Thursday, May 18, 2006


I've been fairly silent on the stadium bills over the last month as the usual legislative shenanigans have caused the three stadium proposals to merge and diverge more than once. It now looks like the Vikes get kicked to the curb for a year, while the original Twins proposal is heading for approval.
The Vikings, who two days earlier said they would not request state aid or a retractable roof for their proposed stadium in Blaine, ran a reverse Wednesday night, saying they needed $115 million from the state in the form of tax exemptions and proceeds from the sale of the Metrodome to pay for the roof. But the revised plan, which was greeted less than enthusiastically by a House-Senate conference committee, raised new concerns.
The Vikes have sucked the air out of discussions almost all week so far. I could rant for weeks about this thing -- I have a sports econ course the next three weeks in which I am going to bring out my artillery -- but let me call your attention to one particularly egregious piece of crap that Minnesota Momentum, the movement to build the Vikes stadium that has been sticking ads in and on anything that moves, has been saying. This is from their print ad insert in the StarTribune from May 10:
No existing state general fund money will be used to fund this project. Only new state tax revenue that wouldn't exist "but for" this project will pay for the state's portion.
What dollars would exist with Northern Lights that didn't exist before? This is the same multiplier scam that other teams have tried in other cities. As my friends Dennis Coats and Brad Humphreys point out, this methodology is flawed because the money spent at the stadium is being diverted from other sources in the same region. The net effect is much smaller than the investment projects in the other 14 Minnesota communities using the sales tax to fund economic development.

The Gopher stadium, I predict, will finish the session passed in about this current form. Taxing sports memorabilia to fund the stadium might not, but the rest of it most likely will.

I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with Greens on anything, but I'd hold one of these signs in front of Steve Kelley's place too.

Meanwhile, Larry Schumacher is following the Legislature and is unpleased with what he sees. Because the Mayor has asked a moratorium, I will not refer to the meat of tubular shape for the making of metaphors. My take is that this is like watching those dot races on the scoreboard at the Metrodome between innings.