you who seems shortsighted and lacking vision. If the state/city has 500+ million to invest in MN, subsidizing an entertainment business that skims off the profits to NYC/NJ and leaves behind 40 years of debt payments is the worst possible ROI to that investment.
    –where are the good jobs…serving nachos?
    –where is the visionary future of football…analyzing head injuries?
    –where is the development opportunity of football stadium areas…what bar/restaurant/retail wants a 10 day customer base surrounded by concrete arterial roads…the state fair booths, the food truck industry? We have those already…how many good jobs are there?

    What would be a better 500 million dollar social investment? ANYTHING else.

    If our ruling elite is tapped out, I suggest this question be taken to some 5th grade class, say in Lakeville where kids are now going to be given iPads in the district school, and I’ll take my chances 12 year olds will come up with a better ideas than this NFL stadium boondoggle.

  7. @Ed. I partly agree with you that the Wilf’s may well be getting a great deal here but that doesn’t mean Mondale did a poor job of negotiating. My guess is that the Wilf’s are able to reduce their risk significantly. They are putting up some portion of the cash, but it is reported that some $ 200 million of that comes from the NFL loan secured by cash flow from certain items like executive suites. You can also bet that the Vikings will reduce their investment with the maximum amount they can extract from PSL’s which is thought to be about $50 million (but nowhere near the exaggerated amounts you have claimed.). The Wilf’s will also get paid for naming rights and while it is difficult to know the amount of money involved—it is possible the Wilf’s could borrow their needs from a bank and completely repay the loan from naming rights and 15 dollar beer. As I see it, the Wilf’s may not have to ante up anything.

    Having said that, this is the price of keeping a NFL franchise. You will pay for it now or later. If the Vikes leave we will get an idea of how much everybody ( excepting you and Other Mike) values a pro football presence. You are just kicking the can down the road on this issue, just as Pawlenty did for awhile, and Rybak tried to do– until Arden Hills put a serious proposal on the table.

    @ Other Mike. I sense you have a political identity issue here over a mistaken belief that free enterprise and private markets are the only acceptable means of building public monuments and that government should be kept out. A bit of finger-wagging is in order too as you should not be knocking the nacho sellers. The Wilf’s are giving the public what it freely chooses to consume in expensive tickets and high-priced food and beer. Some people even die their hair purple for tailgating. And you would want to end it?

  8. According to Pioneer Press one gets the sense that Zellers isn’t going to risk his future for being a roadblock to a Stadium vote even if he personally opposes the idea for reasons that are in lock-step with Ed’s views. Nobody wants to get in front of ze train.

    The GOP appears to be conceding they can’t go he early even if they believe Brodkorb’s slash and burn campaign on GOP embarrassment and repetitional matters will weaken once the legislature concludes the session. My guess is that the ethics hearing will be held and quashed due to attorney client priviledge excuse and then Brodkorb will put on the full court press to get mediation or settlement agreed to before the session ends. If names and nastier rumors leak to the media and get on the air or in print,, in the process, then all bets are off and the GOP might go into lockdown—nothing will get voted on–including the Stadium.

  9. @Rick, when I illustrated how a stadium could be financed through PSLs, I wasn’t exaggerating. I was showing what it would cost to do it that way. Since Vikings fans are unwilling to subsidize Wilf’s business to that degree, the public is being asked to make up the difference, which is a bad idea.

    The public doesn’t need to pay now or later to subsidize an NFL team’s stadium. People interested in having an NFL team in Minnesota can pay now or later.

    Arden Hills’ proposals have never involved viable financing plans, which means that they aren’t serious proposals.

    Wilf’s are not giving the public what it freely chooses to consume. They are attempting to force the public to subsidize it since Vikings fans won’t cover the true market costs. I’d like to see the public free to choose whether it supports a new stadium. That would be the market at work. Based on polling, it seems clear that Vikings fans like the team, but not enough to subsidize over half a billion toward a new stadium.

  10. @Ed You must think that Ziggy is forcing fans to drink those expensive beers. Give us a break!!!!

    You are still missing the point by not addressing the future impact of the decision not to subsidize. You act like it is no big deal….let’s the Wilf’s pay up….and everyone else will be happy. Pretty unrealistic in my view. We will be back again considering this over and over again if the Vikings leave. Where is your foresight?

    I guess we are supposed to believe that Arden Hills wasn’t viable because you declared it so. Arden Hills always depended on gambling expansion money but the tribes beat back the politicians on that issue (and maybe you included.)

    I wonder you you were with the TParty folks and Bachmann whining about Obama’s death panels because folks ought to be able to be “free to choose” and the 50 million uninsured should go get a job with health insurance.

    The “free market” is a great idea and it actually works well quite a bit of the time, but it ain’t working in health insurance. And it almost never has worked with NFL stadium construction. Why hasn’t any other small market NFL city been able to do this with pure market forces?

    You know you are telling the Wilf’s to leave with this line of reasoning. But, at the same time, you haven’t thought out the future when we will be begging another team to come here and offering up plenty of freebies.

    Are there any visionaries hanging out who read these posts?

  11. @Rick, sorry for the confusion. I’m saying that the beers aren’t expensive enough to cover the costs of the stadium.

    I’m saying let the Wilfs, fans, local businesses, etc., who have an interest in the team staying pay. If they don’t seen enough value, they shouldn’t spend the money. Same with the public.

    Does Arden Hills have hundreds of millions to spend on a stadium? No. Is the state willing to allow an off-reservation casino in order to extract money from the public for Wilf’s benefit? No.

    Comparing health care to subsidizing an NFL franchise is a bit of a reach.

    I’m not telling the Wilfs to leave with this line of reasoning. I’m telling Vikings fans that they’re telling Wilf to leave by being unwilling to subsidize the sport they claim to value. They can pay now or later. If they don’t see the value, there are plenty of other things they can spend their money on that generate revenue in the state far in excess of how much they are subsidized.

  12. @Ed You are sure right in that comparing heath care to a stadium is a bit of a reach, but it takes that type of a comparison to illustrate the point of where is the line when government must get involved. The stadium issue has been much the same in every single NFL city with very few exceptions—it’s simple—if a city wants an NFL team it must offer public subsidy. What makes MN any different when it comes to an NFL stadium? You haven’t made the case.

    Invariably some folks ( and maybe this includes you ) end up making subjective judgements about what people should –or are willing– to spend money on for entertainment. From my point of view, the fact that big rock stars can come in a collect 200 bucks per ticket for a temporary memory and almost all the cash leaves the State—this s even more uneconomic to the citizens as compared buying Vikes tickets or expensive hot dogs.

    In the end, the public will accept a subsidized stadium financed with mirrors, if necessary, to keep spending their discretionary income in ways you would probably not like.

    My advice here: be careful not to keep jumping over the line on value judgements about what stupid ways people can find to spend discretionary income.

    Your view on the state not willing to allow gambling expansion actually is true if applied to the politicians in power such as Dayton and perhaps a few legislators.

    hey have done surveys which show a pretty solid majority has no problem with racino or expanded gambling. Gambling is already here. (Look at Marlys Harris latest on Minnpost. ) The fundamental issue with expanded gambling is that the MIGA group has thrown unlimited resources and political contributions at it and they have intimidated officeholders not to allow it.

    You may not be aware of it, but there is a rich history of how Pawlenty tried to take on the tribes and got beaten back on the issue. The tribes have fought the normal public information rules that apply to them by using a “trade secrets” exemption, which is total baloney.

    If the public knew the real facts about how much money was being extracted by Mystic Lake, they would be enraged and wonder how Perpich let this happen. The White Earth Group has tried to get the message out and it just is not yet understood.

    Given the proper disclosure, if the Vikings stadium didn’t get the tribal money, the public would demand that it be used for other purposes like schools or given to poorer indian tribes. The Arden Hills proposal likely was based on riding this stream of gambling income even if they never made it obvious to you.

  13. @Rick, I’m not judging how people spend their discretionary income when I tell people that they are free to spend their own money on a stadium.

    I’m not a fan of gambling, on or off reservation, but I don’t see the justification for screwing the tribes to benefit a private business.

    Interesting assumption about the Arden Hills proposal. I don’t remember Tony Bennett or Wilf pushing a gambling angle to get things done out there. Do you?

  14. @ Ed. Interesting to note that you declared that Arden hills couldn’t be funded and then you apparently believe that the Ramsey county people were spending megahours of time on an extensive proposal which was not going to tap into Racino or expanded gambling. I guess you live in a literal world believing that all knowledge of politicians will be reported in the news. Dayton knew he was going to be asked for help with using Racino to fund AH and he chose to punt and go the easy way with Rybak and pullTabs.

    Your opposition to gambling is understandable. I don’t gamble and wish others would not. I don’t think I even know anyone who would buy a lottery ticket or go to a casino. But prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, and abstinence doesn’t work to stop teenage sex—so why should I (or you) climb on a soapbox opposing gambling???

    I don’t think you get the tribal gaming business in Mn. The rich tribes are not being screwed. They are screwing the State taxpayers and the poorer tribes like White Earth. You don’t seem to comprehend how it was structured by Perpich.

  15. @Rick, the Racino crowd claims to be the solution to every budget problem. When the state decided to borrow from schools rather than open a Racino to solve last summer’s budget, we saw how popular the idea was with the legislature.

    I don’t see perfect parallels between alcohol and gambling. I don’t see thousands of dollars per night in gambling happening in bars that don’t formally offer gambling.

    I think I have a decent understanding of the current gambling scenario. Yep. White Earth gets screwed. They have worked to get tribes in the cities to work with them to help them. Laduke has been involved with that.

  16. @Ed. If you understand the tribal gaming issue so well, I would think you would be lobbying to have the agreements with Perpich totally undone and a new deal cut to wipe out the stats income tax exemption, codify into law that the tribes must disclose revenues and income and build in a funding mechanism that provides more than a measly $150000 per year for auditing of these mega casinos.
    Do that and take Racino off the table. Otherwise, it takes a Racino deal or a white earth deal to bring some equity to a bad deal. Read the statements of the head of White Earth and you might get a clue. There is zero transparent here.

    You must be naive to think that if you don’t see gambling in bars then it must not exist. Where in the hell have you been??? Before we had Indian gaming, the gamblers used Vegas and bookies as the alternative. Bookies don’t advertise. The parallels between gambling prohibition and alcohol prohibition are very clear—if the Govt tries to ban them they just go underground. I suppose you would argue that nobody smokes illegal weed because you don’t personally witness the activity. The gambling economy has always been there—and always will be in some form. Wake up.

  17. @Rick, enlighten me. Are you honestly suggesting that people sitting at the Rail Station in Minneapolis would be gambling to their heart’s content while generating no revenue for charities and the state if it wasn’t for pulltabs? That’s not the behavior I see.

    I am curious: What’s your stake in this? Do you honestly believe that Minnesota’s economy doesn’t work under the current imperfect gambling scenario we have today?

  18. @Ed. Beats the hell out of me why anyone would even want to be seen in the Rail Station!!! All I can say is that a lot of gambling activity is invisible. My wife’s uncle who has passed away was very active bettor using bookies. I knew a guy who actually got threatened to pay up while they told him to take off his shoes and waited for cement to be mixed. I had a neighbor in the WestSurburbs who wuz an FBI agent and spotted a bookmaker right in the same building in an office I passed by everyday and never suspected. I am now not naive about gambling like you appear to be.

    I have no direct stake in the stadium issues, but have access to folks who do or operate around the capital and provide unusual insights into the players that are involved. A long time ago, I worked for one of the owners of the Vikings, before Red bought the team and got involved in negotiations to value and sell a partial ownership interest, which was wildly profitable at the time. Before last December, I hadn’t really been paying attention to the stadium, but when the GOP blew up and I started to hear rumors that the stadium was getting mixed in to a very corrupted lobbying process and how the details were being revealed about tribal gaming secrecy, I found it to be a story that no one could make up. I am hearing too many rumors from folks who ought to know that this could even get more interesting. In the end, however, we will have a subsidized stadium–no matter how we get there. But I also really enjoy debate and the opportunity to crush weak logic and this board provides plenty of it

  19. Here is two vague anecdotes I’d like Rick to explain–
    “I started to hear rumors that the stadium was getting mixed in to a very corrupted lobbying process…”
    “In the end, however, we will have a subsidized stadium–no matter how we get there.”

    And then to me the obvious questions are–
    –Why should we just shrug this fleecing off and let it happen?
    –Given no societal ROI, is football really that enjoyable to you to accept this while we are having our pockets emptied for 40 years to pay for it?

    This debate might be fun for one, because while you consider the logic weak, you also have ignored point after point that didn’t fit your enabling perspective. This is gaming the debate, which you might call fun or a win, but since the Twin Cities community loses millions of tax dollars over 40 years that could better be invested elsewhere…the state loses.

  20. @other mike

    Who pays for it all depends on where you live and spend money. Since you live in Mpls, the stadium falls on your shoulders because your democratically elected officials believe it is in your best interest. Those who live outside the city probably don’t care that much about a few bucks a year. If you don’t like it–you should be raising hell with your mayor and councilperson. Whining on the blog won’t have much impact—even if makes you feel better.

    Personally, I was very disappointed to see Rybak snatch the stadium out of the hands of Arden Hills which already had the Vikings favor because it probably will bring more ancillary revenues from tailgating and Wilf’s could pursue other developments there like hotels and conference centers. Rybak had fiddled around for a number of months when the Vikes asked him about help with replacing the Dome. My understanding is that the Wilf’s eventually were pissed at Rybak for inaction and that is why they went to the AH deal and Ramsey county folks put their hearts into a well planned out proposal. Had Mpls residents who oppose the stadium been smarter, in hindsight of course, they should have embraced the AH deal and not fussed about the public subsidy issue.

    AH could have been the deal, but when MIGA got wind that the ultimate financing was coming from them in increased competition, the lobbying force went into action. MIGA hired Tony Sutton on a consulting deal even though this was a huge conflict for a GOP party chair. MIGA went all out to mollycoddle GOP legislators to stop fanlight competition and they hired Amy Koch’s former cheif of staff to help. MIGA scared Dayton with a story that a deal would be tied up in courts if it was Racino or a white earth casino, but they left the door open to use charitable gambling with pull tabs.

    In any event the deal migrated to something you might have tolerated in AH , to a stadium in Mpls that you really don’t like.

    This could have been done differently but the MIGA folks didn’t want to share their gambling profits, and along with however many illegal bookmakers exist in MN pretty much control the market in MN for high stakes gambling–and apparently will continue to do so with the deal now in Mpls.

  21. I understand your preference for Arden Hills site and I guess those are the rumors that address my first question above. But AH was never viable financially in Ramsey County due to the lack of population available to subsidize the NFL’s champagne stadium on a lite beer investment; that is why it ended up being pointed to Mpls. This is all water under the collapsed bridge.

    Which brings me back to my second question above on your vague anecdote–
    “In the end, however, we will have a subsidized stadium–no matter how we get there.”

    And my obvious questions of–
    –Why should we just shrug this fleecing off and let it happen?
    –Given no societal ROI, is football really that enjoyable to you to accept this while we are having our pockets emptied for 40 years to pay for it?

  22. “while we are having our pockets emptied for 40 years to pay for it?”

    This is really hyperbole. You don’t have to spend a dime on this stadium if you don’t want to, and if you do, I’d defy you if you said you even noticed it.

  23. @Rat, should The Other Mike avoid spending any money on a taxable purchases in Minneapolis for the rest of his life? If it’s such a small amount of money, why don’t Vikings fans simply pool their own rather than attempt to extract money from The Other Mike?

  24. “should The Other Mike avoid spending any money on a taxable purchases in Minneapolis for the rest of his life?”

    I can’t speak for him, but to me the amount he’d have to pay would be so small it wouldn’t make much sense to spend the time and effort avoiding it.

    “If it’s such a small amount of money, why don’t Vikings fans simply pool their own.”

    All indications you’ve given places the fan expenditure at five figures, NOT EVEN COUNTING TICKET PURCHASES. Maybe that’s little to you, I don’t know.

  25. @Rat. I think you have a good point.

    Other Mike must have reached the breaking point over what it might cost him personally –at least until retirement age–if the Vikes are subsidized.

    Ed, on the other hand, seems to be convinced that public subsidy is not necessary because most Vikings fans can be pushed for personal seat licenses to fund the stadium. Just $10 grand per fan apparently will get the deal done—according to Ed.

    Both of these arguments are extreme. In reality most of our citizens are not pure cheapskates, but, on they other hand they won’t pay the ticket prices that Ed would mandate to get a private deal.

    Maybe we will get the best of both worlds. Schiff’s supporters will file a suit for a referendum,which kills the deal in Mpls. The Vikings move on to Arden Hills and Other Mike won’t be able to use his pocketbook as an excuse. Mpls. will be stuck with a struggling Dome and probably will have to demolish it in order to get the property back into the accessible base. Mpls property taxes actually could go up for several years. Sen. Davids will make good on his bill proposing the convention center special tax items be eliminated. Rybak will be stuck with the Target Center burden and will eventually move on to replace Dayton as Govenor. Mpls will get somebody far worse than Rybak as a replacement. The future of Downtown Mpls. would seem to be less vibrant, but that is apparently what a referendum is going to produce if councilmembers come to their senses as Ed hopes.

    Who is going to be the biggest loser? I suspect that few people have thought seriously about such a scenario.

  26. “Maybe we will get the best of both worlds.”====== Or, the man who was willing to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the Minnesota economy pulls up stakes and moves the team somewhere else, leaving the Twin Cities with both a domed stadium with no tenants AND a festering Superfund site. And the Eds and Other Mikes will pat each other on the back over their accomplishments.

  27. @Rat
    Personally, I would be very concerned about a languishing Dome if the Vikes build in Arden Hills. I suspect that is also why Rybak is willing to stake his political life on the deal. And if the stadium in Mpls is shot down by the council and the city ends up with subsidizing the Target center forever–The council could look very bad and Rybak in a position of saying I told you so.

    Clearly Ed and Other Mike haven’t thought this through very well.

    The Mpls. Stadium proposal could easily be blown up by the opponents who Schiff described are likely to file a lawsuit. It does appear, however, that the number of opponents like Ed are few in number and the petitions being circulated may have little impact. But who knowe what could happen if a few disgruntled opponents try to take the voting issue into the courtroom. Even if Ed is totally wrong about the charter violations, most courts do not move swiftly. No doubt the Arden Hills promoters see this as a glimmer of hope.

  28. @Rick, your worst case scenario analysis of what could happen in Minneapolis seems accurate. Not at all likely, but it’s a fun mental exercise. The convention center taxes could be killed off, leaving the city with no money to maintain the convention center, Target Center, or Metrodome (assuming the team moved outside the city or state). That all COULD happen if the legislature suddenly decided that Minneapolis residents were overtaxed on taxes that pay for stuff in Minneapolis. Yes, bills have been drafted to do that. But, as you seem to be willing to concede, it’s just an effort to light a fire under Rybak to get him to chip in Minneapolis’ money to pay for what the state won’t of Zygi’s stadium.

  29. @Rat, if that’s your concern, I imagine that you’ve written a check to Zygi to keep him from doing that?

    Have you looked at the Minneapolis 2020 plan for the Metrodome site? With the U of MN running out of areas to expand, a growing HCMC, an active residential market along the river running out of room, an LRT hub stop with access to Minneapolis, St. Paul, MSP and MOA, I’m not particularly concerned about the future of the Dome site.

    Arden Hills should be cleaned up. Building a 24,000 car parking lot on top of a Superfund site for 10 home games per year would be a horrible reuse.

  30. Oh my gosh Rick, you weren’t kidding when you were saying you didn’t understand economics! I thought you were just being lazy, but you don’t seem to understand it in the least.

    Zygi isn’t investing a dollar in MN, he is extracting it. The increasing value of the Vikings pro franchise asset is coming directly from the public, not from him…it is in spite of him as the team’s performance itself, both on the field and in the front office, has gone into the toilet.

    Every stadium proposal…Arden Hills and Minneapolis, Duluth and Shakopee too, has been based on public taxpayer subsidies while any NFL monies have been loans and Zygi monies have been from assigning EVERY possible income source into his pocket from which he will pay his fractional inputs.

    These pro sport stadiums is the latest global speculative bubble about to burst on the public while the instigators like Goldman Sachs just pull out their vampire squid funnel from the tapped fan/taxpayer community and move to the next bubble.

    Please read more before you make this mistake here–

  31. ” I imagine that you’ve written a check to Zygi to keep him from doing that?”

    Don’t ask me that on Tax Day. Written enough checks for the day, one that Tim Geithner gets.

    But I’ll do my part.

  32. @Ed Maybe you think what I posted is a “worst case” but it really isn’t. I think I just forced you to think about the future possibilities for the first time ever.

    FYI. If the UofM and HCMC take over the current Dome space, perhaps you can also figure out how to get them to pay property taxes.

    I bet you have no clue what might happen to Mpls property tax revenues if a stadium is built in AH. If you did, you wouldn’t be writing the nickel and dime nitpicks on few properties that might go off the tax rolls.

    FYI. You must be very naive about how the GOP legislators feel about city revenues and taxation. The GOP folks think the inner cities spend way too much money and give away excessive levels of employee benefits.

    You might take note that the legislature and Pawlenty had purposely stuck it to Mpls and St Paul by cutting back state aids to cities and this puts pressure on Coleman and Rybak to cut expenses or raise property taxes. All they have done in the state in recent years is to shift the burden from the Capitol to the city treasurers. Pawlenty could brag that he didn’t raise income taxes, but the burden just got shifted….its baloney. And Dayton could not reverse the trend last year.

    The state folks for decades have believe that the most money in government is wasted at the City and County level. The GOP, for example, thinks Rybak should run the city with less money and they would happy to take the convention center sales tax and redistribute the money without any say from the city.

    The argument that Sen. Davids introduced a bill to put pressure on the council to approve a vikes stadium is a bit of mythology you apparently chose to believe. Davids is trying to prevent the city from using the convention center taxes as a boondoggle kitty to spend as they like. He likely would oppose this stuff if any city tried to do the same. If you want to see outrageous amount of money wasted on sick leave and lifetime guaranteed pensions, look no further than the coffers of Mpls or Hennepin County. The County resources are incredibly large and mostly invisible.

    You may be right in that many cities are not going to pursue convention centers, but it doesn’t matter in MPLS, because they already have one with a leaky roof. What does matter is if the Mall of America builds another big hotel– which is currently being planned– to make the Mall a destination for conferences. Then —if the Mall goes ahead with other plans to attract travelers–the city of Mpls will really be screwed. Rybak gets it. You apparently do not.

  33. And Rick, you are saying that building a billion dollar Viking stadium for 10 days usage a year solves the Mpls Convention Center problem? How?

    Instead it misplaces for 40 years the potential funds that might resolve the Convention Center issue, OR more direct to the source problem–how to make Mpls more attractive on it’s own.

    We have to stop trying to solve one problem by creating a larger problem.

  34. @Rick, I’ve heard the same “worst case” from Rybak in his office. I didn’t buy it.

    While the U of MN or HCMC also wouldn’t pay taxes on land that current doesn’t pay taxes, having thousands of additional full time employees working downtown in good jobs (plus lots of jobs for people just getting started that are full time compared to stadium concessions) would be a vast improvement. I think it’s safe to assume that people would be more willing to live near a University of medical facility than an NFL stadium, which would increase property taxes on adjacent properties.

    If I have no clue on the property tax impact of the Vikings leaving Minneapolis, inform me. Statements like that are lazy. You can do better.

    No doubt that out-state politicians have issues with Minneapolis. What’s your point?

    I wouldn’t expect the climate to change at the state level until the climate changes. Do you believe that the MN GOP will always have the power it has today?

    You haven’t convinced me that the worst case scenario has any odds of actually happening.

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