Senator presses Vikings for financial information

As the revived Vikings stadium bill continues its zombie march through the Minnesota Legislature, a member of the Senate who accused the Vikings last week of refusing to provide financial information has made a direct request to the team for such data.

Senator Scott Dibble, a Democrat, sent a letter on Wednesday to the Vikings asking that the same financial information previously disclosed to Governor Mark Dayton be provided to the Senate.

On Thursday, the stadium bill will be presented to the Senate Taxes Committee, a committee on which Sen. Dibble serves.

In a letter forwarded to PFT by Sen. Dibble’s office, he requests an audited balance sheet, including annual revenues, sources of revenues, annual expenses, expenses by category, purchase price of the team, current value of the team, debt, and purpose of the debt.  He also seeks information regarding league-wide revenue sources that are expected to increase or decrease in the next two years, along with the sources of the team’s proposed contribution to the stadium plan.

One problem with making that information available to the Senate is that it could be leaked or otherwise publicized — indeed, the letter seems to suggest that Dibble plans to share the information publicly.  We can’t imagine the Vikings sharing any information absent clear assurances and commitments that it will remain private.

46 responses to “Senator presses Vikings for financial information

  1. Dribble obviously wants to use the information to demonize the Vikings ownership, create a class envy situation and advance his (lame) political career.

    Minnesotans clearly cannot decide whether or not they wish to retain an NFL franchise as a key amenity to their state. They will therefore deserve what they get when the Vikings relocate.

    I have to admit to loving the whole tragic spectacle. It is like a super slow motion head plant with snot and blood spewing from Vikings fans faces as their heads crash into the concrete. Perhaps Vikings fans could sue their state and local legislators for concussive injuries.

  2. You know, when you go looking for money, in the real world, at least, you get asked these kinds of questions. That’s just reality, and just how a private business thinks they have a right not to, because they are the NFL, is beyond me.

    The information won’t remain private – the Senator is a public employee, the Vikings are asking for public financing, this is a public matter. That’s what Government transparency is all about – something this country needs more of, not less, IMHO.

  3. This guy is basically missing the point, like it or not, if you won’t help pay for the stadium some other city will. Kind of sounds like he is looking for an excuse not to vote for the stadium. Ask for something you know the Vikings probably won’t disclose to you, then cite that as the reason you didn’t vote for the stadium.
    Regardless, the Wilfs are making a pretty reasonable contribution to creation and on going operating costs.

  4. If the NFL wants taxes to pay for stadiums then they should be required to make financial records public…just like anyone else.

    Technically these stadiums are a “bailout” for sports franchises.

  5. The friggin Packers, as a publicly owned organization, advertising their financial information, is gonna screw every other NFL team. But then again, they are sticking around home. What a concept.

  6. Whats new. Just another move in an election year.

    I listened to the entire Finance Committee’s debate today at work and this whole thing has become nothing more than political positioning. That said it doesn’t mean the bill won’t pass.

    Senator Neinow did everything in his power to get nice video snippets of him fighting the bill. He wasn’t exactly correct in his statements/amendments, but definitely had camera presence. I’m sure they will work well for his next campaign video series.

    Senator Hann attempted to make this bill out to be something sent by satan himself. Crazy to think he is from Eden Prairie, probably the most conservative and wealthy district to reside over.

    Who’d a thunk the majority of no votes in the finance committee would be from “tea party” representatives. The same fools who tied their stakes to Santorum.

    This move is just another political ploy in an election year. I’m so sick of this. Keep your personal interests out of this.

    And to all the Tea Party-ers that are sure to spout their opinions, you do realize that the financial loss to the state of MN outweighs the investment needed. The repay period is 10-15 years depending on the state of the bill (could be less) when it passes. With a 30 year life, this is an asset that could produce profit for 20 years. Not to mention the cultural aspect.

    I’m sure there is plenty of nonsensical over exaggerated jibberish just waiting to be posted, so post away!

  7. it’s late in the process to ask for this now. should’ve been done already if he wants this stuff. this is a stall tactic to kill the deal. dweeb

  8. Name one other private corporation that got $600,000,000 from the MN State government without producing this type of information.

  9. So why would this information be that big of a deal even if the public did know? This is the part that angers people.

    Private when your asking the people to pay for over half the stadium that does not sound like a very fair stadium partnership.

    Down economy lets put more burden on the people who we intend sooner rather than later to raise ticket prices even though they help fund this new stadium.

    Lets not share this information because if people put two and two together and realize we even made a huge profit when we had a bad year imagine how much we would make when we have a winning season.

  10. This guy looks like he never stepped foot on an athletic field. He looks like he was more interested in the chess club than the football team.

  11. Sounds like a reasonable request to me…especially if taxpayers of Minnesota are going to be asked to pay some or all of the cost of the new stadium.

    The taxpayers elect their state representatives, therefore their duly elected state officials damn well better look out for the interests of the taxpayers.

    This idea that the public might find out financial information concerning the NFL’s revenues or expenses is rather weak, IMO.

    Anytime the NFL goes holding their hands out to the taxpaying public of any state, they should expect and be made to honor, such requests for financial information.

  12. I wonder is Senator Dibble has asked Mayo Clinic, 3M, General Mills, or any other company for their financial information before using public money to help them ? For all politicians in this state, If you come home and your sewer line broke and your house is full, do you pump it out or live with it ? VOTE 2012 and remove these pompous -ssholes. Vikings in Arden Hills

  13. Anybody check to see if Senator Dibble has any Packers gear hanging in his closet?

  14. Zygi made his money the old fashioned way … through inheritance and government handouts.

  15. For those of you blasting the Vikings check your facts. They already supplied the financials to Governor Dayton. This is just a political statement to try and make them look bad.

    Let me ask this. If they aren’t aware of the financials, how are they able to determine the revenue that would be lost to make an educated decision?

    It’s all BS

  16. It is amazing to me that turning over financials isn’t a prerequisite to these teams getting millions in tax payer money to build stadiums. I always point back to Robert Kraft – he turned down millions from Connecticut to build a stadium, and instead he kept the team in Foxboro. I am sure he got some money from Massachusetts, but it was not nearly the deal that was on the table and he then built the stadium largely with the team’s money, and not tax payer money. Seemed to workout ok for the Patriots. I just get so angry at these football teams (and all sports teams) who rake in money hand over fist, but then want the tax payers (who already buy the tickets, and buy the merchandise, etc), to pay even more money to keep these teams in cities. Dear Vikings – either suck it up, do the right thing, and build a stadium in Minnesota for the fans that have stood by your team for years. Or bail for the highest bidder and have fun with a team in LA -it isn’t like fans in LA have bailed on NFL teams before.

  17. this owner is putting up more money than the state of minnasota and have been bs’d for ten yrs. he should take his money and team and move to where his organization will be supported without the bs…

  18. $100 says he’s republican! Think of the jobs lost if the Vikes go! Think of the jobs gained if it stays! Senators tack on Billions! Every year in ear marks onto bills that we never hear about. We pay government salaries, so I want to see every penny of their expense report before they get my tax dollars! #FTiredofPolitics

  19. Open up your financials Douchel. You make over $100 k off minnesotans every year while we struggle to pay for you and all the other welfare junkies. Shove it up your Douchel moron.

  20. It is simple business. If MN wants its share of money from the ever growing NFL, it has to cough up some first. I guess Dubbie is trying to cash on the putrid Rich-vs-poor politics.

  21. “He also seeks information regarding league-wide revenue sources that are expected to increase or decrease in the next two years”
    Translation: Senator Dribble is going to do everything in his power to stop a new stadium from being built so he’s asking for information from the entire league that he knows the NFL will never pass on. They didn’t give that information to the union during the lockout, so there’s no way they’ll give it to some slimy senator who will leak it to his union buddies the first chance he gets.

  22. If billionaires want public handouts to support their hobbies, the LEAST they can do is to make the financials available to clearly demonstrate the need for hundreds of millions of dollars of welfare.

    Banks don’t even loan people money without a complete financial review….yet, billionaire owners expect (and usually get) hundreds of millions of dollars given to them without disclosing any information or demonstrating actual need.

  23. So tired of all the cynycism and posturing, although that is to be expected in an election year. People want to make headlines and have video snippets of them fighting the bill for their re-election campaign this year, that’s it and that’s all.

    I’m so sick and tired of this. All any party (GOP and Tea Party, Dems) are concerned about is having nice sound bites so they can get re-elected. Nobody stands up for what they believe in anymore, and worst of all no one is willing to budge from their rigid ideology regardless of what the facts say.

    Hopefully we can have a viable 3rd party in this state and start voting these jerkoffs out of office, EVERY INCUMBENT. Unfortunately with a lack of a viable independent party and “new blood”, people keep voting whichever party they associate with and this crap will keep happening. Need people to govern and not people who are only focused on getting re-elected.

    Just like state shutdown last year, if the state shut down NONE of those clowns should have gotten a paycheck just like everyone else. Instead they were sure they got their money, to hell with everyone else.

  24. Davo says:
    Apr 26, 2012 12:19 AM
    You know, when you go looking for money, in the real world, at least, you get asked these kinds of questions. That’s just reality, and just how a private business thinks they have a right not to, because they are the NFL, is beyond me.

    The information won’t remain private – the Senator is a public employee, the Vikings are asking for public financing, this is a public matter. That’s what Government transparency is all about – something this country needs more of, not less, IMHO.

    21 8


    Spot on!!!!

    I know us die hard sports fans don’t like hearing this,but the Senator is correct. If I applied for a SBA or any other government loan for my business, I’d be required to show a brief case full of the proper paperwork and financial records.

    We as Saints fans went through the same thing in 2005 when Tom Benson was threatning a move to San Antonio. A Tulane economics professor (name escapes me now) was a frequent guest on our local radio show. he said having an NFL team is not a sound investment for any city or state. The only thing a team brings is prestige for having one. It’s up to the state and city if they are willing to pay that price.

    We hated hearing this,but it was the truth. Thankfully for us,it worked out and we were able to keep the team. I hope Mn. does the same. The NFL belongs there and the Vikings are a storied part on NFL history. I also hope the new stadium is outdoors,but I doubt it would be. I believe the Vikes lost their identity when the moved into the metrodome in 1982. The only places I believe a dome is needed is where fans need to be protected from the early season heat. Phoenix,New Orleans,Tampa,Miami,and Jacksonville.
    Heat Stroke is a very real danger and has to be taken seriously in those areas in summertime.

  25. Its bs NFL teams get this money at all while we are having to cut back school classes and police officers in a recession …. The least they can do is try to look a bit less like muggers and show the info….

  26. The Vikings shouldn’t be obligated to divulge their revenue and debts. I went into the bank just the other day for an unsecured loan and the loan officer asked, what is your income? What are your debts? I said, sorry sir, that is private information. He said, ok kind sir, here is your loan. And it’s interest free. Now, would you like a little extra?

    This is just the way the world works, Minnesota.

  27. As the Governors own man Ted Mondale testified at the finance committee yesterday. Legislators need to realize this fact: The Vikings are subsidizing a publicly owned Stadium. Not the other way around. There is no need for them to open their books. they are giving $427M for a building they will not own. Ever. They are only tenants that pay rent.

  28. “txxxchief says: Apr 26, 2012 12:15 AM

    Minnesotans clearly cannot decide whether or not they wish to retain an NFL franchise as a key amenity to their state. ”

    Oh my gosh-what an absurd comment! Winner of the dumbest comment of the week perhaps?

    Minnesotans ABSOLUTELY want to have the Vikings stay where they belong. They like the Vikings (poor attendance notwithstanding).

    The ONLY question is should the government(especially a broke one) be involved in financing a stadium when other priorities(roads, schools, and paying off debt) would certainly be wiser choices. The ONLY question is should a billionaire (and his co- billionaire NFL owners) use threats to squeeze money out of a broke State when they could afford to build it themselves?

    Dibble’s request is reasonable. If you want ME to loan you money or be your partner in a business deal then I want to see the numbers. ALL the numbers.

  29. Question to all politicians in MN postering AGAINST the new stadium: Do you actually believe the successful sabotage of this project will IMPROVE your chances of being re-elected?Seriously? The majority of citizens (regardless of their current opinions) will turn on EVERY elected official in the State….blaming them for failing to keep the Vikings in MN. Get a clue! Get this done! For those of you on the ‘we dont support handouts for billionaires’ platform: GROW UP and return to reality! While you’re at it, do some research on all the TRULY UNECCESSARY items your tax dollars contribute to! You’ll feel so much better about the stadium, I promise!

  30. petedutcher says:

    Technically these stadiums are a “bailout” for sports franchises.

    I don’t understand the claim that this is a “Bailout”. Bailouts are something the Government (now apparently) gives to mismanaged companies or quasi government organizations (Fannie Mae) that are bankrupt or near bankrupt.

    Public funded stadiums is simply a form of corporate welfare like tax credits or other incentives to get a company to build a plant, relocate an office, etc.

    Nothing the Vikings have done seems to imply mismanagement or bankruptcy. Rather they are simply seeing if there is free money available from the public. I find it curious that the public gets upset about this type of transfer (stadiums) but does not seem to mind when public money (via outlays or tax credits) is spent to get a business to build a plant or relocate an office in their municipality.

  31. Class warfare, straight from the democrats playbook, especially in an election year. He knows he has to make it look like he sticking up for the “little guy” when in fact he knows that if it came down to his vote he could never vote against it (see George Petak). Realizing that letting the Vikings move would hurt the state of MN in the long run more than he cares to admit, 1000’s of lost jobs, lost tax revenue and one less reason to “Explore Minnesota”. Let’s face it, the owners hold all of the cards in these cases, it’s simple supply and demand, if you don’t build it someone else will and the Vikings will thrive in a new city. From a Packers fan and a fan of the rivalry (and someone that relates to the TEA party far more than the democrat party) pass this and build the damn stadium already!

  32. Zygi Wilf has been way too nice to the worst fans in the NFL for way too long. It’s time to pack the bags and move to a place where they will actually be appreciated. Minnesota is a terrible football state. Season tickets for $290? And that’s for 50 yard line, row 1. All other teams charge double for nosebleeds. Word also has it fans got into the Gophers spring game for free & still couldn’t draw a crowd. Camp Randall sells out for the Badgers spring game.

  33. To these folks like Dibble, the NFL means JFL
    (Job For Life). If the team bobbed, and weaved, and slithered like these state senators, they’d win the superbowl every year!

  34. “The friggin Packers, as a publicly owned organization, advertising their financial information, is gonna screw every other NFL team. But then again, they are sticking around home. What a concept.”

    Also remember that when the Packers needed money from taxpayers to keep their stadium financially viable, they held a public referendum. That’s all the politicians in Minnesota really want – the ability to shift the blame for a tax increase or the Vikings leaving to the citizens.

  35. Mark Dayton, Governor of Minnesota is a public employee, and if the Senate did not leak info like a sieve this would mot be an issue…private corporations don’t want all of those financial details disclosed to the general public, and I don’t blame ’em.

  36. wants public funds but won’t publicly discuss his own books? hmmm. Full disclosure or no decision on funding.

  37. I have no dog in this fight but this is politics at its best! Have the senator disclose all of the special interest monies he receives also! My personal opionion is that if the Vikings move it will be financial suicide for the State of Minnesota and its people. I live in Arizona and the Cardinals Stadium, which was publicly funded to the tune of 550 million (from the state), was paid back 3 years ahead of schedule and the area around the stadium has boomed creating over a 1000 full time jobs. The State of Minnesota is getting off cheap here. I think any Minnesotan that gives a crap about thier state should vote every clown out of office that is against the new stadium!!!

  38. To the people of Minnesota concerned about there tax dollars, hope you know you pay unemployment for convicted felony drug trafickers on probation,and you think your politicians could ever run a business ? Did Target, Best Buy, 3M, Ford, or any other company that uses tax dollars ever shut down because they couldn’t agree on a budget ? I said a budget, not bankruptcy, think about it. Your tax dollars pay these politicians, are they serving your best interests ?

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