With the finagling of millions of dollars in public money for the construction of a football stadium comes the reality that the primary tenants of the new venue will now be subject to the whims of a public body that will oversee the construction and management of the facility.
According to the Associated Press, a new group of public employees will oversee the new Vikings stadium. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, with three members named by Governor Mark Dayton and two by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, will nail down a 30-year lease with the Vikings and also ensure that the place gets built.
And so, even with the Vikings kicking in $477 million, they’ll have to deal with bureaucrats who may, from time to time, decide to flex their muscles, simply because they can.
It’s another reason why it makes sense for sports teams to find a way to build their own stadiums on their own property. Surely, these ventures can be managed in a manner that makes them profitable, and if the team builds its own building, the team gets to keep all the profit and run the place in the manner it sees fit.
Of course, the fact that so many teams choose to deal with public authorities demonstrates the value of free money. For the Vikings, putting up with the MSFA is a relatively small price to pay in exchange for nearly $500 million in public funds.