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May 04, 2010

MN chamber, Vikings gripe about new stadium bill

More on yesterday's last-ditch Minnesota Vikings stadium funding proposal:

  • It is "both an option play and a Hail Mary pass." (Thanks, St. Paul Pioneer Press writers addicted to forced sports metaphors!)
  • The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce opposed the memorabilia, rental car, and hotel taxes that would be used to fund the new stadium, instead calling on the team to find a "local partner" — though the chamber didn't say how this local government would pay for a stadium without raising taxes.
  • The bill's backers say that even though the Vikings play only 10 home games each season, a stadium could host 200 events a year. (I was about to make a Bon Jovi joke, but even they mostly play arenas, so I honestly have no idea who'd fill the other 190 days a year. Monster trucks?)
  • The Vikings are already griping about both the 40-year lease that would be required, and the fact that they'd be asked to put up a whole third of the construction costs. Vikings stadium chief Lester Bagley said the team would be willing to chip in one-third the cost of an open-air stadium (which would be $210 million), but didn't want to pay for a roof: "We're not saying the roof isn't important, but the roof doesn't benefit the Vikings. It benefits the state and the community."
  • Two hearings on the bill are set for tomorrow, with six more lined up before the bill can be voted on.

Meanwhile, also noted in passing in the Pioneer Press article: "The St. Paul Saints are looking for a new home." Et tu, Mike?


Hey Neil,

The MSFC has posted on their website ( about how they see the new stadium being used, saying it will be used 289 days out of every 355 available. Well, let's break down this 289 days of high-revenue activities and see what is really going on.

75 of those are for HS baseball. Est attendance: 200

100 of those are concourse days. Est attendance: 175

50 of those are "other" events. Est attendance: 250

So 225 out of the 289 days (78%) will have a facility that will have more EMPLOYEES working at it than people paying money there. 66 other days there will be noone there other than the employees who do nothing but maintain the place. The end result is that we will only be able to keep about 5% of the revenue the place generates, while the Vikings keep the rest.

Up to now they've been saying it will have more than 300 events per year (some people cling to a 350+ events per year number), but I guess someone finally explained to them that they can't host high school and college baseball in a football-only stadium.

Posted by Geoff on May 4, 2010 11:34 AM

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