New group will oversee Vikings stadium

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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.

17 responses to “New group will oversee Vikings stadium

  1. ” 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. ”

    Who said the public even makes any money. From everything Ive read, these stadium deals are never a good deal for taxpayers. Taxpayers almost always put more money into the pot then these sports teams will

  2. I’d say dealing with a couple bureaucrats in exchange for half a billion in free money is a minor inconvenience.

  3. The issue of public involvement is not solely the money, rather it involves the infrastructure. The clubs simply can not build the roads needed without some public involvement, regardless of the money. So since your bound to their whims anyway, why not get some funds from them?

  4. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority? I bet they will all be lawyers and they will all charge a fee for their services.

  5. The problem here is that two wrongs don’t make a right. I agree it is wrong (or at least inefficient) for teams to get public money to finance stadiums. It’s patently absurd! But local governments create that incentive when they compete with each other to lure teams to their locale. Another example of the perverse incentives created when government bodies implicitly select winners and losers in the marketplace by redirecting public dollars towards one activity or another. But I digress on that point.

    The bottom line is just because governments make the mistake of subsidizing private businesses in the first place, doesn’t mean it should add to the problem by creating untenable bureaucracies to dole out those resources. Having dealt with public agencies in my private consulting business, it is STUNNING the inefficiencies, internal squabbles, and power plays of virtual nobodies that are present in these agencies. So basically, they not only make the mistake of subsidizing in the first place, they then add on top of that inefficiency by adding MORE inefficiencies to squander MORE public resources. Aye! But as you say, the incentive must be so strong for the teams, that obviously whatever inefficiencies introduced by the bureaucracy, is not offset by the massive amounts of “free” money doled out.

  6. It will turn into a cluster****. Anytime government gets in the business of…. business…. the politicians to screw it all up to a fair-the-well. ‘pitch87mph’ is dead-on correct. The stadium should not have public monies to begin with. It’s a private business. It can and should be 100% privately financed. Secondly, they simply compound the mistake by then allowing the politicians to interject their corrupt influence, power and control into everything moving forward. The owner of the Vikings will be pulling the hair out of his head because anytime he wants to take control and make common sense decisions for his franchise, the politicians will throw a wrench into the works. ‘txxxchief’ is also correct. The politicians are now happy because they have created another layer of government and power. Not only that, but this new “Authority” will now be a perpetual government entity moving forward and will, of course, require taxpayer funding to pay for all bureaucrats and hacks on the payroll.

  7. I’m sure the MSFA will be much more efficient than the MSFC that runs the dome… They changed the last word of the name, that is really thinking outside the box…

  8. If they can ensure that stadium is built by Minnesota workers. And that stadium sells Minnesota products. Then I am all for it.

  9. Just more layers to shelter the graft and corruption that will inevitably happen.

  10. Are those who continue to squawk about the use of public funds football fans, or just visitors? There is nothing new here. Reality: NFL teams are a limited, high demand commodity; NFL cities will have to throw in huge sums to build/upgrade facilities to retain their teams, or risk losing them to other cities offering better stadiums.

    NFL cities which lost teams by failing to upgrade/replace existing stadiums: Cleveland (2), Chicago, Oakland, LA (2), Baltimore, Houston, St. Louis

    NFL cities which gained teams by using public funds to build new stadiums: Cleveland, Baltimore, Nashville, Houston, Jax, Charlotte, St. Louis

    NFL cities which retained teams by using public funds to upgrade or build new stadiums: Landover, Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix, KC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Hackensack, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami, Jax, Santa Clara, Philly, Pittsburgh, Cincy, New Orleans, Tampa, Green Bay, Detroit

    There is nothing new or different about public funding of NFL stadium improvements or even entire replacement stadiums. To the contrary, the naysayers should identify which current NFL cities/states did NOT provide public funds to retain their team or qualify for expansion, or to steal another city’s team.

  11. mnomalley says: May 29, 2012 12:12 AM

    I vote for only MN beer. No need for beer from WI and MO. Summit/Surly take over, and some Grain Belt obviously.
    I agree, and don’t forget Schell’s. They make some of the best beer in MN.

  12. @spartan822

    Totally forgot to type that. I was going for the triple S. I personally stock up on Schell’s Maifest while its in season.

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