Sid Hartman: Stadium would be benefit to everyone

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 6, 2012 - 11:04 PM

 As Ted Mondale noted, the Vikings stadium would bring in revenue and show we have a world-class city.

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yupperMay. 6, 12 9:08 PM

What job will Wilf give Mondale if he gets his $tadium? What a sad thing to have a son of a true Democrat shill for a billionaire. The chances of "all the BIG chamionships" playing in a new $tadium in MN are the same as my becoming pope of Rome.

sharkysharkMay. 6, 12 9:23 PM

A new stadium has nothing to do with what kind of city we have. The Metrodome has both a new roof and playing surface and decades of life left in it. Mondale is cheating the public by trying to sell this boondoggle to us. There is no way that the income from a new stadium could be a net gain to the taxpayers. The Metrodome is barely break-even and it is completely paid for.

markythomMay. 6, 12 9:26 PM

How is a 36 percent profit in 30 years a great deal? that is about 1.2 percent return per year, if it happens. The actuaries are still using an estimate of 6 to 8 percent per year to calculate Mr. Mondale's retirement pension. Perhaps his pension should be tied to the return on the stadium investment, and see how it fits then.

erikj3May. 6, 12 9:43 PM

I can't believe some people have such an inferiority complex that they think having a team that plays a game EIGHT DAYS A YEAR here is so important. What do these people do the other 357 days of the year? Sit around waiting for the next Queens game? How sad.

treddleMay. 6, 1210:39 PM

$700 million from Minneapolis and $500 million from the state of Minnesota is no small investment of public treasury. The question the state legislators have to answer is this the best possible use of a billion dollars of public money - if it has to be spent at all? I grant you there will be three years of construction jobs but what jobs will a stadium bring over the next 25 - 30 years and are those jobs worth a billion dollars? Sid is an old man and does not see the problems of younger generations. He is oblivious. Stadium Venders do not make a living wage. They do not get health benefits. They do not get a retirement program. The stadium supporters want me and you to believe this is the absolute best our government can do with a billion dollars to create long term jobs. A little better than 1/2 of recent college grads are either unemployed or under employed; most of them are not making enough money to live on their own and away from their parents. We are on the doorstep of another global recession with European economies having contracted for the past two quarters and the Chinese real estate bubble is bursting (the Chinese government suffers from a credibility problem so we really dont know the extent of the problem). America is going to feel the effects of these other countries' recessions and may even put us into a recession. So, again, is this the best time to spend a billion dollars and is a stadium the best our government can do to create livable long term jobs? I say no.

harrisstevenMay. 6, 1210:41 PM

From the legislature: I remain concerned about spending scarce public resources on a project that is too expensive, could be largely privately financed, and adds no net new economic activity to our region or state (as has been repeatedly proven by economic studies of sports stadium subsidies). The Vikings have asked for the single largest taxpayer subsidy for any professional sports stadium in U.S. history, while at the same time refusing to disclose financial information that is required of all other projects receiving taxpayer money. Elected officials are accountable to safeguard public dollars, making the Vikings’ refusal to negotiate in a forthright manner unacceptable. This monopoly industry, filled with millionaire players and billionaire owners, should be more forthcoming with all of us if it wants $600 million in public money. We do know that the Vikings and its owner will receive over $80 million per year just on broadcasting rights. That will jump to over $150 million per year under the contracts that begin in 2014. The current price tag of the stadium is too high. A stadium could be built for much less, the Vikings could increase their share of the cost, and the business community could step up to help with financing. Other NFL markets have built stadiums with 70-90% private financing. The proposed stadium in Los Angeles (which is, in fact, many years from being built, if ever) is being 100% privately financed. Any scheme that involves expanding gambling of any sort is wholly inadvisable. Minnesota would just be making the same mistake that other states have, creating a new dependence on gambling taxes that have proven to be unreliable and insufficient to offset the added costs from gambling associated social problems and crime. Furthermore, no new net revenue is created from this source. The only economic result is that the already fixed amount of entertainment dollars people spend in our region and state are shifted around. I remain a strong supporter of public investments that actually expand prosperity and improve economic productivity: education, early childhood, research, infrastructure, health, the environment, and workforce development. I would be willing to consider a compromise on this matter if the debate over paying for a stadium would open up the political and policy potential of making investments in those things that would make a real difference for our future

webb93May. 6, 1210:46 PM

Build it!!!!!!!! This whole thing has been sickening! It would cost less than $100 per person in this state to build it!!!!!

lakevilleguyMay. 6, 1210:50 PM

Why is this discussion always framed that those against this stadium deal want them to leave? Nobody wants the Vikings to leave - we just don't want to agree to a bad deal like this. Look at the comments by our lead negotiator - to claim that the state is going to profit on this deal means he's either lying or completely incompetent.

webb93May. 6, 1211:22 PM

@ arielbender- LOL..I guess you've never met any pro athletes. I have! They prob pay more a year in taxes than u in ten! Lets find people on welfare that pay in rather that take out!!!

foofighter15May. 6, 1211:23 PM

markythom: "How is a 36 percent profit in 30 years a great deal? that is about 1.2 percent return per year, if it happens. The actuaries are still using an estimate of 6 to 8 percent per year to calculate Mr. Mondale's retirement pension. Perhaps his pension should be tied to the return on the stadium investment, and see how it fits then." --- It's amazing what lengths they will go to in order to twist the numbers and make it appear that this is a good investment for the people of MN. One line from John Marty's recent letter to his colleagues really stood out for me: "All of the maneuvering at the capitol is not over driving a hard bargain with the team, but finding a scheme that hides the subsidy in ways that would minimize the public outrage." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Senator Marty's letter is entitled "Minnesota Vikings Asking For Stadium Taxpayer Subsidy Of $77 Per Ticket" and is definitely worth reading.


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