MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It may not feel like it, but Thursday is the home opener for the Minnesota Twins.

The team begins their ninth season at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis — a major league baseball park regarded as one the best in America.

Completed in 2010, it’s part of a remarkable 20-year Twin Cities stadium building boom for every major professional sport, and a Big Ten football team at the University of Minnesota, as well.

Beginning in 1998, Minnesota built or substantially renovated seven major sports facilities.

  • Xcel Energy Center. ($171 million)
  • Target Field. ($522 million)
  • CHS Field for the Saints. ($63 million)
  • TCF Bank Stadium for the Gophers. ($287 million)
  • U.S. Bank Stadium for the Vikings. ($1.1 billion)
  • Target Center remodeled for the Timberwolves and Lynx. ($197 million)
  • Allianz Arena for Minnesota United. ($200 million)

You might call it a Golden Age for stadium construction. So who’s the Golden Goose? Minnesota taxpayers.

Adjusted for inflation, all of these stadiums together cost $2.5 billion, and Minnesota taxpayers shelled out 56 percent of it: $1.4 billion.

It’s similar to stadium spending in other major metropolitan areas. The Brookings Institute reports 45 U.S. sports stadiums were built or significantly renovated between 2000 and 2014, spending $28 billion — and the public paid $13 billion of it.

Back in Minnesota, there’s one big exception. The new St. Paul home for Minnesota United soccer opens next year. Allianz Arena got no direct public funding, but the city provided $18 million worth of roads and water lines.

The owners are paying the $200 million stadium cost themselves.

———————-

Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check:

Bleacher Report: Best Sports Towns

USA Today: Best Baseball Stadiums

NBC Sports

Brookings Institution: Use of Municipal Bonds for Stadium Construction

Star Tribune: Target Center Renovation

Minnesota Legislature: Financing Professional Sports Facilities

Minnesota Stadium and Arena History

Minnesota House Research Guide to Stadiums: Baseball and Football

St. Louis Fed: Economics of Subsidizing Sports Stadiums

Target Center Renovation

Minnesota United Funding

Reuters: The Cost of Building US Bank Stadium Compared to Others

Pat Kessler

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