GOP Minn. Senator Says No To Vikings Stadium

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Republican senator from the Twin Cities area says he’s against the state helping pay for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Sen. Dave Thompson of Lakeville released a statement Wednesday saying he finds it “inconceivable that we would fund a stadium to help multi-million dollar athletes pay their mortgages while many middle class Minnesotans are struggling to pay theirs.”

Several of Thompson’s fellow Republicans introduced bills earlier this week that propose a state stadium share of up to $300 million in part from sales taxes on sports memorabilia, luxury seats, and digital video recorders.

Thompson was elected to the Senate last fall and holds the position of assistant majority leader.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Donna

    I totally agree with the Senator. Why do we think it will create any more jobs than the Metrodome did? Why would I want my Social Security money to go toward the professional who make 10 times what I do. Fund it themselves is what I say. That way we get JOBS and revenue to share all around.

    • Taylor

      DO you have your head in the clouds? here is the thing i am a major in econ and business at msu, you have not looked at the benifits at all. ITs people like you shooting down an idea without really looking in to what it could to. Sure short term effects would be costlly but the long term would be great. Each year the stadium would produce millions and have it payed back with in 2-4 years and from then on its pure profit towards the state and the team. Not to mention 70 percent of minnesota tvs are tuned into the vikings games every sunday during the season, and that would loose a great past time. So if you know anything about econ you would see this is a great deal. So please folks dont leave comments if you dont know what your talking about and or believe everything the media has to say.

      • pigdog67

        Economy major you should know that if made financial sense then a ‘private’ individual would put up the money and do it. No one steps forward indicating it is a loser. This raising an interesting question about the total incompetence of North American economics majors. Go read Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich von Hayek. They will explain how economics really works. No more Keynesian horse manure which has bankrupted this country. And I bet the taxpayer is paying for most of your dangerous public education (indoctrination).

      • Chuck

        Yet we should believe you? An econ major would not be throwing around spreads like 2-4 years to “pure profit” and would be able to spell the word LOSE.

      • alp

        We can’t afford to bankroll the wealthy few there are bad roads,bridges that would benefit more people if we used the money there or high speed rail.

        What business wants is good roads,bridges a well educated workforce the last thing they care about is a football statium thats what TV is for.

    • yourfriendlynieghbor

      im a packers fan and i can tell you it would be dumb not to keep the vikings in the state. People need to look towards the future and see what it can do for your enonomy. I may not be in any position to talk not my state but this same thing happend for your minnesota twins, and you now have the best field in baseball and it has payed minnesotans back ten-fold for the efforts going into the project. Now imagine building it for a team that has twice as many fans think of the money the state would make. Again just like the twins field and now i dont hear any complaining about that.

    • mitch

      Donna social security is federal so unless president obama gets involved, that has nothing to do with the vikings.

  • Tom

    Being from Lakeville, I can say this…

    Hey, rookie, ya you in the back…sit down and shut up!

    Dont buy Viking lotto tickets and Vikes memorabilias or tickets if you dont want to partake….you have a choice there Mr. Senator from Lakeville, et al.

    Typical republican though….talking before thinking.

    The middle class has been funding for years and years crap we need or dont need – agree with or dont agree with. If this were the case why should this be any different?

    Get ‘r built and be donw with it already.

  • Let Them Leave

    It’s about time to say no to this ridiculous stadium issue it’s a no brainer, let them move to LA where they can pay for a new stadium if they want.
    People complain that if we let them go that we will not get the revenue well we don’t get the revenue now even when they are here it all goes to the players, coaches, owners, and maybe a few businesses but we don’t get any of that so I say let them go.

    • You're wrong

      Your wrong. If we get a stadium with a roof. The Superbowl is sure to come here. And that brings millions of dollars to the lucky city that has the stadium. And that city can put that money towards a ton of useful things. Not to mention all the other events the stadium can have.

      • Jon

        If a stadium generates so much money then why isnt private money behind it?

    • Trev

      And the irony here is that the state of California is bankrupt. If the Vikes threaten to leave so be it. But Cali doesn’t have the means to pay for a new stadium either.

      • thinkB4uspeak

        But their millionaires do. Privately funded too, cuz they want a team so bad dumba$$

        • Trev

          Well, then if it comes down to the Vikes actually leaving because the taxpayers won’t crack, maybe enough private funding here would surface.that’s if those who are willing to pony up want it badly enough…

  • Bless you senator, bless you!

    Thompson for Governor! Donna for Lieutenant Governor! No taxpayer money for a Viking stadium or any other private enterprise. At the very least, let the people who have to pay for it vote on whether or not that’s how they want their tax money spent.

    If the Vikings want a new stadium, let them pay for it, let them own it, let them control it, let them build it. All the horn blowing about creating jobs, receiving huge tax revenues, and making a fortune is pure balderdash. Let’s give the taxpayers a break on this one.

    And for those who think gambling is the ticket, who do you think will be doing that – the rich or the poor? And who will take care of them when they’ve gambled all of their money away? Who will pay for their addiction treatment? Surely not the Vikings.

  • getridofthemall

    I can hardly pay my heating bill and get the things I need and I work that is the sad part about it. Let players and owners foot the bill not us, good for this Senator and I hope more will follow his footsteps.

    • Ted

      did you try looking for a new line of work or going back to school?

  • Mike

    The price of a stadium spread over 20-25 years is peanits. Sorry to everyone that is having trouble paying their bills and mortgage. But the truth is, those people don’t represent the majority. It seems to me the majority wants a stadium and the intangables of a pro football team no matter the extra cost is a benefit to the state of MN.

    • Mike

      So what everyone is saying; because the economy is bad my money should be going towards helping people that cant pay their bills instead of something I enjoy?

      • Mike

        I am sorry for the people having trouble making ends meet. Fortunately I guess I do not know anyone having troubles. Apparently everyone posting on is out of work and spending there time on here arguing a vikings stadium instead of grabbing a part time job or looking for a better paying one. I understand that people are struggling, there are always people struggling and its not up to the middle class to support them.

    • Wrong again

      Mike, you are so wrong! Most of the majority are having trouble making ends meet and most people don’t want the tax burden of a stadium either!

      • Can you do better??

        Dear Wrong Again….
        One of the reasons why folks are not making ends meat, is because $ is not flowing, people are not spending $, right now most folks are SAVING, the BANKS are making the money…. A stadium is a great way to get $$ moving through the MN economy…

    • getridofthemall

      I know more people who don’t want to pay for a stadium they say let them stay but also the owners and players should pay for it. So it is not so much as they want the team to go but we should not foot the bill for a new stadium. Is it fair that they get a new home while a family loses theirs? Real life is what is important not a fantasy football team.

    • Maggie

      I don’t make much money but I sure enjoy watching the MINNESOTA Vikings! Let’s build a new stadium, put it somewhere other than downtown. Let the areas around it see growth in hotels, restaurants and other businesses which in turn will spur new jobs. I too believe the majoriety of Minnesotians want the Vikings to stay.

      • Trev

        Many people would like them to stay. But not at the price they’re requesting.

        • Jeff

          Does it really matter that they win or not? The tourism dollars, the free MN advertisement that the NFL offers during a Monday night NFL game is worth the buck. Let’s not forget the bars that will be packed, waiters and waitreses making $, the hotels that would sell out during the games, the cleanning staff would get to keep their jobs (job security), taxi drivers would have more business, restaraunts would be busy as well, parking lot attendants would make coin, the fans that flew into town for the weekend game would stay and visit a MN park or a live show or concert. The airlines would have more business due to the fans coming in from out of town. The state of MN would earn more in taxes from out of town folks renting cars (rental car taxes)., Beer distributers (would make some extra commission) with a Vikings team, police officers would get to earn extra money working overtime (more coin in their pockets)…. I could go on and on…

    • sad

      You have swallowed the kool-aid Mike.

      • dan


        Ask any hotel, restaurant or bar owner if they would like the Vikings to stay in MN. Guess what these guys create jobs. You sitting at home on your couch create nothing but a boring afternoon.

        • sad

          here speaks a sports enthusiast, Dan, it is true for a very FEW there might be some compensation, but studies have been done, that sight the opposite, a sports stadium may bring in some $$$ for a small protion of businesses, but the taspaper subsidies all of it. Now I have to get back to my couch.

          • Ted2

            sorry Sad…

            no one here seem to care about the money that was spent on the arts, and public radio….it’s OK to build a art museum it and charge the public for attendance (just like a stadium)

          • nothing

            show me one study to back that up .

    • Donna

      Mike, I believe that the MOST vocal are the ones that support and the ones you are listening to. I know only too well that there are MANY who are not supportive of this but know it is going to get shoved down our throats anyhow. Maybe Dayton should dig deep and fund it himself. He could have his very own Dayton Field!

  • pat

    Unless we all get to go for free, the multi millionaires like Dayton and the owners and the players can pay for this themselves. You know there is no way taxes on sports toys and shirts is going to pay for this, it will come from taxes paid for by people llike me who don’t give a darn about sports. Pay your own way or leave. Nor do I buy that old saw about all the business a stadium brings in, made up stats.

    • Mike

      Its logic like that why so many Americans are struggling. Obviously the majority of people are oblivious to the hypocracy they spew. I should get welfare as well, I mean I pay for it. I should get to go to the guthrie for free, I mean I pay for it. I should get a free car, we bailed out american auto manufacturers.

  • You Go

    Oh buddy, yes this is speaking for the majority. Can’t helpif you are in the upper class for wages. Rest of us are struggling to get by. Why would I help fund a loosing team. Let the players kick in for the stadium, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to bail out!! not one dime would I invest in that corrupt team.

    • mike

      I’m not in the upper class. I make 50k a year. I own my own house and pay my own bills. I drive a payed for 2001 Toyota Camry. If you purchased during the housing boom and got screwed on the down turn that is not my fault, and I should not shoulder the burden of your financial problems. My taxes on an annual basis go towards many things I do not support. But the cost of a vikings stadium spread over the span of its life is a drop in the bucket compared to what we spend on welfare annually for instance. Start complaining about the real problems with the tax money instead of directing you anger at those more fortunate or well off than you.

    • Mike

      I make 50k a year, by far not in the upper class. I made responsible financial decisions. I own my own home an pay my bills, I do not require tax payers to shoulder any of my responsibilities. If you can’t make ends meet you should may be start to blame those responsible instead of pointing the blame at those who are better off than yourself. I pay plenty of taxes annually on things that I do not support. As a tax paying American I have the right to support a Vikings stadium if I so please. If you are having trouble making ends meet than you probably are not contributing much for taxes either and in turn won’t be paying for much of the stadium. If that’s the case then don’t expect people in good situations to want to support your shortcomings.

    • You Don't Go

      your taxes are going to go up no matter what. just like everything else. Gas… food, clothes. A new stadium could actually help our local economy and make our regular taxes not go up!!!!!!

  • dan

    If the Vikings leave MN what are the Liberals going to do? They have based their economic success of MN on the Millionaires. I am seeing atleast 50 of them leaving if the stadium is not built.
    Again read the story people. they ones paying for the stadium are the Vikings lottery, luxury seats and memorbila sales. If you dont like it dont buy it.
    I guess Dayton will have to move his trust fund from SD back to MN so we can collect some of his hidden assets! I have to give the govenor credit, he knows where to hide his money to avoid taxes!

    • Trev

      dan, the proposal I read included a general sales tax hike percentage – similar to how we are getting hosed for the Twins stadium in Henn Cty. That’s the part I have a problem with. And, I’m definitely no liberal…

      • dan

        I think there are a few different versions but the article above simple states a sales tax on sports memorbila, luxury seats and digital video recorders. Cant say how they figure the digital recorders into this but whatever.
        I would think the city of St Paul who really have no attractions would welcomne this with open arms.
        At this point I would only support it if it is paid for and by the patrons of the sport.

  • The Truth

    People said the same thing about Target Field. Funny how you don’t hear from them complainers anymore. Where are all the nay sayers on that one? And all that Target Field does is sell out and bring $$$ to not only MInneapolis but the state too! Fact is, if the state does not approve a Vikes stadium, and let’s them leave. We will go down hill in many area’s of our local economy. Try North Stars leaving and multiply that by 1000.

    • Dan

      I’m right here…

  • M.

    Entertainment should never be subsidized by tax payer money as not everyone that is taxed cares for said entertainment.

    If the players and owners want a new stadium, they can foot the bill or get out and start canvassing for money. Those who agree with them and want a new stadium can donate, those that don’t wont! If they don’t get enough money, well it doesn’t look like they will get a new stadium.

    It’s a simple fix for this dead horse… we can stop beating it now.

    • M.

      I’m not sure why my comment got a hyperlinked ad… I didn’t put it in there.

  • TimP

    If the Vikings leave will we be a cold Omaha? Hope so, they get the college World Series. Ziggy played guitar, don’t play MN. See Ya!

    • po

      We can always go Walleye fishing If the Vikings leave.

  • Pavel

    It is true that sports francises bring money into the area where they play. The fans pay in parking, gasoline, hotels, restaurants and bars. Likely the State derives little revenue from these sports.

    I say let the players and owners contribute a portion of their salary in taxes. Certainly those players, coaches and owners who live out of state should have to pay a portion since they don’t pay taxes as a non-resident.

    If they build a statium (and I believe they should) at least have enough sense to put it where the Metrodome is. At least that has the infrastructure already there (light rail, freeways, etc.). Don’t think it won’t cost the State a huge amount of money to build access ramps and freeway extensions to a new stadium somewhere else. St. Paul might be an exception since it has freeway access and will have light rail as well.

    • dan

      In regards to State revenue I highly disagree with you. In my line of work I have seen several pro athletes tax returns. They pay state sales tax in all states they play/earn money in. Take Derek Jeter for example. His $25,000,000 salary equates to about $154,320 per game. In April the state of MN will collect $48,456 just from Derek. Now add up all the players in 75 plus home games and in salary alone we are talking about a huge amount of money.
      The Twins attendance last year was over 3.2 million people. I guarantee you they each dropped a minimum of $20 per person on the local economy. Assusming 2 million of those peole would never spend a dime in downtown Mpls without the Twins thats $40 million additinal dollars to the local economy.

  • Swamp Rat

    Well, we’ve had ten years of listening to all–the haggling &/or infighting over a “new MN sports venue” for the Vikings: the political chicanery or political BS from any side of the political spectrum; and the machinations of owners who lack the chutzpah to come to the negotiation tables with a boatload of substantial cash for investment, for a long term 35-40 year lease commitment and forthright ideas that will benefit all Minnesotans not just their own [greedy?] self interests!!!

    Well, folks, I say “Good-Bye” to the Vikings; leave the franchise name and logos etc. at the door; turn off the lights; and close the door! If you won’t help us, Minnesotans, in our present time of need by showing us you are truly committed to this region then good-bye and good riddance. We don’t need another modern-day Civil War over this messy stadium issue to celebrate in this state!

    It’s time to put-up with commitment to MN or shut-up and leave. It will hurt at first, but, saying “Good-Bye” is the last viable option left. Have fun with a your team in wherever you find a place to pay the eventual higher operating costs and facilities fees etcetera.

    With compassion and empathy for this state the Vikings could be here a hundred years. Well greed begets greed, and, indifference &/or ignorance does likewise. So Good-Bye Vikings, it’s been fun and heartbreak while it lasted.

  • MLL

    Thank you Senator!!!!! If the taxpayers owned the Vikings like the taxpayers in WI own the Packers then that would make sense to pay for a new stadium. I don’t believe struggling taxpayers from MN should have to help millionaires make more millions. Especially not when the state can barely balance the budget and there are numerous cuts being made all over. Priorities people!!!!

    • Swamp Rat

      Don’t forget the NFL won’t allow any community[taxpayers] from owning an NFL franchise. Green Bay was grandfathered in during the rules change because they were the last of the community owned teams.

      Greed begets greed and that rule applies to the greedy private fat cats! Not communities owning the own teams.

  • jack

    is sen Thompson doing anything to help the middle class or justing using them as a straw man?

    • Jack

      wonder if Sen Thompson believes the GOP will keep control of the legisture in 2012 if the Vikings are in LA than?

  • jack

    According to 2009 Convention, Sports & Leisure, study the building of a stadium will have a $1.4 billioneconomic output to MN.

    • The Crux of the Biscuit

      I did my own study, it will provide $884,855,373,958,398,493,989,834,978,893.12 worth of economic benefit. It was a very scientific study. I had my dog review it and it stands up to HER scrutiny…..

    • tam

      You are throwing around bogus numbers. Stop it.

    • tam

      You are throwing around bogus numbers. Stop it.

  • Afraid to put it to a vote?

    Think about it. If a stadium was profitable, Wilf would already have built one.

    There is absolutely no pot of gold to be had from a stadium paid for by taxpayers.

    For those who claim “the majority” want to spend their tax dollars for a Viking stadium – go ahead, let the people of the state place their votes. If the majority supports it, so be it. If not, put a cork in it.

    • Hannah

      It would be a very high gamble for any owner to pay for the stadium! He would have to come up with quite a bit of money and get investors, and if he would ever decide to sell out, he would have a hard time trying to get a buyer or buyers for the team and the stadium. I think those who want the stadium, pay for it. Maybe we can have a special vote on it and have people vote!

  • northern

    Sen. Dave Thompson of Lakeville released a statement Wednesday saying he finds it “inconceivable that we would fund a stadium to help multi-million dollar athletes pay their mortgages while many middle class Minnesotans are struggling to pay theirs.”

    – I find that funny he said that since it’s the republicans waging war on the middle class. There has got to be some kind of compromise and ideas to get this stadium done. The benefits of getting this done are great. Even more so if you like football.

  • Murph

    Moronic GOP will do ANYTHING to let the top 2% off the hook for more taxes! Yet,they would enslave every person who works for wages ,at the drop of a few million dollars in campaign funding! Show the sons of witches what you think of their grand plan of the return of slavery at every turn,every plot and every opportunity! OR…enjoy your donation to the 450 lb behemoth oil magnates whose 9 lb porterhouses and three baked potato meals are a reality and not a myth.Three chins and an appetite for more of your stupid voting snafus.Snap out of it people,your testicles are being crushed along with your hopes and dreams.There is a new slavery plan afoot in America today! Realize this BEFORE…. it is.. WAY TOO late!

    • sad

      My goodness Murph, do some research and you will find plenty of Republican millionaires, but way way more Democratic millionaires/billionaires. DFL stands for the Farmers and Laborers footing the bill.

      • Jon

        Mr sad, eh hem but I think your wrong.
        Actually business owners make money and the Republican party is pro business and pro capitalism party… It’s just logical, they want to hold onto what they have earned… The business owners I know are not Democrats. There may be a few who are but the majority of people with money are Republican.
        The Republicans that don’t have money typically are redneck religious wing nuts. I don’t want to exclusively pick on the Republicans here so I’ll blast the Democrats too. Why do you idiots want to give middle class money to uber rich Republican business men? You buffoons. If it made business sense they would build it themselves.

  • steve

    Incredible! The stadium isn’t about the Vikings its about being a world class metro area. It’s used far beyond the few Vikings games. The fact they are willing to pay at all is incredible. It all depends on how it’s funded. If it’s a bond bill paid via user fees linked to the folks who use it or attend events where’s the public’s cost. Beneficiaries include downtown businesses, fans, supporters of other events held at the venue and major corporations who benefit from the higher profile Minneapolis and the area receives as a result of coverage. Define the opportunity correctly-it’s a community showpiece. Tightly link bond payments to the beneficiaries and thank the Vikings for pitching in…seriously folks. I hate public “subsidies” but packaged correctly the folks who benefit pay for it.

    • The Crux of the Biscuit

      The Metro Dome is fine for all of those events is it not? And ‘world class’? This is Minnesota. We don’t need ‘world class’ anything.

      • BleedPurple

        The Metrodome is a discount stadium that doesn’t allow Minnesota a chance to bring in enough revenue. It has a field and seats and that’s about all it has! No chance for corporate financial input. Look at what Target Field has done economically for the western downtown. Of course we need a world class stadium to draw corporations to the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota! Of course it creates jobs! If we have money for wars, we have money for schools, and highways, and infra-structuring, and yes, professional sports venues!

  • The Crux of the Biscuit

    We could have a spot on the Minnesota tax returns where people can donate part of their tax return or make an outright contribution. Once the money has beel collected to build it, let the construction begin…..

  • The Crux of the Biscuit

    Somebody better tell Green Bay that the team building the stadium won’t work…..

    • jack

      the team did not build their stadium the tax payers paid for in 1957 thru city bonds and over have the money raised in 2003 was throught a sales tax. The team is public own, but that does not mean that every taxpayer in GB is an owner or fan of the team

  • pdq

    It’s time for Ziggy and the Vikings to Leave Minnesota.

  • Pavel


    You will note my first paragraph pointed out franchise sports do bring money into the local economy. What part of that did you not understand?

    Secondly: You mention all athletes pay “sales tax” on proceeds from the games. I believe you are incorrect in that it is “entertainment tax”, not sales tax.

    What about the owners who live out of state? Multi-millionaires?

    I would suggest someone with some “real” facts answer some of these questions not someone “in this line of work.

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