Vikings stadium won't go to a vote

Categories: Vikings
ramseystadium1.jpg
Who cares if you want to pay for the new Vikings stadium?
The Minnesota Vikings new stadium will be a $1.1 billion monument dedicated to the death of democracy.

That's what taxpayers learned last night, when the Ramsey County Charter Commission voted not to allow a vote on the tax that will build the new stadium in Arden Hills. See how that works? They held a vote, in order to say that the people of Ramsey County could not have a vote.

This is clearly a technique learned from Adrian Peterson. Essentially, the Ramsey County Charter Commission has used a stiff-arm, a spin move, and a one-two juke move on the taxpayers of St. Paul and surrounding areas. They kept their legs churning. No one will keep them out of the endzone!

In Adrian Peterson, this is admirable. In a public official, it's regrettable.

If any taxpayers have a yellow flag, now is the time to throw it. Upon further review, it looks like the Ramsey County Charter Commission stepped out of bounds.

The Charter Commission voted down putting the tax to a public vote 10-6, and, unlike the Vikings lately, they managed to run out the clock before democracy could mount a comeback.

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Zygi Wilf, Mark Dayton: Both are paying for the stadium, but the guy on the left gets the profits.
As it stands, the terms of the Arden Hills stadium deal call for $300 million from the state of Minnesota, which apparently has cash to spare somehow, $350 million from the non-voting people of Ramsey County, with the Vikings offering something like $420 million to pick up the balance.

Oh, there's even more good news! The stadium won't even be ready until 2016 at the earliest, coming in at least a year -- and as much as $46 million more expensive --  later than the original proposal, the Pioneer Press reports.

That news comes via the long-awaited risk assessment form the Metropolitan Council, which also documented legitimate concerns about the 0.5 percent sales tax that would be imposed in Ramsey County. The risk report, something of a surprise release last night ,was requested by Mark Dayton in early August.

Dayton asked the Met Council to review the stadium plans, with an eye toward a special session for the legislature in November.

Before last night's hearing, charter commission member and former Arden Hills mayor Beverly Apilkowski explained her support for the stadium to the Pioneer Press.

"I don't like the tax," Apilkowski said. And then: "I'm in favor of the project."

That sounds convincing, doesn't it?

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25 comments
SCOTTYBOY123
SCOTTYBOY123

getting a new stadium doesnt draw people. winning teams do. and the vikings aint a winning team. maybe back in the day they were. but not for about the last 20- 30 some years!! why not just take the metrodome for free. and do upgrades on it then no taxpayers would have to fork over any money for it. thats a no brainer. da??!!!  if ziggy doesnt want the metrodome then he can move the team to LA or wherever. SEE YA BYE!!! dont let the door hit your anus on the way out!!!

a
a

There is a simple answer write to your local government representative and state quite clearly that we do not want a new stadium, and we do not want to pay for it.

John
John

Hey republican moron, why aren't you whining about raising taxes right now?

Also, when was the last time you went to ARDEN HILLS to do something? Building a stadium of this magnitude to be open 8-10 days a year in a suburb is a mistake, anyway you slice it.

Yousick
Yousick

The people voted for their commisioners you liberal moron.

Mike
Mike

The short-sightedness of the anti-stadium folks is astounding.  Why wouldn't you want to expand your tax base in Ramsey county by creating value none currently exists?  The math for Ramsey county is simple...The Wilfs are thus far committing to around $400 million, the state kicks in $300 million, and the county around $350 million.  So here you go Ramsey county, you can invest $350 million and get >$1billion project in your county.   Further, the consequent development which will follow in terms of restaurants, hotels, etc. will create more economic activity for the county.  The road and infrastructure improvements from the project improve the vitality of the area and make it a more attractive place for other diverse development.   Finally, you create a tourist area in your county out of a polluted field.  I think people need to get past the "welfare for billionaires" argument and recognize a smart investment when they see it.  I see everyone potentially gaining with this project.

Rwinsp
Rwinsp

As a Ramsey cry resident, if the tax is passed, I'll have be shopping in Dakota or Washington cry in the future. My throats not big enough for a stadium to be shoved down it. Rw

John
John

Yeah, tax Minnesotans $650 million so billionaires can put on eight games a year in a suburb while charging ticket prices the majority of tax payers can't afford. Makes perfect sense. 

Joe
Joe

Holding a referendum for this doesn't make sense, we elect these people to make these decisions. For them to put it to a referendum would be them avoiding the decision. Whether or not the Vikes get the stadium should be hashed out by them. One county if citizens should not have the say as to whether or not this team stays in MN

vitajex
vitajex

How dare we raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires to provide relief to the unemployed and homeless?

We should, instead, tax the unemployed and homeless to provide relief to millionaires and billionaires!  (Damn, I should run for the GOP nomination!)

Tj
Tj

Most NFL stadiums are built in suburbs. There's more space for them there. The new Dallas stadium is 40 minutes outside of Dallas, the Patriots play 45 min outside of Boston, and both are wildly successful. 

a
a

Firstly, because there has been no study that categorically has stated that building a stadium has had any influence in the economic state that could otherwise be achieved with the diret investment into the local community.  Secondly, it's hardly a tourist area - thirdly I'd prefer tax money to go to schools, healthcare and supporting local businesses.  If the stadium was an investment dream - then Ziggy himself would be doing it.  The old cry of the stadium will create jobs is a fallacy - if I injected 400 million into the local economy I could create just as many jobs - and mostly be for local people, not conglomerates or billionaires.

show me the gains that the average person who is taxed and does not want NFL football in saint paul benefits?????  When will the tax increase be reduced to it's original state?

Westre
Westre

jww hits the nail on the head. This kind of argument stops before it starts, as the logical conclusion is crazy. If this business is going to be so unquestionably successful, why do they need taxpayer help to make it happen? It's a twisted kind of blackmail any way you look at it.

jww
jww

Good point...just look at the robust commerce that surrounds the metrodome!

Bob
Bob

This logic is so short sighted that your opinion does not matter.

a
a

Having a referendum is a tool for establishing direction and consensus of those affected.An elected democracy should use this tool when there is stiff opposition to their proposal since it's clear that there are many people who disagree with their elected opinion.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

It's pretty hard to quantify the things you want quantified.  I think a stadium is a building that has psychological benefits.   A football team and stadium offer lots of prestige to a city.   It constantly puts Minneapolis in the national news and marks us as a major metropolitan area.   Once again its wrong to think of this stadium as only benefiting Ziggy.   I think you are ignoring how a stadium can potentially benefit the entire state.    How many billions will Minnesota make if we host a super bowl?   a world cup event?   What if this causes Arden Hills to develop increasing Minnesota's population and wealth?  The NFL doesn't seem to be declining in popularity, instead it seems to be growing.   You say its impossible for the stadium to be worth it financially but I don't really see it.   I would say its far more likely it would benefit Minnesota in the long run.   I want increased spending on schools, healthcare and public safety too but I think the stadium will help us in that regard, not hurt us. 

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

I go back and forth on the stadium but there is a community value to stadiums that is unlike anything else.   A beautiful stadium can be a source of civic pride.   Also, the benefits of a stadium just don't benefit the Vikings.   If Minnesota was to get a Super Bowl or other major sporting event the restaurants, hotels, and shopping would benefit as well.    If we do an exceptional job building a stadium it isn't crazy to think it could become a major tourist attraction.   Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and the Roman Colosseum are examples of that.    Finally its worth noting the Twin Cities are a major metropolitan area if you want to be a big city you need things like football teams, mass transit, and a thriving arts scene.   I wish as a city and a state we would do more to make Minnesota the best place to live. Why wouldn't taxpayers want to pay part of something that makes the city a better place to live?  You may not like football but your fellow man does.   I don't like opera or the orchestra but I love when we spend money on facilities for those fine arts. 

JM
JM

Exactly, the Metrodome is a shithole that no one wants to go to! Look at the robust commerce surrounding the new Twins stadium! It's new! Exciting! People love it and spend money all around it! Hennepin county gave $350mil to the Twins, I don't hear people complaining about that anymore. 

a
a

Any team does not deserve a government funded stadium.. not until we fund public services adequately that is for sure.  How about all those businesses in Arden Hills should get a 5% increase in sales tax and the businesses and surrounding area get 15% increase in income tax?

jww
jww

Great point!  Chicago, Boston, Rome, Arden Hills, Fridley, Mound...they're all great and fundamentally the same

And I can't count the number of times I've traveled to Minneapolis just to stand in the shadow of glorious Target Center.  It's a beauty...move over Taj Mahal.

If done right, maybe we can get the Super Bowl to come to Arden Hills EVERY YEAR! 

Side note:  Have you ever been to Arden Hills?  It sucks shit. 

If the Vikings can have such a terrible team and can still afford to pay one player $100 Million, I suspect they can afford their own stadium. 

And if the tax-exempt NFL can bicker over billions of dollars, they can afford to build a stadium. 

Isn't it strange that the NFL is tax exempt, but they want to use tax-payer financing to build their stadiums?   

a
a

Civic Pride?? - Wake up - we just bailed out a bunch of billionaires, we closing schools, we've been derailed from changing the medical industry and making that more realistically available, jobs are going over seas, we are using drones to accidentally kill americans... Civic Pride?  How about we go back to basics.   Let's have pride in our people??  Let's build better schools, more efficient and effective healthcare... how about better funded police?

JM
JM

All great points. And as the NY Time recently quoted Ted Mondale in an article about our stadium issue saying, "It's tough to do this in a recession, but if you lose an NFL team, you look like a loser city." If we don't get this stadium, it's a very real possibility that we won't have an NFL team. 

This investment will generate far greater returns, where doing nothing would be far worse. 

JM
JM

Because stadiums are just failures aren't they? Football stadiums all over the country do great and only have 8-10 games a year. 

nomoneytobillionaires526
nomoneytobillionaires526

Are you talking about the robust commerce surrounding the Twins stadium (which hosts 81 games a year) that was already in place prior to the stadium?  How many bars and restaurants do you think can be successful on 8-10 events a year?

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