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Vikings get sweetheart stadium deal (Taxpayers get the shaft)
Associated Press ^ | May 12th 2012 | TIM DAHLBERG

Posted on 05/14/2012 6:09:27 AM PDT by AmonAmarth

Whoa, that was a close one.

Leave it to some penny pinching Minnesotans to make a couple of billionaires sweat it out. If Zygi and Mark Wilf had known it was going to be this hard to get a new stadium built in Minneapolis, they might have gone looking for some other taxpayer-funded trough to guzzle at.

They're going to get their new stadium, though, and what a place it should be. A billion-dollar palace downtown, smack on the same spot the Vikings play today, and loaded with the kind of amenities that make owning an NFL team so much fun.

The best part of it is they'll get it for next to nothing.

(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: football; nfl; vikings
Half a billion to the taxpayers of Mn for 8 games a year.
1 posted on 05/14/2012 6:09:31 AM PDT by AmonAmarth
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: AmonAmarth

Too bad someone in the legislature didn’t stick in an amendment that would require the Vikings to win a minimum number of games each season or have to pay back the money to the taxpayers. Look at the Twins in their new stadium with the worst record in baseball and lots of empty seats in that fancy ballpark as a result.


3 posted on 05/14/2012 6:15:28 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: AmonAmarth

The fact that its even being considered in our current economic situation explains our economic situation perfectly.

We’re a zero restraint population with a zero restraint government.


4 posted on 05/14/2012 6:15:37 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cripplecreek

Bread and circuses...


5 posted on 05/14/2012 6:20:22 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: AmonAmarth

Yeah, welcome to our world. We people in Cleveland got the royal shaft with the Browns a few years ago:

1. Art Model pouted because we wouldn’t build him a new stadium.
2. We built one for the Indians, which thoroughly pissed him off.
3. He already had architect plans to dome the old stadium, but he pouted that he wanted a new one.
4. He broke a legal lease with the cooperation of a corrupt city government.
5. He ripped his team away from probably the best and strongest fan base in sports.
6. The NFL made the city build a new stadium or they would not give us a team.
7. No, we couldn’t dome the stadium.
8. Therefore, we couldn’t use it for more than home games for football and could not use it for anything else because of the lack of a dome.
9. Our franchise was pulled to Baltimore where it (our franchise) won a bunch of playoff games and a couple Super Bowls (our franchise).
10. We got stuck with crap coaches, crap players, and an undomed stadium.
11. Forgot to mention . . . it was paid with “sin tax” on smokers, etc. Can we smoke in the stadium. No.
12. NFL has given Cleveland a big fat “screw you” to the entire city.

Too bad, Minnesota. We feel your pain.


6 posted on 05/14/2012 6:20:35 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: AmonAmarth
they might have gone looking for some other taxpayer-funded trough to guzzle at.

I think the NFL makes far more money from not having a team in Los Angeles than they would if they had one there. If they moved a team there they would get one stadium built at taxpayer expense. Without any teams there and the overhanging threat to move, the owners can get every team a new stadium. Threatening to move a team to Portland, Oregon just doesn't get the politicians to open up the taxpayers' wallets like a threat to move to LA.

7 posted on 05/14/2012 6:20:36 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: The Great RJ

I watched the HHH Metrodome being built in the early eighties as I went to church every Sunday across the street from the dome. I remember thinking that it would be the hom for Vikings for at least 50 years. It was built for $65 million dollars on time and under budget


8 posted on 05/14/2012 6:22:19 AM PDT by AmonAmarth (Wherever you go...There you are)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Bread and circuses...

Throughout recorded history, austerity has been defeated by the citizenry almost every time. The only exception that I can recall is WWII.

Our nation has been seduced by entitlement programs...we're screwed.

9 posted on 05/14/2012 6:29:08 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (My dream ticket for 2012 is John Galt & Dagny Taggart!)
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To: AmonAmarth
A fancy place to watch nothing but this in 10 years. Photobucket
10 posted on 05/14/2012 6:29:18 AM PDT by Ronald_Magnus
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To: AmonAmarth

Frankly, I don’t blame the owners for this. They are just taking advantage of a situation the POLITICIANS have created.

As Pittsburgh showed everyone, it doesn’t MATTER what the taxpayers want, or don’t want. No Politician wants to known as the one who let the football/baseball team leave. It’s a career-ending incident.

What the hell, it’s just taxpayer money, and the pols will be long-gone when the bill comes due.


11 posted on 05/14/2012 6:29:38 AM PDT by tcrlaf (Election 2012: THE RAPTURE OF THE DEMOCRATS)
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To: AmonAmarth

“Half a billion to the taxpayers of Mn for 8 games a year.”

How much do you think it will cost you to bring your family to even one home game? Including parking, etc.


12 posted on 05/14/2012 6:32:09 AM PDT by detective
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To: AmonAmarth

The Metrodome went up in mid 70s. Its roof collapsed twice in the late 70s, while I was in college in Northfield. As expected when you count on hot air and the name of a liberal icon to hold anything up.


13 posted on 05/14/2012 6:35:51 AM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (Obama been Liberal. Hope Change!)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

No, it was built and opened in 1982. The first collapse happened in 1981 before it opened, and collapsed 3 more times over the years, the latest in 2010.


14 posted on 05/14/2012 6:38:59 AM PDT by AmonAmarth (Wherever you go...There you are)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

So much for precise memories. I thought it collapsed while I was in the state, 40 miles south, but instead it did in ‘81, ‘82 and ‘83. I’d left, but was still following MN news and misdated those memories.


15 posted on 05/14/2012 6:41:49 AM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (Obama been Liberal. Hope Change!)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

My memories are clear but the dates are always a little foggy too, I find myself googling a lot to remember the dates of my memories.


16 posted on 05/14/2012 6:48:08 AM PDT by AmonAmarth (Wherever you go...There you are)
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To: detective

My family = 7.

Tix - $100 each (cruddy seats) = $700
Food at the game x 7 = $140
Parking at the game = $30
Tank of gas for 4 hour round trip = $100

Total: $970

Not a chance in the world. I used to bleed purple. I have been reformed.

I think I’ll send half of that to Compassion International and spend Sunday afternoon playing catch with my kids in the yard instead of wasting resources on NFL. Under that scenario, everyone TRULY wins.


17 posted on 05/14/2012 6:49:17 AM PDT by mn-bush-man
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To: AmonAmarth

Lets not forget we just blew 20 million on a new roof for the dome. Gonna rip the place down and throw it away I guess.

I hope the idiots (YES, YOU POLS ARE IDIOTS) that voted for this remember why I and others won’t vote for them come November.

This shyt has to stop.

I won’t set foot in any of these places. I might be forced to pay for them, but I am not forced to buy a ticket and warm a seat.. (yet).


18 posted on 05/14/2012 6:51:00 AM PDT by cableguymn
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To: mn-bush-man

Couldn’t agree more. I am a Viking fan, went to 2 games.

Once in 1983 COST: $18 for 2 tickets, $30 for food, parking, and a souvenier. TOTAL: $48

Went to a game in 2009 COST: $240 for 2 tickets, $260 for food, parking, and a souvenier. TOTAL: $500

No more. I enjoy watching on tv more anyway


19 posted on 05/14/2012 6:56:23 AM PDT by AmonAmarth (Wherever you go...There you are)
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To: AmonAmarth
NOBODY got the shaft like Cincinnati...

20 posted on 05/14/2012 7:04:49 AM PDT by TSgt (The only reason I have one in the chamber at all times, is because it is impossible to have two in.)
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To: JohnBovenmyer; AmonAmarth

It was the early ‘80s. I know because as a lifelong Los Angeles Rams fan I always dreaded going to the outdoor stadium in Minneapolis in January for the playoffs. When the Rams finally got a home game for the playoffs... mudslides (and a 5’9” QB in Pat Haden). We Rams fans are grateful that the Vikes moved indoors, our last playoff went much, much better. May we meet there again.


21 posted on 05/14/2012 7:13:00 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Dr. Sivana

Hmmm, actually that game might have been in St. Louis. In any event, the Rams no longer fear traveling to Minnesota in winter.


22 posted on 05/14/2012 7:14:12 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Dr. Sivana
The Cowboys didn't seem to mind The Met that much.


23 posted on 05/14/2012 7:15:27 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: dfwgator
The Cowboys didn't seem to mind The Met that much.

It looks like the weather let up a little for that game. The Rams had just knocked off the Cowboys 14-12 in Dallas before heading north to 8 degree weather with heavy winds and losing largely due to blockled kicks. The Cowboys didn't have a chance to play in those conditions as they had already been defeated.
24 posted on 05/14/2012 7:28:09 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Dr. Sivana

It’s no coincidence that the Vikes haven’t been back to a Super Bowl since they moved indoors.


25 posted on 05/14/2012 7:29:20 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: dfwgator

We were close a couple years ago, until the cheating Saints went after Farves knees and legs thanks to the coaches bounty.


26 posted on 05/14/2012 7:32:23 AM PDT by AmonAmarth (Wherever you go...There you are)
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To: AmonAmarth

No way the Saints even come close if that game was played outdoors.


27 posted on 05/14/2012 7:35:54 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: mn-bush-man

The Financing:
The state will finance the taxpayer share with appropriation bonds, which are debt instruments to be repaid over time with interest.

Appropriation bonds are paid with an annual appropriation from the state’s general fund. Yes, the state’s general fund is at risk with appropriation bonds, unlike revenue bonds.

Revenue bonds are bonds that are repaid with revenue from the particular capital project that is built with the bonds. For example, a community center can be built
with revenue bonds and then be repaid with revenues from the enterprise.

Appropriation bonds indeed put the state’s general fund at risk yet do not pledge the full faith and credit of the state to repay the bonds. General obligation bonds do that.

Thus, some folks will argue that appropriation bonds are less risky for taxpayers precisely because they do not pledge the full faith and credit of the state.

This is really a distinction without a difference. If the financing mechanism for the stadium deal, electronic gambling, fails to produce revenues sufficient to repay
the bonds, it is highly unlikely the state would allow the bonds to go into default,even though there would be no legal argument to prevent such an outcome.

More likely, the state would simply rob other programs or raise taxes to fund the gap.

So yes, the taxpayers are at big risk regarding these bonds.

Which leads us to the next financing issue: gambling revenue.

The deal finances the bonds by allowing the state’s charities to implement two new kinds of gambling, electronic pull tabs and electronic bingo that links players in one location to players in other locations.

This gambling would be taxed with the revenues going into the general fund and then laundered back out to repay the bonds.

First, gambling revenues are incredibly volatile. To base 30 year bonds on a volatile revenue stream is risky, even reckless.

Second, this kind of gambling is new and unproven, adding to the risk. There is really no track record of this kind of gambling to offer and kind of reliable projections
upon which to base revenues.

And no, the answer to this problem wasn’t more gambling in the form of the so-called “racino,” as some Republicans proposed.

The state is going to come to regret turning to gambling to finance programs.

Gambling is a regressive tax visited upon those who can least afford it. Normally,our libertarian tendencies wouldn’t care, but the fact is that these addicts blow
their small earnings on gambling and then turn to the welfare system to pick up the pieces.

The state has no business preying on dopes who don’t know any better because the taxpayers end up footing a bigger bill in the long run.

It’s the coward’s way out. If Republicans want more government and more government spending, they ought to be big enough and honest to support honest tax increases
to pay for it.

Really, it’s been appalling to watch Republicans bray on and on about more gambling while attempting to claim the mantle of conservatism.

There’s nothing conservative about advocating for more governmental revenue to support more governmental programs, especially when those programs have nothing to do with
core functions of government (like building a stadium or bailing out the horse racing industry).

With the session over, maybe Republican leaders like RNC Committeewoman Pat Anderson can back to her job of rebuilding a broken, bankrupt state party instead of hanging out at the Capitol as a paid lobbyist for the gambling industry.

The Referendum:
As expected, Minneapolis residents will get jobbed out of their right, pursuant to the city charter, to vote on the expenditure of city funds to build sports facilities
that require more than $10 million city funds.

The sophistry here is that the $150 million local share isn’t really Minneapolis money since it’s financed with a local tax that is state imposed.

If that’s true, is it really a local share? Shouldn’t that $150 million count towards the state share?

The 1%:
Despite being the legislative minority, Democrats in both the House and Senate provided the majority of votes for the stadium.

Yes, the DFL was responsible for a $350 million public subsidy for a Delaware based private corporation owned by a billionaire New Jersey real estate mogul.

Let the DFL never, ever be heard to complain of corporate greed, corporate welfare,or any BS about paying one’s “fair share.”

Every DFLer who voted for this bill put the lie to the “party of the workin’ man” narrative.You offered up a subsidy to a member of the 1%, financed by gambling, which preys heavily on the bottom 1%.

And that includes a DFL governor who did little this session but advocate for this stadium, his clear number one priority.

The DFL wanted a stadium this session. Will they campaign on it? Don’t hold your breath.

How cynical and how very crass.

Photo I.D. Required!:
Did you know the Vikings bill requires the presentation of a photo identification.
It’s true! Check out HF 2958 https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=ccrhf2958A.html&session=ls87
the stadium bill. Article 4, section 52, subdivision 9(d) states: Before participatingin the play of a linked bingo game, a player must present and register a valid picture
identification card that includes the player’s address and date of birth.
It’s right there on page 71, lines 13-15.

So Democrats are opposed to a photo ID to vote but support photo ID to play bingo?

How cynical and how very crass.

The Process:
Putting aside the merits of the stadium issue, every citizen should be appalled by the lack of transparency and secrecy surrounding the conference committee that
assembled the stadium bill behind closed doors.

Joint Rule 2.06 mandates: All Conference Committees shall be open to the public.As much as practical, meetings of Conference Committees shall be announced as far
in advance as possible, with the intent to provide a 24-hour notice, and actions taken shall be agreed upon in an open meeting.

This didn’t happen. Instead, the conference report was crafted behind closed doors,out of sight from the taxpaying public.

The conference committee played games by having different parties in separate rooms to avoid triggering a quorum of the conference committee which would then trigger
an open meeting.

Citizens were treated to the spectacle of the conference committee posting their bill before the committee even officially met. Just how in the he$$ does a conference
committee assemble and agree upon a conference report before they have even met?

They hid behind closed doors and cut a deal with the Vikings in a smoke-filled back room.What disservice to the people of this great state.

Another stadium?:
The Vikings bill didn’t just build a new home for the Vikings. It also will likely build one for the Saint Paul Saints.

Sources say that the Saint Paul legislative delegation was persuaded to support the Vikings stadium with a wink and a nod that the Saints would get a stadium as well.

How?

Well, just take a look at the bonding bill [https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/?id=293&year=2012&type=0
that passed just days before the stadium bill.

Contained within is a provision that appropriates $47.5 million for capital project grants. Our sources say that a chunk of this money is set aside for a Saints stadium.

Anyone else out there who wants a stadium? Anyone the state has missed? How about that lingerie women’s football team?

The fallout:
Many conservatives are rightly ticked off about this bill and have expressed interest in stripping GOP legislators who supported the bill of endorsement.

The Watchdog encourages folks to take a different, more positive course of action.Namely, go out and work to support legislators who had the courage to oppose the
bill in the face of angry, hostile, venomous, mouth-breathing supporters who harassed legislators with profanity and threats throughout.

No matter where you live, there is a GOP legislator nearby who stood on principle.Even if it isn’t your legislator, support that person with your time, money, and
talents. Be positive. Be proactive.

Spending time hammering at a fellow Republican is counterproductive and only cheers the DFL. Work FOR something, not against.

WWW.ANOKACOUNTYWATCHDOG.COM


28 posted on 05/14/2012 8:20:38 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: AmonAmarth
You can whine all you want about the MN Legislature passing the Stadium Bill, and you can call it a sweetheart deal and say that taxpayers got the shaft, BUT YOU ARE WRONG!

The legislation for the $975 million stadium commits the state to raising $348 million by allowing electronic pull-tabs and bingo in bars and restaurants. There are also backup funding measures such as a lottery game and luxury suite taxes.

If you don't want any of YOUR money to go to the stadium, NOBODY IS FORCING YOU TO PLAY BINGO, BUY PULL TABS OR LOTTERY TICKETS OR RENT LUXURY SUITES AT THE STADIUM.

AND IT'S TOO DAMN BAD THAT TAXPAYER MONEY WON'T GO TO KILL MORE BABIES IN PLANNED PARENTHOOD CLINICS AND OTHER IMMORAL WASTES OF TAXPAYER MONEY.

29 posted on 05/14/2012 8:29:07 AM PDT by Dawebman (STOP YOUR WHINING !)
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To: mn-bush-man

Throw in the several hundreds of dollars in taxes per game you will be paying to buy the Vikings a new stadium.


30 posted on 05/14/2012 8:33:28 AM PDT by detective
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To: TSgt

Wow. Look at that Erie County (Buffalo) budget. That’s got to be $1,500 PER PERSON and Buffalo is one of the poorest cities in the country. Who’s providing the $1,500 per person in revenue there? It’s not the residents of Buffalo.


31 posted on 05/14/2012 8:36:14 AM PDT by Neanderthal
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To: laweeks

I know this really doesn’t help, but we (the Ravens) have actually only won one Super Bowl (so far).


32 posted on 05/14/2012 8:40:57 AM PDT by safeasthebanks ("The most rewarding part, was when he gave me my money!" - Dr. Nick)
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To: AmonAmarth

This cycle has, and will continue to repeat itself in city after city as long as the fans continue their cult-like worship of the NFL. I don’t expect that to stop anytime soon.


33 posted on 05/14/2012 8:42:33 AM PDT by Fair Paul
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To: dfwgator

Football was meant to be played outside.


34 posted on 05/14/2012 8:51:09 AM PDT by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
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To: TSgt

TSgt, it’s even worse - Mike Brown so thoroughly rolled Hamilton County that he actually has veto rights on dining and drinking establishments in The Banks (between the Bengakls and Reds stadiums) AND he gets a percentage of each beer sold in any Banks establishment on game days because the lease says it detracts from his concessions otherwise.

And, the Bengals have not won a playoff game in more than 20 years.


35 posted on 05/14/2012 9:00:36 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Not Romney - Not ever!)
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To: Buckeye Battle Cry

Thank you Bob Bengalhaus.

I’m just glad Palmer and Ocho are gone.


36 posted on 05/14/2012 9:03:41 AM PDT by TSgt (The only reason I have one in the chamber at all times, is because it is impossible to have two in.)
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To: AmonAmarth

A shakedown by the bikes
Build us a state of the art stadium, pay for it or we move the team to L.A.


37 posted on 05/14/2012 9:26:43 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) Hey Mitt, F-you too pal)
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To: TSgt

To this day, Beddinghaus works for Mike Brown as his towel boy. He threw away his political career to get that stadium deal done and Mike hired him within days of his losing re-election.


38 posted on 05/14/2012 9:58:49 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Not Romney - Not ever!)
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To: AmonAmarth
Well, ya might not be able to watch the game on TV if your in the area.

Vikings get their new stadium, but fans are still subjected to 'blackout' rule

'"If we're going to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars, at least make sure the fans get to watch," he told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday. "I thought it was worth a shot. There was a lot bipartisan support."

Except that his amendment, which was initially approved in the face of strong opposition from the Vikings, got wiped out in committee before the final bill reached the Senate floor. '

39 posted on 05/14/2012 12:37:10 PM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Theoria

I live in Denver and get NFL TICKET so no worries here.


40 posted on 05/14/2012 12:39:50 PM PDT by AmonAmarth (Wherever you go...There you are)
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