Mondale Weighs In On Stadium Deadline

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s crunch time for the big time players in the Minnesota Vikings stadium deal.

Gov. Mark Dayton convened the meeting yesterday, which included Vikings owners Zigi and Mark Wilf, and Ramsey County Commissioners Tony Bennett and Rafael Ortega and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Ted Mondale, Chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission, was also present at the meeting. He told WCCO-AM’s Morning Show with Dave Lee that they’re dealing with three issues:

“There’s a discrepancy on the transportation funding. We started at a $131 million gap there. The county and the Vikings think it should be $80 (million). We have some ownership and construction issues and some questions on the state’s share of it’s bonding.”

WCCO’s Dave Lee Interviews Ted Mondale

He said a Friday deadline is now set for an agreement on how much transportation costs will be.

“I think the key thing that has to happen is an agreement between MnDOT, the Vikings and Ramsey County. The hope is they can come to an agreement on what the transportation costs will be at that time.”

But, he said, the biggest issue that remains is $51 million financial gap.

“We need to do this right. This is something that will be with us for 30 or 40 years. So while there’s a sense of urgency and we want to get this done by Friday. Certainly we’re not going to go forward with a bill that is incomplete or have questions.”

Mondale said they hope to put a bill together, go through the different committees, and have the hearing, so if there is a special session the last week of the month they’ll be ready to go.

The Vikings hope to build a $1.1 billion stadium complex on the site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills, Minn.

  • StraycatStrut

    Mondale and Dayton…. does not get any better than this….awesome combination. Prepare for the worst. Hopefully that team will get’r done. Budget seems to be in the way…… get that done before Daytins eyeballs fall out.


      I say let the Vikings leave Minnesota. They have a perfectly good Metrodome which was built for foot ball. It can be remodeled and would be a whole lot cheaper fixing it up than building in Arden Hills. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE METRODOME THAN LEAVE FOR LA OR OREGON! I DO NOT CARE.

      • Beer Guzzling Redneck

        Brilliant commentary. Your well-stated arguments definitely have swayed me. Also, your scathingly declared ambivolence has invoked a similar level of indifference in me. Thanks so much for helping me to see the light.

  • jan

    If they can find the money to build a stadium, why can’t they find the money for essential services? The federal government is not going to help the tornado victims in Minneapolis and that’s more important than some damn stadium for football fans. Use the 300 milliion plus, plus to help needy people.

    • StraycatStrut

      You could in theroy double the $34 Billion budget and still have the needy…. and the left tliberals talking about raising taxes. Minnesota needs the revenue the Vikes bring in the state from Sales Tax to Income Taxes over the next 30 years….. The needy start with charity…. and Jan…. be there for them… don’t just depend on others to cover your ideals while you sit on the sidelines doing nothing. That would be typical left position …all talk no action.

      • I'm from MO, show me!

        Would you please provide some verifiable figures to support your statement about the revenue the Vikings bring in? Also, please state your sources.

        We keep seeing all these statements about how much money the Vikngs bring to Minnesota but … never anything to back them up.

        • StraycatStrut

          In short…..Sales Tax, Income Tax on all player playing in MN including visiting teams per game played, jobs creation in the new facility structure on income tax, entertainment type taxes in association with outside venues on events at the stadium, Sales Tax on Viking gear etc, liquor taxes….. the dome lasted some 30 years……. so the new stadium anywhere close to that will generate huge income to the State. I’m sure this is a lite lise…. but when players are signing for $100 Million dollars 10 years from now…. that should be significant money…. a revene generator instead of the opposite. Wecome to MN from MO…..! Chiefs fan?

          • Ruth

            The Vikings will have a perfectly good stadium when the costly roof repairs are finished on the Metrodome. WHY do the Vikings needs a new stadium? The politicians need to get their priorities straight.

            • tAKE THE DOME OR LEAVE

              i AGREE1 The politcians need to stop kissing the rears of the rich and represent the majority of the voters. If Ziggy wants a new stadium then he can build it. Other wise take the Metrodome and just shut up.

              • Beer Guzzling Redneck

                Zygi isn’t getting a stadium. The state of MN is. It will be used for dozens and dozens of events that the Metrodome is no longer up-to-date enough to book. It’s old and unsuitable for its purpose, especially when compared to similar facilities around the country. Concerts, truck pulls, sportsmen’s shows, Bridal fairs, Festival of Nations, College Fairs, just to name a few. It isn’t about the Vikings or your disdain for professional athletes or professional sports. Please at least consider the entire picture.

          • I'm from MO, show me!

            I appreciate the attempt to answer the questions but …

            Who do you think pays the sales tax? (Hint: we do.)

            Jobs? The building process will employ somewhere around 2-3,000 temporary workers. Key word is “temporary.” The later jobs are low-paying, part-time jobs. (You want fries with that?)

            How long the dome lasted really only translates into how long we’ve been paying for it; it has not generated a “profit” for the state/county/city. (Neither has the Convention Center.)

            Player salaries in the $100 million range ten years from now? See the post towards the bottom. That is by no means all taxable income for Minnesota.

            You haven’t been able to provide any verifiable figures and we can’t expect the taxpayers of Minnesota to ante up somewhere over a half a billion dollars based on a premise that this is going to be a good deal for the state. It won’t be.

            but, thank you for trying to answer the tough questions.

            • S

              Fees for teh Dome are paid to the metro sports commission, tehy spend that money. It is a bad setup, and that money should be going to the various gov’ts. Thank mondale for that one..

              do not knock part time and temporary jobs. A lot of people prefer to live that way. Most construction jobs are temporary. I work part time jobs to earn extra cash to take vacations and such. teenagers work part time/temp jobs for their needs too. Temp jobs create tax revenue that was not there previously.

          • oral

            yeah those $7.50 an hour hot dog selling jobs will be in high demand for the 8 days per year that they exist

  • Jason

    Who needs a budget when we get to pay for a multi million dollar owner…….. DAYTON IS A LOSER

    • Astute

      Ahhh, but he has crafty eyes! Very crafty. One might suspect … drugs.

    • Move the Vikings now

      Ziggy is the real loser for thinking he can get something for free in this poor economy. Let the Vikequeens go.

      • Beer Guzzling Redneck

        The stadium isn’t about the Vikings or what you think of them, or rich owners, players or sports in general. It’s a facility for Minnesota. You’re not looking at the big picture here.

  • Geroge

    With all the talk of the stadium, and the money….How come they don’t add a user fee to each ticket, and sell bonds to indivuals, and lets see all the supporters of the team step up and put their money where their mouth is….

  • S

    I do not mean to minimize the effect the tornado had on North, but they should have hazard insurance on their homes. That should provide what they need to get buy until they rebuild or move. If they chose to not get insurance, they need to work through the consequences of that choice. Also, many of those homes destroyed were bank owned, so there are far fewer victims than one would initially guess.

    Helping needy peoople with 300 million is a very nice thought, but how are you going to help them? Give them money? that is not help. And what would you get in return? Warm fuzzies? I’d rather provide opportunity for people to make their own living and provide for their own families instead of me subsidizing them and reducing the supoprt I provide for my family. Having a growing economy and a large, diverse tax base will help needy people to no longer be needy which helps everybody.

    That said, I think having a proper football stadium infrastructure is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run and generate more tax revenue than it cost to build. All the taxes collected from player saleries, concessions, Viking merchandise, and other Viking side businesses will be greater than what the state needs to pay to make this happen. not to mention things like better revenue for the local TV stations…Plus businesses use tickets for incentives for employees and other business functions, and promotions advertising. Not having the sports teams here will make the twin cities less attractive to businesses, further reducing the amount of taxes collected increasing the pressure on the “needy”.

    Viking player salaries in 2010 was 91 million (I think). At the lowest MN tax rate that is 5 million in taxes. There are complexities (deductions, visiting team salaries, etc), but it is a good basic estimate. Now start to factor in ticket sales, jobs in the front office, merch sales, training camp, TV affiliate revenue, and advertising by local business like Cargill, Best Buy, Mall of America, etc…it would be easy to generate 10 million a yr in taxes which is about the break even point for 30 yrs on the state portion. Anything above that 10 million could be used to “help needy people”. But with more revenue on the tax books, there would be less pressuire on the “needy” to pay property taxes, and there will be more jobs available so they do not have to be needy in the first place.

    • Why doesn't Warren Buffet build a stadium?

      So are you saying that all of the players are residents of Minnesota and that all of their income is taxable in Minnesota? I don’t think so.

      I respect your comments and your opinion but, once again, like the others making similar comments, you have no verifiable figures to support your general statements.

      Again, if it was profitable to own a sports stadium, all of the team owners would own their stadiums. The fact is stadiums are not profit centers, they are expenses – which is exactly why the team owners want you and I to pay for them and why none of the wealthy people own a stadium or are lined up to invest in one.

      If Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, or Zygi Wilf don’t want to own a stadium, why do you think the taxpayers of Minnesota should own one?

      • StraycatStrut

        Based on where the income per game is “earned”…. non resident income taxes…. go look it up! Its there. Do not have to be a resident to pay MN incomes taxes on players or others earning income while in MN.

        • I'm from MO, show me!

          Those income taxes are but a drop in the bucket towards paying for a stadium.

          The fact is the Vikings stadium is a “want.” Plain and simple, a “want.” The stadium isn’t a need, a necessity, or even necessarily a good thing for the state or its taxpayers. It’s an expense for all of us.

          The real question is “What do the taxpayers of Minnesota want in regard to a new stadium … or even having a pro team here?” If they want one, they’ll gladly pay for one. If they don’t want one, nobody should be forcing them to pay for it.

          So forget the unsupportable arguments and counter-arguments about revenue, jobs, etc. and focus on the wishes of the people who are expected to pay for it. Let whichever group that has to pay for it, vote on it. What could be more fair, more reasonable, more “American?”

        • Inquiring minds want to know

          What about all the other questions? Why doesn’t Warren Buffet own or invest in a stadium if they’re such a good deal?

          • S

            Warren cannot invest in everything, and he does not invest in real estate, but industrial and retail companies that make or move stuff. He did not invest in Apple or Google which were good investments.

            Stadiums are profit centers. Owners do not want the overhead of the property real estate. That is an illiquid asset and carries significant liability risks. They like to lease the property, just like most corporations.

            You also have no verifyable statements to disprove what I wrote. Viking payroll was 91 million in 2010.
            football wages do not go up for 10 years
            1/2 of that is paid in MN (8 games of 16)
            the other teams have the same average payrol of 91 million
            use the 5.35% MN tax rate (actually would probably be the highest 7.x rate)
            5.35% of 91 million is approx 5 million of tax revenue per year.
            times 30 years = 150 million.
            that is 50% of 300 million, not a drop in the bucket.

      • S

        Would you want Warren Buffet to own other infrastructure like the MSP airport? How about Delta? How about having private roads and bridges? Those are profitable too. Taxpayers own infrastructure, and stadiums are infrastructure.

        Having sports teams is critical to attracting businesses. Small to mid size firms use sponsorships and tickests and entertainment to attract business.

        Other than Birkshire, what else is in Omaha? FYI Trump owns very little, he licenses the Trump brand.

  • Mr. M

    I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEW STADIUM IN ARDEN HILLS!!! BRING IT!!! … and yes, I live in Arden Hills.

  • very interesting

    Not going to happen this year. It’s a shoe-in for next year though considering it has gotten this much attention even when the rest of the economy is in the toilet.

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  • Mari VanKleek

    When did the mentality change that the middle class, etc. should subsidize the rich. Let them build their own stadiums. Why don’t the players get together with the owners and bulld their own arena. They should be ashamed. The legislature should not be wasting their time even talking about it. They should be concentrating on getting the state out of debt, and the federal government should be doing the same.

    • S

      You get gov’t out of debt by not spending, or expanding and diversifying your tax base.

    • Beer Guzzling Redneck

      “Why don’t the players get together with the owners and bulld their own arena. They should be ashamed.”

      This kind of emotional, but completely false rationale should be embarrassing for you to even post.

  • PLS

    Let the losing Vikes go. Hopefully we can pick up a winning franchise in the future.

    • S

      That is very expensive. We spent a lot more getting the Wild here than it would have cost to keep the Stars.

  • Momma Bear

    Actually, Hwy 10/694/35W/Lexington and Snelling interchange all need to be changed/developed/expanded. It’s a well known fact they can’t handle the current traffic flow but the state has no plans to improve them for the next 30 years. It’s the states way of passing the costs on to the tax payers. What about property tax? I hear nothing of that revenue. Is it because we’re not going to get any? Just like the Carmike Theater that went into Mounds View. No taxes for five years and then the owner declared Chapter 13.

  • hotformichelle

    I’m looking forward to Bachman as President, man is she smoking hot!

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