Minn. Stadium Foes Suggest Giving Dome To Vikings

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — There is a new twist on a plan for a Minnesota Vikings stadium tonight and it involves a big giveaway.

A group of lawmakers teamed up Friday to suggest the state simply give the Metrodome to the Vikings, instead of building a new $1 billion stadium in the Twin Cities.

The Republicans and Democrats who want to do the Metrodome deal are strongly opposed to any public subsidy for a Minnesota Vikings stadium. They call it insanity, but stadium supporters are calling them “ridiculous.”

Leave it to the Vikings to unite the most liberal and conservative. Lawmakers in the state, they call the Vikings stadium subsidy “insanity.” They’re proposing to give the Metrodome to the Vikings for free.

“We are trying to offer an alternative because there is no sanity in this. Three-and-a-half to one the voters say no and the Ramsey County Board and the Capitol are talking about the largest subsidy in sports history?” said Democratic Sen. John Marty.

The 31-year old Metrodome is worth about $20 million. The Vikings would pay property taxes. The team would be permitted to renovate, retrofit or tear it down. But the governor’s point man on the stadium is not impressed.

Metropolitan Sports Facilities Chairman Ted Mondale calls the giveaway not thought out, and not helpful.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s one of the more ridiculous proposals that I’ve ever heard of. It doesn’t work,” Mondale said. “And why they are spending money and time and effort on this makes no sense. It’s not a solution.”

The lawmakers proposing the Metrodome giveaway said they are a reflection of how other lawmakers feel about a Vikings stadium, and a special session to pass it.

“We don’t want to take up a stadium. I think i speak for 90 percent of the legislature. We don’t think this merits the kind of urgency that would put it on top of everything else,” said Republican lawmaker Linda Runbeck.

One more interesting piece to this puzzle: The lawmakers Friday were all from Ramsey County, where a new Vikings stadium could be sited. They said there is little support among Ramsey County lawmakers for a stadium and predicted it will fail.

Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said the team isn’t interested. He says the Vikings remain committed to building a new, $1.1 billion stadium in suburban Arden Hills.

Gov. Dayton called the plan a distraction.

Dayton held a series of meetings this week as he pushes for a special session for lawmakers to vote on a Vikings stadium package. Dayton says he’ll keep meeting on the issue and hopes to release his own stadium proposal in early November.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Pat Kessler
  • YA !!! THE ONE IN L.A.


  • No taxes for a stadium

    re: Dayton … if brains were gunpower he wouldn’t have enough to blow his hat off.

    He used to drone on and on and on about being a people’s governor and talked about a people’s stadium, etc. Now he wants to stick the taxpayers over $650 million for his new rich pal’s playground.

  • Cindy

    You really want the Vikings to leave?

    • Tom

      @ Cindy

      The reason why this is a tough sell is that since that one year when the Vikings went 15 – 1 during the Dennis Green era. Since then the Vikings have been very so-so ever since. Now if the Vikings were a more proven winner then this wouldn’t be a tough sell. But it is very odd why the Vikings are willing to spend alot more money to build in Arden Hills rather than save money and build in Downtown Mpls. The Vikings must be getting some sweet deals in Ardin Hills.

    • red


    • Carol

      Yes for the tenth time

    • white

      Definitely yes, leave. The sooner the better.

    • Walter

      Yes, with all my heart, yes.

  • yo money

    650 million will pay by taxpayers? This is worst than people on welfare.

  • Catilac

    I heard earlier today that their plan would be to sell Wilf the Metro Dome for $1.00 and he then can spend his own money remodeling how he sees fit. This seems to be a good alternative plan that would not cost taxpayer any additonal money.

    • http://toomburger.wordpress.com toomburger

      as much as I’d like to see a new stadium, this sure makes sense.

  • Walter

    Terrible story:

    “…there’s strong public opposition to a current plan to build the new stadium on a suburban parcel in Arden Hills.”

    Dead wrong, we oppose our money being given to billionaires.

    The Vikings have these options:
    -Play in the dome.
    -Play at TCF stadium, it’s not used on Sundays.
    -Pay for their own damn stadium.
    -Move….if that helps them make more money.

  • ray

    this plan cuts out the idea of public input. they are trying to push though a plan that cost the working person more in tax so that big money willbe made even richer.I think that if the vikings want to leave let then,they don’t put any food on my table ,but they do take it off.let mark dayton pay the tab. the people need their say,this is america not russia.if the public has to pay then we must get our say, not buch of milllionares.

  • red

    The Vikes are pathetic and appear they will be for awhile so why in the heck would we want to spend our $ on a new stadium? The twins have been at least a bit more exciting in recent years and show some promise

    • Nancy

      Ummmm…did you watch them at all this season??

      And based on their farm system and current talent…it ain’t gonna get any better.

  • jan

    These comments show the truth–the majority of the people are strontly oppossed to public funding for a vikings stadium. There must be some reason the politicians are not listening. Could it be they smell money?

    • I'm Just Sayin'


      These comments show that the liberal readership of this web site want to give more money to people who do not work and do not produce, but not to an organization that pays millions in taxes. It also show that the people that read this web site are really bad a math. The dome paid for itself FIVE TIMES OVER, what will this new facility do for Arden Hills and the North Metro?

      • Guy

        I would suggest remedial reading. Your reading ability is subpar. The MAJORITY of comments on this site object to welfare – FOR ANYONE – poor or RICH.

        Its that simple.

      • Walter

        If the dome paid for itself “FIVE TIMES OVER” why don’t they use THAT money to build a stadium.

        Because it didn’t and you are a liar.

        • chad

          Exactly, Walter. Plus, they never rescinded the tax that was added 30 years ago to build that stadium either–we are still paying it! If these stadiums were such a sure-fire investment then private investors would be lined up to invest in them. They aren’t, so you can be certain they are not profitable.

      • Tom

        @ I’m just sayin’

        They do work and do produce something called “Sports Entertainment”!!

      • chad

        I am very conservative and I don’t want any tax revenue given to the Vikings so they can have a new stadium. Period.

      • jan

        Then why are cities cutting firemen and policemen and cutting library hours? Why are so many bridges falling apart? I thought our tax money went to those things and to help out people who are unable to work, not people who don’t want to work.

  • zippy w

    Someone should tell Zippy that moustaches went out of style 10-15 years ago.

  • Vince

    Some thoughts:

    A win/loss record has NOTHING to do with a new stadium. This season will be long gone by the time the stadium is built. Two years ago, we were one win from the Super Bowl. Two years from now we may be there again. The win/loss/”Vikings Suck” argument is unintelligent and does not hold water.

    Some argue that other teams “make due” with what they have. Even the Packers and Bears recognized that there was tradition associated with playing at Lambeau and Soldier Field, and spent millions to upgrade the stadiums. Minnesota does not have that tradition, but a new stadium can establish that.

    Finally, non-Vikings fans…we get it. You don’t want tax-payer money spent on something you don’t participate in. Noted, noted, and NOTED. The fact remains that the final plan has not been published or approved. There is only a preliminary plan. All Minnesotans, Vikings fans or not, need to wait until the final plan is laid out before throwing the flag.

    • Guy

      No; we SHOULDN’T “wait for the plan” … because the PLAN should be NO NEW STADIUM AT ALL.

      • Vince

        You’re right, Guy. I’m sure if you tell the owners and legislators to just stop the process right now, they’d listen.

    • Justin


      I really wish more people had the same opinion as you and me. This bothers me so much. All the people who scream and this page and post about not wanting to spend their tax money on a stadium need to wake up and smell the damn coffee. They act as though every tax dollar they’ve ever spent was for something they always approved of or didn’t mind paying money for. Ask the average tax payer out there, and they have no idea where a majority of all their tax money even goes. And seriously, we’re talking very miniscule numbers here when you think about how much a person would pay if the tax or whatever it be goes through. What, maybe $5 a person? Seriously, $5. I would be surprised if it even amounts to that.
      Absolutely ridiculous.
      And yes, the win/ loss record. Thank you for bringing that up. I remember 2 years ago there was a great deal of public support for a new stadium when they were winning, but the legislature was lacking and couldn’t realize that they would be in more of a pickle now so they shot all efforts down.

      UGH UGH AND UGH. Get it done. Shut the people up. If they cry about it, so what. They eat at McDonalds one less time each of the next few years.

  • Michele

    The Metrodome site makes the most sense, at the least cost, with the most existing infrastructure, and the least risk. The Vikings are a statewide asset and any public involvement should reflect that and strictly limit any future risk to the taxpayers.

  • Brandon

    Simple – no public money should be used for private enterprise. I don’t care who it is.

  • JJ

    The Vikings pay $20 million annually in State and local taxes. A report from Convention, Sports & Leisure said a new stadium and the retention of the Vikings will generate $26 million annually in tax revenue.

    What’s the fuzzy math again on a 40 year lease?

    Local restaurants, bar, hotels, real estate and future new investments in this state. What I am missing?

    • I have an answer to your question

      A brain.

  • Swamp Fox

    Why wasn’t this old/new venue proposal brought forth years ago? At this rate, by the time all the political wrangling and location BS gets gets straightened out the Vikings will be history and long gone to the sunny climes. When are Minnesotans and the nitwits they elect going to learn that constant political squabbling only makes matters worse and more costlier in the end?

    As a taxpayer, I would say ‘ouch’ to a tax increase for the Vikings new Arden Hills venue proposal. BUT< there is money &/or revenues to be made by the state and local area if folks see the light of the future. What happened to vision and faith for a better life or prosperity etcetera that a dynamic public works project, like the new stadium venue could bring to the state?

    Remember folks, that if we subsidize this project we own it; the Vikings are just one, the main tenant, for a whole development of things to come. In the end, if wiser heads prevail, the revenue streams to the state will far exceed the initial subsidies. In the end it's a win/win situation for al Minnesotans. We have to see the light of the future and progress.

    Build the new venue and people will come. Don't build it and see the economic or political turmoil the resulting whirlwinds of stupidity that will wreak havoc on us all! THINK about it!

  • brains

    build the stadium. you have to spend money to make money. oh my god, what about the taxes??? shut up morons

    • Swamp Fox

      AMEN!!! Somebody sees the light! I hope the naysayers hear you. There’s money to be made. Why can’t Minnesota get in on the action? If only Marty and Runbeck could see this light.

      • chad

        If there was “money to be made” this would’t even be an issue. Private investors would be lined up to buy shares. I believe you may be a shill for Ziggy?

    • Walter

      But it’s a net loss. The money extracted from other sectors of the economy causes those sectors to become depressed. You lose those jobs and those tax revenues.

      Only a politician would take your money and tell you that you’re benefiting from it.

      Only a fool believes them.

  • Guy

    @Vince (crummy website won’t take a response)

    I have … and MY rep has pledged that HE will not support ANY state money for a new stadium.

    Sounds like a lot of others are going to be following THAT “plan” as well.

    Bye bye Vikes – hope you like Cali

  • JD

    People are so worried about public money going into this stadium. When the Vikes leave and the state looses that $20 million/year in tax revenue, how do you suppose they are going to make up for that? Oh…

    • Walter

      I’ll repeat a previous post cause you obviously did not read it:

      It’s a net loss. The money extracted from other sectors of the economy causes those sectors to become depressed. You lose those jobs and those tax revenues.

      Only a politician would take your money and tell you that you’re benefiting from it.

      Only a fool believes them.

  • JJ

    When Vikes leave town, I will take my money and business and leave town also, and I wont be the only one….. Minnesota will become another South/North Dakota or a Iowa.

    • No taxes

      If I’m not mistaken North Dakota has the lowest unemployment in the country. I don’t think South Dakota or Iowa are doing that bad either. Not sure where you people get the idea that building a new stadium for billionaires is a good investment. How do you think they became so riich…..?

  • Clark

    The Vikings Owner should fund any investment/expense with his own funds or borrow funds or raise needed funds thru shares of stock sale. If it does not make good business sense to do any of these funding options then it does not make good business sense period to invest in a new stadium.

    • chad

      This is how its done…… Why dont people understand that an NFL team is an asset. The owners are offering up the 3rd largest contribution for a stadium in the history of the NFL…..

      • Some asset

        Oh big whoop. So maybe it starts with the public paying the owner for the privilege of building him a new stadium. Next the public just pays for a stadium – 100% of it. Next, the public pays 90% and so on. Now we have Wilf, who’ so generously willing to allow the public to pay about 75% of it and you want to call him a saint?

        I don’t think so. This is a wonderful deal for Zygi and a terrible deal for MN.

        • Justin

          Are you a fool? How can you say “big whoop”?

          If Zygi was offering 100M then okay. But no. He’s offering to pay more than $400M. THIRD largest contribution ever means something. I wish I could get something through your head but apparently there’s no brain in there to realize anything.

          Who pays for your local brand new city hall building? why don’t you find out and then get back to me. realize where your money is being spent even though you may not like it.

          • Let's vote on who's the fool

            Look in the mirror – it will tell you who the fool is.

            Zygi will probably pay only about $250 million – remember, the NFL “might” pay $150 million WHICH COMES OFF ZYGI”S PORTION, NOT THE TAXPAYERS’ PORTION.

            The taxpayers will get stuck for at least $650 million in total – it doesn’t matter that $350 million comes from the local community and $300 million comes from the general fund – it’s still from the taxpayers of MN.

            Those FACTS alone take Zygi out of the “third largest” category and, what difference does it make anyway? Stupid is stupid. Being stupid enough to give a billionaire money for his personal enrichment is stupid regardless of how it compares to what other communities elect to pay their billionaires.

            Now who’s the fool? Still can’t decide? Fine, then let the voting public decide – yes, build it, or no, don’t build it.

  • stupid

    Yeah follow around the vikings. Pick up your life and move because of a sports team. You must have alot of friends. Just saying…

  • Minnesotan

    Buh-bye, Vikings. Don’t let the deflated dome roof hit you on your backside as you move out of the state.

    • Justin

      you’re so funny. never heard that one before.

  • IT

    The win/loss argument also does apply here. If your team is good you bring in fans, you bring in ticket sales, you bring in business to local businesses, you bring in money. When your team is not good you are not generating revenue as you are not bringing in the people. If a stadium is ever built the only thing the vikings will bring Arden Hills is bad news…it will just turn into another ghetto suburb and ruin one of the very few decent suburbs left north of the twin cities.



  • JJ


    Its the micro economics that people dont understand, the small mom and pop stores, bars and services in the downtown will leave town. On 40yr lease at taxing 26 million a year brings in how much? my fuzzy math says over a billion….what a bunch of idiots….I must be talking to the same idiots who are protesting wallstreet..

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