Comparing Atlanta and Minnesota’s NFL Stadium Corporate #wilfare Packages

The Falcons are paying far more than Zygi for a new stadium ($800 million vs $477m), but is that the full story? Hardly. No one knows the full story at this point, but here’s an interesting nugget from Tim Nelson at MPR’s Stadium Watch Blog:

The Vikings ARE on the hook for about $11 million a year more in rent, if AP’s estimate of $2.5 million in annual rent for the Falcons is accurate. Over 30 years, that would certainly make the two deals more comparable.

Again, that’s hard to compare because the NFL is a really shady organization. Sure, the Falcons are paying a lower rate for rent, but they’re also throwing away a 20-year old stadium. If stadiums are that disposable, the difference in rent becomes a far smaller portion of the costs the NFL team would pay before hitting up the public to tear down and build them another one.

That said, it looks like Ted Mondale negotiated a crappy deal that the MN GOP legislature (Julie Rosen and Morrie Lanning) authored bills to support and Mark Dayton threw on a Vikings uniform to lobby for. Here’s an oversimplified breakdown:

$800m up front
$2.5m/yr rent
20 year total: $850
30 year total: $875

$477m up front
$11m/yr rent
20 year total: $697
30 year total: $807

It would take nearly 40 years for the Vikings deal to be a worse deal for the NFL corporate wilfare queens than what Atlanta negotiated with the Falcons. But, if there’s one certainty in the NFL, neither of these yet to be built stadiums will still be standing in 40 years.

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