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  1. #1
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    Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    Minnesota Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    By John Shipley and Jason Hoppin
    Pioneer Press

    The Vikings once considered the Metrodome site their best option for a new stadium. Now they seem to be walking away from it.

    Not only do the Vikings refuse to reteam with site landlord Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which has commissioned and paid about $2.6 million for two stadium designs, the team said other Twin Cities communities are now interested in becoming the team's future home.

    "The Metrodome site provides some tremendous infrastructure advantages, there's no question," said Lester Bagley, the Vikings' stadium point man, "but there are other sites, other communities and other elected officials who have ideas with other advantages."

    ...

    "Over the next 30 to 60 days we'll start to see this play out," Bagley said...
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

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    Re: Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    Arden Hills is an interesting option, but I don't know if I see that happening.

    I will be looking forward to hearing more about this. I like the idea of a downtown stadium, but if it can be done elsewhere in Minnesota, I am all for it.

    MN's Legislative Session starts Feb 4th... just three days before the Vikings will appear in their 5th Super Bowl.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

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    Re:Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    lol Brooklyn Center

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    Re:Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    marstc09 wrote:
    lol Brooklyn Center
    Yeah, I don't see how that would work. Just get 'er done!

    I'm exercising my ass by doing flexing exercises while typing. Prophet 3:42pm March 16, 2007
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    Re:Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    Just make it happen i dont care where it is

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    Re:Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    I guess as long as the new stadium isn't in Los Angeles or thereabouts, I'm OK with it. But then again, I don't live in Mpls. If I did, I would probably be highly annoyed by the idea of moving the stadium out to the suburbs because it essentially promotes more urban sprawl and forces everyone to drive to games (unless they build the stadium right off the rapid transit line).

    The nice thing about the dome is that it's centrally located, so if you're visiting from out of town, you can be nearby the dome and still be close to many of the other interesting things Mpls has to offer. Also, the rapid transit line drops you off right in front of the dome and most of the buses in the city congregate within blocks of it. Point is--less drunky driving and traffic clusterfucks, as well as less driving period.

    But whatever, I don't live there. If the people of Minnesota want to be shortsighted, I suppose that's their right.

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    Flidais is offline Rookie
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    Re:Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    The Dropper wrote:
    But whatever, I don't live there. If the people of Minnesota want to be shortsighted, I suppose that's their right.
    But are the people of Minnesota the problem? It's hard to tell from a distance because even (or maybe especially) with the increase in information flow provided by the internet, only the people who complain the loudest and have the biggest axe to grind are heard.

    From my understanding of the situation (and since I'm viewing from a distance as well, my understanding could very easily be wrong), the main issue is just that it's a terribly inconvenient time to try to get money out of the state.

    Pawlenty is pulling together a presidential campaign and does not want to have this amount of money spent on his record. Also, if I remember right, most of the state legislature is up for re-election in the fall and no one wants to be perceived as giving tax payer dollars to the wealthy when the country is in a recession and the state budget is running a deficit.

    The reason the suburbs might look attractive is because the localities are on slightly different election cycles and therefore are a little more able to help with the stadium with tax levies and other economic slight-of-hands.

    I know Wilf has been forced into this timing with the leasing situation of the Metrodome, but I can't help feeling that if he were trying to get a stadium built at almost any other time this would be much easier.

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    Re:Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    Flidais wrote:
    The Dropper wrote:
    But whatever, I don't live there. If the people of Minnesota want to be shortsighted, I suppose that's their right.
    But are the people of Minnesota the problem? It's hard to tell from a distance because even (or maybe especially) with the increase in information flow provided by the internet, only the people who complain the loudest and have the biggest axe to grind are heard.

    From my understanding of the situation (and since I'm viewing from a distance as well, my understanding could very easily be wrong), the main issue is just that it's a terribly inconvenient time to try to get money out of the state.

    Pawlenty is pulling together a presidential campaign and does not want to have this amount of money spent on his record. Also, if I remember right, most of the state legislature is up for re-election in the fall and no one wants to be perceived as giving tax payer dollars to the wealthy when the country is in a recession and the state budget is running a deficit.

    The reason the suburbs might look attractive is because the localities are on slightly different election cycles and therefore are a little more able to help with the stadium with tax levies and other economic slight-of-hands.

    I know Wilf has been forced into this timing with the leasing situation of the Metrodome, but I can't help feeling that if he were trying to get a stadium built at almost any other time this would be much easier.
    Bolded for Truth.

    No, you're absolutely right. I live in a city (Portland) that just went through it's own round of political shenanigans last summer over new stadiums and where to place them (1 soccer/football, 1 baseball, and what to do with the old, unused Memorial Coliseum--former home of the Trailblazers). It was pretty much über-fuckage of the highest order with tons of misinformation (mostly from the "leave everything the way it is"/NIMBY crowd).

    Minnesota's budget woes are pretty atrocious, and even here on the West Coast many of us have heard about them. So I totally understand the argument about this being a horrible time to build.

    But here's the thing--the way this deal ought to be pitched is as a jobs creator. Stadiums require architects, a ton of contractors, inspections, and--given that the new stadium will be larger than the current one--more staff. All of these are jobs that Minnesota could probably really use, especially in a sector that (if Minny is anything like the rest of the nation) is struggling mightily. In addition, a stadium should theoretically help the businesses surrounding it--hotels, bars, restaurants, etc. (there is a good deal of debate about how much impact a stadium can actually have in this regard, but I don't think there's any question that moving the stadium away from downtown would hurt downtown businesses). Thus, even though the stadium will cost a lot of public money, if done correctly (and that's a BIG "if"), it ought to be a net plus for the state's economy and bottom line.

    This is where the long-term, forward-looking, keep the stadium out of the 'burbs argument comes in. If Minny wants to do this correctly, they need to assess how it fits into the city's long-term planning goals. So I guess if the city's plan is to continue to wantonly expand outward geographically, making for long commutes and a diminishment of farmland, then putting the new stadium out in BFE is a great idea. I just think that if you're going to undergo a massive public works project, you ought to do it in a way that best serves the city for as long as possible, which is why it should be done using a sustainable-growth model.

    Of course, this requires a great deal of political leadership, which Minny seems to be sorely lacking. All I know is that if I lived there, I'd be calling my city and state leaders and insisting that they serve the long-term interests of the state or GTFO.

  9. #9
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    Re:Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    The economics of this is not as simple as many people believe. The cost/benefit ratio of building a new stadium compared to the Metrodome is not very good for the state, and the price being asked keeps going up.

    One should note that the NFL does provide jobs and tax revenue, but it also provides capital flight from the state. Most players, coaches, and even the owners do not keep their money in Minnesota. The multiplier effect is not as good as it is for other goods and services.

    The NFL owners want a new stadium to provide them with more revenue from the Minnesota market. That means that more money will be leaving the state in revenue sharing by the owners or by lost revenue sharing that had been provided by other teams because the balance has changed.

    The NFL owners make it sound like they will go out of business if they do not get improvements to all of the stadiums more than a decade old. One can read newspaper articles about how the NFL needs this or cannot do without that. This is a $5-$6 billion a year industry in revenue that has plenty of profit for owners and players. What the league wants and what it needs are not one and the same.

    What the NFL is asking Minnesotans to do is to build them a new stadium (3/4 of it) to charge Minnesotans more, in ticket prices and fees, and reap greater rewards from basically the same product.

    As far as stadium plans go, Reliant Stadium in Houston cost somewhere between $325 and $450 million to build (some reports include infrastucture and debt). Even with inflation, one has to ask why the Vikings are asking for a $600-$900 million stadium? Where are the extra costs?

    Minneapolis has advantages for a stadium, but it has huge disadvantages. Parking revenue would be difficult to recover at the Metrodome location. If the taxpayers have to pony up some cash to keep an NFL team, they shouldn't have to pay more just to keep ramp owners in the money as well. That is money that could be revenue for the team, and that would mean a little less for the citizens to have to come up with for this project.

    The Twins built Target Field next to a garbage processing facility with little parking just to keep it in Minneapolis. What a wasted effort, because it will not supply near the revenue for the Twins to compete against New York, Boston, or Los Angeles.

    The Vikings have television revenue sharing, but the top seats and luxery box revenue are not shared, and owners with new stadiums have milked that loophole. Not only that, but it had been reported long ago that Mike Lynn still gets a piece of that action because of the way the contracts were written when he was the GM. In order to bring in more revenue, the Vikings would need more luxery boxes and high priced club seating.

    I do not know why the Wilfs kept Lester Bagley on board as the front man for this, as he has aliented almost every lawmaker in St. Paul with his rash statements and constant threats. He is somewhat of an egotist and actually makes the Vikings position worse in the legislature.

    Nevertheless, what is to be done? What actually can be done? Where do we go from here?

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    Re:Vikings say their future might be in 'burbs

    I am going to try and respond to this point by point, to make it easier to digest.

    Minniman wrote:
    The economics of this is not as simple as many people believe. The cost/benefit ratio of building a new stadium compared to the Metrodome is not very good for the state, and the price being asked keeps going up.

    One should note that the NFL does provide jobs and tax revenue, but it also provides capital flight from the state. Most players, coaches, and even the owners do not keep their money in Minnesota. The multiplier effect is not as good as it is for other goods and services.
    This is true, which is why I nor anybody else uses capital investment as an argument to keep the Vikings in state. Instead the main arguments are made from the jobs and tax revenue. The tax money generated by the Vikings are not fungible resources - that is if we lost the Vikings, the money would not be made up through other ventures. Now I understand that you are saying the the same amount of money that the Vikings are asking for could be invested in other goods and services with the same return on investment. While there are others that will certainly yield a better ROI, identifying them is harder. Think of it like the stock market. There are definitely some stocks that will produce a higher yield, but they fall into a category that is higher risk. There are also some stocks that will produce less yield, but also come with substantially less risk. A good portfolio contains both.

    With public money, I in no way advocate spending money on the Vikings at the expense of other proven and needed services. But once those required services are accounted for, adding the relatively low risk positive yield of a new Vikings stadium is a very good, stable addition to the state's portfolio. If the state chooses to spend all of its money on higher risk ventures... well, is that really a wise move considering the state's $1 billion deficit?

    The NFL owners want a new stadium to provide them with more revenue from the Minnesota market. That means that more money will be leaving the state in revenue sharing by the owners or by lost revenue sharing that had been provided by other teams because the balance has changed.
    That paragraph is misleading at best. Minnesota ranks at the absolute bottom of the NFL in terms of generated revenue. The new stadium would not suddenly catapult the Vikings to the top, and there would not be ANY money leaving the state in revenue sharing. At best it would bring Minnesota up to the average, and therefore cut back on the amount of extra revenue that is brought in. And that is the point - to put all venues on the same playing field in terms of revenue, so that every team can afford to be competitive.

    Your first paragraph makes this moot anyway. The money brought in through revenue sharing goes directly to player salaries, capital that we both agree can not be counted on to be reinvested in the state itself. So it shouldn't matter one but whether or not the revenue sharing model is changed, because the true fiscal valuation of the Vikings is through direct tax, jobs, and tourism anyway.

    The NFL owners make it sound like they will go out of business if they do not get improvements to all of the stadiums more than a decade old. One can read newspaper articles about how the NFL needs this or cannot do without that. This is a $5-$6 billion a year industry in revenue that has plenty of profit for owners and players. What the league wants and what it needs are not one and the same.
    I don't think anyone has ever made the argument that the league will go out of business if they do not get stadium improvements. The league is profitable, and like any business they want to maximize their profits. It is a fact that the Vikings cannot maintain a competitive revenue in the metrodome, and money is being hemorrhaged from the other franchises to cover the Vikings shortcomings. Only a fool would run his business this way when there are options to increase the revenue stream.

    What the NFL is asking Minnesotans to do is to build them a new stadium (3/4 of it) to charge Minnesotans more, in ticket prices and fees, and reap greater rewards from basically the same product.
    To be honest, general seating prices wouldn't go up by much. Sure, they would go up slightly, but the real revenue would be realized through luxury boxes and suites. You are trying to make it sound like the fans would get screwed, and that most likely isn't the case.

    Also, it isn't the same product. What many people would see on TV is essentially the same, but the game day experience itself would be very, very different.

    As far as stadium plans go, Reliant Stadium in Houston cost somewhere between $325 and $450 million to build (some reports include infrastucture and debt). Even with inflation, one has to ask why the Vikings are asking for a $600-$900 million stadium? Where are the extra costs?
    Really? You are really going to make that argument? OK, well ground was broken for Reliant Stadium in 2000. Yes, a decade ago. And prior to the economic collapses that followed 9/11 or the housing bubble burst. Construction costs have gone up in the past decade, as they will every time the economy goes down and fuel prices go up.

    Even if you took only inflation (at a compounded rate of 3.5% per year), building Reliant Stadium today would cost $634 million. Considering the increased construction costs as well, the plans proposed so far are considerable cheaper options.

    Minneapolis has advantages for a stadium, but it has huge disadvantages. Parking revenue would be difficult to recover at the Metrodome location. If the taxpayers have to pony up some cash to keep an NFL team, they shouldn't have to pay more just to keep ramp owners in the money as well. That is money that could be revenue for the team, and that would mean a little less for the citizens to have to come up with for this project.

    The Twins built Target Field next to a garbage processing facility with little parking just to keep it in Minneapolis. What a wasted effort, because it will not supply near the revenue for the Twins to compete against New York, Boston, or Los Angeles.
    No arguments here.

    The Vikings have television revenue sharing, but the top seats and luxery box revenue are not shared, and owners with new stadiums have milked that loophole. Not only that, but it had been reported long ago that Mike Lynn still gets a piece of that action because of the way the contracts were written when he was the GM. In order to bring in more revenue, the Vikings would need more luxery boxes and high priced club seating.
    I have no idea about Mike Lynn, I would have to see more than a rumor to believe that. But you are 100% correct about the more luxury seats and suites. And that is the plan. Right now the Vikings have high priced, crappy suites. High priced because they need to find a pay point to help offset revenue, crappy because they were designed with little mind toward luxury or comfort. For instance, none of the suites, not even the one afforded to the Visiting team's owner, have bathrooms in them. More suites means price points can drop, and nicer suites means people will actually buy them.

    I do not know why the Wilfs kept Lester Bagley on board as the front man for this, as he has aliented almost every lawmaker in St. Paul with his rash statements and constant threats. He is somewhat of an egotist and actually makes the Vikings position worse in the legislature.
    Why do I get the feeling that you are one of those lawmakers with hurt feelings? For the record, neither Bagley nor the Wilfs have ever made threats. I would like to see a single link where they threatened to move the team. I think that everybody knows that it is a possibility without the threat. This isn't the Vikings of old - we don't have Red McCombs here. Wilf is genuinely interested in making the Vikings a better team, and has shown nothing but commitment in that regard.

    Nevertheless, what is to be done? What actually can be done? Where do we go from here?
    We build a stadium. No, the economics of it are not easy, and work will have to be done to figure out financing. But the only positive solution is to help the Vikings build one. There are ways to do it. There was a very good bill on the floor in 2005 that didn't make it. The RACINO bill will make its way to the floor this year. There are travel tax options, community sales tax options, even options that ONLY take the direct tax money generated by the Vikings.

    At this point, taking no action is no longer a feasible option for the state.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

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