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Good Question: How Much Will Minn. Lose If Vikings Leave?

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If the Minnesota Vikings left Minnesota, there would be a loss to the economy both directly and indirectly. But how severe that loss is depends on your perspective.

So, how much do Vikings players pay in income taxes?

According to the team, Vikings players paid $10 million in state withholding taxes in 2010. Staff and coaches paid $1.5 million. Also, visiting NFL players pay a percentage of their salary in income tax to Minnesota, in 2010 that came to about $1 million.

How much does the state make in game day taxes?

In 2010, tickets led to $3 million in sales taxes. Tickets also provided $4.4 million in an admissions tax that goes to the sports commission.

Also, the sales and use tax on merchandise sales in the stadium was $100,000. Concession sales led to $400,000 in tax receipts. Liquor led to $300,000 in 2010, along with city of Minneapolis liquor taxes of $200,000.

The total in direct contributions from the Vikings games to Minnesota is about $21.5 million.

If the state paid $650 million for a new stadium in Arden Hills, it would take 31 years to recoup that money, at a rate of $21.5 million per year.

• What kind of impact does each game have on other businesses?

The University of Minnesota extension service did an analysis of the impact of a 2010 Vikings playoff game, and put that amount at about $5.8 million.

They only include the 25,000 out-of-metro visitors to the games, because economists believe that local residents would simply shift their spending to other activities rather than stop the spending entirely if the Vikings left.

In that playoff game, visitors spent $1.5 million on restaurants, $1.4 million on hotels, $1.2 million on retail, along with $720,000 on entertainment, $657,000 on transportation, and $211,000 on parking.

For a regular season game, the impact would likely be less than the money spent on one playoff game, according to researchers.

Still, $50 million would be a sizable impact for 10 dates.

To compare that to other local events: Meet Minneapolis said the 2011 American Legion convention brought 12,000 people to town, with an economic impact $13.572 million.

In economic impact, Minnesota would need four of those major conventions to equal an entire season of Vikings games.

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