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04-11-13, #1: Legislative double-cross? Why? To make them move to L.A. or to distort more money from them and the NFL? Can't just be confusion.

April 11, 2013

When you break a deal or try to, you lose both credibility and trust.  Recent proposed legislation, whether passed or not, has broken the credibility and trust developed with the Vikings.  As Yogi Berra said, “Déjà vu all over again.”  Is this another inning or quarter in Minnesota’s perennial Stadium Games (2000 book by Star Tribune sports writer Jay Weiner, with subtitle,  Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles).  From Minnesota nice to Minnesota nasty:  what the legislators are proposing to do, from the Star Tribune, KMSP-TV, and NFL links:

Legislator asks for larger Vikings commitment to stadium
Vikings Stadium Plans Could Be On Hold By State
Bill would put Vikings stadium on hold
AT THE CAPITOL: Stadium funding
Dayton's stadium chief backs pro sports gear tax
Racino proposed as answer for Vikings stadium and budget

The Proposed Doublecross as taken from the preceding links:

1.  For Minnesota to slash $200 million from its $348 million commitment, proposed out of panic as the electronic pull tabs that were to pay the state’s portion is only bringing in 5% of what was projected.
2.  Delay issuance of bonds for the stadium until viable revenue source are found/created.
3.  Extend sales tax to luxury boxes and seat licenses
4.  10% tax on athletic memorabilia:  the only acceptable part of the doublecross, but too little too late
5.  Ill-advised action hiding behind the skirts of false “do goodism:” that the stadium will “take money from education, health care and maintaining roads.”  If so, why were new stadiums built for the Gophers, Twins, Wild, and  with proposed upgrading for Timber Wolves?
6.  Remember:  Stadium and arena promises were broken to Bob Short, Norm Green, and Red McCombs. Now the Wilfs. 

Consequences of the Proposed Doublecross
1.  Vikings and the NFL won’t play Revenue Roulette:  they won’t pull the trigger on the Vikings
2.  Won’t force the Vikings and the NFL to put up more money
3.  Will more than likely force the Vikings to L.A.
4.  Kelm-Helgen, Authority Chair, correctly notes that the luxury seat proposal infringes on the deal struck by state negotiators
5.  Hence Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president, correctly points out that the proposal "would dramatically change the deal that was negotiated and ratified by the Legislature in May of 2012."  Why would the Vikings trust the state and city again?
6.  Will cause cost increases.  New 49er stadium will now need $29 million in design changes and another $50 million for emerging technology upgrades.  What design and technology upgrades (and their costs) will become necessary after a 1-2 year delay in Minnesota? 

Revenue realities behind the Proposed Doublecross

1.  Owner of Atlanta, GA NFL Falcons to pay $800 million of the proposed $1 billion retractable-roof stadium, with the remaining $200 million public contribution to be paid by a city hotel-motel tax.  But the Falcons owner is a billionaire; the Vikings owner is only a millionaire.

2.  Owners of MLB team in San Francisco paid for their stadium:  but this is not San Francisco

3.  The public contribution to the San Francisco 49ers new stadium of $800 million will be covered by seat and suite sales (if the latter don’t cover it the team will make up the difference but at current rate of sales in post-Super Bowl fever, they expect to make more that the $800 million.  Here is a big difference:  “The 49ers team loaned Santa Clara $400 million, the NFL loaned out $200 million.”   …  “The first team to draw from the so-called "new stadium fund" that came out of the league's new collective bargaining agreement.”  Never the less, they are LOANS.  But Minnesota has no Silicon Valley, and no longer has 19 Fortune 500 companies in the region with their highly paid employees able to buy expensive seats.  And the 49ers took years to work it out; Minnesota kept avoiding real negoatiations and then did it hastily.

4.  Racino proposed as answer for Vikings stadium and budgetwould not get tribal approval.

Solutions:  Begin with My Solution Paper #47:  SAVE THE VIKINGS! OR DO THEY MOVE?  Includes key columns since 2000,  my 2002 chapter on the Vikings, my 2003 roll call of those opposed to the Vikings staying in Minnesota.

I proposed answers to key solution questions as proposed to the State, City and the Vikings, all ignored, including:

1.  My December 11, 2011, Stadium Solution Paper #47 (and updated since)

2.  My 2002 book, The Minneapolis Story: Through My Eyes.

3.  January 29, 2005, Solution Paper #24, The Roll Call Of Those Calling for the Vikings to Move

4.  And references to outside proposed solutions submitted to the Vikings in 2000 and again in 2004:  (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here).

5.  KEY QUESTION from my 12-11-11 Solution Paper #47: Save the Vikings or do they move?    “Why haven’t the elected (Govenors, Legislators, City Council) and/or their staffs or the Vikings ever asked for a ‘how?’ conversation/demonstration when given documents regarding how to build a new stadium without raising new taxes (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here)?”  That “no new taxes” solution presented in 2000 and 2004, if followed, would have yielded another $1 billion for the Vikings since then, the amount of the proposed stadium today.

Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013, 4:27 a.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

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