When assessing the announcement of a deal to build a new NFL stadium in Minneapolis, it’s important to remember that an understanding between the team, legislative leaders, and the mayor of Minneapolis doesn’t constitute a final agreement to break out the shovels and start moving dirt.
The Legislature still must approve the eventual bill, along with the Minneapolis City Council. There’s no guarantee it will happen.
Per the Associated Press, the $975 million stadium would be built with $398 million from the state, $150 million from the city, and $427 million from the Vikings. Also, Minneapolis would provide $189 million in operating costs and the Vikings would contribute $327 million.
The stat’s portion would come from electronic “pull-tab” gambling game. The city’s portion would come from an existing sales and hospitality tax.
But it’s an election year for the state-level lawmakers, and the public remains generally opposed to diverting any public money to the process. And so the subtle politicking begins, with legislative leaders calling the project the “People’s Stadium,” and Governor Mark Dayton claiming that “no General Fund tax dollars” will be used.
But does the specific source of the public money matter? It’s still all public money. Every dollar devoted to building the stadium is one less dollar that can be devoted to something else.
And while we continue to believe that the people and the politicians should understand that building a stadium provides significant benefits to the community (especially if the new building brings a Super Bowl back to town), the effort of selling the stadium could backfire. If the people feel like they’re being fed a bunch of P.R. mumbo-jumbo in order to push this thing through, the people will tell the powers-that-be to take the “People’s Stadium” and insert it into a specific orifice that every person possesses.
I said more stuff about the situation on Thursday’s PFT Live.