Dayton Meets With Casino Supporters, Wilf On Stadium

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton is continuing to meet with supporters of a new Vikings stadium Wednesday, including one group who says they have a plan to pay for it.

The group wants to turn Block E in downtown Minneapolis into a big casino complex and set aside some of the revenue for the stadium.

It is crunch time on the stadium issue.

On Wednesday, the Governor met with supporters of a Block E casino, the Vikings and Ramsey County Commissioners.

This is a day after NFL officials put on the pressure, saying if Minnesota doesn’t figure this out — the state could lose the team.

“If you lose one of these franchises, you don’t often get an opportunity anytime soon to get it back,” Dayton said. “So keeping the team we have, the Minnesota Vikings have been here for 50 years. They have had their good years and not so good years but they are a Minnesota institution.”

Gov. Dayton also met with Ramsey County Commissioners, who have committed $350 million for the Arden Hills site. Dayton also met with developers who want to build a casino in downtown Minneapolis, whose revenue could be used for stadium construction.

Vikigns Owner Zygi Wilf, a key player in Wednesday’s meetings, refused to comment to the media as he left the capitol.

Dayton set a 10-day deadline for all the necessary parts to agree on key parts of a stadium. He plans to unveil his own detailed stadium proposal for the legislature on Nov. 7.

Although, Minneapolis hasn’t been ruled out as a site.

The Vikings’ lease is up at the dome at the end of the season.

Dayton said he would call a special session to help get a stadium deal done, if there’s support for it.

Right now it’s unclear if he’d get that.

More from Holly Wagner
  • Overby

    Gov. Dayton wouldn’t talk about the meetings when asked Wednesday morning but did say he doesn’t know anything yet and will talk later in the afternoon.

    I concur. He does not know anything yet, and never has. What a sorry excuse for a governor.

    • Tom

      @ Overby

      Who was the sorry excuse for Gov? T-Paw!

      • Terry

        All three starting with Jesse, One of these years will elected a governor who doesn’t side with big business

  • gdog

    And why so secrective? Isn’t this supposed to be the people’s stadium? We should be able to see transcripts to these closed door meetings.

  • just sayin

    Can someone tell me :

    This is a day after NFL officials put on the pressure, saying if Minnesota doesn’t figure this out — the state could lose the team.

    How do NFL officials decipher if a team stays or goes?

    I like the idea of a STATE owned Casino.
    However, I don’t like the picture of Duluth in my head. Turned pretty ghetto.

  • Minneapolis

    I am not in favor for a casino in Minneapolis to much crime as it is down in the area. It will just get worse.

    • jackactionhero

      Please demonstrate other situations similar to this in which a downtown casino has increased crime.

    • T

      Violent crime rates in minneapolis have been falling for years. As a downtown resident, I can attest for the safety of the city and have never had any problems in the area. Unless of course you go looking for trouble (Club Karma, etc.).

      I think a downtown casino is a great way to cure the plague that is Block E, and if done right would continue to bring the high spending consumers we want and need downtown for the restaurants and businesses.

      • scotty

        they stopped counting some areas ( such as the U of M ) that’s why the rate has lowered.

      • Lucifer

        LOL… LMAO …. ROTFL… LOL….. Minneapolis is safe? You must live a very sheltered and secluded life up high in your penthouse. Minneapolis is not and never will be a safe place to live. I lived there for 15 years until I came to my senses and move far far away from the pathetic city life.

        Stay indoors, lock your windows and doors, pull your shades and keep a 9MM on hand for when you WILL need it. Minneapolis is a toilet…

        • just sayin

          Come on, it’s not THAT bad… We’re not Detroit or Flint.

          But, Block E has always been plagued by filth. And with a Casino in place, it most likely WILL continue to plaque downtown.
          My example – Duluth as I mentioned above. The area around the casino there has turned into a slum. Crime is happening there.

          They would really need some good security all hours of operation.

        • randy

          I’ve lived in N Mpls for 45 years and I’ve never had a problem. Mpls is no worse than any other city of it’s size.

    • Agree

      Minneapolis ~ I agree, They need to figure something else out.

  • Realist

    Putting a casino in downtown Minneapolis is a terrible idea.

    • jackactionhero

      Yet you seem to have no reasons indicating why this is the case, so we are left to assume it’s because “you said so” which is hardly a valid reason.

  • John Adams

    “Right now, there is no official plan as to how the state would pay for its $300 million portion.”

    The state’s portion?

    The state’s portion should be zero. This is a private company trying to make a buck. If they can’t do it on their own, too bad.

    • jackactionhero

      No stadium has ever been built under that premise, sir, so where is your precedent for claiming that?

      Please be specific. Alternatively, I’ll allow you to respond by saying it was a bad idea that just jumped out of your head before you could stop it from going public.

  • Ethan

    I think you are all stupid, and I would never take any of your advice.

    • red

      and who says your not?

    • Who Cares

      Who cares if you want our advice or not and you are very rude to say all of us are stupid. You sound very hateful person.

      • Ethan

        No,I am not a hateful person. In fact I am a very happy person. But the fact is you guys are arguing over the internet. I will never subject to that. And yes, it was rude so what? Who cares about your advice? Go ahead and continue arguing yourselves in circles.

  • Jack M

    State run Casino – YES
    Stadium – YES

    • NO

      State wide Casino ~ NO leds to more crime also! Stadium~ Yes

      • Guy

        More drunks running around on weekends.

        Misbehaving players who think they are better than every one else:
        Stadium : NO! – it ALSO leads to more crime:

        I’m talking about Moss kicking cameramen (assault).
        I’m talking about the 2005 boat party.
        I’m talking about Farr’s “sexting”.
        I’m talking about Smith’s “official whizzinator”. drugs & drug hiding gadget.
        I’m talking about the Williams brothers drug use.
        I’m talking even talking about Peterson’s recent ticket for non-seatbelt use.

        I can go ON and ON about their misdeeds.

        Many of us are TIRED of it. Let them go be a plague on California. GO Vikes – GO AWAY!

        Reduce CRIME in Minnesota … send the Vikings to California.

        • jackactionhero

          “More drunks running around on weekends.”

          This is about a football stadium. If you want to debate the merits of alcohol consumption, I suggest you start a petition to go back to Prohibition.

          “I’m talking about Moss kicking cameramen (assault).”

          He doesn’t play for the Vikings, sir.

          “I’m talking about the 2005 boat party.”

          2005? This is 2011. Those players aren’t even here anymore, sir.

          “I’m talking about Farr’s “sexting”.”

          Who? Did you mean Favre? He doesn’t play here anymore, sir.

          “I’m talking about Smith’s “official whizzinator”. drugs & drug hiding gadget.”

          Onterrio Smith doesn’t play here anymore, sir.

          “I’m talking about the Williams brothers drug use.”

          Be careful with your accusations. No drug use has been proven or even alleged, sir, so what are you talking about?

          “I’m talking even talking about Peterson’s recent ticket for non-seatbelt use.”

          No you’re not, because that is stupid and irrelevant to the pathetic point you’re so weakly attempting to make.

          “I can go ON and ON about their misdeeds.”

          You’ve proven you can go on and on, that’s for sure, but none of these “misdeeds” are relevant to this discussion. None of those players even play for the Vikings, sir.

          “Many of us are TIRED of it.”

          I think most of us are tired of people like you spilling your lies and distortions.

          • Guy

            And many of us are tired of people like you shilling for the Vikes. None of my statements were EITHER lies OR distortions.

            All of those people were Vikings when they did their crimes except Farve and they HIRED him KNOWING that he was a perv. The rest; they KEPT and tried to cover up and sugar coat the acts instead of just FIRING the miscrents like most buisnesses would.

            Bottom line – the Vikes have done NOTHING to indicate that we should give them truckloads of money … and MANY things to indicate that they should be ridden out of town on a rail. (and make them pay for their own train ticket).

            • jackactionhero

              They aren’t asking for truckloads of money. Other Minnesotans are asking for a new facility. It isn’t a “Vikings” stadium, and you simply aren’t capable of making that distinguishment, are you?

              The character of former players is not on trial here, nor will you be allowed to twist it into a character debate, especially when not a single current player is on your list of people you find unsavory. So your point is lost and moot.

              They haven’t done anything to indicate we should build them a stadium? That’s inherently false. Just having the franchise in our state means we have to do routine upkeep on facilities. The Metrodome’s shelf life has been reached. Minnesota wants professional sports franchises in its state. Therefore, they must create facilities for them. Your disdain for specific players is not part of this debate.

              Basically, you have pointless, emotional arguments. None of them are valid reasons to not keep a professional sports franchise in town by doing the SAME thing all the other cities in the country that have them are doing.

              Insert “DUHHHH” here for Guy’s benefit…

  • NO casino No stadium

    The gov is wondering where $300 million will come from? How about $650+ million or is he already resigned to shoving the $350 million portion down the Ramsey county taxpayers’ throats?

    The NFL and Zygi are doing everything possible, including outright extortion, to bully their way into the taxpayer’s wallets. Plus, that “maybe” $150 million that the NFL “might” contribute comes off Zygi’s portion of the cost, not the taxpayers’ portion of the cost. Wow, what a good deal that is!

    My brother is a cop in Minneapolis – ask him about crime there. They have plenty to pass around already and if you want more, go ahead an open a casino downtown. It will reach a point where local businesses will lose so much money they’ll have to close – law abiding people will stop going downtown, period.

    NO public money for a stadium! Get it yet, gov goofy?

    • jackactionhero

      “My brother is a cop in Minneapolis – ask him about crime there. They have plenty to pass around already and if you want more, go ahead an open a casino downtown. It will reach a point where local businesses will lose so much money they’ll have to close – law abiding people will stop going downtown, period.”

      What precendents are you basing this on? Please be specific.

  • Sara

    Does anyone realize how much money the state makes from these professional sports teams. Each player who plays even one game in the state must pay incomes taxes on the portion of their income earned in that one game. Saying that the state is not losing anything if the team moves in incorrect, they will be losing that tax money. Does losing that money justify putting out money towards a new stadium is what must be considered.

    • John Adams

      That state loses money.

      The owners make money and some get’s kicked back to the politicians.

      YOU lose money. Why don’t you get that?

      • Sara

        So you don’t see the tax money raised from these players as a good thing???? The state may pay out the money needed for the stadium but in the end I think they will come out ahead. It may take some time but in the long run I think the state wins on this one.

        • John Adams

          Not when we pay more than we get.

          YOU will have less money. THEY will have more.

          How can you say that is a good thing?

        • The self-financing Stadium canard

          Are you aware that your notion that new sports facilities become self-financing has been debunked by numerous studies? From Zimbalist and Noll, authors of the book Sports, Jobs, and Taxes:

          “We and 15 collaborators examine the local economic development argument from all angles: case studies of the effect of specific facilities, as well as comparisons among cities and even neighborhoods that have and have not sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into sports development. In every case, the conclusions are the same. A new sports facility has an extremely small (perhaps even negative) effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility appears to have earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment. No recent facility has been self-financing in terms of its impact on net tax revenues. Regardless of whether the unit of analysis is a local neighborhood, a city, or an entire metropolitan area, the economic benefits of sports facilities are de minimus.”

          From Robby Robertson in his overview of recent economic impact studies regarding sports facilities:

          “There are also an overwhelming number of academic studies that show little or no economic benefits of sport facility subsidization. Many of these studies point to the substitution effect. The substitution effect argues that “as sport- and stadium-related activities increase, other spending declines because people substitute spending on sports for other spending” (Coats & Humphreys, 2004). Therefore, not all of the spending resulting from the construction of the new facility is new spending. When ignoring the substitution effect, many believe that the economic value of the facility is vastly overstated (Coats & Humphreys, 2004). ”

          Robertson recognizes the positive effect a facilities can have on nearby property values, and he acknowledges that quality-of-life benefits are difficult to measure. It’s not that facilities have no positive impact. The point of these studies is that when you factor in all effects — a SUBSET of which are those that you’ve mentioned above and that other posters cite as reasons why the new stadium will benefit the area economically in the long run — it’s difficult to justify public subidies of stadiums in terms of enhancing overall academic activity.

          Of course, we live in an age when people reflexively dismiss as “biased” any study that challenges what they regard as their “common-sense” beliefs. That kind of easy and lazy cynacism corrodes our public discourse, and prevents us from acknowledging that the problems we face are often complex and intractable and defy our too simple, “garage logic” solutions. Put another way, somewhere along the way, people confused the notion that everyone has a right to an opinion everyone ought to have an opinion on everything. If you don’t know what you’re talking about — and on the subject of the economic impact of sports facilities, I’d wager that very few of us posting here do — then why not acknowledge your ignorance and listen to people who do know what they are talking about?

          • jackactionhero

            And yet cities jump at the chance to be involved with a professional sports franchise…

            Your study is dismissed as irrelevant to the situation.

            • Guy

              “Of course, we live in an age when people reflexively dismiss as “biased” any study that challenges what they regard as their “common-sense” beliefs. That kind of easy and lazy cynacism … ”

              Gosh Jack – does this look like YOU ?
              Lets see YOU provide a reference to even ONE study that says there is a benefit from a sports arena …. can’t do it hun?

              Well then I guess that “You (are) dismissed as irrelevant to the situation.” …

              • jackactionhero

                There doesn’t need to be a study.

                There are 32 NFL franchises. Why is Minnesota the one complaining about being broke and not wanting to support their team by doing the same thing that all the other franchise cites ARE willing to do?

                Minnesota is no more broke than any other state. They just and complain about it more.

                • Guy

                  Or maybe we’re just SMARTER than the rest of them.

            • I vote this person goes away with the Vikings - anywhere but MN

              “You can’t reason with an unreasonable person.” You are an unreasonable person – and a whole lot of other things that ‘cco won’t let me say on here.

              So, the rest of us dismiss YOU as “irrelevant to the situation.” You have more posts on these pages than anybody in Wilf’s kingdom. Lots of posts, nothing intelligent to say.

              You’re dismissed.

          • Sara

            I like the way that you take only the points from Robby Robertson’s study that support your opinion. What about the points he makes regarding the benefits of public funding of sports facilities such as the increase in property values. If you are going to quote a study be sure that the study fully supports your opinion.

  • TW

    It’s time to have a state owned casino down town and use the money there. Will people continue to flock to Mystic Lake to gamble? Likely fewer which is a good thing for someone other than tax free indian gaming.Use that to pay back taxpayers for the Super Zippy Park.

  • @CorpBud

    Just given this rationale, shouldn’t the State pay for every corporation wanting to build a HQ here? They bring ‘real’ jobs, pay taxes, blah blah blah

    • randy

      The state HAS given out piles of $$ to quite a few corps already ……… NWA, Daytons, and Medtronics are the three that I can think of off the top of my head…..

      • Pshredder

        Ummm… NWA is no longer operating here.
        Daytons is no longer operating here.
        Medtronics is dicey.

  • What is this all about, really??

    So why allow the state government of Minnesota to open up yet another revenue stream, state operated gambling taxes? One thing leads to another and at the end of the day, the stadium will be paid for, but the gambling tax will not end. What you’ll have is another MN State Lottery scenario where the funds from gambling will go to pay for other non-critical functions of indiscriminate wasteful spending instead of dropping off the face of the earth like you might expect.

    At the end of the day, this is nothing more than an avenue for growing government, and that is all.

    And that is all!

    • I agree

      You’re absolutely right. We really need a definition of what state government is and what it is not. This is something that shouldn’t be the responsibility of the state government to subsidize. This is the responsibility of private investment. There is no end to government growth and ideas like this are why.

  • Hmm

    How do casinos lead to increased crime? Links to studies? Wouldn’t Las Vegas be the crime capital of the world? Is crime rampant in areas like Shakopee that has Mystic and Canterbury?

    • Casino

      Actually because too much crime in the area already it will get worse. Gambling (money) can bring out more thieves in the area and people getting rob and etc. Again already not a good area in the first place.

      • Casino

        Plus Shakopee area is not a bad area in the first place like E Block Minneapolis !And Vegas the strip and down town is a good place as well because it is all casinos over in that area !

      • jackactionhero

        So you say.

        There is no evidence to support your claim though.

        Oops. How embarrassing for you!

        • Guy

          Just like there is no evidence to support your claim that a stadium will increase jobs and revenue…

          Oops. How embarrassing for YOU!

  • James

    I would like to see where the NFL is taking a loss by operating the Vikings at the metrodome?

    It seems to me, if LA is so interested in having an NFL franchise, they could simply expand the league in LA. I can’t contemplate the scenario where you would leave a profitable market only in spite, unless your motives were 5-10 years down the road on the what-if analysis of funding a public stadium to bring back a once profitable franchise.

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the NFL, the LA execs, Wilf, and Dayton had a 500 page contract signed that allows LA to buy the Vikings by the end of 20xx if a stadium isn’t built. Kind of a figurative hostage taking, a demonstration of intent and spite, as well as a business venture guarantee to the NFL and LA. Specifically, it provides a platform to campaign on, a losing one at that.

    Oh by the way, we have this special interest group over here that would also like gambling to be legal in the state… here’s a mechanism to please all the special interests.

    Maybe we can build a few bike lanes and a bird watching sanctuary around the stadium site, just for kicks.

  • TPaw

    Go Pack Go !!! Good job Minny, maybe someday you can have a Pro team also.



    • jackactionhero

      Force the Native American tribes to pay 25% of casino proceeds?

      Please hit the nurse call button. Your anti-stupid drugs are weakening in your system.

  • Spencer Jones

    I have to agree. Why should the tax payers have to fund this at all. Why? It’s a privet owned buisness. We are not responsible for the Vikes. The owners are. They need a new stadium, let them build it. Do like I did but on a much bigger scale. To start my buisness, I morgaged everything I had. I won or loss on my name and abilities. So Tax payers say NO. As for the casino, I think that we should open lots of state owned ones on land not in cities, but like the tribes do. On State land that is near lakes and nice places so that you can rent lodging, pontoons, waterparks in the winter for kids, fish, hunt, and whatever you would like in a full service casino. Spas’ for the ladies. Why should the tribes, be the only ones tapping this resorce of money?? What makes them so special?

    • jackactionhero

      Because every stadium is built this way, Spencer.

      There are no owners of football franchises who have EVER put up more of their own money than Zygi Wilf is right now. It’s never happened.

      “Why should the tribes, be the only ones tapping this resorce of money?? What makes them so special?”

      Yikes, someone needs to do some catching up…

      • Guy

        “If man were ment to fly he would have wings” …
        “If you sail far enoungh you will fall off the edge of the earth”
        ‘Because every stadium is built this way, Spencer. ”

        Maybe its time to CHANGE the financing paradime … start
        expecting the owners to pay their own way instead of beeing leeches.

        • jackactionhero

          That isn’t the precedent, and it’s never been done that way. Minnesota refusing to do so is not going to change that tide. It just means Minnesota will decide (against most people’s will) that they don’t want a footprint in the NFL.

          Why stop there? If MN is so broke, why aren’t we selling all entertainment based past times? Why is there a sports team of any kind in MN while there are kids getting a C in Math? Shouldn’t we give that money away to some crying baby that doesn’t have enough formula?

          Isn’t your argument akin to saying “There is a poor person in MN, so until we’ve stamped out poverty, there shall be no spending of any money on anything not devoted to stopping poverty.”

          • Guy

            Sorry – I’m NOT a supporter of welfare … FOR ANYONE INCLUDING WILF.

            Thats the whole point – no welfare for poor leeches …

            Welfare IS THE REASON why we’re broke – get rid of it … for EVERYBODY

  • me

    In a perfect world professional franchises would fund 100% of their own stadiums, but that’s not the way it works people. Professional sports teams are huge assets that benefits the communties they are located and a scale that very few of obviously realize, othersie you would not be opposed to this. That is why other states and cities are more than willing to open up their wallets to lure a team to their market. In many cases they are willing to pay 100% of stadium costs to get a team there. They are not willing to do this because they are sports fans. lol It;s bceause they know an NFL franchise would be huge boost to their economy and generate significant revenue. I really don’t understand why people are having such a hard team understanding this and understanding that the vikings are valuable state asset wheter you are a fan or not.

  • Robert Barros

    The owners are only willing to pay less than 1/4?

    The Sunday heroes commit various legal offenses… (such as 100 mph on urban streets – endangering citizens – as just one example). And Team Managent and the League doesn’t expect better social responsibility of it’s players?

    And the citizens are to be taxed” the lions share” for a privately held business?

    And the government encourages all of this?

    Get a backbone Governor – and just say “No!”

    • jackactionhero

      The owner is putting up more of his money for the stadium than any owner in the history of the NFL for supporting a new stadium.

      You conveniently left that out though. Nice.

      • Anyone else think this gets old?

        Is it your job to post on these pages? How much does it pay, perhaps enough for you to go to school and learn a real trade or something?

        On the positive side, with you on here I don’t need to spend any more money on laxatives so maybe I will be able to afford to help pay for Zygi’s playground after all.

        • yup

          Oh yeah, it gets very old. This dude is 10 lbs of doo doo in a 5 lb bag.

  • Bob

    I thought that the Indians had exclusive gambling rights in the state of Minnesota?? Am I wrong on this?? And if I am wrong then why can’t the state issue gamling license to other places and all be run by the state of Minnesota like Iowa is all state run. I am perplexed on this. Would this “new ” casino be run by some tribe?

  • Commonsense

    We all pay for things we don’t want don’t use and could care less about – now with that said they need to come up with a viable way to pay for it – just taxing the people of Ramsey County isn’t fair – make it either a State Wide tax or I go along with a State owned casino – I think the Mall of America would be a good idea as you’ve got hotels, shopping center, easy access to the airport, light rail and lots of people coming from all over the world to visit.

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