Sunday, September 22, 2013

Minnesota Governor Wants Mega Wealthy Team Owner of Vikings to Pay Share of New Stadium Costs Instead of Fans


In Minnesota as after the state government started up after Republicans shut it down in a tax revolt against funding vital welfare programs the state passed laws that would commit substantial taxpayer funding for a new football stadium.  It’s a great project, as long as one overlooks the fact that the new stadium creates no new permanent jobs and is basically corporate welfare for the wealthy owners of the team.

But the deal did require the team to put up some money.

The Vikings are responsible for paying $477 million of the stadium's $975 million construction cost with the state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis responsible for the rest.

The team's portion of the funding includes a $200 million NFL loan and revenue from stadium naming rights as well as the sale of personal seat licenses to season ticket holders. Revenue from those sources could easily be tens of millions of dollars or more, leading critics of the stadium financing package to question whether the owners and team have much financial exposure at all.

Notice that line about sale of personal seat licenses.  Basically what those are is a charge to season ticket holders for the right to buy a season ticket.  Yes you read that correctly.

Now the Governor is saying no, that the Vikings should not rely on fan money after relying on hundreds of millions of government money.

. . . in a letter Monday to the Minnesota Sports Facilities chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen, Dayton urged the authority to make sure the owners and team contribute "significant equity" to the project, and not rely heavily on personal seat license fees.

"I strongly urge you to negotiate a final financial agreement, which requires the Vikings' owners to provide a signficant share of their financial contribution from their own resources, and not from Vikings' fans through the sale of expensive personal seat licenses," Dayton wrote.

Wow, here’s a Governor who doesn’t understand the basic principles of government.  He doesn’t know or care that the responsibility of a cash starved state is to provide massive subsidies for wealthy owners of sport franchises.  Where has this man been?

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