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Minneapolis pledges $300 million toward new stadium

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It may be too late.  But it’s not too little.

Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak said Tuesday the city would contribute $300 million toward a new stadium for the Vikings, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“We are prepared, with existing revenue streams, to put $300 million on the table,” Rybak said after meeting with the Vikings and Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday.  “We do have the plan that will create all of the revenue options that are necessary for the Vikings.”
Rybak’s plan also includes using local properties, such as the Minneapolis Armory, as “event space” on game days.  This would counter the reality that the team’s preferred location in Arden Hills, Ramsey County would allow for traditional tailgating.
As a result, the folks in Ramsey County feel like they got the runaround during a Tuesday hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.
Minneapolis went in with their dog-and-pony show, and everybody bent over backwards and told them how sweet they were,” Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  “[Ramsey County finance director] Lee Mehrkens got up there, and he got interrupted four times during his speech. . . .  Maybe I’m just a fatalist sometimes, but it looked like a dog-and-pony show to me.  It was like watching an episode of ‘We’ve already made up our minds and here’s what’s going to happen. ‘ Nobody asked any questions.  He wasn’t given enough time to answer questions.”
There’s still much that needs to be done, including a $300 million contribution from the state government, to go along with the local contribution of $300 million.  (The Vikings and the NFL will contribute $425 million, but the Vikings prefer the Arden Hills location.)  In an appearance on Tuesday’s PFT Live, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen says he hopes that situation gets resolved, but his gut feeling is that it won’t.
If his gut his right, the rest of his body could be finishing his NFL career in Los Angeles.
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41 Responses to “Minneapolis pledges $300 million toward new stadium”
  1. tombradysponytail says: Dec 6, 2011 7:37 PM

    The Armory for tailgating? Really? So, you tailgate then get on a bus to go to the stadium? I don’t think that’s what most people had in mind. Leave it to Mpls to eff this up.

  2. nnagi says: Dec 6, 2011 7:44 PM

    This stadium will cost in excess of $1B and will be used exclusively by the Vikings and yet they’re only going to contribute $425M…get of your wallet zygi wilf

  3. adamkronfeld says: Dec 6, 2011 7:51 PM

    Yeah, it’s probably better that they use hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize private businesses posting record profits and which pay billionaires and millionaires rather than spending that money on projects that benefit the public, like fixing crumbling, publicly-utilized infrastructure, or extending unemployment benefits.

    Taxpayers shouldn’t be buying the NFL’s stadiums, unless the taxpayers are being guaranteed a cut of the profits, rather than nebulous promises of “increased tax revenue” or “increased employment.”

  4. jjpmn says: Dec 6, 2011 7:53 PM

    I’m so tired of the games that Minneapolis is playing. Arden Hills stepped up and did business, while Minneapolis sat back and did nothing. Now that it’s beyond crunch time, suddenly Minneapolis is interested?

    Where was this interest in the past? Why is the state so consumed with keeping the team there? Would it be such a bad thing if the Vikings stadium helped put Arden Hills on the map?

    I’m so tired of political games. And that’s all it is to most of them is just a big power game. This is almost as embarrassing as the longtime stadium opponents coming up with their big plan to sell the MetroDump to the team for $1. Don’t pretend like you have a viable plan when anyone who follows this knows that you have gone above and beyond to block stadium projects.

    As a Minnesota voter, I will definitely remember who helped the cause and who played political games when election day arrives.

  5. gb4mn0 says: Dec 6, 2011 8:07 PM

    The Wilf regime will play this as close to the vest so they don’t piss off the lavender rubes until the bitter end but it appears this is not going to end the way all you Ziggy fawners thought it would. He’s a business man first and if your feelings get hurt, oh well. You can still be your intellectually dishonest cry baby selves and blame it on the Tea Partiers rather than admit that Ziggy did y’all wrong.

  6. thridandlong says: Dec 6, 2011 8:13 PM

    Imagine how many teachers, policeman, fireman, civil servants $ 300 million could employee ?

    Yet these billionaires would rather the working man toil and work their fingers to the bone so billionaires can bathe in the almighty $.

  7. gdeli says: Dec 6, 2011 8:14 PM

    Tear down the dome and rebuild around it.

  8. rww2442 says: Dec 6, 2011 8:21 PM

    I know Minnesota has a state tax, so what do they rake in from the Vikings payroll each year? This is the same scenario that played out when the Patriots wanted a new house. I think Mr. Kraft pointed out to them what they stood to lose every year when they didn’t want to pony up. If Minnesota did not have a state tax I would feel different about the situation, but since they have a financial benefit taxing the player salaries, ( and if we total all of the revenue they have reaped over the years what does that add up to?) what are they really losing, if anything? Just build the damn thing already. Besides, the dollar will be as good as toilet paper in less than 5 years so they should use it why people will still accept it as a medium of exchange.

  9. canadianvikingfaniii says: Dec 6, 2011 8:29 PM

    Minnesota will be lucky to even have the Vikings at all after this stupid 10+ year debacle. I hope the state keeps its team, get something done one way or the other. Even if it isn’t in the county that is preferred. Keep them in Minnesota.

  10. adantsa says: Dec 6, 2011 8:29 PM

    Ziggy has been a great owner to this point and people need to lighten up. Of course the Wilfs will benefit from a new stadium, but so does the city over the long hall. The Metrodome is an atrocity and whether people like it or not, a new stadium has to be built. The alternative hurts Minnesota in many more ways than just “losing the team”. There is alot of money that stands to be lost between bars, shops, on transportation, on hotels and more…if we “lost the team”.

  11. twesty85 says: Dec 6, 2011 8:34 PM

    i’m not sure why this was deleted before. i heard on the radio today that there is a casino in minnesota that is saying they will build a new casino and pledge $300 million to the project. i don’t see the vikings leaving minnesota.

  12. stevenbondie says: Dec 6, 2011 8:38 PM

    I love both Minneapolis and the Vikings, but it seems that they can’t get along together. Just like in real life, when you have one group of friends that could never be friends with your other group of friends. What a shame. #TimTebow

  13. cobbiecobstone says: Dec 6, 2011 8:50 PM

    To everyone that is against the stadium, because the money could be used to create jobs. Please please please get informed. Think of all the businesses around the downtown area, that will suffer. Think of all the taxes paid, by the team, players, and merchdise sales. Also the construction jobs that would be created. And to the idiot who said it would be exclusively by the Vikings. The state has about 350 days a year that they are free to use it, any way they like. So much for exclusive.

  14. favreisthebest4 says: Dec 6, 2011 9:28 PM

    Minnesota should do what Green Bay did – Go public with the team and sell shares. That would generate some revenue for a new Stadium!!

  15. warvette says: Dec 6, 2011 9:35 PM

    so, tomorrow there will be a conflicting story about how the legislature opposes the deal… really, how in the crap do they keep pushing this idea around before they do something real?!

  16. bostonhasrealhockey says: Dec 6, 2011 9:36 PM

    What recession??

  17. davikes says: Dec 6, 2011 9:43 PM

    The news today is that the NFL is close to signing extensions with all its broadcast partners that will increase revenues more than 60%. That’s an increase of approximately $30 million per year per team. Let the greedy bastards pay for their own stadiums.

  18. mnmark says: Dec 6, 2011 10:03 PM

    Take your MPLS location and enjoy because I will not commute to a disaster location that has no easy access in or out of your current site. Arden Hills is similar to the old Met and provides much more for revenue and atmosphere that the owner and fans have talked about since the MET. Get it done and do it right and only in Arden Hills. If you haven’t looked east to Lambeau than you will never understand a true experience and this comes from a Viking fan of 44yrs. I am rural and will NOT attend your game in this Metrodome location.

  19. jaxjag says: Dec 6, 2011 10:22 PM

    Move to LA already .
    Doesn’t feel good does it.

  20. criticaldsj says: Dec 6, 2011 10:26 PM

    The Metrodome is an atrocity and whether people like it or not, a new stadium has to be built.

    No, it doesn’t.

    As the Province of British Columbia just proved, you can take a building of the same design, and larger footprint than the Metrodome, rip the roof off, put in drainage, replace every seat in the house, remodel every suite and concourse and add the second largest video board in North America for $560 million in a centralized location with public transportation access.

    No need to build a new stadium. No need to take an inch of public land. The end result is a multi-use multi- tenant building with a retractable roof for half the cost of a new, single tenant building in the suburbs with no public transportation that sits exactly where it is now benefiting downtown businesses.

    This isn’t a theory, it’s been done. Google BC Place.

    But this isn’t about doing the practical thing, it’s about making the Wilfs as much money as possible on the public’s dime with a single use facility with limited accessibility in an area where someone can specialize in a short term profit by flipping the surrounding real estate in a suburb.

    I’m far from a tea partier, but the days of sports franchises raping a metro area of tax revenue for the sake of building a single use event venue for 10 days a year should be over, and I applaud California and Minnesota residents and politicians (and anyone else out there who refuses to pay an absurd Personal Seat License) for taking a stand against this.

  21. gbp131413 says: Dec 6, 2011 10:33 PM

    It is hard to believe how poorly the state of minnesota has handled this whole stadium issue. To think that there are some in this state that believe we are somehow smarter for not letting a big bad billionaire owner take us for a ride. Give me a break!! How short sighted!! This coming from a Football Fan. But not a Viking Fan. Get it done Minnesota. Quit looking like a bunch of hayseed hicks. It’s embarrassing to the rest of the state.

  22. icardfan says: Dec 6, 2011 10:34 PM

    WHO CARES

  23. cags777 says: Dec 6, 2011 11:15 PM

    If any legislators or state leaders are reading this: STOP WITH THE METRODOME SITE! There are more cons than pros about this site that are not being discussed seriously.

    First, the biggest revelation is that the Vikings would be expected to play at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus – a stadium that is not NFL ready and not big enough to help the team stay financially afloat. There are also numerous transportation and parking issues on campus – not to mention a lack of tailgating options for fans.

    Second, if this bill is being touted as a jobs creation bill, why on Earth would they put construction workers on the job for about a year when there’s more than a year’s worth of work to be done at the Arden Hills site?

    Third, where is additional funding going to come from? Do Minneapolis officials realistically expect the Vikings to contribute $425 million to a site that is not sustainable and after they initially said no to a partnership?

    Fourth, what will the inside of this renovation look like? So far, a photo I saw shows the same building with the same inflatable roof but with a hip, new look. It doesn’t address current issues inside the Metrodome like narrow concourses, lack of bathrooms, and obstructed viewing all along the upper deck.

    And fifth, why is money also being used to renovate the Target Center? This bill is supposed to address a Vikings stadium bill – nothing more.

    If this doesn’t get done soon, the Vikings will leave for another place. If I am the Vikings owner, I don’t put up with this kind of crap for legislators – especially after the Twins and Gophers got new stadiums.

  24. cmmnsense says: Dec 6, 2011 11:30 PM

    Hopefully with all these stories you can see how ridiculous it is for those of us that live here in MN. Rybak and MPls has had YEARS to come up with a solution. Now that the Vikings have a solution, and a good one at that, MPLS is getting all uptight about not being the center of attn. MOST of the state doesn’t want it in Mpls. The only reason Rybak wants it here, is because he’s got a giant woody for the oppurtunity to install more bike paths and bike racks around a new stadium. So not only will we get a light rail no one wants, that goes to a stadium in the wrong spot, we’ll have plenty of space to tailgate from our bicycles that no one rode to the game. F. U. Rybak.

    This from the same guy that lays off police and firefighters but hires someone to be a public liasion to handle all issues concerning bicycle safety. At a greater salary mind you.

  25. minnysoda says: Dec 6, 2011 11:39 PM

    Hey Jared you ain’t an LA guy come play for the Pack where your talents would mean something.
    California lousy deer hunting Wisconsin more record whitetails are harvested here than any other state

  26. blaz0037 says: Dec 6, 2011 11:48 PM

    Arden Hills is the spot.

    Parking and traffic in MPLS is horrible.

    End of story.

    Make it happen!!

  27. purpwalk says: Dec 6, 2011 11:50 PM

    two bidders, just what the vikes need. play one against the other

  28. Little Earthquake says: Dec 7, 2011 12:09 AM

    Laugh if you will about the Packers “stock” sale but at least it’s voluntary money coming from fans who enjoy football.

    It’s too bad other teams can’t (don’t) do this – it’s a donation to the team, essentially, by those willing. That’s better than a tax increase on everyone. All the Vikings have to do is ask.

    I hate the way the stadium game is played. I hope the Vikes stay in Minnesota.

  29. buhbay1c says: Dec 7, 2011 12:16 AM

    gb4mn0 says:
    The Wilf regime will play this as close to the vest so they don’t piss off the lavender rubes until the bitter end but it appears this is not going to end the way all you Ziggy fawners thought it would. He’s a business man first and if your feelings get hurt, oh well. You can still be your intellectually dishonest cry baby selves and blame it on the Tea Partiers rather than admit that Ziggy did y’all wrong.

    Thanks for stopping by with your daily sentence fragment gb4mn0. Now go buy stock where you see zero returns and no say in the direction of said company.

  30. bigks77 says: Dec 7, 2011 12:22 AM

    Stupid!!!! Arden Hills or bust!!! Tailgating is huge, and Minneapolis does not have the room!!!!!!!!

  31. sloozeronymous says: Dec 7, 2011 12:39 AM

    I realize that in freedom-loving America, it is up to taxpayers to fund stadiums and subsidize businesses, so wishing for a non-taxpayer financed NFL is a vain hope. (Is it true that Euro-soccer owners completely finance their own stadiums? I can’t find where I read that.) So, fine. That said, let’s be honest about what Minnesota gets out of this economically/monetarily — nothing. AT BEST, they get nothing. At worse, they will actually depress their own economy somewhat. So @cobbiecobstone and others who make similar arguments (not singling you out by any means, cobbie, I just saw your comment first), I admit I first agreed with what you wrote, namely, that these projects create jobs.

    But then I “got informed,” and did some research, and no respectable study has found any economic benefit from stadium projects. This seems counterintuitive…but is explained by substitution effects. The presence of a stadium doesn’t make people spend more money on local businesses, it simply redirects some of that money to Zigy Wilf and the players and the NFL…which almost surely flows right out of the state (to places like New York condos, for example). Without a stadium, people redirect that money to local entertainment options more often than not, so even though a restaurant right near a defunct stadium might suffer a little, the city’s restaurant scene as a whole will improve…and those profits are more likely to be recycled right back into the city than would be the profits of an NFL owner.

    As to the Arden Hills vs. Minneapolis distinction, my knowledge is a bit hazier so forgive me…but it generally seems like major draws within city centers have better outcomes for more people than rural/suburban locations. In this case, Wilf would probably just buy up Ramsey County land, develop it and profit from it, and continue to drain money from the urban core. (In the long run that would hurt Ramsey county in the way sprawl always hurts the periphery as the core declines, but folks often look to the short-term benefits instead. If you doubt me, look at any other Midwestern city drained by sprawl…and its surrounding region…and tell me otherwise. Everthing in Minneapolis seems pretty copacetic, so keep it that way!)

  32. sarro5 says: Dec 7, 2011 1:00 AM

    This state sucks. The politicians will let the Vikings leave, and we will be stuck with nothing. Years will pass, and then they will decide they want to be players again. This time, however the cost will be far more than it is now. We will be out more money by waiting, and don’t think that this won’t happen either. Remember the North Stars and the Lakers left too, only to be replaced laer because we couldn’t live without them.

    Build it already….. In Arden Hills

  33. guessthenguessagain says: Dec 7, 2011 1:10 AM

    300 Million? I guess that’s a percentage of the projected amount of money Mpls. has discovered they’ll lose when the Vikings relocate in Adren Hills or out of state. So, now it’s a full court press designed to overwhelm any resistance – including any from the only revenue-generating partner in this little scheme. Add in less than flattering profiles of the state’s Governor and the city’s Mayor, plus Mondale’s moronic interpretation of a forced lease extension and you have a pretty accurate picture of the current political landscape the Vikings are expected to play football on. And as for those who agree with ‘AdamKronfeld’ and ‘ThirdAndLong’s’ viewpoint: get real, do some research to understand the state you live in, instead of regurgitating the same old ‘It Ain’t Fair’ line. It doesn’t work with the ‘Occupy’ crowd and it doesn’t work here.

  34. dougy1970 says: Dec 7, 2011 1:42 AM

    Bottom line is that NFL doesn’t want the Vikings to move to LA or anywhere else. MSP is a good market, Vikes have a strong, 50-year brand with a traditional rivalry games, and high local TV ratings.

    With SD facing a blackout despite a good team and a monopoly on the LA/SD markets, how can one argue that LA would support the Vikings rebranded as the “Los Angeles Waves”.

    “Look for the Vikings to be playing in Cleveland in 1999″. – Peter King in 1997

  35. Mike Borio says: Dec 7, 2011 1:59 AM

    they should have added factors like this into the rebuilt CBA this past summer when they, you know, divided up all that extra money. oh well, please continue sticking it to us, the consumers.

  36. lookatthefarside says: Dec 7, 2011 3:40 AM

    Just go to Arden Hills already!

  37. brett76 says: Dec 7, 2011 7:20 AM

    To everyone stating how this money could be used for Police, teachers, infrastructure, unemployment benefits & whatever else…..guess what??? It may be a nice fantasy, but it wouldn’t happen anyway.

    They have the money, yet they are NOT using it for those things. You are talking about government. Making people’s lives better is not what government does. It’s what can they do to keep themselves in their seat.

    The Politicians involved with this are just thinking they do not want to be the ones who let the Vikings leave town because people won’t vote for them.

    Also, guess what?? This is business. If Minnesota won’t build them a stadium, LA will. Ask Cleveland about it.

    So what will be cheaper? Build the stadium now to keep the team or wait 5 years after they left so you can build one them & try to get the next team who wants to move to come to town just like they did with the Lakers & North Stars….

  38. skolvike says: Dec 7, 2011 7:48 AM

    I wonder why no one ever brings up the fact the 7 county Metro area passed a 1/2 cent sales tax in 1980 to fund the Metrodome. The Dump has been paid off for over 20 years and they are STILL collecting that 1/2 cent tax and stealing it for the general fund. What Ziggy and the Viking fanbase need to do is demand the tax passed SOLELY for a sports venue be reapplied back to its original intent. Deal done and stadium built.

    I have brought this up a number of times on different forums and gotten nothing but *crickets*. Money is in place if you can eliminate the thieves.

  39. eaglesw00t says: Dec 7, 2011 8:05 AM

    criticaldsj says:
    Dec 6, 2011 10:26 PM
    I’m far from a tea partier, but the days of sports franchises raping a metro area of tax revenue for the sake of building a single use event venue for 10 days a year should be over, and I applaud California and Minnesota residents and politicians (and anyone else out there who refuses to pay an absurd Personal Seat License) for taking a stand against this.

    ————————————————

    What part of “Public use venue” are you not understanding? Does the term public cause you confusion? Do you like to spew opinions on subjects frequently with no information on the subject whatsoever?

    The new stadium (proposed at least) would be open to use the entire rest of the year for other events, as scheduled by the local government. Hence the request for the roof and public funds. Does that compute?

  40. minnesconsin says: Dec 7, 2011 9:53 AM

    As a Minnesotan — not a Vikes fan, but a football fan who doesn’t want to see the team leave — I think Minneapolis is the best option. There’s a lot of misinformation running around and it seems like the stadium booster rubes have been brainwashed by Lester Bagley into thinking Arden Hill is the site.

    -Infrastructure. Minneapolis already has it. 2 major interstate freeways already pouring in and out of the city, just blocks from the dome. Billions of dollars spent on rail transit that, by the time the new stadium is ready, will be capable of bringing twice as many people downtown.

    -$$ the dome site project will be around $9M, not $1.1B. The dome site has $300M from a local funding partner. The Arden Hills site has $0 from a local funding partner, and really no means of changing that if they’re bound to a referendum for any local tax increase, which they are.

    -parking – i’ve been to dozens of games at the dome. plenty to complain about, but i’ve never had a problem finding a parking spot. just because the vikes don’t own the lots and rake in the profits from parking doesn’t mean there isn’t adequate parking near the dome (not to mention public transit)

    -environmental cleanup — none is required at the Dome site.

    -development — it’s not Arden Hills, but if you’ve been around the Dome lately you know there’s plenty of opportunity for development down there. the Star Tribune will gladly sell you a pile of land that you can tailgate on.

    -Armory — whoever said they’d need to take a bus to the game is thinking of the U of MN armory. The Minneapolis Armory is on 6th street at 5th avenue, a block from the dome.

    -Timing — Minneapolis has been trying to get the Vikings to listen to them for months. The Vikings refused. Accusing them of coming to the show late and blowing everything up is just ignorant.

    -Bottom line — Minneapolis has a better offer on the table right now. It’s feasible, it can work. The NFL doesn’t want the Vikes to leave MN, so I can’t see them allowing Wilf to walk away from this kind of offer just because it’s not at his preferred site. It’s not HIS stadium, he doesn’t get to make all the decisions. Build your house wherever you want, you’re paying for it. Choose your Park Ave townhouse and all furnish it as you wish, it’s your money. But when you’re asking for handouts for over half of a $9M project that will benefit you greatly, compromise is expected.

    The only problem I see w/ the Mpls site is being relocated to TCF Bank during construction. I don’t think that’d go over well with anyone.

  41. dukemarc says: Dec 7, 2011 11:35 AM

    I’m curious where Rybak is coming up with the 300 million in revenue – his city is a leech on the state as it is, with his social programs and light rail BS. Congratulations to the politicians of Minnesota, only they could take a slam dunk, golden opportunity to create jobs and new tax revenue only to hand the citizens a crap “sammich” in exchange.

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