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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

What's The GOAAAAALLLLLL?

Category: Vikings Stadium
Posted: 03/25/15 19:57

by Dave Mindeman

Minnesota is going to have an MLS Soccer franchise. That's great. But look out people, we are about to get hit with another public subsidy stadium.

Major League Soccer has committed to Minnesota, awarding an expansion franchise to start playing in 2018 with the expectation an outdoor stadium will be built before then.

What is particularly galling about this one is that the franchise owner is Bill McGuire, the former CEO of United Health. Here is an interesting tidbit about Mr. McGuire....

William McGuire, who served as UnitedHealth's CEO from 1991 to 2006, collected $286 million when he retired.

Ironically, the suggested cost of a new soccer stadium would be between $100 and $200 million. So would it be possible for Bill McGuire to finance and own his own stadium? Why, yes, I think he very well could.

Will he actually do that?

Ahhh, I would say that the public trough will attempt to be tapped.

The political climate for stadium financing is pretty well dried up...but we have heard that before. And we have Target Field, the Vikings stadium, and even the St. Paul Saints getting aid from Minnesota citizens.

The precedent is too tempting to not make the attempt. And why put your own money into stadium building when you can use your big bucks to lobby the legislature into doing it for you?

I'm not much of a soccer fan, but it is a growing sport. Watch this space.

comments (2) permalink

Hey, NFL. Take Your Super Bowl Somewhere Else

Category: Vikings Stadium
Posted: 02/20/14 13:11

by Dave Mindeman

Does the NFL have no limits?

The head of the public stadium authority said Wednesday that she will be looking for a commitment from Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders in coming weeks that the state will adopt certain tax exemptions as part of Minnesota's bid to win the 2018 Super Bowl at the facility.

Seriously? The NFL needs tax waivers? Billions and billions of dollars in this industry and they think they need tax exemptions to bring a Super Bowl here?

Enough already. Somewhere the NFL has to be told no. This Metro area doesn't need a Super Bowl to that degree. Overall, it will cost us more money than it will bring. And who wants the traffic issues that will be inevitable for a venue in the middle of downtown.

I realize that any protest is spitting into the wind....

Kelm-Helgen said a law passed for the 1992 Super Bowl in Minneapolis exempted game tickets from tax, and that law remains on the books.

So all they really need is an affirmation of what is already there...and I suspect they will get that - doesn't even require a vote on the record. So the NFL will win another one.

Right now, I hope we don't spend one more dime or make one more attempt to "persuade" the NFL to grace us with their presence.

A Super Bowl that only the 1% can afford to attend shouldn't be a Minnesota priority.

Screw it.
comments (1) permalink

Viking Stadium Financing Gets More Dubious By the Day

Category: Vikings Stadium
Posted: 02/08/13 18:30

by Dave Mindeman

Revenues from pull tabs for the Vikings Stadium continue to disappoint. But with each inquiry about the problem, we get the same answer - Don't panic.

There is always one more word as well - yet. Don't panic yet. Which seems to indicate that some panic is in the offing down the road.

Former Rep. Morrie Lanning, who was the architect of the stadium bill....and who incidently retired from the legislature after the session, is among the "don't panic" crowd.

But he offers little reassurance as to when improvement may happen outside of the murky "be patient"....and this:

I am still reasonably confident that we?re going to be able to generate the revenues that we need. And remember we?ve got back-up revenue sources, too. If we have to, those will have to kick into effect.

When asked about the fact that the "back-up resources" are not capable of more than a few million per year, Lanning confessed:

I had wanted additional back-up. In fact, if you go back and look at some of the earlier versions [of the bill] we had other back-up revenues that we thought would have been good to keep in there. Unfortunately, with all of the trade-offs you had to go through along the way, with getting the bill passed, we lost some of those, and it?s unfortunate.

This is very dubious financing. Everything is watered down with few guarantees about its viability.

The urgency of pleasing the Zygi outweighed prudent fiscal policy on this project.

"Let's be patient" is not an encouraging answer.
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