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Wilfs nearly balked at paying an extra $50 million for stadium

APTOPIX Vikings Stadium AP

It’s been an eventful week for the citizens of Minnesota and the NFL team that plays there.  It almost became even more eventful on Wednesday night.

Representative Morrie Lanning, a co-author of the stadium bill, recently told WCCO radio (via Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune) that the Vikings nearly didn’t agree to increasing their agreed contribution of $427 million by $50 million.

“[W]e were trying to get the Vikings to agree to what we thought we needed in order to get the votes in the Legislature and they didn’t really respond in a positive way,” Lanning said.  “I was beginning to think on Wednesday night that maybe we weren’t going to get this done, but finally they did come through.

“The Vikings agreed to putting in another $50 million, which was a pretty substantial financial commitment, and that’s what we needed, quite frankly, to get the votes and seal the deal.”

Lanning said that, even if the Wilfs had refused to pay the extra $50 million, the bill would have proceeded with the team owing the higher number.  Then, if it had passed, the Vikings would have had to choose between following through or walking away from the final proposal.

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35 Responses to “Wilfs nearly balked at paying an extra $50 million for stadium”
  1. jjpmn says: May 13, 2012 12:36 PM

    I can’t help but wonder whether some of this was agreed to in advance so that the politicians look like they played hardball and got the extra $50 million out of the Wilfs. Either way, I’m thrilled that it’s over with, the team is staying where it belongs, and we will finally have a real stadium.

  2. jebdamone says: May 13, 2012 12:54 PM

    you gotta be kidding me. after years of working on this deal, and getting strung along with plan after plan failing who really thinks that a guy who is worth a couple billion dollars is going to shut things down over 50 million? especially considering the amount of money he is going to rake in now that the deal is done.
    you are very gullible mr lanning.

  3. packerswambulance says: May 13, 2012 12:55 PM

    Where’s the “LA Vikings” Trolls now?
    That was some good stuff…

  4. dotdashx4 says: May 13, 2012 1:12 PM

    A city, county, state, or country should not ever pay one single cent for the construction of a private sports venue. Wilf should have been on the hook for the ENTIRE bill. Suddenly when a football team needs a new stadium capitalism is forgotten? Studies have shown that a city investing in a stadium is not a profitable investment, it results in a net loss.

  5. edenprairieballer says: May 13, 2012 1:13 PM

    I think the tax payers of Minnesota owe Zygi Wilf a huge debt of gratitude. I’d be willing to shovel some dirt at the new stadium site on my off day just to show how Zygi how thankful I am. (Heavy sarcasm).

  6. chew33 says: May 13, 2012 1:14 PM

    Just 50mil?!

  7. mistersmith22 says: May 13, 2012 1:43 PM

    No other business that makes billions a year in profits gets — let alone insists upon — massive public financing for their capital investments. Yet here they go again, forcing a city to take out an insane loan just to keep a team and a few hundred low-paying jobs. I love pro football, but the NFL can eat me.

  8. mediasloppy says: May 13, 2012 1:59 PM

    Now that’s the difference between Wilf and Red McCombs. Wilf has shown just how much better he is as an owner.

  9. pdma7 says: May 13, 2012 2:00 PM

    Sure he did, won’t he pay a couple of players 50 mil for a few years but won’t pony up 50 mil for a new home for 30 years?

  10. ndnut says: May 13, 2012 2:03 PM

    Cities lose money, but states don’t. MN has state income tax, which applies to the game check for every player on both teams in games played there.

  11. flyerscup2010 says: May 13, 2012 2:13 PM

    I’m willing to bet as an outside observer that Tea Party Express will be pouring a whole lot of money into the coffers of whoever runs against Morrie Lanning in his (or her?) next primary election.

  12. porterhouse12 says: May 13, 2012 2:16 PM

    Indianapolis’ capital improvement board (operates Lucas oil stadium) is operating on a net loss. The stadium lost money during the super bowl. Are there tax gains from additional revenue spent? Yes, but how much revenue is needed to collect 620 million in tax? I am glad As a tax payer, I am not good at math.

    As a colts fan, we got screwed! Colts only contributed 100 million, and they get 25% of every ticket sold at the venue for duration of the lease.

    No wonder Zigi feels like he is taking it in the behind…

  13. arzcardinals says: May 13, 2012 2:18 PM

    Glad Vikes aren’t moving. I don’t like citizens paying money for an NFL owner to have a play pen then raise ticket prices.
    Average joe will pay for the tax but will NOT be able to afford one game.
    AZ placed the tax on hotel rooms and rental cars so the people of AZ didn’t have to pay out of pocket. That is how to raise the money if you have to add a tax.
    I’d like to raise a tax for me to have a bigger house…they won’t do that for me and citizens shouldn’t have to pay a penny for ANY NFL team.

  14. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: May 13, 2012 2:51 PM

    I seriously feel bad for those two in the picture. I’m sure they wouldn’t even be that happy for their kids wedding.

  15. fearadmiral says: May 13, 2012 2:53 PM

    No other business that makes billions a year in profits gets — let alone insists upon — massive public financing for their capital investments. Yet here they go again, forcing a city to take out an insane loan just to keep a team and a few hundred low-paying jobs. I love pro football, but the NFL can eat me.

    ————————————————————-

    Idiots who refer to their stupidity as fact amuse me. Oil, who makes the NFL look ant-like is heavily subsidized as is the farm industry. These are publicly funded tax dollars. Not to mention the TARP money and auto bail out. So please do some research, or at the bare minimum think, before you spout your so-called informed opinions. As for the “few hundred low paying jobs” you’re forgetting the restaurants, bars, catering, parking, media, and any other entity that makes money off of this team. That plus the influx of construction jobs for the years this stadium will be built amounts to much more than a few hundred low paying jobs. Please go read a book and stop watching Fox News.

  16. eaglesw00t says: May 13, 2012 2:59 PM

    Every single day I come here, and I’m still astounded by the amount of morons present. The Minnesota vikings get to use this stadium a grand total of 10 days per year. Are you imbeciles aware that the city and state get to use it the other 355? Why would the vikings pony up every cent when they aren’t the only ones using it? And since you mentioned capitalism, you are aware that there are other cities who WILL contribute money if Minnesota doesn’t, right?

  17. dbreinki says: May 13, 2012 3:00 PM

    Hey dotdashx4:

    It’s not always ‘about money’. Without an NFL team, Minneapolis might as well be whatever little hole-of-a-town you’re from (Podunk Iowa anyone).

    One of the reasons this got done was because the Twin Cities are home to 20 of the Forbes Top 200 Corporations – whose CEOs worked their political contacts hard to keep the NFL here for another 50+ years. Without the NFL, those CEOs companies would have a much harder time recruiting top employees to relocate to the Twin Cities. Face it, it’s about Image, not Money.

    Grow up.

  18. ronin36 says: May 13, 2012 3:08 PM

    One thing overlooked so far.

    Now, Ziggy can sell the team, and realize an even bigger profit. Why? Because they’ll have this nice new venue to play in.

    I wish the legislature would have put in a no sell/no move/payback clause amendment into the agreement. If Ziggy sells or moves the team in the next.. oh.. five years, he has to pay $xxx million to the state. The next 10 years.. $yyy million. Some declining scale.

  19. wahlbergcasket says: May 13, 2012 3:17 PM

    It’s not over until the Court cases are. This will end in an ugly lawsuit.

  20. rightwingguy says: May 13, 2012 3:19 PM

    You guys are idiots. Wilf is paying nearly half a billion dollars for a stadium that they will use 10 times a year. The rest of the time it will be used for concerts, monsters truck shows and the like.
    Idiots

  21. duluthvikesfan says: May 13, 2012 3:24 PM

    Ronin36, there is clause like that in the deal. Can’t remember the exact numbers. But if he sells the team in the next 10 years then the state gets something like 25% of the total sale price. Then the percentage goes down from there over the following ten years if I remember correct.

  22. conormacleod says: May 13, 2012 4:07 PM

    Court cases? Lawsuits? Sure! I bet there is a Law Firm ou there that wants to sink millions of dollars into a class action lawsuit, fight a $9 billion a year entity, in the hopes of getting a little money 10 years down the road. Ya, not gonna happen.

  23. vikingsfanintexas says: May 13, 2012 4:07 PM

    arzcardinals says:May 13, 2012 2:18 PM

    Glad Vikes aren’t moving. I don’t like citizens paying money for an NFL owner to have a play pen then raise ticket prices.
    Average joe will pay for the tax but will NOT be able to afford one game.
    AZ placed the tax on hotel rooms and rental cars so the people of AZ didn’t have to pay out of pocket. That is how to raise the money if you have to add a tax.
    I’d like to raise a tax for me to have a bigger house…they won’t do that for me and citizens shouldn’t have to pay a penny for ANY NFL team.

    *****************************************

    If the state wants a $ billion stadium and only wants to pay for half… they have to convince someone else to pay for the other half.

    You’re looking at it backwards.

    The state makes out like a bandit!!!!!!! Twice the stadium and jobs to boot…

  24. vikingsfanintexas says: May 13, 2012 4:09 PM

    dotdashx4 says:May 13, 2012 1:12 PM

    A city, county, state, or country should not ever pay one single cent for the construction of a private sports venue. Wilf should have been on the hook for the ENTIRE bill. Suddenly when a football team needs a new stadium capitalism is forgotten? Studies have shown that a city investing in a stadium is not a profitable investment, it results in a net loss.

    *****************************************

    If the state wants a $ billion stadium and only wants to pay for half… they have to convince someone else to pay for the other half.

    You’re looking at it backwards.

    The state makes out like a bandit!!!!!!! Twice the stadium and jobs to boot…

    Study that for a while.

  25. urcrap says: May 13, 2012 4:15 PM

    Yeah. Sort of how I’m going to balk at paying the extra taxes, but I’m going to.

  26. chew33 says: May 13, 2012 4:58 PM

    It’s funny people complain about paying taxes atleast your paying for something you enjoy. Instead of paying taxes for crinkles to live in a cell!

  27. droogyarblockos says: May 13, 2012 5:32 PM

    why do some of you keep going on about the extra taxes you’ll be paying? unless you’re planning on playing electronic pulltabs this won’t cost you a dime. none of the stadium funds are coming out of the state’s general fund

  28. vikinganswer says: May 13, 2012 5:58 PM

    dotdashx4 says:
    May 13, 2012 1:12 PM
    A city, county, state, or country should not ever pay one single cent for the construction of a private sports venue. Wilf should have been on the hook for the ENTIRE bill. Suddenly when a football team needs a new stadium capitalism is forgotten? Studies have shown that a city investing in a stadium is not a profitable investment, it results in a net loss.

    Its a public venue. Its owned by the State of Minnesota/City of Minneapolis. Dont want to pay for it, dont buy a pull tab or a ticket. WE WIN!!

  29. skinsfantom says: May 13, 2012 6:18 PM

    WILF? WOMEN I’D…….

  30. mediasloppy says: May 13, 2012 6:45 PM

    The Wilf’s fought hard not to tax ticket prices and I think they were successful. Tickets will still cost a lot of money, but they always have compared to other sports. The luxury suits have a tax on them I think. Those people can cover that cost easily and are well worth it if you’ve ever been in one. Usually companies buy them.

    Droogyyarblockos, is right though. People keep acting like they are being taxed. The money comes from pulltabs and bingo. If they don’t generate enough, then there will be automatic taxes put in place on ticket prices, merchandice and some other football related things though. I’ll probably go to places and buy pulltabs just to support the Stadium feeling like I already won…

  31. snh7997 says: May 13, 2012 7:19 PM

    Those of you who ask why the owner doesn’t pay for the entire stadium… The reason is he doesn’t need to. Simple supply and demand. There are more location wishing they had a team than there are teams. Other locations are willing to pay for all or part of a stadium to lure an NFL team. Therefore Minnesota had to pay what they did to keep the team. It would have been a lot less expensive if politicians had acted 5 or 10 years ago. But this was a lot cheaper than losing he team (like Cleveland) and then paying much more to get a team back. Well done! Thank you for keeping the Twin Cities a full sports home. Thank you for keeping the Vikings home where they belong.

  32. RexCanCoach says: May 13, 2012 7:25 PM

    Oh but you ARE paying for it Vikings fans. You see the invention of the PSL is NFL ownership speak for “I am laying out money to build a stadium that I own, but in fact you fans are all going to pay me back for this stadium”

    $50 million is easily recouped by simply adding $667 to each PSL.

    And if the PSL is anything like the one that the Jets are charging, you can pay it off over 15 years with interest, of course.

    Which is why I am no longer a season ticket owner. Besides $667 gets you a pretty decent 42″ plasma flat screen for the den.

  33. skolvikes says: May 13, 2012 8:23 PM

    I can’t believe how many people comment on the stadium that have no clue about the situation.

    As covered multiple times, it’s not the Wilfs’ stadium, it’s the states. This is not just a technicality. The Metrodome was in use 300+ days a year, the Vikings play 10 home games, do the math.

    Nobody will be paying taxes for it that doesn’t CHOOSE to.

  34. droogyarblockos says: May 13, 2012 8:52 PM

    “Oh but you ARE paying for it Vikings fans. You see the invention of the PSL is NFL ownership speak for “I am laying out money to build a stadium that I own, but in fact you fans are all going to pay me back for this stadium”

    if there are PSL’s, those who want to pay it will pay it. VOLUNTARILY. it’s hilarious how people this is not affecting are all butthurt and trying to tell people who voluntarily buy pull tabs, pay a surcharge on luxury suites or potentially may pay PSL’s that they are making the wrong decision.

    wilf made the 3rd largest contribution to a STATE OWNED facility that any NFL owner ever has. there is joy in minnesota. sorry if this upsets you.

  35. vikefan says: May 14, 2012 12:36 PM

    One thing overlooked so far.

    Now, Ziggy can sell the team, and realize an even bigger profit. Why? Because they’ll have this nice new venue to play in.

    I wish the legislature would have put in a no sell/no move/payback clause amendment into the agreement. If Ziggy sells or moves the team in the next.. oh.. five years, he has to pay $xxx million to the state. The next 10 years.. $yyy million. Some declining scale.
    ——————————————————–
    there is a clause for just this, its over a 30 year span…25% of sale to state if sold in first 10 years of stadium, 15% from years 11-20, 10% from years 21-30

    b4 you morons jump to conclusions bout state & taxpayers getting screwed, know your facts b4 typing ur jibberish

    $$ will be raised through electronic pulltabs, zero taxpayer contributions which you CANNOT say for twins & gophers football stadium

    not only r wilfs paying half themselves, they will still pay rent for vikings football games, pay for city of mpls portion for first 2 years, AND be entirely responsible for any retractable roof considerations.

    not a single tax payer has a reason to complain when zero tax dollars are being appropriated, BUT many will be generated from this.

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