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10-25-13, #3: Viking Stadium Unravelling or pivoting to reboot?  We warned!  We advised!  Will we finally be heeded?

October 25, 2013

On Thursday, 10-24-13, Mn Public Radio and the Star Tribune both reported significant stadium funding problems while alluding to other problems.  MPR:  a $45 million gap in Vikings stadium budget, and Star Tribune:  additional funds used:   $17 million paid to purchase plaza land near the stadium site.  

Are these reports signs of the stadium project unraveling or a late recognition of the need to piviot to reboot the project?
We’ve discussed it and warned about it for a dozen years and especially during the last two.  No one has listened.  No one has asked.  No one has wanted to touch or believe our reports.  Shortfalls in revenue combined with increases in costs are prelude to more to come that we have already written about.  See this list of our columns, blog entries, and book chapters that have long warned of dire consequences if left unheeded.  The question is not why didn’t officials know, as they did, but why didn’t they heed.  There are no secrets to spill.  Its all been “hiding” in plain sight, as listed below:  in 4 books, 1 weekly newspaper’s columns and stories, 1 web site, 1 roll call  of those saying the Vikings have to leave," and 1 set of solution papers dealing with how to pay for building a stadium without new taxes and keep the Vikings.

4 books: 
            1.   No Room For Crybabies, Dennis Green, 1997.
            2.   Stadium Games:  50 Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles, Jay Weiner, 2000
            3.   The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes, Ron Edwards, 2002  and here.
            4.   The Red Zone:  Cars, Cows, and Coaches, Red McCombs, 2002  

1 newspaper:  The Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder, our black weekly
            "Through My Eyes, The Minneapolis Story continued,  Column by Ron Edwards
            "Fitz Beat," by Larry Fitzgerald, Column by Larry Fitzgerald
            Periodic news stories and reports

1 web site:  The Minneapolis Story

1 roll call

1 set of Solution Papers.

To recap just some of the past warnings of things to be ready for, from our columns, blog entries, solution papers, and book: 

The Governor blames professional sports, the NFL and the Wilf family.  The real blame goes to a combination the NFL and Minnesota, not the Wilfs.  The NFL demands team locations to pay for stadiums (California is an exception as the state won't do so, so private revenue streams/resources are sought. Farmers Insurance has agreed to ay $700 million for the naming rights of an L.A. stadium. The new 49er stadium is using private sources and stadium revenue streams, including naming rights).  Team/owner revenues come from various revenue streams.  Why not all of it for the stadium, until it is paid for, as we have demonstrated could be done?  The Wilfs have always wanted to stay in Minneapolis, hoping they didn’t have to pull the move trigger, despite the actions trying to force them to leave.  But they have had to play against the roll call of those not wanting the Vikings to stay.  The Wilfs merely played the hand dealt them by the NFL and Minnesota.  They played their hand very well.

The roll call of those not wanting the Vikings to stay highlights the errors by the Minneapolis and Minnesota movers and shakers, from Governors to Mayors to legislators and council members, to white and black churches, foundations and do-good organizations, including Black organizations and so-called Black leaders, going back 18 years, not to mention a lot of negative confusion and anger caused by the Pohlads trying to get everything free, as brilliantly laid out in Weiner's book, Stadium Games, poisoning the water for everyone else. 

As you can see from our book, web site, columns and solution papers, we have stayed on top of it, a voice crying in the wilderness.  The NFL, state, and Vikings  would have gained a great deal paying attention.  And all would leave saved lot of money listening.   Given the body of knowledge and expertise on the subject out there within the political and social context, its clear the state and city have forced the Vikings into a decades long defensive posture. They finally played offense.

Here is the list of losers on the Viking Stadium deal.

Stay tuned.

Written Friday, and posted Saturday, October 26, 2013, 10:12 am

10-04-13, #2: VIKING STADIUM DEAL SIGNED, revealing winners and losers.

--- Our column Wednesday, October 2, said it best: " an exercise to explain why the Vikings will have to be given everything they want in order to stay."
--- Key Question: does Star Tribune report of State to issue $498 million in bonds mean the City is covered? What deal had to be made to get that?
--- Seven concessions / promises died:
1. Diversity and Black jobs.
2. Black stadium concession stands (they go to Vikings).
3. Non-Vikes: Vikes get it all, as we warned.
4. Governor sold out standing up for the people and the Authority to win next election.
5. Black leadership sold out standing up for our community to get hoped for and now denied concessions and deals.
6. White leadership sold out standing UP for tax payers to get part of the action and/or to get re-elected.
7. Minnesota football/sports sovereignty: given to the NFL & the Vikings.

Posted Friday, Oct 4, 2013, 7:01 am.

See also:
--- The Wilfs Prevail. Vikings Owners Make Clean Sweep, Oct 4, 2013
--- Vikings: Is the "Plan" for them to leave or stay? Our columns and chapters since 2002.
--- Diversity and Compliance Studies regarding Job Hiring and Contracting with African American: Minneapolis purposefully practices disparity.
--- On Planning for economic development. Not all are incluuded. See here, here and here.

Edited Oct 6, 2013, 10:07 p.m.

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at

Permission is granted to reproduce The Minneapolis Story columns, blog entires and solution papers. Please cite the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and for the columns. Please cite for blog entries and solution papers.

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