Vikings stadium: Parking lot naming rights centerpiece of Ramsey County's revised plan

Categories: Vikings
Vikings arden hills rendering.jpg
Minnesota Vikings
In another step toward a dystopian future, Ramsey County wants to sell parking lot naming rights.
First we had the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Then, in order to capitalize on revenue from naming rights, we had Mall of America Field at the Metrodome.

Soon, if Ramsey County officials have their way, we'll have the honor of ditching our cars in the Best Buy Parking Lot at Ameriprise Stadium in Arden Hills.

Sounds like a plot line from Idiocracy, doesn't it?

We may be one step away from guzzling Brawndo, but Ramsey County officials still want to build a new Vikings stadium in Arden Hills, and after they were told that funding the local portion of the project with countywide sales, food, or liquor tax increases was a no-go, parking lot naming rights is apparently the best the county could come up with.

In a letter expected to be submitted to Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders today, the Ramsey County board outlines a plan to raise $20.6 million per year from the aforementioned naming rights, parking fees, an admission surcharge, stadium sales taxes, and taxes collected on whatever other development sprouts up along with a Vikings stadium on the old Arden Hills munitions site.

It wouldn't be the first time a pro sports team sold naming rights for a parking lot, but it gets you wondering -- how could being miserably stuck in a gigantic parking lot after a likely Vikings loss possibly make you want to shop at Best Buy or fly Southwest?
MoA field vkings.JPG
Mpls' funding plan is $55 million short. Maybe the city can sell handrail naming rights?

Meanwhile, Minneapolis is also struggling to figure out how to pay for the local share of a new Vikings stadium. A recent analysis revealed that the city's plan to pay for the stadium by repurposing taxes currently paying for Convention Center debt comes up about $55 million short. To make up the shortfall, Mayor R.T. Rybak has proposed charging $25 to park on the street at some meters near the stadium on game days, but that proposal isn't popular with the City Council. The Star Tribune reports that Rybak spokesman John Stiles said that how the funding gap gets filled remains "an open question."

Here's an idea -- urinal naming rights. Since corporations are apparently willing to pay to get their name associated with just about anything, might as well take the concept to its logical extreme. "Hey John, I'll see you at the seats, I'm taking a leak at the Buffalo Wild Wings urinal. What's that? You're parking in the 3M wing of the Best Buy lot? Okay, see you later."

Next thing you know, the nation's first ButtRuckers will open right across from the new stadium, providing more evidence that Mike Judge was right all along.

Previous coverage:
-- Dayton to Vikes: Metrodome site or bust
-- Vikings stadium: Minneapolis, Ramsey County release final funding proposals
-- Vikes stadium: Dayton asks city, Ramsey County to play hurry-up
-- Vikings warming to idea of staying in Minneapolis

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