It wasn’t just the price tag that compelled me to vote against sending the bill to the governor. It has a structurally unsound funding mechanism and it ignores and belittles the expressed will of hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans.
Not just belittled us, but insulted our intelligence. I’m not someone who’s built a lot of “cherished family memories” around our underachieving football franchise – and I feel sorry for those that have.
Beyond that, though? The Vikes’ strategy – ratchet up the sentiment, and then threaten to pull all of that out and go to LA (without threatening it directly, since it’d be a stupid idea for the NFL, and anyone who isn’t blinded by sentiment knows it) – was a masterpiece of cynical PR arm-twisting. Also loathsome.
Nienow repeats some of the fiscal cautionary notes that many of us have been sounding for months:
In order to pay for the stadium, charitable gaming will need to more than double. To raise enough revenue, charitable gambling will have to increase about 130 percent over current levels. That increased level of charitable gambling will then have to be maintained for 30 years. Put that into the context of reality: Charitable gambling decreased 31 percent over 10 years.
You can see we are bucking a negative trend with hopes that we will reverse the trend, increase gambling by much more than double and then keep up that level of gambling for three decades. When this mechanism proves unsustainable and short on revenue, you the taxpayer will be on the hook to pay the stadium bills.
When that happens, it will be money taken directly from education, health care and other services we provide, to pay for the stadium.
Oddly, the governor and mainstream media were very, very quiet about this “feature” of the stadium “deal”.
Another provision in the law is not even for the Vikings stadium-refurbishing Target Center. Minneapolis residents recently added a requirement to their city charter requiring a public vote before the city spends more than $10 million fixing a sports arena. This law eliminates that expressed will of the people.
If today we can ignore their will, tomorrow it can be yours. That’s a dangerous precedent.
And it’s just a matter of time before the next major league franchise will be wanting new digs.
XCel is over fifteen and pushing twenty, after all; Target Center is twenty and change; “renovations” aside, both of those clubs will be demanding new stadiums before too long.
And their idiot fans will put on their jerseys and their wolf masks and mob the capitol and demand that the next bunch of gullible weak-kneed “moderate” saps do the will of the team and the Strib.
My question was always “If we don’t stop this organized larceny of the public largesse, who will? If not us, who?”
Nienow, and most of the freshman class of Republicans, voted to let the 1% pay for their own real estate upgrade, and this blog thanks them.
Read the whole thing.
And get ready. Because I figure we’re less than a decade away from the next such campaign.
(NOTE: Kudos to Mr. D, who – to the best of my knowledge – coined the term “Helga Braid Nation”).