I’ve seen a lot of oddball hidden stadium subsidies, but this is a new one: The state of Minnesota is paying Vikings owner Zygi Wilf $90,000 to store the dirt from construction of his new stadium. Apparently the demolition of the Metrodome generated a big-ass pile of dirt, and rather than truck it offsite, the state decided to store it on neighboring parking lots owned by Wilf, in exchange paying his property taxes on the site for the duration of the dirt storage.
This isn’t a lot of money, but it still rankled some elected officials like state senator John Marty, who said, “In the big picture of things, yeah, it’s small potatoes. But, I mean, do we have to give [Wilf] everything the guy ever wants?” To be fair, though, who would pay for dirt storage is probably something that wasn’t addressed in the original stadium deal, and when the state approached Wilf to ask if he’d store his own damn dirt for his own damn stadium for free, he demanded some kind of payment for—
[Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Michele] Kelm-Helgen acknowledged that, instead of asking whether the Wilfs would store the dirt for free, the stadium authority offered the tax deal.