Lawmakers Have Lukewarm Reaction To Vikings Stadium

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A proposed new Vikings stadium north of St. Paul is getting a muted reaction from lawmakers whose approval will be needed to pass a stadium bill.

Republicans control both legislative chambers, but the stadium issue doesn’t follow party lines.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dave Thompson, a Republican from Lakeville, says a stadium that relies on new taxes “in no way” helps average households with their finances.

GOP Rep. Carol McFarlane of White Bear Lake says her constituents want a $5 billion deficit settled before a stadium vote and they want to vote on a proposed half-cent county sales tax increase.

Democratic Rep. Kate Knuth of New Brighton says the tax increase would be a “big lift” for Ramsey County residents. The proposed stadium site sits in her district.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Noel Petit

    Give ’em the cold shoulder state house. In an era when education is going to be cut, send the Vikings out without a dime. Don’t fiddle while Rome burns.

    • jimmy

      If this goes though why would anyone buy anything in St. Paul with an over 8% sales tax.

  • Nancy Triplett

    It would be absolutely obscene for one dime of taxpayer money go to fund a stadium for the Vikings. Legislature, do what you know needs to be done.

    • Ryan

      comments like this are for people who don’t understand the debate. you are stating that if we don’t build this stadium that money can be used elsewhere and it is way more complex than that. This project keeps money and brings money over a long period of time that can be used for other things.

    • Bud

      What a uninformed person… Care to come up with a new tax to replace 90 million ther Vikes contribut every year!!!!!!!!

  • jeff

    This will make the state money.

    • Winning!

      I say the Vikings play 4 games each season at the TCF Bank, and 4 games each season at the Metrodome. Forget about a new stadium for Ziggy.

  • jan

    This is an outrage! Most people never go to the viking games so why should they pay through the nose for a sports palace for royal athletes? How can they justify this? Yes, as Nancy says, it is obscene.

    • Nick

      How is 50 cents out of every one hundred dollars spent considered “paying through the nose”. Get real. There are hundreds of government subsidies for a large number of businesses and arts projects. 50 cents out of a Benjamin won’t break anyone’s bank. Calm down already and belly up.

  • John

    Would just one of you nay sayers please tell me what program you will cut with out the 75-100 million dollars this team and it’s payroll bring to this state every year? Noel since you are already cutting education where should we cut??? arts?? environment? human srvices? Weather you agree with the stadium or not does not matter. the fact is this team and their HUGE payrolls you complain about bring revenue to this state. Whey do you want to cut it please tell me please. Oh and while you are cutting remember the security jobs concession jobs, janitor jobs. facility maintenece jobs. that will also be lost. If they team is not needed in this state are those jobs of any value to you. Shoot it down fine. Watch em leave fine. But be ready to explainn to me what you are going to do without those lower level jobe and the taxes on the players both the Vikings and all visitor players payroll taxes that are now gone. Please explain to me what you will do without what you have???

  • Ken

    Anybody who in any way compares the stadium debate to funding education needs an education themselves. None of the proposed funding for a stadium would be going to education anyway….never has…never will. Ramsey county would benefit from this project much like Saint Paul has by way of the Xcel Energy Center! Nancy, don’t shop in Ramsey County…problem solved.

  • Tony

    The dome cost taxpayers $33M, but earned the state $245M. How exactly is this “obscene” or an “outrage”? Like it or not, pro sports are big business and the generate revenue for the state. Even if “most people” do not go to a game, and I think that is false as 90% of the people I know have been to a game, many more enjoy the games at bars, restaurants, and parties throughout the state. All of these activities get people to open their wallets. Our economy is base 2/3s on consumer spending. If we all tuck our money in the mattress, stop investing in big business, drive away highly profitable (profit for a company = profit through taxes for the state), then we are guaranteed to continue on in this recession forever.

    • pat

      HI Tony, I have apartments in the cities, how about the taxpayers build me a new apartment complex, not to worry all the taxpayers could pay rent to live there if they wish and I promise to hire some staff so that I am generating jobs and the employees will pay taxes so wow the state will make money on their income tax and on my property tax. sounds great to me how about you?

      • gary

        Ok then. How many millions are you generating with your apartments. I think there might be a difference between your apartments and a stadium. Nice try to prove whatever point you’re trying to make.

    • Ken

      Thanks Tony & John for taking the time to bring up some points the Noel’s, Nancy’s and Jan’s of the twin cities never think about. They think we’re taking money from little Johnny and Suzie’s education. The entertainment industry is helping fund that very education.

    • Seer

      Tony has hit it right on the head. Plus, this is not just a stadium, it’s a huge entertainment complex that can be used every day of the year. Once it’s done, a superbowl will follow along other huge events and revenue lost to make it will return two-fold. Oh yeah, plus the Vikings will stay in MN and not be stolen by LA.

    • Tony2

      Quick question. When Gov. Dayton was first handed this whole stadium nightmare, he said that the tax payers won’t pay a dime. So my question is this, what about the people who don’t watch/like/have any interest in the Vikings? Or any sports team for that matter. Why should everyone pay for this enormous facility? Yes, there would be an increase in the revenue. Eventually. And what about the traffic nightmare that will occur as a result of the roads being rebuilt (which is REQUIRED at this point), and from the clean up/construction of the facility that would be done in about… 4 to 5 years??

  • Jeremy

    Do the pro-stadium legislators realize there are only 8 Vikings games a year? If the state bought me me 8,000 porsche’s with that money I would let you pay me $100 to drive one 8 days a year. How’s that for a deal?

    • Nate

      Jeremy, what part of a retractable roof, all season stadium that can be used for 365 days a year with various events do you not understand?

    • pss

      jeremy try theVikings play 8 regular season games and 2 pre-season games, and with a retractable roof they will be able to use the facility year round this facility will bring in more than you think ! possible the final four,Super Bowls, to name only two !! remember the old saying “build it and they will come”

  • Ken

    Thanks Jeremy. You are indeed a quick study. WCCO News has learned the Vikings will play 8 home games this coming season…..well actually 10, but we’ve gathered our numbers from Jeremy and his useless Porsche analogy.


    it makes no sense. Keep the stadiums in the city. The rail is there, now!

    • ohoh

      the LRT another taxpayer funded boondoggle.

    • dan


      The rail system goes both ways! If it wasnt for Ramsey county speaking up , Mpls would have let the Vikes rot away in the Dome

  • Tailgunner

    S-K-O-A-L VIKINGS….It’s Great News that you are leaving that RAT INFESTED CITY both the Dome and the Mayor…CONGRATS ARDEN HILLS………

  • You lost Mpls

    Minnesota and Arden Hills and surrounding areas will profit by the investment in a new stadium. I cannot believe Mpls. boggled this deal! I am glad I live near Arden Hills and welcome the 1/2 cent increase since it will drastically make a difference here for the better.

  • Bon

    Racino , Racino , Racino , all of theses piggy politicians are paid off by the tribes ! They don’t donate direct , they donate to the sheriffs office , or pArk and rec… They r all paid off , taxpayers r shafted ass always!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Nick

      I read a few years back the list of top ten campain finance contributers to state legislators. The native gaming commission was ranked 6 on that list.

  • Noel Petit

    Numerous studies have shown that most of the money flows out of the state to other states (where the players and owners live). Most of that money is not from this state, it comes from TV money to the teams and about 8% stays here, the rest flows out. The net gain for MN is offset by the taxes collected to pay for it. If jobs is the only argument for a state expenditure, let’s buy 3M and subsidize them.

    • dan


      Please explain which “Study” shows all the MN income tax dollars from these athletes goes out of state? do you have any idea how much 8% of NFL TV revenue is?
      If you dont like the new stadium do not buy and tickets or products that are taxed to pay back the $300 Million Loan from the State of MN.

    • Lying to get our way

      When the dome fell in and the Vikings could not play in the stadium the news at the time was how much money Mpls. lost because of it. For one game I think it was a million or more. Why is it we hear that a pro football team does not generate money for the local area and also that it does not? Something smells funny when somebody says “We pay taxes for a stadium and don’t get nothing back” when in fact “we pay taxes for a stadium and we do get something back.” I think that those who don’t want to pay the tax are voicing their own facts that are not true simply because they don’t want to pay the tax. This all would make more sense and we may even be able to do things for our state if we all can quit playing tricks and stick to factual data.

  • Dave Olson

    Once again, we are being blackmailed by a billionaire. We folded for the Twins and bought them a stadium and not Zigi wants us to buy him one too. The guy is a BILLIONAIRE and he has the gall to hold his tin cup out and expect US to pay the bulk of the costs for a stadium? He could write a check for this thing.

    After the construction is done, we will have a few part time jobs, near minimum wage, selling beer and hot dogs a few times a year. This contributes NOTHING to our state’s economic recovery. It would be far, far better to spend those hundreds of millions fixing bridges so they don’t fall down, and helping our education system which is in crisis. Let the billionaire buy his own stadium.

    If Zigi continues to blackmail us, fine, let him move the team. Except for the very wealthy, most of us can’t afford to go to a game anyhow – so who does this really benefit? Not the average person. I can watch whatever teams I want to on television for a whole lot less than paying for a stadium I can’t afford to go to anyhow.

    • Tailgunner

      Dave, Did you make it past the Third grade?
      You are a Moron if you think the Vikings don’t plan on having that stadium in use more than a few times a year…get your facts straight before you spout off your under educated mind………..

  • John Sherman

    I would like all of the NEW bovine legelators to sign in black and white sign a workling paper that for now and forever that they are against a stadium for the vikes and for anyother major govt or public building to be ever built SIGN IT. then all the nay sayers to marach on the capital l something like in wisc to protest anything for the vikes show your colors in public.

  • dlg

    I wonder if the taxes put in to fund the Metrodome will be cancelled and lower the taxes down town, oh yeah I forgot once it is there it will never ever go away even if the stadium is paid in full. Taxes are for ever.

  • Please allow the majority to decide

    Particularly with a five billion dollar debt I am 100% against the use of any public funding of a Vikings … or any other … stadium.

    Nevertheless, if there was a statewide referendum on the issue, the majority approved it, and the tax was state-wide, I would accept it even though I would prefer not to see it happen.

    Rather than each side continuing to sing the same old song and make the same old unsupported arguments and claims, couldn’t we simply allow the majority to decide this issue? Whichever way it goes, nobody would be able to claim it wasn’t decided “fair and square.”

  • Rock, paper, scissors

    Hey, I’d even be happy with a rock, paper, scissors decision. I don’t trust Ziggy as far as I can throw him and I trust our politicians, and Crazy Eyes, even less. So this would be a good way to let the chips fall where they may – and nobody gets blamed.

  • jan

    If the stadium is built in Arden Hills and the new roads to it are built, maybe then we can tear all the new roads up and spend more billions and put in light rail to the new stadium. Sounds like what poiliticians call a win-win situation.

  • Dave Olson

    By my count, the sentiment here is running about 5 to 1 against buying a stadium for a billionaire.

    What we need to do goes far beyond complaining here – put your energy into calling, emailing and writing to your state legislators and the governor. Let them know you will oppose any of them who vote to give tax handouts to a billionaire while the state’s bridges fall down, the schools are being strangled, our parks are underfunded, and infrastructure all over the state is in need of repair.

    As several have said – a tax handout to a billionaire is an obscenity. Let Zigi write a check for the stadium if it’s such a good deal. It’s obvious that it’s NOT a good deal or this businessman would be buying it. He didn’t get rich be being stupid – if he can blackmail US into paying for most of it, who is being stupid here?

    • Tailgunner

      You are being STUPID……………

      • Dan

        Thanks for your service dude!

  • We need new legislators in MN

    In its infinite wisdom the legislators have decreed that we the public will vote on gay marriage rights which have absolutely no impact on our tax dollars. The legislators’ infinite wisdom ends there and they don’t believe we the public can be trusted to vote on whether or not our tax dollars should be spent on a billionaire’s stadium.

    Worse yet, our legislators don’t have the time or wherewithal to resolve the little problem of $5 billion in state debt!

    Do you plan to reelect any of these people?

  • Vote them all out

    If you believe the GOP is insane, you’re right.

    If you believe the DFL is insane, you’re right too.

    Ignorance and the ability and desire to waste your hard-earned tax dollars know no party lines.

    Probably the best course of action at this point is to vote each and every one of them OUT!!! They don’t deserve to be wallowing in the public trough any longer.

  • Dave Olson


    Have you nothing of substance to add to the conversation but name-calling? If you want a stadium, YOU help the poor suffering billionaire pay for it (oh…. poor Zigi, where will his next meal come from?). I, however, have no intention of funding a playground for a bunch of millionaire players and their billionaire owner.

    In case you’ve been hibernating, Tailgunner, we have a budget crisis in this state. Helping billionaires build a stadium shouldn’t even be on the radar screen.

    Let Zigi buy it. He could write a check for it, but of course he’s got you trying to help him out, so why should he?

    Tailgunner, maybe you hold a bake sale and send poor Zigi the profits? I’m sure he needs it so he can have his stadium AND keep his personal standard of living right where it is. After all, aren’t pro athletes God’s gift to humanity? They DESERVE to have us build playgrounds for them, right?

    Let the bridges fall down, the schools be strangled, shut down the state parks, don’t repair the roads, , but for Pete’s sake, build Zigi a stadium. I’m so glad you’re here to help us keep our priorities straight, Tailgunner.

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