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Vikings stadium foes may have found a key loophole

Vikings Stadium Football AP

With the Minnesota Legislature only one week away from ending its 2011 session and with the current proposal hinging on a local contribution to the project raised without a public vote that surely would fail, opponents of the stadium believe they’ve found a way to avoid the effort to avoid a vote.

Heron Marquez Estrada of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that a new group of stadium foes, NoVikingsTax.com, believes that the “charter” nature of Minneapolis and Ramsey County permits a referendum on any local efforts to raise money via raise taxes to be placed onto a public ballot, if at least 10 percent of all registered voters sign a petition to that effect.

“We could usurp their usurpation,” said Chris David, head of the group.

It’s the kind of issue that seems destined for litigation, which could serve only to slow the project down even more.

Either way, the folks in Minnesota need to make a decision, and they need to make it soon.  If they want to keep the Vikings, they need to find a way to build a stadium with a fair and appropriate public contribution to a venue that will benefit the public in various ways, including hosting a Super Bowl and other projects that will generate tax revenue and business activity.  If they don’t want to keep the Vikings, then they need to do the same thing they’ve done for the last decade or longer — nothing.

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49 Responses to “Vikings stadium foes may have found a key loophole”
  1. ajtexans says: May 16, 2011 8:39 PM

    If Cleveland and Houston had this much time to get their sh!t together, there would be no Baltimore Ravens or Tennessee Titans. Good Gawd — figure it out already. Build a freaking stadium or let them go to LA.

  2. crabboil says: May 16, 2011 8:46 PM

    LOL!

    Skool Vikings!

  3. dragonfly99 says: May 16, 2011 8:48 PM

    I think the voters of Minnesota would favor a building a new stadium, we just want that cheap bastard Zygi to pay his fair share since he is the one who would profit the most from such a venue. He blew over 16 million last year on a 41 year old washed up QB, but he will not offer to lessen the burden on the average Minnesota tax payer. Keep the Vikings in Minnesota but send that cheap bastard back to New Jersey.

  4. purp4lyfe says: May 16, 2011 8:52 PM

    If one of these jagoffs asks me to sign that…..I am going to punch them in the face!!….The Vikes need a new home badly and if we want them to stay here we need to work with them. We will wish we had given them a stadium when they leave and win multiple Championships like the Lakers and the Stars!! Get it done!!

  5. guada1265 says: May 16, 2011 8:53 PM

    Typical. Viking fan is a front runner who can’t see the forest through the trees. As a Packer fan, I’d hate to see our hated foe leave (we love to hate the Vikings) BUT if they haven’t figured this thing out yet, they don’t deserve a team. That said, does L.A. deserve a team considering their past history of teams leaving?

  6. WingT says: May 16, 2011 8:57 PM

    It seems obvious to me that the vast majority of folks in Minnesota don’t want to fund a stadium for use by the Vikings. It’s also obvious that the Viking ownership is not willing to fund it either.

    Get the Vans loaded up and look for a “sucker” city / state to build you a stadium.

    What a bunch of idiots, lol

  7. skoobyfl says: May 16, 2011 8:57 PM

    These fans are going to out-think themselves & watch the team drive away.

  8. lennydpocketqb says: May 16, 2011 9:01 PM

    Los Angeles Vikings. Looks odd. I can get used to that.

  9. fground says: May 16, 2011 9:05 PM

    I can’t believe anyone supports building stadiums for sports teams. Whether you are on the right or left of the political spectrum you simply can not support such nonsense.

    I’m a Viking fan and I’ll pay to watch them on Direct TV, I’ll buy their merchandise but I wouldn’t give one damn cent to fund a stadium for them to play in.

  10. nflfan101 says: May 16, 2011 9:07 PM

    The Vikings need to sell PSLs, own the stadium, and keep all of income from the stadium. Taxpayers do not need to pay for it.

  11. possiblecabbage says: May 16, 2011 9:11 PM

    I can’t help but wonder if the NFL would like to get out of Minnesota if for no other reason than it will prevent the NFLPA (or NFLPA*) from filing cases for Doty or Nelson in the future.

  12. clint7lipke says: May 16, 2011 9:12 PM

    Chris David is a douche and can go F himself! Anyone who calls Wilf “cheap” is also a douche and can go F themselves, AND has NO clue what they are talking about!! Hopefully the Vikings and Minnesota can get this done….now!

  13. rcali says: May 16, 2011 9:18 PM

    No win situatin for Minny. Build a stadium, get crazy game day expenses, plus PSL’s, plus the crazy rich owner get’s the biggest personal box on the 50 yard line the league has ever seen. Don’t build a stadium, wait a few years for the Bills to relocate.

  14. isu1648 says: May 16, 2011 9:19 PM

    Mike, Please dont give these nutjobs and their amateur website any publicity. their information is extremely offbase, and is very detrimental to the good of the league. People act as if they are paying taxes for no benefit. How about keeping an NFL franchise? How about having an NFL stadium in your county, raising your property value significantly? Besides, the majority of the funds are going to be USER-GENERATED. Same way that smokers pay smoking tax, its fair, so don’t try to say it’s not.

    It’s like you’re leaving the car dealership after buying a car and you turn to the dealer and say “wait a second, this is extremely unfair, why should i be giving you money right now. this isn’t fair!!” And then he turns to you and says “excuse me sir, you get to have this nice car which will provide you with transportation wherever you need to go, including your job which will help you provide a living.”

    these people need to GET A CLUE and realize that having the Vikings in Minnesota is an enormous benefit that will detract greatly from the state should they leave. they’ll be happy to pay the tax 10 years form now when our state is no where near as successful and their property value is in the toilet, and tourism to this state is non-existent. because we’re the one idiot state in our nation who lets an NFL franchise walk away for no reason. Lets stp ignoring the fact that the Vikings are one of the most important assets this state has.

  15. jimmysee says: May 16, 2011 9:20 PM

    Any tax aimed at paying for this stadium HAS to be applied across the state.

    That’s the only way it can be small enough to not be burdensome.

    Add 2% to the state sales tax until the revenue bonds are retired.

    If the Vikings win a SuperBowl declare a sales tax holiday for the extra 2% for a year.

  16. cuzidid42 says: May 16, 2011 9:21 PM

    I like these people that call the Wilf’s cheap. I recently read an article that put the Vikings total value at just over $630,000.00. That puts them at 23 out of the 32 teams in the NFL.

    A move to L.A. would put the value of the team at just under 1.1 billion dollars and in the top 10 of NFL teams. Thats almost double the value.

    So the Wilf’s, by staying in Minnesota, actually lose money. This shows me that they are sincere about attempting to keep the team in Minnesota.

  17. cuzidid42 says: May 16, 2011 9:28 PM

    Correction, team value is at 835.000.000 and thier 31st out of 32 teams (according to Forbes.com)

  18. TxGrown says: May 16, 2011 9:35 PM

    San Antonio!

  19. dockery23 says: May 16, 2011 9:52 PM

    Vikings are not leaving MN. I love everyone just poking anything negative about the situation they can possibly think of. Hate on fellas

  20. dietrich43 says: May 16, 2011 9:53 PM

    I hear it’s nice in LA this time of year.

  21. 4sacroc says: May 16, 2011 9:59 PM

    The London Vikings.

  22. cosanostra71 says: May 16, 2011 10:07 PM

    hopefully this time next week LA will have a team!!

  23. igglesfan9 says: May 16, 2011 10:12 PM

    Mike,

    Can you stop being such a shill for the league? The only way the Minnesota public will “benefit” from a new stadium is whether hosting the Super Bowl (wow, 1 Super Bowl!) and other “business activity” generate tax revenue in excess of their contribution to the building of the stadium. Given the wealth of research that indicates such returns are less than the public’s investment, taxpayers are smart to be skeptical.

  24. norsedrew says: May 16, 2011 10:14 PM

    Los Angeles Lakers (most don’t know why they are even called the Lakers)

    Dallas Stars (most don’t know the origin of their name either)

    Los Angeles Vikings (25 years from now a whole new generation of fans won’t have any more idea of how they got their name either)

    Yes, Wilf is going to get much richer if the tax payers pay for part of his new home.

    But…

    The taxpayers will get crazy with money in five or so years after the Vikings leave as the state tries to woo a new team or qualify for an expansion team.

    The state will surely pay more trying to get a new team than they will trying to keep the one they already have.

    Just get it done already.

  25. WingT says: May 16, 2011 10:16 PM

    You know it’s kind of sad. The Vikings will leave and go to a city / state that probably will not appreciate them the way MN does and they will more than likely win a Super Bowl shortly there after. Karma, lol

  26. commoncents says: May 16, 2011 10:37 PM

    Did De-Mo Smith have to help you with that bold proclimation De-Flor-Mo?? It sounded like it came from someone with a cool hat…

  27. superboys5x says: May 16, 2011 10:39 PM

    I live in a twin cities suburb and most normal people want a stadium. I dislike the Vikings and always have but I am in favor of the new stadium, the MetroDome is a pile, commonly known as the Big Inflatable Toilet around here. I have been to Green Bay it is such a great experience there and could be similar here with the right stadium. You cannot even tailgate at Vikes games! Those opposing the stadium around here are mostly tree hugging liberals and are more interested in artistic attractions, but appear to ignore the positive economic impact a new stadium could create. The Twins new Target Field is a huge attraction and fans here are much more passionate about the Vikings! Here is a solution, sell off sale booze on Sundays and charge a stadium tax only on booze sold on that day! (FYI, there is currently no off sale booze sales aloud on sundays in Minnesota)

  28. ezwriter69 says: May 16, 2011 10:50 PM

    Our freeways are literally falling down killing people, our teachers are being laid off, our state and city police force funding is reduced by nearly a third, but by bleep we can afford to build a stadium for the richest man in the state. Vikings aren’t going anywhere.
    And by the way, you Packer fans, what do you think YOUR new governor would say about spending a cent of public money on your team’s stadium if the circumstances were different?

  29. tialen says: May 16, 2011 11:12 PM

    Hey, I thought these NFL teams were just normal businesses.. what is this talk about the public shelling out for their office space?

    oh that’s right, this lockout is about them taking a much much larger piece of that 11 (soon to be 15) billion dollar per year pie, yet still stick it to the localities in which they play.

    screw the NFL, i’m sick of this lockout BS

  30. freedomispopular says: May 16, 2011 11:16 PM

    Is there any actual empirical evidence that having an NFL team in your state actually offsets the higher taxes used to build a stadium or is it all just made up?

  31. isu1648 says: May 16, 2011 11:41 PM

    Teachers being laid off had NOTHING to do with a stadium that is paid for by user generated taxes. 0.0%. ZERO. NOTHING. NADA.

    The stadium, and all other issues are separate.

    The school funding, roads, state budget, and whatever else you want to add to the list…that argument is the most closed minded and ignorant argument to the stadium, and is a VERY easy way of showing that you have no information or research behind your opinion. and its people like you who are going to lose a great asset to a great state, quickly putting us on a path to inferiority in this country.
    —————————————————-
    ezwriter69 says:
    May 16, 2011 10:50 PM
    Our freeways are literally falling down killing people, our teachers are being laid off, our state and city police force funding is reduced by nearly a third, but by bleep we can afford to build a stadium for the richest man in the state. Vikings aren’t going anywhere.
    And by the way, you Packer fans, what do you think YOUR new governor would say about spending a cent of public money on your team’s stadium if the circumstances were different?

  32. santolonius says: May 16, 2011 11:43 PM

    america’s prevailing tea party winds and their “all taxes are evil” philosophy may blow the vikings right out of the state of minnesota. so what happens a couple of years from now when the political passions settle and you up yonder realize you have no team anymore?
    fact: taxes are the method by which the public pays for things it wants.
    fact: if you side with the owners in the lockout you must surely respect the wilfs’ right to make a decision on where to locate that is best for business.
    fact: whether minnesotans feel the wilfs are cheap or not is beside the point, the people there still have to beat or at least come close to the offer from LA or they risk coming out on the losing end of a business decision.
    these are true statements. now press your thumbs down buttons.

  33. smoothjimmyapollo says: May 16, 2011 11:44 PM

    “And by the way, you Packer fans, what do you think YOUR new governor would say about spending a cent of public money on your team’s stadium if the circumstances were different?”

    He’d probably just take it out of teacher’s paychecks because our governor sucks. Don’t assume just because he won an election (thanks to the lackluster Democratic candidates), that everyone in WI supports him. A lot of people (Democrats and Republicans) think he’s a tool.

    We’re lucky the Lambeau and Miller Park situations were taken care of during better economic times, but the Lambeau tax was approved by Brown County voters. It’s not unrealistic for Milwaukee to lose the Bucks. I don’t care, and judging by attendance numbers, I’m not alone, but without a new arena, they’re gone in a few years.

  34. rajbais says: May 16, 2011 11:50 PM

    The stadium opponents are jerks because many of them or their friends remodel their homes and can afford to go to Vikings’ games!!!!

    They let their schools be rebuilt and they let TWO (yes, TWO) arenas for basketball and hockey be built and owned by the public; the Target Center (open since 1990) and Xcel Energy Center (open since 2000)!!!!!!!!!!

    If they felt that 10 year old arenas were obsolete, then the Vikings deserve a new stadium!!! They got screwed over in the Anoka County deal!!! If the Vikings move, I’ll be happy when those stadium opponents cry because the Vikes deserve a place where the fans will do anything for their benefit!!!!!

  35. rajbais says: May 16, 2011 11:53 PM

    Stadiums bring teams revenue and make a refreshing atmosphere for coaches, players, and team office workers!!!!!

    We have our buildings and homes be reconstructed and that’s only done because the previous versions were ugly!!! The Metrodome can’t function anymore and these fans need to realize that football franchise employees are people too!!!!!!

  36. whoknowsnothing says: May 16, 2011 11:55 PM

    Whenever a stadium gets built or there’s negotiations on building one for any professional sports team. There should be one stipulation on it being built and thats ALL GAMES WILL BE PLAYED WITH PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS EVERY SEASON. Thus preventing any lockout from ever happening, that way things can get resolved much faster.

    The city pays for a portion of the stadium and they expect it to be used for that purpose.

    Come 9/11/2011 there could be 31 cities who paid for a stadium for the purpose of football that won’t get what their money paid for.

  37. mushroomcloudmofo says: May 17, 2011 12:57 AM

    “He’d probably just take it out of teacher’s paychecks because our governor sucks. ”

    +1 interwebs for such a brilliant response. The only people I know who support Walker are hard core Tea Partiers, or people who just like to agitate liberals.

    I think the Bucks are in real trouble. The fact that Kohl isn’t running in 2012 means he’ll have no real repercussions if they relocate or get contracted. The fact that the Bradley Center is over 20 years old, and the Bucks can’t put a professional basketball team on the court doesn’t help their cause either.

    Also, as you said, our governor had zero influence on the Lambeau renovations, as they were passed via referendum (and rather overwhelmingly so, if I remember correctly).

    That said, it would be a travesty to see the Vikings move. The banter (when taken in context – there are a few people who carry it over the line) between the two fan bases is quite a bit of fun, and outside of the occasional drubbing (cough31-3cough) the games are intense and highly competitive. I hate them, but I’d hate it more to see them go.

  38. wills1235 says: May 17, 2011 2:41 AM

    I’m an admitted Vikings homer and native Minnesotan (insult coming). Dumbass voters must realize that their tax dollars subsidize thousands of companies in the state, companies that bring jobs and money into their economy. The question is, why not choose to receive the fringe benefits of being able to be a Vikings fan? Perhaps Vikings fans would rather watch Ameriprise Financial or Target Corp employees do their jobs…. (I guess it would beat watching a Wal-Mart employee drool).

  39. wills1235 says: May 17, 2011 3:41 AM

    I suggest Minnesota taxpayers first consider the benefits of having Fortune 100 companies set up shop, and then look at a list of cities that don’t have NFL teams but still have Fortune 100 companies. Nebraska seems to be the best example of a prosperous state without an NFL team. I like corn as much as the next guy, but I don’t wanna be Nebraska……

  40. bigbluefan1 says: May 17, 2011 8:03 AM

    I do not understand this
    The new Meadowlands was built with out any cash from the tax payers
    Yes the State gave them the land and I am sure some good tax deal but the land was already used for Giant Stadium so if the Jets and the Giants could build in the NY NJ area with the highest union wages in the world I do not see how the Vikings where labor is cheap can not build with there own money.

    As for there owner google him and see the law suits that he is involved in here in his home state.
    Can not build a staidum but built a hanger for his plane

  41. truvikingfan says: May 17, 2011 8:03 AM

    It’s only 50 cents to every 100 dollars. 50 CENTS!! Two lousy quarters. If this doesn’t go thru, we will lose the Vikes. You wanna lose the Vikes over basically 50 cents?

  42. 6yardslant says: May 17, 2011 8:21 AM

    Many in Minnesota don’t want to pay for a stadium, these are the same idiots that complain about not having a Superbowl in Minnesota, complain about the condition of the Metrodome and want the Vikings to sign every player that becomes a free agent.

    This place is for more than just the Vikes, the Vikes are kicking in more than their fair share. Build the damn place.

  43. theytukrjobs says: May 17, 2011 8:24 AM

    It amazes me that people would consider going around and gathering signatures to save the equivalent of 1 or 2 dollars a year in taxes when we give tens to hundreds of times that amount to other BS companies and have the highest welfare contribution in the country.

    If someone puts that sheet near me I’ll grab it and run off with it, lol.

    In all seriousness, it is much easier to get 0.01% of the population to vote against a stadium in an optional online poll that only people strong for or against will vote in than to get 10% of all registered voters in the state.

  44. east96st says: May 17, 2011 8:26 AM

    rajbais says: “They let their schools be rebuilt…”

    The people of Minnesota allowed their schools to be rebuilt?? Those sick b**tards!!! Screw kids, we need football stadiums!!!

  45. east96st says: May 17, 2011 8:29 AM

    rajbais says: “We have our buildings and homes be reconstructed and that’s only done because the previous versions were ugly!!!”

    Actually, people have their homes remodeled for a wide variety of reasons. The point you’re missing, is if I chose to remodel my house, I have to pay for it by myself. If there is tax payer assisted remodeling of home in Minnesota, please let us know where we can apply for that perk.

  46. chillyphins says: May 17, 2011 9:32 AM

    I am all for offering my assistance. Where do I sign up to help the Vikings make the long trek cross country!

    I will happily sign a petition to get them out of Minnesota just so I dont have to listen to Vikings fans talk about their team winnin a super bowl that will never come!

  47. jimmysee says: May 17, 2011 9:44 AM

    superboys5x says:
    May 16, 2011 10:39 PM

    I live in a twin cities suburb and most normal people want a stadium. … Those opposing the stadium around here are mostly tree hugging liberals …

    ————————————————————–

    That may be the dumbest thing anyone has said around here on this topic.

    Are you talking about those same “tree hugging liberals” who are always accused of “tax and spend? ”

    Opposition comes from the tea party wingnuts who don’t want any taxes for anything ever, period. Thank your own Michelle Bachman who takes pride to be a leader of the movement, and who doesn’t know the American Revolution began in Massachusetts.

    But given their wacked priorities, I am sure those “tree hugging liberals” would rather spend tax money on stuff like health care and schools than stadiums.

  48. spikeit2times says: May 17, 2011 9:44 AM

    east96st says:

    “rajbais says: “We have our buildings and homes be reconstructed and that’s only done because the previous versions were ugly!!!”

    Actually, people have their homes remodeled for a wide variety of reasons. The point you’re missing, is if I chose to remodel my house, I have to pay for it by myself. If there is tax payer assisted remodeling of home in Minnesota, please let us know where we can apply for that perk.”

    ACTUALLY – When you remodel, or repair, you home; you get to claim many of those expenses come tax return season and you DO get a tax break to help pay for them.

  49. east96st says: May 17, 2011 1:03 PM

    “ACTUALLY – When you remodel, or repair, you home; you get to claim many of those expenses come tax return season and you DO get a tax break to help pay for them.”

    Actually, only if use your home equity loan money which a huge percentage of Americans lost do to the collapse of the housing market.

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