Minn. Stadium Backers Push Vikings On Road Costs

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton and lawmakers say they can’t move forward with legislation for a new Vikings stadium without resolving issues with the team.

A letter Friday to the team’s owners says legislation for a new stadium in Arden Hills won’t advance until the team shows how $131 million in road costs will be covered without increasing the state’s $300 million contribution.

The state leaders also say they need see a “proper partnership” spelled out between the state and the team.

Dayton and the stadium bill sponsors, Sen. Julie Rosen and Rep. Morrie Lanning, repeated their position that the state contribution to a new stadium won’t exceed $300 million, including transportation improvements.

Unfinished budget business has put the stadium on hold, but the issue could come up in a special session.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Bri

    The taxpayer should not pay anything….If the supporters want it,raise the price of the users ticket..raise it to what ever the market will bare. No funding from the taxpayers for millionares to do business. Everyone else has to provide thier own building to do business!!! This nonsense has to stop!!!!

    • Bri

      The workers will be hired if the the owners build the stadium too, we don’t need the taxpayers footing the bill for this! It should stand on its own merit….

    • Shut your pie hole

      broken record

    • sorry but...

      waaa! cry me a river. How long will it take to get through to you that this would benefit the state. The money that comes from the stadium very well could be applied to schools and other things. Sometimes you have to cough up money to get results. I would rather build this and allow people to get jobs than to keep pumping money into unemployment.

      • just an Average Joe

        Geez, I don’t even know where to start………

        >>”The money that comes from the stadium….” — What Money? Are you talking about all the money from renting the stadium to the Vikings? Well, pretty much all of that money will go to pay the interest and the loan for the stadium itself. The rest will go to pay the heat and electric and water and workers.

        And speaking of workers….. Just what kind of jobs will operating this stadium create? A bunch of part-time, hotdog selling jobs 15-20 Sundays out of the year when the Vikings play. As for all the construction jobs to build the stadium…….

        >>”I would rather build this and allow people to get jobs than to keep pumping money into unemployment” — The same jobs will be there even if the stadium is completely privately funded. However, these jobs are temporary jobs. They will simply go away when the stadium is completed. It really doesn’t count as ‘job creation’ if the jobs are not permanent.

        If this stadium is such a great deal then why don’t we see a bunch of high dollar, big name investors standing in line to invest money in it? Why don’t they have an IPO and sell stock. Simple. Because it is NOT a great investment. Everyone wants the Government, through taxes on its citizens, to pay for the stadium. That way, when the stadium runs into financial difficulties the burden will be upon the Government and its citizens, not on the investors.

        And, last but not least…. Why should some one who makes $50,000 a year like me have to pay anything for a playground for athletes and team owners that make millions of dollars a year. As I stated above, if they think the stadium is such a ‘great’ deal then why don’t they pay for it themselves. Again, it’s simple. They know it is NOT a sound financial investment. So they want someone else to shoulder the financial burden.

        The Government is charged with providing Necessary Services for its citizens. Police protection and Roads and Highways are necessary services. A football stadium is NOT a necessary service.

        • Hmmmm

          If stadiums made no money than why are 99% of stadiums built with taxpayers money? Seems to me there must be some logic behind funding them

          • just and Average Joe

            I believe you are off a bit on the 99% number. I think the number of stadiums built with public funds is closer to 70%.

            If stadiums REALLY made money then Warren Buffet would be telling everyone to invest in a stadium. He would have a dozen stadiums in his portfolio.

            The reason stadiums are built with ‘public’ money is simple. No private investor would risk their money in investing in a major sports stadium.

            I read an article in Newsweek a year or so ago. It said that 80% of all publicly funded stadiums had financial difficulties, while 80% of stadiums that were privately funded did not have financial difficulties. So why can’t these states learn from that?

            • REALLY JOE, REALLY??

              @ just and Average Joe

              What would happen if we took away all the publically funded projects/buildings, because “the average Joe” doesn not want to pay for them anymore?

              lets see ….
              1. No sports for Joe
              2. No plays or muscials for Joe, yes, the building were subsidized.
              3. Joe’s kids wouldn’t be going to school
              4. Joe would be driving on two-track roads, similar to the 1800’s
              5. Joe would have folks breaking into his home more often, since Joe, doesn’t wnat to support the police/.sherriff’s dept.
              6. Joe wouldn’t be watching any movies (yes, most states subsidize LARGE MOVIE Industries.
              7. Joe would have a tough time finding a hotel, yep, new hotels receive tax credits, to entice them to move into the community.
              8. Most auto makers receive tax subsidies
              9. Airlines, Northwest took a huge loan from the state and never paid it back!! Their here, and headed by a wealthy CEO…
              10. OIl companies, yep, subsidized!!

              Wow Joe, it’s not only the Vikings! Get Real!! If things went your way, we’d be living in the stone age!… Nice..

              • just an Average Joe

                Again, where to start……..

                The Government is charged with providing Necessary Services for its citizens

                1. Sports are not a necessary service
                2. The Arts are not a necessary service
                3-5. Schools, Roads, and Police ARE necessary services.
                6. Movies are not a necessary service

                And so on down the line.

                I agree with you about Northwest not paying back the loan. They should have. But people can’t compare Northwest to a new stadium. Northwest has thousands of local employees. The benefit to the local community from Northwest far outweighs anything a stadium would provide.

                As for subsidies. I personally think the majority of subsidies should be done away with. The math goes something like this. I pay $3.00 for a gallon of milk. The government pays the farmer another $3.00 (from my taxes) for that same gallon. The government also pays an employee or two another $3.00 per gallon (also from my taxes) to do all the paperwork required to make sure the farmer gets paid. So I’m actually paying $9.00 for that gallon of milk, $3 at the store and $6 in taxes. If the government got out of subsidizing milk I would pay $6 for a gallon of milk at the store but I would save $3 every gallon I buy in taxes.

              • Carl

                You conveniently confuse the public good, i.e., roads and education with subsidies for private industry. I have no problem cutting the latter to protect the former.

                But you haven’t answered the question, If the stadium represents such a good investment why isn’t private capital lining up for a piece of the action?

      • donald

        Couldn’t have sait it better than myself!!!

  • donald


  • Victor

    Instead of everyone complaining about tax payer issues, how about solutions to the problem of getting the roads done. 300 million is already going to it. Let’s see if any of you can come up with a creative solution to come up with 131 million for the roads. Say something constructive, for once.
    Now let’s see how many people ignore the challenge and continue to write the same drivel like the sheep they are. And, no “move to L.A.” loser trolls.

    • M B

      So, you expect others to solve your problems for you? You basically said “Someone else solve this…” Where’s your suggestion?

      The only way to raise money for infrastructure upgrades are via tax, fees, or tolls. Which do you want to pay? Do you want your license tabs on your car to go back to $400 a year like they used to? Thought not. How about a higher sales tax rate? No? I bet tollways would do the job! No, not attractive either, huh? How about more alcohol taxes? Probably won’t fly (not to mention a bunch of angry drunks) but it’s worth a try. Any other good ideas? I’m all ears. Yes, it’s sarcastic, but what do you expect when you berate someone then demand they solve the problems you posed?

      I’d like to see some REAL numbers on what the vikes bring in to the general economy, because just taking the vikes’ tax revenue to the state into account (as per the met sports commission), it would take 100 years to pay off the 300 million we’re giving them. Somehow that doesn’t equate to good business sense to me…

  • Dennis

    If you look at the new stadiums that have been built in other states the NFL
    has kicked in up to 150 million for those projects. I definitely agree with Governor Dayton that the state should not kick in more than 300 million. If Zygi really wants to get this thing done he needs to get the NFL to put up the 131 million for the roads. Ultimately the real issue is that we have a serious jobs crisis, especially in the construction industry. DEED (Department of Employment and Economic Developement) has stated unemployment in the construction industry is at 19.7%. I really hope the State and the Vikings can come up with a solution in the special session. Building a stadium would create 13,000 new jobs ( 7500 construction jobs).

  • Dave Campbell

    Maybe a provision to hire only Minnesota construction firms and Minnesota construction workers should be included!

  • jan

    Money for a stadium? More taxes for St. Paul? It’s 90 degrees today and humid and the damn drinking fountain on Mississippi River Blvd where people are walking and jogging is not turned on. Football is not a necessary service but public drinking fountains are. They can’t afford a little water but want to spend millions on football? They’re absolutely nuts!!!

    • jan don't take a stand

      I’ve seen people pee in public drinking fountains. They are gross thats why they are turned off. I alway carry a water bottle.

    • Mike D

      so now you are saying the state should pay for your water?? Buy your own water bottle and fill it up at home. I can tell which side of the political fence you lean on

  • Fred

    @Dennis- “I definitely agree with Governor Dayton that the state should not kick in more than 300 million”

    Let’s see, should we spend $300,000,000 to build a stadium to benefit millionaire players and team owners. Or maybe we should spend $300,000,000 on improving the Highway and Roadway Infrastructure in the Minneapolis – St. Paul Metro area, something that would benefit hundreds of thousands of average citizens.

    Hmmm, difficult choice, isn’t it? (note heave sarcasm.)

  • Dennis

    @Fred- ( paraphrased) Maybe we should spend the 300 million on Infrastructure that would actually benefit all minnesotans – roads, bridges, levees, schools, hospitals, ect.

    In an ideal world that is exactly what we would do. Governor Dayton did have a Bonding Bill proposal at the start of the session. It was for 1 billion in infrastructure, and would create up to 28,000 construction jobs. I’ve been down to the capital many times this year to talk with legislators about the Govs proposal. I have yet to get any support from the R’s ( who are inthe majority), thus Im left with a stadium bill as my alternative for jobs.

  • Ziggy, Please Leave

    You are a burden to Minnesota.

    • MoeHill

      I second this. But he’s not leaving- he promised that even if the government doesn’t help him get a new stadium he would stay in Minnesota.

  • Bye Ziggy

    The “athletic supporters” who keep spitting out the same unsupported facts will not ever change. Remember, you can’t reason with an unreasonable person. Most of these people are the beer swilling, loud, obnoxious Monday morning coaches who have no culture or social life other than “the game.”

    In the current economic and political environment in MN, using taxpayer money to support a stadium shouldn’t even be on the discussion list. Average Joe is right, no one with financial knowledge and experience – or money – has any interest in owning a sports stadium. The reason is abundantly obvious … sports stadiums are not money makers; they are huge expenses.

    Yes, Ziggy is a burden to Minnesota and if he can’t pay for his own toys, he needs to go elsewhere. The beer will still be sold and consumed.

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