To the $1.1 billion in subsidies for the $1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium (yes, the stadium is getting more in subsidies than it’s costing to build), we can now add a few million more: The city of Minneapolis is proposing to spend as much as $65 million to build a public park and parking lot adjacent to the stadium, plus $6.4 million for skyways (enclosed bridges between buildings, which Minnesotans use to get around in the winter without braving the frigid outdoors) connecting new 20-story office buildings that would be built next to the stadium.
The total public cost, according to documents released by Minneapolis mayoral candidate Cam Winton, would be:
Yes, that’s right: The city blacked out the totals, since it is refusing to disclose how much it would pay the owner of the adjacent land (which happens to be the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper) for the five blocks of property that would become the park and the new development. According to Minnesota Public Radio, “City officials cited routine non-disclosure for prospective real estate deals in which public bodies might be involved.”
Meanwhile, a county traffic expert is warning that the plan to close down two city streets to make way for the park would create traffic nightmares. Which seems like the sort of thing that should have been worked out before approving billions of dollars in public money, but, well, there’s been a lot of that going around with this project.