Angry taxpayers shout "No!" to Vikings stadium money

Categories: Vikings
ramseystadium1.jpg
If they get their say, this spaceship will never land on taxpayers' dime.
The Minnesota Vikings are basically in the worst possible position to be asking for money right now. The team isn't just 0-3, it's choked on big leads in all three games.

The NFL's new owner-friendly labor agreement has left each franchise flush with cash from television deals. And the state of Minnesota is dead broke, with its books-cooking budget dealing now coming back to haunt it in the form of bad credit ratings from each of the big three agencies.

Some pretty peeved taxpayers showed up to the Ramsey County Charter Commission meeting last night, demanding that the Vikings stadium deal, which would saddle Ramsey County citizens with $350 million of the $1.1 billion total cost, be put to a vote.

And they made it clear: If they got to vote, they'd be voting "No."

There were a few Vikes fans on hand at last night's public hearing, and some who argued that the stadium could revitalize an otherwise unused piece of land at the Arden Hills site.

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Zygi Wilf, Mark Dayton: Proud sponsors of Zygi-world.
But, as the Pioneer Press reports, there was strength in numbers among opponents to the plan. Even one Arden Hills resident, who could presumably benefit from an influx of businesses in the area, wasn't thrilled about the idea of handing over chunks of the area surrounding the site to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf.

"The only person that is going to be rich off this is Zygi," Linda Swanson said. "We all know that....It's not going to stop at the stadium. It's going to become Zygi-world out there."

Well, Linda, have you considered the risk of losing Zygi-world to Los Angeles? Don't you realize what's at stake here?

Under the current proposal, the state would chip in $300 million, Ramsey County taxpayers are on the hook for $350 million, and the rest will come from various church donation baskets and children's piggybanks. All right, apparently the Vikings are at least willing to pay the leftover -- something in the $400-$500 million range.

The PiPress points out that the tax increase would add a half-percent to current Ramsey County tax rates, and come out to around $50 per resident per year. That doesn't sound like much.

Still! Should we be contributing taxpayer dollars to a team that can't hold a lead? A team that pays $100 million to Adrian Peterson and then forgets he's on the team?

If you live in Ramsey County, and you want to yell, there's another public hearing on October 11 to debate the possible referendum. By that point the Vikings will probably still be winless, and thinking about telling Minnesota that they're "just going out for a pack of cigarettes," then heading west and never looking back.

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11 comments
Channing Florenz
Channing Florenz

I have a hard time taking people who think the Vikings will end up in LA seriously. The NFL would just end up giving MN an expansion team in a few years anyway, the NFC North would be without a classic rivalry, and LA has lost multiple teams already anyway. The threat is empty and we all know it, they're just trying to fleece us.

Is2blu
Is2blu

no new stadium until the vikings win the super bowl. You need to earn your stadium

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

I know it kinda sucks to give a lot of money to a rich guy like Zygi but he hasn't been a terrible owner.  He spends money on the team and if anything he's been pretty reasonable in his negotiations.  Minneapolis and St. Paul are a major metropolitan area.   In the long run a football stadium will make money for the entire state.  Building a stadium we can all be proud of not only creates jobs but it also gives us something to be proud of as Minnesotans.  Football seems like a growth industry and lets face it Minnesota loves pro football.   The Arden Hills seems like a good spot for the stadium as it seems likely to create growth.   Let's not forget Zygi is a rich successful real estate developer and I wouldn't mind seeing him develop a big project in Minnesota.   I think its a hard concept for some to understand but a major metropolitan area creates wealth.   If you want to have a successful city you need to spend money on things like schools, roads, and stadiums.  Finally as we all know from Civilization 5 building a stadium increases our empire's happiness by 4, this is key to expanding your empire fools. 

a
a

Whether the team plays bad or not - is not relevant - fair weather fans should stay away.  But what is important is whether the owner is willing to build as strong team, is willing to contribute to the cost, and whether we have commitment to building a strong community.  If tax payers money be made available, I for one want to be able to open a bar there - but I can't.  I can't because creating new businesses - the so called businesses that will benefit is tightly controlled.

Therefore, I would prefer my tax money to be spend on education and enabling small business in the area.  If I spent 400 million dollars in Ramsay I would create a lot of jobs too.

I would like to see some serious accounting that suggests building the stadium generate revenue (profit) compared to the the cost.  I doubt we would make 400 million dollars in revenue!!!

Ed Kohler
Ed Kohler

I wish the Vikings had an owner who cared more about Minnesota. 

And, I wish the Vikings had fans that were willing to pay the true market rate of attending games rather than relying upon the public to subsidize their tickets to the tune of $45 per seat per game for decades, should the current stadium proposal become our painful reality.

LA Vikings Fan
LA Vikings Fan

Play in the Metrodome which we already bought for you or get the fuck out of this state you losers.

East Coast Doug
East Coast Doug

Sports have become a drug.  Mindless, truely mindless.

Isaac Anthony
Isaac Anthony

The threat of Vikings leaving should be good enough for Minnesotans to say "good day, sir" to Mr.Wilf, we deserve better.  Maybe L.A. will be good enough to take the Raiders and the Vikings.

Chris
Chris

Have fun in LA Zygi.

ludwigtr
ludwigtr

I don't want to pay for a stadium with taxes when I can't afford to go to a game.  That's my only argument here.

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