Okay, enough about the Sacramento Kings for the moment! (There’ll be plenty of time for that tonight, when the Sacramento city council votes.) Let’s instead take some time to visit with a risky sports facility financing deal that’s already blown up:
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he wasn’t aware that projections of how much revenue new forms of charitable gaming would generate for the Vikings stadium were developed with input from the gambling industry.
Yep, the predictions that e-pulltabs would bring in plenty of money to pay for a stadium, predictions that many at the time worried were overly optimistic and which turned out to be wildly inaccurate, were come up with by the time-honored tradition of asking the people who’d benefit if the new form of gambling were legalized. Because surely nothing could go wrong with that?
To be fair, the state gambling board says that it came up with its own projections, then merely ran them by gambling industry representatives to check their accuracy before releasing them. (Though given how the projections have worked out, you have to wonder whether the gambling board are idiots rather than dupes. Or both. There’s nothing saying they can’t be both.) But we can still get a chuckle over the governor of Minnesota complaining that he didn’t bother to ask where his own state officers got their projections from. I mean, what kind of elected official defends himself against a deal coming out badly by complaining that he didn’t read it before he pushed it through the legislature?
Gov. Mark Dayton apparently abruptly noticed that hey, whoa, the Vikings owners were planning to pay for their fraction of stadium costs by selling personal seat licenses, and those things cost fans money.
Oh, right. That kind.