Vikings stadium bill faces uphill climb

Getty Images

As the latest effort to build a new pro football stadium in Minnesota gets rolling, the path looks to be long, winding, and steep.

Per Kevin Duchschere and Bob Van Sternberg of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the bill landed “with a thud” at the Capitol on Friday.

Though the detailed article can be confusing to anyone who hasn’t been following every twist and turn of the process, it seems that the problems are as follows:  (1) the powers-that-be in the Minnesota Legislature are reluctant to fork over public money and/or raise taxes at the time of a budget crunch; (2) the three local entities that are in contention for hosting the new venue are firmly resisting an apparent attempt to leverage them against each other; and (3) the Vikings don’t like the first draft of the bill.

“It’s not the final bill, and there are some issues that would impact the team’s competitiveness that we think need to find a better solution, but there’s time to do that,” said official Vikings stadium wrangler Lester Bagley.  (Ted Mondale, chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, responded with a mini-zinger:  “There are some things the Vikings won’t like, but I think if they were too happy we wouldn’t be doing our job.”)

The only positive reaction came from Governor Mark Dayton, who called it a “good start.”

“It’s up to the Legislature to move this forward,” Dayton said, “but I am ready to work with them to create a ‘people’s stadium.'”

In other words, “Folks, when this all blows up and the Vikings move to Los Angeles, it won’t be my fault.”

And if those folks in Minnesota don’t start taking this seriously soon, that’s precisely what will happen.  Fortunately for everyone with their fingerprints on the forthcoming clusterfudge, there will be plenty of others to blame.

35 responses to “Vikings stadium bill faces uphill climb

  1. “It’s up to the Legislature to move this forward,” Dayton said, “but I am ready to work with them to create a ‘people’s stadium.’”

    Does this sound vaguely communist to anyone else?

  2. Don’t build, save those tax dollars. And the Bills won’t be moving to LA so I will be happy.

  3. Of course, everyone is going to say they don’t like the first draft. There is room for optimism, because the general outline of a solution is already present. When all the posturing is over, there will be a plan for a new, open-air stadium in Ramsey County. The Metrodome will have a new roof and will provide the domed venue that government officials say has to be part of the plan. And the team can continue to play there until the new stadium is built. This is my prediction.

  4. As a Packers fan, I want this to get done. The Indians used to say “The greatness of a warrior is measured by the might of his enemy”. I love to hate them so this has to get done.

  5. Get all the players in the league to pay for it – they might get a hint of where the owners and fans( taxpayers ) are coming from. De Smith could even throw in a few bucks.

  6. I’ve thought for a long time that the league needs to create a pool of money for stadiums. Let the owners loan money to each other, vs making the taxpayer fund these things. I live in central Missouri and still get pissed that part of my tax burden built the Rams a new stadium that they already want out of. It’s ridiculous!

  7. “It’s not the final bill,”

    Stop right there, that’s all you need to know. You can’t base the reception of a bill on a bill that isn’t the bill at all. Duh.

  8. See what happens when you involve politics in sports. It’s like mixing blood and water. Those dolts only know how to screw things up. It happens here every two years when the legislature meets. Everyone would be better off if they just stayed at home.

    Wolf can afford it without public money if the Vikings remain in Minnesota.

  9. What about the 9 billion the NFL and Players are arguing over? Wouldn’t this be a great place for it? Instead of us the tax payers, the fans, shelling out more money?

    Isn’t this an NFL stadium?

    just sayin

  10. God I hate the Vikings….. build a new statuim, it will pay for itself, you’ll regret if you don’t, keep the the NFC North frozen….. god I hate the Vikings.

  11. “and (3) the Vikings don’t like the first draft of the bill.”

    Well of course not. The state has not started from the proper base from which the Vikings can then negotiate accordingly. Here let me help out:

    The State of Minnesota agrees to fund a stadium complex which meets all specifications and needs of the Vikings. Funding will be provided as follows: State of Minnesota- 100%, Vikings- 0%.

    The State will also guarantee the Vikings all ticket sales, suite sales, and club seat sales for any and all events in the new stadium will be allocated as follows: Non football events- Vikings- 80%, event promoter- 20%, State- 0%; Football events- State- 0% Vikings- 100%; All concession and parking revenues for all events will also go to the Minnesota Vikings.

    The State also agrees to relinquish all rights to the word “Minnesota” to the Vikings. The State will pay a royalty to the Vikings whenever the word is used by the State on official governmental documents.

    The State agrees to pass legislation declaring a stay at home curfew during the listed broadcast times of Vikings games. The State also agrees to curtail and ban the sales of any products offered in the State that are not ‘Official Sponsors’ of the Minnesota Vikings.

    Ok I am a little over the top, but I think the Vikings would find all that to be agreeable and can begin negotiating down from the listed requests.

  12. the main thing I got out of the article is that the Vikings have no plan, no stadium site, not much of anything. What is the legislature supposed to be voting for at this time????

    Sounds to me, that the Vikes and the NFL just want free money and a bottomless budget and have the taxpayers in MN do the heavy lifting.

  13. I hope they find a way to keep the Vikings in Minnesota, the rest of the NFC North could use the two wins every year.

    One thing for sure, Ziggy isn’t reaching in his own pocket to solve the problem. He’s got a suitor out in LA where the weather, restaurants and fan base is better.

  14. i wish i had billions of dollars and a football team. If I wanted to build a new building, then I would have the tax payers pay for 85% of it, and I would keep all the revenue and pay no property taxes. the suckers pay $150 for a ticket, $10 for an 6 oz beer, 9$ for a slice of pizza…

    so i ask…who is the real idiot? the billionaire playing his cards right to get a stadium paid for by somebody else, while keeping all the revenue it generates? or is it the fans who will let him do it so they keep their precious underachieving football team, while being robbed blind?

  15. Do you not remember this past year when the Chargers were set to move to LA? Do you not remember that they announced they couldn’t accept them, or any other team for that matter, because of the poor economy?

  16. Vikings paid Favre 20 million last season, they will probably pay him 30 million this season. 50 million would make a nice down payment on a new stadium. If the Vikings were to build a stadium on their own they could start now. The state legislature will drag this out forever. It’s now or never, show the world you are not a pathetic loser, build the stadium now with Zyggi’s money.

  17. @adsbad28

    Don’t know how it tastes but please allow me to describe how it feels to win a Superbowl from a fan’s perspective, its an all time high, euphoric, like walking on a cloud. But you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? All you ever seen is choke jobs and blunders.

    Just out of curiousity, do you plan on getting Direct TV to watch the LA Vikings in 2012?

  18. @kjnm:

    “Do you not remember this past year when the Chargers were set to move to LA? Do you not remember that they announced they couldn’t accept them, or any other team for that matter, because of the poor economy?”

    None of that is true. Chargers were never set to move and no announcement was made regarding the economy had an effect on any teams desire to potentially move to LA.

    No team has announced they would move to LA.

  19. They’re going to end up in Los Angeles.

    My vote for a new team name is the “LA Favres”.

  20. I’m a Packers fan and want the Vikings to stay in Minnesota, but I agree with sakatak. Last summer, the Vikings threw several more millions of dollars at Favre than they were paying him the previous year to play one more season. It was ridiculous. I don’t know if the Wilf’s are “billionaires”, but they are certainly multi-millionaires as are several of the Viking players.

    Not living in Minnesota, I can’t say that I know what their state finances are like, but I know there taxes, all levels of taxes, are high. Most states are in serious financial trouble and I cannot see how any governmental authority can justify raising taxes in this economy to build a new stadium for a private party.

    When I was a little kid, the Vikings played outdoors like the Packers and the Bears and they had some pretty good teams and were usually fun to watch. The whole dome thing sucks. The NFL and the NFLPA, along with the Wilfs should build a new stadium, a outdoor stadium, somehwere in the suburbs where there are all those endless acres of flat prairie land with nothing there, and finance it. Interest rates are low right now.

    I think this shows why the NFL owners should get their extra 1 billion off the top. It is the industry known as the NFL that should pay for these stadiums, not taxpayers. If the players think that people are going to pay an arm and a leg to watch them play football in a high school stadium, they’re dreaming. Without tickets costing a arm and a leg, NFL salaries wouldn’t be anything close to what they are now.

    In fact, I think the NFL should take a total of 3 billion off the top. 1 billion for expenses as was the case in the old CBA, 1 billion for capital expansion (new stadiums) and another 1 billion to pay back all of the taxpayers where taxpayer money was used to build or renovate stadiums.

  21. JimmySmith says:
    Apr 2, 2011 7:16 PM

    Don’t know how it tastes but please allow me to describe how it feels to win a Superbowl from a fan’s perspective, its an all time high, euphoric, like walking on a cloud. But you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?

    And you would know? You seem to spend all your time worrying about the rival team and coming up with “new” ways to bash them by rearranging the Official Anti-Vikings Fan Magnet Words™ on your mom’s fridge.

  22. Ziggi is just a real estate investor that saw a team that needed a new stadium and would probably receive millions of free public dollars to fund it. I doubt he’s even a football fan.

  23. But Jimmy, maybe you haven’t paid attention?!?!

    The vikes know the feeling, cause in 1970 for like 2 weeks they were champions…

    Of course 2 weeks later the Chiefs kicked the crap out of them and that must have felt like getting kicked in the short ‘n curlies.

  24. Remember when nobody wanted the Twins Stadium??? And now it’s a success?? Just build a vikings stadium and get it out of the way and nobody will need to talk about it anymore. There are many things the state pays for that I don’t use that I don’t bitch about. Just get it behind us just like Target Field!

  25. If the players want to be “partners” with the owners of the league, they should be kicking in for the cost of a new stadium as well. I really find the concept of screwing the taxpayer over for the cost of a new stadium so they can have the privilige of paying excessive ticket costs and PSLs just to see the team play is ridiculous. It starts to seem rather insane when you consider the players are demanding millions for being “partners” with the billionaire owners without any responsibility to the organization outside of showing up for work on Sunday. They should leave Joe Taxpayer alone and take a half billion from the players’ revenues, a half billion from the owners’ revenues and use the money to build the Queens a new stadium.

    …and yes, this is coming from a Packers fan.

  26. hey jimmy the only euphoric felling i have is getting up in the morning and tasting those sweet pancakes our mommy makes for me after a long night.

  27. I wouldn’t mind if the Vikings stayed in Minnesota, as long as their fair-weathered fans move to LA where they’d fit right in. That Metrodome was the demise of the Vikings fan, at least one worthy of respect. I mean, putting a largely Scandinavian (!) fan base inside a climate-controlled 70 degree Dome is like taking a purebred hunting dog pup of good stock and making him a house dog year round. Pretty soon he becomes so wussified and so unseasoned that he can’t stand to go outside for anything more than a quick wee, and that’s in the summer no less than the winter!

    …Just move to LA already

  28. &adsbad28

    Well my mother has passed so that gag doesn’t work on me. But you are allowed to have any fantasy you like, most of your fellow Viking fans were claiming Superbowl victories just a year ago so apparently reality has nothing to do with your world. Because reality will show that the Vikings finished in last place and that’s with BrINT returning. What are they going to do this year with no QB and no Sidney Rice?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!