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Tuesday Talk: Who should pay for a new stadium?

October 18, 2011 By Joe Sheeran, Communications Director

The Vikings Stadium debate is generating more interest than the Vikings on-field performance. This week, Governor Dayton is meeting with the team, the National Football League and legislators to discuss a plan going forward.

Should Minnesota build a stadium? How should it be financed?   

Thanks for participating! Commenting on this conversation is now closed.


  • Dale says:

    October 18, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Plain and simple.  The Vikings should pay 100% of the costs for their own stadium.  After all, they expect to reap 100% of the profits from the stadium.

    The state and county may contribute to highway infrastructure improvements to required for the site.

    The reason all the parties are opposed to a referendum on a county wide sales tax to support construction and operating costs of the stadium is they fear the proposal would be defeated by the voters.

    And where is the funding for the state’s contribution going to come from?  By delaying other urgent projects like bridge repairs?  Or will they simply delay even more money from what is promised to school districts?

  • CeeVee says:

    October 18, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Who should pay for an expansion at the 3M plant?  Who should pay for a new parking lot at General Mills?  It’s hard to understand why we’re even asking such a question.  Game tickets and the accompanying costs of attending games are beyond the reach of so many Minnesotans right now.  And we’re going to call a special session to take care of millionaires and billionaires when children in our state don’t have healthy food and health care?  Now does everyone understand the Occupy Wall Street crowd?

  • Lonni McCauley says:

    October 18, 2011 at 7:56 am

    The Vikings should pay for their own stadium. If taxes are to be raised they need to be spent on education, infrastructure and other state amenities that benefit the residents of the state.

  • Susan Legender Clarke DC says:

    October 18, 2011 at 7:57 am

    No and more NO. Until we can pay to maintain our roads, pay our teachers, pay our firefighters, our police we should not be seriously considering spending millions on football.

  • John Crampton says:

    October 18, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Let Zygy and the players pay for all of it.  They have lots more money that I do.  And if they don’t want to pay for it…. let them move to LA… or to the moon.  They contribute nothing of value… in fact they are an annoyance and their constant threatening and begging has become very bothersome.

  • judyparkin says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:06 am

    It is time to get this resolved.  The site in Arden Hills has no other interested buyers, it is an eyesore and generates no revenue now.  Why not build the stadium and keep the Vikings.  Or as former Governor Carlson said once we can be Des Moines

  • Paul Conklin says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Ideally it should be privately financed.  If the state provides any funding, the state should get partial ownership of the team including veto over any moves, until the owners pay off the state’s share of the stadium.

  • karen says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I am not much of a sport fan, but I’m forced to pay because there’s a sports stadium. Extra taxes on drinks and food whenever I go downtown, exorbitant parking fees downtown when there’s a game on—even if I’m going to HCMC to visit my ailing brother.

    But what bothers me the most is the culture of the athletes and the team owners. What do they give back to our community? I mean besides the profits in the bars and restaurants? Are they great role models? not. Do they tutor kids or help the poor? haven’t heard.

    It doesn’t matters if they play here or L.A. They look like a burden we can’t afford.

  • David Dixen says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

    How about selling stock in the stadium and in the Vikings.  IT seems to work at Green Bay.
    Tax payers should finance schools, Roads, etc.  Not the rich folk.

  • KJC says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

    If you’re a “the market should decide, I’m successful because of myself” kind of person you would surely insist that the Team ... as a business ... pay for it’s own facilities, and then recoup their investment in selling tickets at profitable prices.  Wouldn’t you? 
    You can just about hear the screams now, that the ticket prices will be too high.  How will we pay for all those Millionaire players and give a nice rate of return for the Billionaire owners without a public subsidy?  They have suffered so much, certainly they deserve what would be called “welfare” if they were regular Joe Citizens getting this mega-transfer of public funds? 
    With the budget shortfall and had financial choices being made in our Great State, shouldn’t we just divert revenues away from other public priorities like education, healthcare and roads for this? 
    Sorry for the biting tone, but after the state shutdown this summer… over serious financial issues… and then real people getting real hardship ... isn’t it annoying to see an elite group that apparently thinks this is a good time to Get Something?
    It’s tough choices time to be sure.  The the three things I’ve mentioned (education, healthcare & roads) clearly qualify as the domain of Public Good… and have taken a hit… does yet another stadium really get High Priority in our public funding in such tough times?
    Sorry to end with a question…

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Not one red cent of my money will ever be given willingly to the pursuits of the coluseum, or those who use it to control the sheeple. Bring on the Christians and the lions and let the blood sport begin. Wheather outright death or death by multiple concussions, it is still death for entertainment. Of course there is the growing sports medicine field to support, “woopee, we’re all gonna die”.

  • Brandan Fiedler says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

    The new Minnesota Vikings Stadium will be a partnership between the State of Minnesota, Ramsey County, and the Minnesota Vikings.  The Minnesota Vikings are going to pay $480 million plus all of the cost overruns towards the $1.1 billion stadium.  Ramsey County is putting in a sales tax increase to pay for the $320 million share, and the State of Minnesota is putting in $300 million towards this project.  The State will own the stadium.  JUST BUILD IT!

  • Ed Rapp says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Yes, we should buid a stadium and yes, we sould finance it.  But we, the taxpayers, should own it.  I call it the Green Bay model.  We could learn a lot from our friends in Wisconsin, as long as we don’t follow their criteria for selection of a governor. I would love to own a piece of the Vikings, and would gladly sell my shares of GE to pay for it.  But the Green Bay experiment was so successful that the league owners passed restrictions insuring that it can never happen again.  We could probably throw out the billionaires by some process like eminent domain, but then they might never become multi-billionaires.  And such is really all that is left of the “American dream.”

  • Bernie says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:34 am

    A special session to discuss the Vikings stadium?  Pu lease!! Don’t we have more pressing issues facing the state Govenor? The citizens should have a right to vote on whether tax dollars will be used to fund the stadium. But no, once again, government knows better than the people it is supposed to serve. They also know that if put to a vote the effort would fail.

  • Ruth A. Robelia says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:37 am

    The “Green Bay model” is an excellent idea.  However, in these times, with our current public officials running the House and Senate, I do not trust that the common good of a “peoples’ stadium” will prevail.  Therefore, I encourage everyone to work hard to get this defeated.  Remember, Ramsey County will always have this land, and there may be a bigger plan in the wings for it once better times emerge.

  • Tim says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

    You have got to be kidding! Our state who cannot afford to fund our schools roads, healthcare and much much more thinks it is ok to give over a half a billion dollars to a business that provides very few “good” jobs to its citizens.

    Let’s finally put this stadium question behind us and say “NO” and “don’t ask again. If the Vikings cannot survive without a “welfare check”, so be it! I know I cannot support any enterprise that pays millions to a few at the expense of the many.

    The owners are behaving like a spoiled child, when one government says no… threaten and throw a tantrum and then they just bring the same old question back in another way expecting to eventually get thier way.

    Lets quit spoiling the “child” and give them the final no.

  • Carl says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:56 am

    How can a stadium cost $1.2 Billion to build.  We are not Dallas (Jones paid most of the stadium) or New Yorks (10 times larger population.  Target field was $400 Million.  We are building a Billion facility that will be used 10 times per year.  Please don’t tell me about other events.  Maybe one concert and maybe a tractor pull.  We are investing over $700 million between State and County.  There is NO WAY to cost justify over a 30 year period.  I would say like the Twins here is $400 million and that is it!!!  The Twins I supported because they have 81 dates per year and you can cost justify the stadium.  Huge Viking fan but at this cost would rather be a cold Omaha.

  • geothermaljones says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:03 am

    If you take a look at previously proposed development options, you will see the incentives required to get multiple developers involved in this sized site far exceed the tax increases, TIF’s, etc… the state, county & city are offering the Vikings.
    No single developer wants to take on this size a project & the “clean up” issues shut most down early.
    The Vikes are taking on a huge tract of land that will remain publicly owned. The stadium will be publicly owned & leased for 30 years. Use of the site for
    anything not NFL related should be publicly controlled (not necessarily MAC!)
    For over 40yrs I’ve traveled past this site & other than a few more broken windows, grafitti, & vehicle shuffles, nothing has changed.
    (I also think “Arden Alps” X-C, Alpine Ski & Tubing would be a great use of the Cistern hills North slope and existing trails…)
    Do a quick google earth & see the rail lines that tie directly from the North Star rail station in Fridley (less a couple bridges) a light rail station could easily be tied directly to the parking areas. 1/2 the family could hop the rails to the MOA or Target field while the other 1/2 tailgates in the RV Areas.

  • Ron Leurquin says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:06 am

    The owner of the business, int his case its a football team known as the Vikings should pay for its own facilities.  the Vikings area business.  MN and governement should not be in the perpetual cycle of providing facilities for businesses to function.

    Let us build the roads and things like that, but the stadium itslef should be an expense to the team and its owner(s) of doing business.  Let Mr Wilff build it to his liking and own it and then do with it as he pleases when his team is not playing in it.

    Why should any of that expense fall on my shoulders?

  • Kathleen says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

    The Vikings want it they should pay 100% for it, as of this last game I have seen NO reason we the people of Minnesota should pay for a team that can’t or won’t win games. Its a waste of our money and I agree it is a waste of our time. My answer is NO! we the people of Minnesota should not put out one red cent for this bunch of loosers. They can pick up their footballs and go to LA or where ever they are wanted. Most of the people of Minnesota can not pay for tickets to these games and if you took a poll you would find that most would not even consider paying for tickets to see these fools loose. I don’t even waste my time watching their games on T.V. They are not worth my time and our state government should not waste their time on this issue. Its a moot deal. Vikings pay 100% or move out, but they shouldn’t let the door hit them where the good Lord split them! Good-bye to the Vikings!

  • Carstens says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

    We had a government shut down because our state leaders could not come to an agreement on how to fund the state but we can talk about building a new Vikings stadium and work together to get that done? Priorities people. Makes me sick we are having a stadium conversation at all. And yes, I am still a Vikings fan.

  • Tony Rozycki says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Owners & players!  The guys who want it, think they need it, and make the big bucks from the NFL stadiums.  Who else

  • Grace says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I wonder who will develop the area around the stadium?  Zigi or Ramsey County?  Who will own the property?  And why not put the sales tax on the whole state…they are known as the MINNESOTA VIKINGS.  Who gets the profits from the concession stands?  This all can’t go to Zigi.  The “people” who pay dearly should have receipts to help finance other projects.

  • Sheila Klassen says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Taxpayers should not pay for Wilf’s grand plans.  Wilf’s insistence that the project be built in Arden Hills is evidence to me that in his mind this debate is less about the stadium and more about the surrounding retail and such.  This is one of those projects that, if taxpayer funded, will create great wealth for the developer with little risk.  The taxpayer will end up with a white elephant.

  • Dale says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

    AFTER the state gets current on the 700 million that they said they are borrowing from school districts (nearly 40% of state aid promised to k-12 education), then we can start thinking about money for a Vikings stadium.  How can Minnesotans spend 300 million on a non-essential item like a stadium to be used by a private business when they can not even make timely payments for the essential items like k-12 education.

  • Carol Johansen says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Zigi and the team should pay for it, of course.  They’ve got the big bucks and citizens, most of whom never go to a game anyway, should not need to provide any resources.  I say let them move to L.A. and good riddance.

  • Frank H. says:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I don’t blame Dayton for not wishing to become (as his opponents, and frustrated fans, Will say)“The Minnesota Governor who LOST the Vikings;” but—in exchange for..`er “playing ball” w. the millionaire/billionaire interest$, he/We should somehow extract from them a significant-if-symbolic, “Packerlike” Minority-Fan interest in the club.

    As another [Texas] governor has recently reminded us, being “bought” has its price; and it ain’t Cheap.

  • Charlie Zea says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:00 am

    When the state budget is back in the black, no accounting gimmicks, no deferred payments,just green dollars stacked on the table.  Then we will be ready to start the talks.  By the way, whats wrong with the Dome.

  • Daniel Grambush says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

    If public money is used to build this
    Stadium then the public is entitled to
    a large portion of the proceeds.

  • Susan Rengstorf says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:02 am

      This is obviously not a good time for the Vikings to be asking taxpayers for money for a new stadium. They should stay at the Metrodome until the economy improves. Who’s idea was it to have the Ramsey County taxpayers pay with a sales tax increase? How many people who live in Ramsey County can even afford to go to a game? This whole conversation is distasteful. I would like to see the sports fans keep their team, but if the team can’t take care of themselves, then I wish them a good life somewhere else.

  • John Manning says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I do not understand why the public should be asked to pay for a stadium unless the public owns the team.  Football is a “for profit” enterprise controlled by very wealthy individuals. A sales tax is the most regressive of all taxes and hits the people least able to afford additional taxes the hardest.  The owners benefit from the stadiums both through annual revenues and again when they sell the teams - let them pay for it and recover their investment through ticket sales.  These folks do not need to be subsidized.

  • Kaydelle Kv-Leverty says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

    The city of Saint Paul has the deepest population density in the county and I don’t see where the stadium will help the city, yet we will be paying the taxes. The players make a lot more money than most of the people in the city and we can’t even afford a ticket.  I don’t want the Vikings to move, but I think the whole state should share in the cost.

  • Jennifer says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Not taxpayers, that’s for sure. 

    Governor Dayton is on the wrong side of history calling special meetings and a possible special session to deal with a hugely expensive and unnecessary facility for a billion dollar sports franchise.  Government should be having special meetings to help deal with this economic and financial crisis we’re all in.

    I hope if enough Minnesotans speak out, he’ll change his mind on this one.

  • Rachel says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Wayne said:

    “Look to Green Bay Wisconsin as a model of team ownership.  If the people owned the team then there would be no threat of them leaving.  Use the power of eminent domain to obtain team and then let the people decide their future.”

    (via email)

  • Donald Conroy says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I am told that the presence of the high paid Vikings bring a lot of revenue into the state and location. I propose that the owner finances enough to begin building the stadium, and the proceeds the Vikings generate are used to finance the rest. The Vikings remain in the area, and those who gain from their presence finance the project.
    The citizens as a whole do not want to have tax money play a role in this entertainment. There are more important demands on public finances. All know that a referendum would defeat public funding of a stadium.

  • David Akerson says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:42 am

    No taxes should be spent on a new stadium. It does not benefit the entire State but only the metro area. Let the owners and football players, who are all millionaires, pay for the stadium. They are the ones benefitting from it. NO TAXES!!!!!!!

  • Richard Rajcic says:

    October 18, 2011 at 10:43 am

    The Season ticket holders and the Team.
    No taxpayer money. 
    The wealthy Governor and team owner should split the cost of a new facility or continue to use the current taxpayer funded Stadium.
    The jobs argument is red fish.
    Mr. Dayton apparently doesn’t want a second term.

  • Al Gramstedt says:

    October 18, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Sure, I enjoy watching the team, but I do not go to the games (no car).  Let the owner pay for the new stadium; let those who go to the games pay (higher ticket prices).  It’s more important to use tax revenues for education and for the infrastructure.

  • Ed Schwarz says:

    October 18, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Right on, Al. No welfare for billionaires.

  • D Wagner says:

    October 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Large communities need public infrastructure to sustain their communities.  We need roads, bridges, parks, theaters, libraries, auditoriums, convention centers, and yes, stadiums too.  This is the public’s business and our governor should provide leadership.  We are a top twenty US market, and need/deserve major league activities. 
    Having said that, I see two possible models for stadium development. 
    1) We build it.  We pay for it.  We collect sufficient rent to service the debt.  We collect the revenues associated with ownership, i.e. rent for other activities, parking, etc. 
    2) They build it.  They pay for it.  They collect the revenues associated with ownership.  In this model, the public is responsible to help provide the infrastructure that is needed to support the finished product, i.e. roads and utilities.  If this model is to succeed, there needs to be a partnership in site selection and it’s development. 
    What we can’t do is pay for it (or help pay for it) and allow its rent-free use and allow the team to collect the revenues associated with ownership.  This, in my opinion, is an illegal subsidy. 

  • Connie J says:

    October 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Let the people who profit from it pay for it.  Hey, I’d love to start a business and be subsidized by tax payers…and keep the profits!!  I say, let ‘em leave!  Very disappointed in Dayton’s position on this.

  • Claire in St. Paul says:

    October 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Do politicians STILL not understand how angry and frustrated citizen-voters are? 

    The proposal to have beleaguered workers pay to support the scheme of billionaire to further enrich themselves is one more piece of evidence that politicians are utterly out of touch with voters.  Would it be rude to inquire with whom they are in touch?

  • Rod Halvorson says:

    October 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

    As a citizen of Ramsey County and a member of the Ramsey County Charter Commission, I am strongly opposed to the current plan that two County Commissioners entered into with the Vikings. 

    In general, I am opposed to corporate welfare at a time when we are cutting back on all essential services.  In particular, I am opposed to any legislation that attempts to circumvent state law and the Ramsey County Charter - and thus the petition/referendum/voting rights of our citizens.

    The citizens and businesses of Ramsey County should not be forced to pay a half-percent sales tax that will cost us nearly $675 million over 30 years.

    This is wrong.  I hope 20/20 will publicly join our effort to stop this outrageous proposal.

  • Tom Ross says:

    October 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    ‘m sorry, if we are going to spend 700 million dollars on the building trades.. Lets fix the schools that have leaky roofs and inefficient heating systems… To spend it on millionaires making more millions, which barely trickles down when they do their business outside of the the state, is an abandonment of our children when we have been borrowing from the schools for 3 biennium’s just to balance the budget. I bleed purple, but in my world, kids come first!

    To me this is balancing the budget on the back of children’s future and then giving state money to millionaires. We should have balanced the budget on the backs of those who could afford it and then sought the fixing up of our states aging schools and then asked the taxpayers if they want to help the vikings out, they could send donations to such-and-such bank account. So instead we send our children door to door begging to finance their own programs… what kind of sanity is that?

  • Mike says:

    October 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Mayor Coleman has a great plan that would work…a state wide 2 cent per bottle tax on beer and liquor would raise enough to cover the bonds needed to cover $500 million.  I would ask people to think rationally and not with emotion.  Every city that has lost their NFL team except LA has bought one back.  Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis and LA is planning it right now.  It cost all of them more than building a stadium if they had done it in the first place.  I guarantee we won’t be different.  For a local example look at St. Paul and the Minnesota Wild.  The Vikings are watched by many every Sunday at bars all across Minnesota, two cents on a bottle of beer won’t kill anyone.  With a Dome the State will benefit with big events, i.e. SuperBowls and NCAA Final Four to name a few.  How much money comes in for those events, plus we receive game day taxes on the salaries of players who play the games.  How many construction jobs will be created with a new stadium.  Ask the men and women who worked on Target Field if they thought that was a good investment. This is a stimulas package for Minnesota.  Thank you Governor Dayton for the guts to make Legislator’s vote.

  • Janice says:

    October 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Yes, Minnesota should build a stadium, and there should be some public money as part of the package.  Our state pays for corporations to build factories and they pay for buisnesses to locate here, why would we not pay for a stadium too.

    I heard that the owners of the Vikings are adding a significant amount to the stadium—more than added by owners in any other city.  They are doing their part.

    I am all for money for affordable housing, money for the homeless, money for the most vulnerable, but we also need to provide funds for the Viking Stadium. 

    I would look to the wisdom of our elected officials to figure out how to pay for the public portion. 

    I think people in Minnesota are self-righteous when it comes to public financing of things like sports teams. Did it really save any money when Minnesota pushed away the Northstar Hockey team only to start a new team and build a stadium for the Wild several years later? 

    That’s just my two cents…


  • Everett Flynn says:

    October 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I’m a Vikes fan.  I like the NFL product and I think it’s appropriate for communities to make a contribution toward the cost of constructing a facility if we want the upside that comes with it—that is, if we want to be an NFL city with the multiplicity of attractions that put us in the first tier.

    The question is, when weighed against our competing public priorities, how much is appropriate to dedicate to this effectual subsidy of a private enterprise whose public benefit is mostly psychological?  The supporters talk about the jobs connected to a stadium project as if they will exist in perpetuity.  Well, where were these same people when Governor Dayton tried to get the Legislature to support his $1 billion capital bonding proposal?  Most of the jobs from a new stadium will merely be relocated from the old stadium (if you can really call a facility like that old).  Most of those jobs will be menial paying jobs in the service sector.  The construction jobs will be over and done with long before the public even realized that another 30-year lease is merely an invitation to walk into another Metrodome-style swamp of stupidity.  Why aren’t we discussing a 50-year lease for the Vikings?  Or a 75-year lease?

    It’s stupid to allow the NFL and the Vikings to pimp out cities and play them off one another.  That’s what stinks about the Arden Hills proposal.  OF COURSE the Vikings want different cities competing for the privilege of building their palace.  It’s in their best interest.  Of course Zygi wants to get the Arden Hills project done.  It’s in his best interest.

    Why is it ok that the Vikings get to dip twice into the public trough for one project?  $300 million from the State, plus $350 million from Ramsey County.  People must be smoking crack to think that $650 million dollars in public subsidy to a company that will be pimping us again for another new venue about 20 years down the road into this next 30-year lease.

    Don’t get me wrong—it’s appropriate for the community to contribute.  But $650 million of the public’s dollars?  Are you INSANE???  Given our competing public priorities, such a suggestion is a gross obscenity.

    Let’s make a proposal that’s in the public’s best interest, in Minnesota’s best interest.  If Zygi wants the lion’s share of the best interest equation, fine.  Let him pay 70 percent of the cost.  First priority:  let’s not start duplicating existing infrastructure.  That’s what made the Twins stadium so attractive and what makes Arden Hills so stupid.

    A public contribution is ok.  Even a large one—large being in the vicinity of 20 or 30 percent of the overall cost. A suggestion of a $650 million public contribution toward this project ought to result in getting people laughed out—no—RUN out of town.

  • owen says:

    October 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    As an outstate resident, I have no problem with a new stadium. Just don’t ask/expect me to pay for it, in any form-including a tax (regardless the size) on liquor (or any other product). I am having a problem linking my enjoyment of an occassional local brew with the Vikings, or a new stadium.

  • Dave Hajicek says:

    October 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    When we can’t afford to repair our basic infrastructure or pay teachers, it is insane to buy the Vikings a new stadium.

    Professional sports is dying anyway.  They get less interest each year.

  • Frank says:

    October 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Mike @ 12:16. Wow you have been dipping into the Purple Koolaid and have played in to hands of the great NFL propaganda machine. How many Super Bowls do you think they will play at this new stadium? 1 if we’re lucky, so you want to spend 800 million dollars for that? The Vikings and no other NFL team is going to move to LA. Any team that moves will receive no money from Naming rights, suites, concessions, beer, advertising and PSL’s. Plus a 200 million relocation fee. The NFL is playing to your fears!

    LA will never build a stadium and cannot afford to purchase a team. Do you think Zygi just going to sell for $300 million? He’ll want a minimum $800 million. AEG and Roski do NOT have that kind of money.

    The Emperor has no close. Be strong purple faithful. The Trikes are going nowhere.

  • Sharon Vaughan says:

    October 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    It simply isn’t right to spend our money to help rich people get richer while we have so many poor, hungry, and homeless people in our state.

  • Claire says:

    October 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    It has been proven over and over again - the arts bring in more money than sports.  People who are drawn to a location for the arts, stay longer and spend more money than sports fans.  Money earned by artists and art promoters and exhibitors spend their money in the community.  There is no winning when we bet on sports. 
    So, use my tax dollars to build a people’s theatre, gallery, artist’s studios, make and mount public art etc. etc. etc. 
    As for money for a stadium - well you get my point.

  • Judy says:

    October 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I agree with all those who say NO public money for a stadium.  Public money should be used for education, infrastructure, parks, etc., not for private sports stadiums. What’s more the majority of voters have repeatedly taken this position.  It’s time our politicians listened once and for all.  Let the Vikings owners and players fund their own stadium.  They certainly have the means to do it.

  • Norm Hanson says:

    October 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I agree with Rod on this one.

  • Dan says:

    October 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    When last I heard of the people of MN being polled on whether or not to build any stadium, the answer was a resounding “NO”.  Since then the team owners, property owners/developers and our elected officials have ignored our wishes and foisted a Twins stadium and Gopher’s stadium on us.  The Viking’s stadium is the last in this unwanted triumvirate and the powers that be are poised once again to ignore our wishes.  In order for our wishes to be considered they must be turned into demands.  The time to draw a line in the sand is way overdue.

  • John Kolstad says:

    October 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      I must assume that Mike is either not aware that we are in the middle of an Economic Disaster,  caused by the Economic Terrorists on Wall Street,  or he works for Ziggy.
      Stadii produce no economic development or jobs.  There are a number of studies that show that conclusively.  There will be temp jobs building the Stadium but those workers should be building school and public infrastructure.  This is a gigantic price to pay for short term jobs and the Trade Unions should be ashamed of themselves for shilling for billionaires who have not interest in the welfare of working people.
      I have never seen it mentioned by media commentators,  but one reason Sports Owners want the public to build the stadium is that they will pay no property tax on their business facility.  Yet us in small business are being taxed to death on our small business properties,  and we pay for our own buildings.
      If the Governor wanted to create jobs and economic development, very much needed in Minnesota,  he would tell Ziggy and the Vikings they can afford to invest in their own business,  and then the Gov could do something to actually help small business, the created 90% of the new jobs in Minnesota in the last study and provide over 50% of USA employment [SBA].
        I think the occupation should move from the Government Plaza to the Governor’s Office and the Floor of the House and the Senate of MN.
      It will be interesting to see the two major party [sic],  who shut the State down recently because they could not come to an agreement,  will fall all over them selves to agree to give desperately needed public funds to Billionaires who do not need it, at the expense of the poor and needy.  I eagerly await the GOP squirming to justify a tax increase that benefits only one person, and keep their “No New Taxes” facade.  Then watch the DFL,  the people’s party, betray the 99% of us who have to earn our own living and build and repair our own property.
      Please join me to ignore all pro sports.  I have not watch a football game in several years [tv, radio or live],  no Twins, no other sports.  I turn off the news or talk shows if they talk sports.
    Sports,  is the new “Opiate of the Masses”.  I was a sports junky but I kicked the habit and I’m now clean.  I now read books and accomplish many meaningful things with the time I wasted on sports,  and no Monday morning depression when “our team” loses.
      I will willing contributor to only one thing for the Vikings.  That is a one way ticket to some place else and let them rob another state.

  • Kyle says:

    October 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Education, entertainment, public services, or infrastructure are issues everyone wants paid for without increasing any sort of public revenue.  Unless of course, the RoI exceeds the immediate venture. Most often in non-tangible or calculable areas such as the long term effects of k-12 education.  Yet, sometimes in a dollar to dollar ratio. 

    I certainly don’t care to help pay for infrastructure outside of the twin cities area, or for public education as I have no children.  However, it is in my best interest to have well paved roads heading into South Dakota, and educated people in the world.  I don’t get to see a return on my taxes, but nonetheless it is a necessity.

    The same goes for a private entertainment venue.  I’m not going to see a return on a 30-year lease.  It is something that should be spread out on the state, but now is not a practical time to invest.  The question of when to invest however is a different topic.  The initial investment is too much of a burden at this point on our economy which is already in debt.

    There are public benefits to be had outside of the typical elitist profiteering.  Most of which have nothing to due with how much a city, county, or state is going to get back in tax revenue.  It is a social relation to a public entity which provides identity, entertainment, and a central community.

    The same argument can be made for other forms of entertainment arts that are not a necessity.  Art halls, theaters, and gardens are my own preference for this money to be spent on; but that is a different community.  The exact point of view can be made of those for the professional stadium.  Just drop any spending on art to pay for my NFL team, we don’t care for a sculpture by Bernini. 

    Its all or nothing -

  • Mike Fratto says:

    October 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    We have become so obsessed with professional ports.  The owners know this. That is why they feel they can blackmail communities and states to build their work places for their millionaire employees.

    I find it difficult to accept the fact that we need the Vikings.  They are a great resource.  Yet their presence in Minnesota does not make this state a better place to live.  They provide us with 16, maybe more, days of entertainment each year. Yet its owners want a single county to pick up a portion of the large cost to improve their bottom line.

    Not only will the value of the team significantly increase with a new stadium, but the surrounding undeveloped land will become prime real estate which the developer owner will likely develop for his additional profit.

    My main issue is that our politicians intend to force the citizens of Ramsey County and its visitors to pay an increase in sales tax without the statutorily and Ramsey County Charter requirement to place the measure before it is enacted.

    Not only that but this team is a statewide asset.  Yet the citizens of Ramsey County will be the only group that pays for it.  Statewide asset?  Why then do our elected officials think one county should pay for it?


  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    October 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    This discussion should be about a higher sales tax to make up for the annual Pawlenty cuts and the 25% per year reduction in LGA until it’s all gone. I’d be happy to pay more sales tax so the city and county can afford to keep the schools and libraries open, maintain our infrastructure, provide essential services and supports for the poor, and maintain civic amenities like Como Park and rec centers. 

    Dave Zirin says pro sports owners just use fans as background for TV broadcasts of their games.  I’d rather not contribute a penny toward that and I don’t think any fans should either since they are actually held in such low esteem.

  • Mike says:

    October 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Mike in Andover again and just want to clarify and admit that I like to watch sports.  I believe they do add to our quality of life in the state.  Love going to Twins games and I bought season tickets in 2009 so I could be at Target Field.  Prefer to watch the Vikings on TV and will do the same whether a stadium is built or not.  I actually prefer to watch the Packers this season, they play a better brand of football, and if it were possible to have an operation like that in the NFL again I would be all for it, but they have changed the rules.  The liquor/beer tax would be a good way to pay for this and hey add a penny for the arts, schools or whatever other pet project someone wants. If my next case of Grain Belt Premium costs me $.48 or $.72 extra I am okay with that.  I know a lot of businesses in our state pay a good share of taxes, but the large companies always get deals from cities, counties or the state whenever they threaten to leave and guess what the Vikings are no different.  How much was St. Paul willing to throw at Ford to keep the St. Paul Ford Plant open?  In the real world that is how it works.  Is it perfect?  No, but the choice is do you want to have the teams or not.  I am glad to hear J.Kolstad is off of sports, he can focus on the music we all enjoy.  Right Papa?

  • Sonja Mason says:

    October 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm


    No means no. This stadium deal is date rape. Poll after poll says Minnesotans don’t want a publicly financed stadium, but no one seems to be listening. And now they are denying Ramsey County taxpayers their right to vote up or down on being assessed an additional tax to pay for this Arden Hills sweetheart deal.

    If member-of-the-top-1% Zygi Wilf wants a new facility to run his for-profit business, let him finance it. I’m sick of subsidizing the rich. And my husband would add, why aren’t the games on local broadcast?

  • Tim says:

    October 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Has anyone ever thought to ask the casino owning tribes in our state if they’d be willing to throw down for the stadium, or maybe even buy the team? Turn the stadium property into reservation land and let them attach a casino, and let them keep their exclusive gaming rights - no competition from a state owned casino.


    Take our state’s share of the Stillwater megabridge (which will benefit Packer fans), about $350 muillion, and use it for the stadium (benefitting Viking fans).

  • LaRae says:

    October 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    The stadium should be funded by the team owner & the businesses that will benefit from the stadium being there.  The Vikings season is the shortest pro season with the fewest games being played in their home stadium than any other pro sport.  Tax payers money should be going toward funding education and other non-profit services that benefit all residents.

  • Dan Fix says:

    October 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I see no reason to build a new stadium when the old one is only 30 years old.  If he wants a new stadium, then build it with his funds.  If Ziggy whats to take his team some where else, its fine by me.  The reason he can’t build it himself is that the team is not a good risk to investors (including Ziggy). All this team and most other sports teams are is a tax write off for the owners other business interests.  If these teams are so unprofitable, why are they not going out of business? 

    What I think we should explore is the idea of setting up a new league of municiply owned teams to fill all the vacant stadiums the tax payers have been left with around the country.  In Minnesota, I think we should play foot ball not watch foot ball being played for us.  It might help with some of obesity problems we are having as a nation.

  • Tom says:

    October 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    The love of the game for both fans & players is a LEGACY of the Commons. Our schools teach & boost the game, spend gads of tax dollars doing so.Our airwaves broadcast the games.  This is OUR ASSET.
    We should own the teams and GET OUR RETURN on the investment.

    The profits of owners is really like a slave trade of sorts. And the pay of players is way out of line. They are good at the game-because they like to play. They like their job! Average pay and a job you like…sounds good to me.

    This excess reward is wrung from the value of OUR ASSET.

    Football is dangerous to your health…not as bad as Roman Gladiators, but closer than most think.
    Perhaps we should ban it & promote Soccer more.

  • Sher says:

    October 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Do we build new schools to replace those that are 30 years old? I don’t know of many communities that do.

  • Tom says:

    October 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Two more things: Oh. We have the Humphrey Dome. Let’s see who loses by making that obsolete…?

    To get money out of football: Publicly owned..just a little more elaborate than The State Fair, but not by much. And require a 5 year residency for players before they can play on a team. Coaches must work part time in a state HS or college and part time for Vikings.

  • Rod Olson says:

    October 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    The Metrodome is good enough.  It was built for the Vikings in the first place.  Enjoy the new roof.

  • Terry says:

    October 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    The talk is the Vikings will move out of state if they don’t get a new stadium. Here’s what I don’t understand. If “Gwido” or some other henchman came and said you need to pay me or your business/house or whatever will meet with a very bad fate, we would have him sent up the river for extortion. So why can all these sports teams get by with their form of extortion?

  • nancy hone says:

    October 18, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    My opinion is that legislators should be on alert that they are likely to get unelected if they take a bankrupt state and use our hard earned tax money for a rich guy who can afford his own stadium. Our taxes are going up. People are out of work.
    And our Governor and his pals want to build a stadium. What universe do these people live in?

  • Allen Kern says:

    October 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    The Dome
    … a workable venue … yes to a point … but it is out of date … and in terms of what is needed to update the dome (handicap facilities for one) is not going to be cheap either.

    BUT ——  IT’S A MUCH BIGGER ISSUE than overpaid owners and players – it’s NOT THAT SIMPLE.

    There were a lot of people who didn’t want the Dome either.

    Without the dome:
    Along with no:
        Super Bowl (played in Minnesota).
        World Series (played in Minnesota).
        All – Star Game (played in Minnesota).
        Final Four Basketball Tournament.
        Regional College Basket Ball Tournaments
        Republican National Convention

    And a host of other venues that would have been held elsewhere - NOT IN THE TWIN CITIES.

    Other venues use the Dome:
        Gopher Baseball
        MN Prep Football Finals
        54,000 at a Moto-cross event (I attended)

    Many Charities are able to make money for their organizations and are able to promote their causes … because they work the concession stands … hopefully this precedent will continue with the new stadium.

    All of those venues add money to the State coffers in terms of sales – income tax etc … booked rooms … restaurants that have more patrons etc..

    I was up in Two Harbors, on an October Sunday afternoon, the game was on (Vikes – Cardinals) and the place was packed with people wearing purple jerseys … this happens all over the State on Game Day.

    Restaurants with patrons … ordering food and beer/etc.

    The restaurant owner paid a tax on the alcohol and patron paid a sales tax on the both the bar tab and food … that’s good for the state coffers (nobody likes taxes - but it is what is)  … the people were out to watch the games and the State gets some of it’s investment back.


    WHILE YOU’RE waving good- bye to the Vikings – DON’T FORGET to wave good bye to the approx. 10 million (approx. 20 -25 million for all pro-sports teams) generated by State income tax revenue from the players.

    Along with the untold additional economic growth that will transpire around the new stadium.

    The sales tax and all of the other fees and such that are generated by having a Pro Team in this State are huge—- why do think that LA is trying so hard to get Vikings to locate there … I’m sure they saw “economic air – let out of their tires”  when the Rams went to St. Louis.

    The Vikings are proposing a multi venue stadium (meaning other events could be held there etc.) …

    Yet - just the Vikings alone will pay for a new stadium … when ONE game went to Detroit … so did
    9 million in economic activity …

    Take 8 regular season games times 9 million = 72 million of generated economic revenue per year – times -  30 years = 2.16 Billion Dollars of generated economic activity …

    The Stadium is projected to cost approx 900 million with a retractable roof (which you really do want in order to host venues other than football) it has a return of over a billion over the life of the stadium.

      Preseason games.
      Playoff games (hopefully)
      Other venues that will use the stadium … which in turn will create more economic activity etc..
    Minnesota would most likely again host a Super Bowl within 5 years (big bucks being spent and MN get s 7+%. in sales tax … along with the room taxes etc.).
    Ziggy is putting in 25 -33% towards the total cost of the stadium.
    This is the short list of possibilities.

    Owatonna, MN has the 4 Seasons Arena … which they use to create a lot of economic activity for the Owatonna - Steele County surrounding area … I remember when that was built and how many people were against it.

    That building works for Owatonna … but if you’re going to build for State wide/multi state regional events you need to build facilities to meet the needs of those larger events.

    For those who don’t like football—- most people in the State never visit all of the State Parks – some never visit any … but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them.

    This is a very condensed –“ READERS DIGEST”  version …  to KEEP THE VIKINGS IN MINNESOTA … MOREOVER … the numbers are telling … and …  to move forward the numbers add up to the advantage of all Minnesotan’s.

  • Mike says:

    October 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Thank you Alan. Well said and that about wraps up the entire issue.  I was watching the news last night and there was a report on how much money businesses were losing because of the cancellation of the Timberwolves games in Downtown Minneapolis.  If the lockout lasts until Christmas the Warehouse District Business Association estimates the downtown loses between 17 to 34 million dollars in taxable revenue. As our great Senator Humphrey once said when talking about the need to build the first dome “without the NFL or Major League Baseball, the Twin Cities would be just a cold Omaha!”

  • Richard Rajcic says:

    October 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

    All the events and so called benefits that stadium supporters are naming are now being generated at the existing dome. A new facility would add little or nothing more. The Queens should lease it or relocate elsewhere if the can.

  • Terry says:

    October 19, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Could you provide some links to your sources of these figures. I’m not a sports fan, but I could swear the Twins have their own ballpark, as do the Gophers. The Republican convention if I recall was in St Paul, and being the old fart that I am, I remember prep sports playoffs being held long before there was a dome.

  • Petra says:

    October 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

    It should be divided one third, owners, one third, state, and one third the city/county the stadium is built in. I don’t particularily like it, but our pro sports teams put Minnesota on the map. I don’t think we want to be an Iowa, Nebraska or North Dakota. I believe when business and industry decide where to locate, pro-sports states are more attractive. The Vikings have given us a sense of community for over 50 years and the games are something to look forward to in the bleak and cold months of fall.

  • CeeVee says:

    October 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

    In the event the Vikings would leave our state, people may instead go to a restaurant for Sunday lunch instead of staying home and watching the game, a family may go to a movie, or people may buy Gopher season tickets rather than Vikings tickets.
    Don’t assume that the money now spent on Vikings games, merchandise, etc., will simply disappear from the economy.

  • Marlene Delott says:

    October 19, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Don’t really care about the stadium—- care about people going hungry and w/o shelter - care about the lack of decent education—care about people not getting proper medical care——let the billionaires pay for their playpen.

  • Mark Peterson says:

    October 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Without question the state should partner with the Vikings to build a new stadium.  I am willing to pay a quarter or half percent sales tax to accomplish this very worthy economic investment in our state.  An “E-Block” casino or a Racino is also very acceptable.

    Minnesota is a CAN DO state.  Please to not listen to the negative Nellies.  They are part of the CAN’T DO population.

    Mark Peterson

  • Ray says:

    October 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Mr. Peterson does not live in Ramsey County and will not pay any additional tax.

  • Steve says:

    October 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    A majority of Minnesotans do not want to pay for a new Vikings stadium.  The owner is a businessman, and most likely knew it was a risk.  He probably also knew back then that the dome was less than ideal for profitability.  Now he and the supporters are trying to get taxpayers to buy in.  I don’t live in Ramsey County, but I spend a good deal of time and money in the county, and I am not interested in having to pay more taxes for something (pro football) that I don’t really care about.  Personally, I think your average high school game is more fun. 

    People have been presenting copious amounts of statistics in support of their position.  I don’t know where the numbers come from, but some just do not sound right.  If you’re one of those trying to sell the idea of the business losses we’d see if we lost the Vikings, then what do you say to all the business owners and their staffs in downtown Minneapolis who would lose out if a stadium were to be built in Arden Hills?

    I think one other comments was right.  We have the dome, and it has been repaired.  We can use it just like we have, for football and other events.  And if the Vikings do pack up and leave, we can all go back to watching the Packers and the Bears like we did 50 years ago.

  • Dan Conner says:

    October 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    It seems pretty hypocritical to say our state does not have money for the best possible education, health care, or systems to take care of people,but somehow the same people feel it important to spend virtually unlimited amounts of money on ENTERTAINMENT.  This seems like upside-down values to me.  We want to abandon the values that bind us as a nation and instead spend too much time and money on superficial education.  We seem to have even lost our compassion and caring. 

    If our state can say to hell with education, health care and caring for the poor, then we can say to hell with the Viking, Twins, Wild, and Timberwolves.  People need to find something esle to entertain themselves besides watching others suffer.  What’s wrong with the people who watch and visit the sports teams and profit from them paying for the stadium?  If some of these readers want the Vikings, then they should pay for them.  I’m getting sick of the reverse welfare, where rich get help, but the poor don’t.