Comparing Vikings Stadium Contribution Percentages to the 49ers #wilfare

One really misleading figure that the Vikings (and the Vikings’ government subsidized lobbyist, Ted Mondale [IMHO]) like to cite to justify giving more than half a billion dollars to Zygi Wilf is the percentage contribution the Vikings are making toward stadium financing. If Zygi’s putting in 40% of the deal, that’s great compared to, say the 49ers, where the public is paying 85% of the price. A whopping $850 million public contribution.

Here is how they are lying to you: Ted Mondale and the Vikings fail to mention HOW the city is paying for their share.

Neil deMause at Field of Schemes breaks down how the city will raise the money to pay the debt:

The city’s share — double the amount initially approved a year and a half ago — will now be repaid by ticket sales, stadium naming rights, $30 million a year in rent (up from $5 million) from the team, $150 million from the NFL, $40 million from the city redevelopment agency, and $35 million from hotel taxes.

See the differences?

49ers: City gets revenue from ticket sales. Vikings: Public builds stadium for Wilf, then Wilf sells and keeps money from ticket sales. Ticket fees are the backup to the backup to the backup backup funding sources in the Vikings bill.

49ers: City gets revenue from naming rights. Vikings: Public builds stadium for Wilf, then Wilf sells and keeps money from naming rights.

49ers: City gets $30 million per year in rent. Vikings: Wilf splits the rent with the City of Minneapolis, who’d be on the hook for $10 million/yr (in ADDITION to the $150 million Minneapolis would pay toward construction costs) to subsidize Wilf’s business.

49ers: $35 million from hotel taxes. Vikings: $150 million from hotels, restaurant, alcohol, and citywide Minneapolis taxes. Between construction and operating costs, Minneapolis would be on the hook for $398 million to subsidize Wilf’s business (if things to right).

49ers: $40 million from city redevelopment agency. Vikings: $21 million from property tax exemptions on the increased footprint of the new stadium.

So, while it may be accurate to say that the Vikings are putting in a larger share than the 49ers, it’s darn clear that saying so is intentionally misleading. While I don’t expect better from Zygi Wilf and Lester Bagley, I wish Ted Mondale would look at who signs his checks before making such misleading statements.

5 thoughts on “Comparing Vikings Stadium Contribution Percentages to the 49ers #wilfare”

  1. Two good pieces 49ers vs Vikes and parking ramp revenue. You make many good points in both.

  2. The 49er’s deal is just as awful as this Vikings proposal, this website helps clarify where the initial promises vanished and public subsidies slid into place–

    And all their twisted financing too is handled by the USA’s favorite bank–Goldman Sachs.

    The NFL is an extractive business, publically subsidized for private wealth.

  3. At the risk of having this called a diatribe, or a website traffic scheme…let me present another alternative real economics option–

    With a flashing light example of where MN 500 million dollars of public subsidy funds should go to instead of to a billion dollar Zygiworld for the extractive NFL and Goldman-Sachs private businesses–

    –Jobs with a future
    –Creating Alternative Energy
    –With Future Technology/Engineering
    –Developed Here in MN/USA
    –Serving MN/USA public and business interests

    Call it GAMBLING with a more positive ROI than pro sports. I’m done with wasting time on pro sports and so should you until the NFL stops treating its fans and local communities like dirt to be used up.

  4. I just now found this article and some of the information about the 49ers stadium needs to be corrected.

    The city of Santa Clara only gets 35 cents per ticket for a senior/youth fee, up to a maximum of $250,000/year. That’s it. Otherwise, Santa Clara gets nothing from NFL ticket sales. FYI Santa Clara gets nothing from any type of NFL revenue, including signage, ads, TV/radio etc. revenue.

    Santa Clara’s Stadium Authority is supposed to sell the personal seat licenses and use that income towards stadium debt. By having the Stadium Authority sell the seat licenses, 49ers fans avoid having to pay sales tax and Santa Clara therefore loses out on quite a bit of sales tax. Santa Clara is also then stuck with the risk if psl’s don’t sell, something the Santa Clara council pro-stadium folks won’t address.

    The $30 million/year in facility rent is from the 49ers stadium company to Santa Clara’s Stadium Authority. That money will not go to the city’s General Fund, with the exception of $180,000/year starting rent paid to the General Fund (that amount is supposed to go up through time, but it starts out very low and the rent is backloaded closer to year 40 of the lease.) Add up the operational/maintenance costs on an annual basis and the debt service on many hundreds of millions in loans, and $30 million/year doesn’t sound like enough money.

    Santa Clara’s Stadium Authority will only get naming rights income from the overall name of the stadium, and that is supposed to go towards the construction debt. None of that will go to the city’s General Fund. Naming rights for any parts within the stadium (not the overall name) will go to the 49ers, not to Santa Clara.

    The stadium contract isn’t with the 49ers themselves or the 49ers owners, it’s with a Delaware LLC, the 49ers Stadium Company. If there was no risk, why wouldn’t the 49ers owners be willing to sign the contract rather than have the shield of a Limited Liability Company?

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