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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

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.
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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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Vikings Stadium Bonding - No Need To Panic? -- Yet.

Category: Vikings Stadium
Posted: 12/05/12 19:43

by Dave Mindeman

About a year ago, I posed this problem when we were discussing the Vikings Stadium....

Back to gambling. Although electronic pull tabs seems to have the least objections, I'm not convinced that it can bring in enough revenue to fulfill state obligations.

Back in February, Dayton said this in an interview with MPR regarding the stadium bonding via pull tabs:

Wurzer: I have to ask you about the Vikings stadium. We have a report this morning from [MPR reporter] Tim Nelson that basically says counting on gambling revenues can be kind of risky and sometimes the revenues raised don't meet projections. What happens if, say, electronic pull tabs, which you support to raise the state's share of a new Vikings stadium, don't bring in enough money?

Dayton: Well, we're going to have to commit revenues from whatever sources that are greater than the actual amount to pay off the bonds. If there's, say, $300 [million] to $400 million of bonds issued, that would take about $40 million a year in proceeds to pay it off ... So the people who are going to buy the bonds are going to require that the revenue stream be more than $40 million, as much as $60 [million], maybe even as much as $70 million.

So we'll have to allow for a shortfall as part of the equation, and we're prepared to do that. It may require another source in addition to expanding electronic pull tabs, because as you say, no one knows for sure until it starts exactly what revenues it will bring in. But we'll have to cover it in order to proceed with the bond sale.

Wurzer: Any idea of where another pot of money could come from?

Dayton: There are various possibilities being talked about, but I don't have anything in mind right now.

That was then -- this is now--

Minnesota's new electronic pull tabs aren't generating as much revenue for the Minnesota Vikings stadium as originally projected, leading Minnesota Management & Budget to reduce its future projections as part of its latest budget forecast on Wednesday.

They tell us there is no need to panic....

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said there's no need to panic, noting that these are projections for reserve funds above and beyond the amount needed to cover the bonds for the state's $350 million share of the nearly $1 billion stadium.

Panic? Who's panicking? We'll just take everyone's word for it. I mean everything has gone according to plan so far, right?

Well, uh, no. But we won't panic.....yet.
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