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January 13, 2011
Vikings: We'll pay one-third of roofless stadium cost, not a dime more
Minnesota Vikings stadium point person Lester Bagley declared yesterday that the team is willing to pay one-third of the cost of a new outdoor stadium, but if the state wants to add a roof, it's on its own dime. Which is exactly the same thing Bagley said last spring, but it made headlines nonetheless. (Some, admittedly, less positive than others.)
The next step appears to be the introduction of a bill in the state senate, where Republican Julie Rosen says she'll have legislation ready to go by mid-February. "It's not going to be a clean mechanism like it was with the Twins," Rosen told the Associated Press. "It's going to be a cobbling together of many sources." Not that she said what those sources would be — what do you want, spoilers?
In any case, with a roofless stadium estimated to cost $700 million, and a roof adding at least a couple hundred million more, it looks like the state would be looking at spending at least $700 million just to make the Vikings more profitable. Rosen, though, thinks it's worth it: "You have to ask yourself what would the Legislature be doing if, say, Target was threatening to move out of state? It demands a response."
As I Dislike Your Favorite Team responds:
Here's something I bet the State Legislature would say--"Hey, Target, before we create a tax just so you can build something, can we get a look at your books? Because we were under the impression that you are a multi-billion dollar operation." And again, let's talk about false equivalences--Target employs 10,000 people in Minnesota, it has been here since 1902 and is a Fortune 500 company. None of those things describe the Vikings. Target is ably run, too. Oh, and when Target needed a new $260 million headquarters, they built it.
Actually, Target does have two things in common with sports teams: Most of their jobs are poorly paid, and they've asked for subsidy deals that haven't worked out too well. Here's something I hope the state legislature will say: If we don't spend that $700 million on the Vikings, how many jobs can we create by doing something else with the money?
Why in the name of all that is sane would they want a roofless stadium after playing in one in winter just ended the career of their hall of fame quarterback?
I believe Corey Wootton's sack would of ended his career whether or not they were playing indoors or out. The offensive line was letting everyone through all season.
Brett Farve was injured going into that game and had pretty much accepted that his career went one season too long by the time the dome deflated.
Plus, the U of M stadium doesn't have undersoil heating, as it doesn't need it. NFL stadiums that require it all do.
My question is, why on earth would a team in a cold weather area want to play in an indoor stadium and forego one of the best home field advantages a team could get, i.e. the elements in winter?
DURR! Forgot to follow the money, specifically the supposed boon Superbowls are supposed to be for the towns that host them. Sorry Neil.
You're witnessing one of the greatest cons of all time. We in Minnesota haven't even decided on whether to build a new stadium or not and Wilf has us arguing over whether we put a roof on it or not. The legislature is falling for this hook, line and sinker. Lemmings.
John, I agree.
This is standard OP for sports moguls... and lying politicians. Reframe the debate: make it not about 'whether' we should do this, but how to get it done. Pretty much the central tenet of the philosophy of getting to yes... make sure you control the question.
Local politicans are pretty much never able to go toe to toe with the professional subsidy extraction specialists in these debates. They should really hire their own professional negotiators to fight this battle. But hey, elected officials magically become smarter the moment they are voted in, right?
Will it be the greatest con of all time? It will have to go some to top Yankee Stadium (especially if you consider the fact that most smaller markets base their "need" for subsidy on the grounds that they have to compete with the Yankees (and their market)... who coincidentally appear to have received the biggest subsidy of all). These cons always seem world class - until the next one comes along and our jaws drop even further.
So the Gophers' stadium ended Favre's career, Dan?
Gee, and here I thought it was because he can no longer play at a high enough level, or because he has alienated teammates and fans alike with his tantric retirement dance, or because he has become a complete distraction to his team with his many & varied off field troubles...
Like many great players, Favre just didn't know when to leave gracefully. So he ended up staying until he was no longer welcome, and will ultimately leave less than gracefully. He has become an embarrassment to the league and the Vikings. I say this as someone who was once a big fan of the player, too.