Minneapolis’s not-yet-officially-announced MLS team hasn’t yet officially announced its desire for public subsidies, either, but state senate majority leader Tom Bakk isn’t waiting around, declaring that he’ll oppose any plan to use public money for a private pro soccer stadium:
“The league ran into this problem in Miami,” Bakk said. “They gave a franchise out two years ago, and they don’t have a field to play on. So I don’t know if they’re going to make that mistake twice or if this group of owners is going to figure out how to finance a $150 million soccer stadium or not.”
That’s a line in the sand, anyway, or a shot across the bow, or one of those things. The Minnesota legislature eventually gave big piles of public money to the Vikings and Twins owners for new stadiums (or voted to allow the county to give its money without a public vote in the Twins case, anyway), but not until after decade-long public battles, so MLS could actually be in for a tough slog here. Or face the choice between playing for years in a temporary home vs. announcing a franchise and then having to de-announce it if they can’t get the subsidies they want. This shaking down the public for money thing is hard, guys!