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MN2020 - Tuesday Talk: Why abandon the Metrodome?
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Tuesday Talk: Why abandon the Metrodome?

December 14, 2010 By Joe Sheeran, Communications Director

By now, most Minnesotans have seen the Metrodome’s roof collapse video. Despite the dramatic images, it appears crews will make the roof repairs quickly and the Metrodome will soon be ready for football. While legislators say the collapse will have little effect on speeding up new stadium talks, some folks will use this incident to try and fast track the debate. If the Metrodome is a structurally sound building, why abandon it?

It seems that every 30 years or so the public has to make a new investment in a wildly expensive, disposable public building. Why do policy makers think this kind of economic development moves Minnesota forward?  

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41 Comments:

  • SCE says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:06 am

    The problem with the stadium is not structural, it is financial.  The economics of the NFL have changed since it was built.  That is why they need a new stadium.  Whether or not it makes sense depends on the amount of public investment required and what the return on that investment is expected to be.

    At some point, the Vikings will need to find a stadium that provides adequate income to support a competitive team.

  • John LaBreche says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Doesn’t Green Bay own a piece of the team?  If the public invests in a stadium, it should have equity in the team.

  • Mike Carlier says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:19 am

    After investing in two stadiums in sixty years, maybe we should look at the historic return.  I’m no economist, and I don’t even know how to go about finding the right data, but I think we would determine that both were good investments in Minnesota’s economy. 

    There is no logical reason to believe that another investment will do anything but pay dividends.  There will be a gain to our state’s revenue, and that’s what pays the salaries of public employees who should be leading the charge to build a new home for the Vikings and others.

  • Dean says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Given the 6 billion dollar budget deficit, the state shouldn’t be using tax money on non-priority luxuries.  But if the legislature wants a new stadium anyway, they should, as a minimum, demand revenue sharing from the games to recover their investment.

  • herbert a. davis says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

    If circus’ for the masses will keep them from noticing the downward spiral of our empire, then build one bigger than the one in Dallas.

    God Bless America and the MN Vikings!

  • Curt says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Yes it does make sense.  After 30 years any facility needs to be remodeled, even your home.  The stadium was built for what was needed then, times have changed and the stadium needs to be updated to fit those needs ...or the team will move.  It is not a question of whether or not the Vikings need a new stadium, it is do you want a team in Minnesota or not?  If you don’t build it, they will go…period.  A new stadium will provide jobs for the construction industry which was hit so very hard by this deep recession.  A new stadium was built for every major sport in Minnesota (including the U of MN), so why stop before the Vikings have a new home?  I am tired of hearing the debate for oh so many years.  IF the team moves, you know we will eventually build a stadium to attract another team so just do it now and let’s move on to other issues.

  • Gregg Harcus says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I agree we should have a equity stake in the team if we build a stadium. Otherwise ticket taxes should be the source to pay the debt.

  • Chris says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:51 am

    So the stadium debate ends up with built it or the team will leave?  I’m not sure how any Republican can shout against government involvement and then turn around and ask for public taxes to support one business interest.  No new taxes includes a stance on stadiums, unless you’re willing to call it what it is—a tax hike.  I’d rather invest public funds into education, where the pay off is far greater than jobs for hot dog vendors.

  • myles spicer says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

    The Metrodome was built for $55 million—a princely sum about 30 years ago.  But the new stadiums now run abut $1 Billion (the Dallas facility was $1.2 Billion).  These are amounts no community can afford nor should they—even in good times let alone times of financial stress.

    The benficiary of these stadiums are clearly the owners, not just because it raises their revenues, but because it increases the value of their investment exponentially.

    For decades their chief threat has been to “move the team” to a friendlier venue—but those are diminishing as well. LA, which has been without a team for decades now has an investment group looking for a tema for the city; and are planning an $800 million stadium which, even though privately financed as it should be, is meeting resistance in the city for a number of reasons. However, they have identified FIVE teams that would be targets for a move. To me that says there are FIVE teams that are underperforming financially, lack fan support, or are in some sort of distress.  The treat to move is not as viable an option as it once was.

    From my years in marketing, I have learned EVERYTHING HAS A PRICE POINT.  So it is with progfessional sports—and the stadiums they want to build.  Right now that point has been reached in Minnesota; and I think the community would invest a few tens of millions of dollars to upgrade the Metrodome significantly and keep the Vikes—in exchange for a very long term stadium contract. Lacking that, their threat to leave will just have to be accepted.

  • Charles Ridler says:

    December 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Here’s the reason the Vikings need a new stadium because without one they will move to the Los Angeles area. Anyone remember the Lakers or the Northstars? Do you want the same to happen with the Vikings? Let’s look at the economic reasons to build a new stadium: JOBS, KEEPS JOBS HERE, Supports the local businesses that provides jobs and pays state taxes. Come on people get real- the Twins got their stadium, the Gophers got their stadium now it’s time to do the right thing and find a way to build a stadium for the Vikings. It will provide revenue for the state and for the local businesses and is exactly what this state needs in these economic times. The one demand that needs to be made is that after the new stadium is built, Minnesota gets to host the next available Super Bowl.

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

    As some one from outstste Minnesota, none of your colluseums has ever done us any financial good. This is a metro issue, keep it a metro issue, keep it out of the legislature, and keep your hands out of our pockets.

  • Mike says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Chris, we spend enough on education. As for the Viking Stadium. We should have donated the Dome to the Gophers and built the stadium for the Vikings.

    I do not think you know how much revenue the team brings to the state. Every player, trainer or coach from every team that plays here pays taxes. Every restaurant that employs people around the cities pays taxes, think about all the bars who have the games on Sundays and yes on Mondays pay taxes. The bus companies, charters and hotels that support the teams and the fans, pay taxes.

    How many restaurants went out of business in St Paul the year the Wild were on strike? How many restaurants came to life by the Twins stadium. I think that the stadium is going to have to come from three places. The Vikings, the county and the state. From the state, figure out how much tax revenue we collect and only commit to that. This way we are not losing or gaining anything.

  • John Olson says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:15 am

    The Metropolitan Sports COmmission should be disbanded because it has only one renter—the Vikings. When it started it had three and had to schedule for all three teams.  The Dome should be sold to the Vikings and the team can decide what to do with it.  This gets the government out the business of running a stadium.

  • Mark says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:21 am

    The owners of sports franchises are just like kidnappers.  They threaten each community with leaving, unless that community gives up a ransom for a new building to put on their show.  Look at Cleveland and Baltimore.  Both baseball franchises have begun the rumblings for money for a new stadium, because they are not generating enough revenue. 

    At 10 events per year, a football team does not have enough games to make a viable economic impact. it must be able to sustain itself before the state should mortgage its future on such a palace.

    I have lived in this state for over 50 years and have been to only two Viking football games; one at the old (and beloved) Met Stadium, and one at the dome.  It was not because I am not a fan, it was because of the cost associated with attending a football game. 

    I am not in favor of funding another stadium, especially if the tax increase only affects the Metro area.  I hear many say that it benefits the entire state.  If this is so, tax the whole state!  Or better yet, a seat fee to those who choose to use this facility.

    In the words of our former Governor Jesse Ventura;  “I was a product of Roosevelt High School that was built in the early 1930’s.  It is still producing fine graduates, and they are not demanding a new building.  As soon as your stadium is over 80 years old, come and talk to the state then and will see if we can help.”

    If the Vikings move to another town, so long.  I’ll still watch you on Sunday TV like I do with my favorite team the Tennessee Titans.

  • M Hidin says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Hennepin County got stuck with the tax for the alleged “Minnesota” Vikings, a for profit, professional entertainment business.  This is corporate welfare.
    1. No one is talking abut the negative effect on stadium (and other venues) revenues caused by adding more stadiums to an already stadium rich metro area.  There are only so many tractor pulls, monster truck events, concerts, meetings, etc. to provide revenues to sustain these facilities and adding more dilutes the revenue.
    2. Building all new stadiums within a few years also means that they will become obsolete around the same time in the future creating an even bigger tax grab down the road.
    3 A relatively small number of tax payers have the interest and the financial ability to afford tickets, parking and high priced food for the dozen or so games that will be played.  If Ziggy can’t do it without corporate welfare than folks can watch them on TV where ever they go.

  • Belinda Flanagan says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:29 am

    As a whole I am rather conservative. Plus I’m not such a huge corporate sports fan, but it seems to me that having a modern facility is a no brainer.  Modern buildings are cheaper to maintain and more functional. Businesses needs change.

    Yes it does benefit corporate sports, but building a new stadium would also provide much needed jobs for workers in Minnesota. Wages provided to the building trades, benefit all of us by providing wages for families, tax revenue, money spent for food, clothing, shelter, new cars.  Also the entertainment industry would benefit. 

    Some of the arguments that I’ve heard sound like the same ones made against building the Mall of America.  MOA has greatly benefited Bloomington.  The question IMO is not if we build it, but where and how to finance it.
    We should be looking at this like a corporation that we want to keep viable in Minnesota.

  • Bob Post says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:33 am

    REMOVE THE REST OF THE ROOF, AND THEN YOU
    WILL HAVE AN OUTDOOR VENUE.  Redo the
    seating (general and high priced) and
    remount the lighting and PA systems.
    Minnesota can not afford to help
    build another stadium now.

  • myles spicer says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Well, there is one slight difference between the Twins, Wolves, and Gophers. They are all owned by Minnesotans who have roots and allegiance to our city and state. The Vikes now have been woned by two absentee owners (who incidentally PROMISED they would never move the team—so much for promises).  They were corportists, not interested in being part of our community (at least we knew McCombs had a car dealer mentality, Wilf we do not know).

    This again mitigates to any future actions following the Green Bay model. that is all that will ever satisfy outside ownership short of holding the community hostage for a mega buck contribution.

  • Will Munger says:

    December 14, 2010 at 11:03 am

    There is no doubt that professional sports are good for our community. They provide both a social outlet and serve as a positive force to promote our community as a place to live work and play.  Most certainly, with those considerations, we should do everything we can to encourage professional sports in our community.  That being said, professional sports should be treated no differently than any other for profit business that we benefit from in our community. 

    With the above said, we should definitely provide appropriate incentives to professional sports to remain in our community.  Does that mean we should build them a stadium to run their operations?  For me the answer to that question is, only if they are required to provide a direct return to the community in taxes and stadium rentals that show a direct payoff to the community for the investment made.

    How we measure the return to our community for public support of a stadium is an important consideration.  Direct community investment in a stadium that attempts to measure payback and returns to the community like estimates of visitors to the community, restaurant and other sales tax receipts and other subjective returns to the community are just not acceptable.  Professional sports operations are no different and no more of an asset to our community than are General Mills or Honeywell.  If the community invests in a stadium then the professional sports teams that use that public stadium should be required to pay back that investment in user fees over a reasonable time period.

    Will Munger
    Duluth, Minnesota

  • Richard J Wright says:

    December 14, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Let us assume that we have the money to fund a new Vikings stadium, wherever it might be.
    We might ask. How could we spend one billion dollars, use the land more wisely,create jobs, and raise the standard of living in Minnesota?
    Education anyone?

  • Rick says:

    December 14, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I am in favor of a new stadium because it does bring econonmic benefit to the business community. I would like to see a program like Lambeau Field that brings a % of revenue back directly into the community. In Minnesota, I would like to see the same but the pressure here is coming from the economic giant that is called the NFL. The Vikings are one of the lowest revenue generating teams in the league. Just about every team generates more than this stadium does. The other owners and the league are tired of it because their teams end up subsidizing Zigi Wilf through revenue sharing. I would prefer a stadium here. However, asking the taxpayers to fund this in these times is ridiculous without some creative incentive plan. I for one would like to see public ownership.

  • Jeffrey Briggs says:

    December 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I think if the people that go to Vikings games or other events want to pay a user tax to do so it makes the same sense as public transit, the Guthrie and the other things our money is pumped into. For the arguement you gave I disagree because Mr. Wilf has sunk a lot of money in players ect to field a good team and just because the team is having a rough year doesn’t mean you have the right to trash them either.

  • Steve says:

    December 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    EVery Federal Reserve study that I have read indicates that stadium actually have a negative impact on an area unless you are a player, owner of a team, or a bar owner in a very immediate area. all the stadium does is concentrate money from the many(fans) to the hands of a few (owners and players) who quite often do not live in the area and represent a net outflow of econominc activity.

  • Bill Barton says:

    December 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    What struck me about the collapse is the statement in the Star Tribune that it takes 20 electric blower motors at 90 horsepower each - 1800 horsepower - to keep the roof up - sounds like an energy wasting design to me. 
    Maybe they turned the pressure down to save operating cost?

    I see that major league sports facilities & may result in economic activity but do not equate to productivity or long term prosperity - sort of like the natural resource curse - if we build a stadium we will miss other more productive opportunities.

  • rick says:

    December 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I would be willing to wager that much of the money Mr. Wilf has spent on players to try and make the team better has come from the money he receives from Revenue Sharing. He has tried to make the team better, that’s for sure. But in the end, he is no different than some of the other owners… he buys the team, makes the public pay for a large portion of a new stadium, then ends up selling the team to somebody else for a huge profit and walks away from the area. I, frankly would like to see a billion dollars go to education. But, Pro Sports is an economic reality that people spend money to see.

  • Bill Barton says:

    December 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I believe that spending a lot of money does not necessarily add enough value to our society to keep up with the rest of the world or even Wisconsin.  Make work jobs do not produce a product that gives us a competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing world.

  • Brandan Fiedler says:

    December 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    The Minnesota Vikings need a new stadium built because they are towards the bottom of the National Football League in terms of revenue.  There have been new stadiums built in Indianapolis, Arlington, TX, East Rutherford, NJ, and other cities in the National Football League.  Houston, TX had to build a new stadium in order to bring a new franchise in the National Football League (Houston Texans) there.  Remember how big of an expense it was to bring a National Hockey League franchise to St. Paul?  St. Paul had to build a new hockey arena (Xcel Energy Center).  In addition, Minnesota Sports and Entertainment had to pay a franchise fee to the National Hockey League.  Do we want to build a stadium to keep the Minnesota Vikings or do we want to build a stadium for a new NFL franchise?  It would be quite cheaper to build one for the Minnesota Vikings because it would not require a franchise fee!

  • Steven Jones says:

    December 14, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I say build a new one and I’m all for a Mall of America Casino to cover it, possibly Racino as well.
    Sports betting should be allowed in these venues to bring in even more gamblers from other states.
    Folks flying through could kill their layover hours gaming & filling our coffers as well. 
    An added sales tax on clothing would allow some of the non gaming travelers to further support our state, but I digress.

    A demo & build on the current site would be a fine idea with the light rail system serving a larger roll as those downtown head to the casino.
    One problem with the current location, in the owners mind, is they don’t enjoy the profits from the parking, since adjacent spaces are owned by others (quite possibly one of the Stribs few money makers…)
    I suggest a relocation of the stadium to the Arden Hills Arsenal Site, which has many intriguing assets.
    Easy in & out with Highways 694 & 35W leads the list. 35W already has 2 exits, Co H & I, directly into or near the space.
    A future (presently on hold) rework of the 694, Highway 10, Snelling Ave. / Hamline mess could be coordinated to free flow lanes in & out of the stadium location.
    The large empty space at the Co Rd H exit already has numerous paved parking spaces and there is already a rail network that ties directly to the NorthStar line lacking only a University avenue overpass to reach the Fridley station (Google Earth is a wonderful thing)
    A few battles with BNSF over the rail right of ways could tie the site directly to the existing light rail, central corridor & North Star rails systems.
    Arranging the site for 25-35,000 parking spaces would allow the Vikes to collect fees for game day parking with all other event parking going to the state.
    Daily the space would allow a huge park & ride and bus to rail hub for all those inbound commuters to Downtown, Casino, Airport, Twins, Gophers, MOA, etc….

    As an aside, the Rice Creek watershed, and the undeveloped natural spaces could easily be accessed & enjoyed.
    Canoe & Hike, Camp & Bike?
    Throw a couple chairlifts up the the hill & ski the slopes of “Arden Alps” 
    Skinny Skiers would be hard pressed to find anything like it this close.
    A Biathlon training center would be a no brainer… A true WinterPark!

  • John Crampton says:

    December 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I think we should have an “idiot tax” to finance every pro sports venue that the billionaires can think of….  It would be levied on people stupid enough to go running around with a purple 4 or 7 or 28 or 84 jersey on their backs.

    As far as the finances are concerned, there is going to be a lockout next year in 2011.  Replacement players who earn a 1/50th of what the pro players make will man the NFL.  The Vikings should get a start on every other team in the league, fire every one of their high priced players, hire the pick of the replacements—- they couldn’t play worse than that woeful team of overpaid losers played last night.  They stink, and the sooner we run them out of the town the better.

  • Vivian says:

    December 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    It seems time to consider roof replacement. The fabric has a shorter lifespan than other materials, like steel. It may be reaching its fatigue level.As long as the building is structurally sound we could think about:
    -eliminating a roof
    -installing a permanent structurally sound roof
    -repair it and have the City bear responsibility for liability
    The UMn Gopher stadium is a great replacement.

  • Kathleen Smith says:

    December 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    The Vikings have WANTED a new field for some time now. I firmly believe that if this team or any other team wants a new field then they as a team should cover the cost of buying the land and having it built. That way they can have it built to the standards they want. People like me can not afford a ticket in the nose bleed section but yet this team wants the tax payers to foot the bill BUT it has to meet their standards- what a crock! So what would happen if they didn’t get their new field? They would leave Minnesota? And go where? Its time the people of Minnesota take a stand, Vikings want a new field, they should pay for it, that way they can threaten to leave Minnesota all they want but they would be required as land owners to maintain it-

  • Jeff says:

    December 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    When it comes to the stadium debate, I am in full support of the Vikings getting a new stadium. Why? It’s simple. The Metrodome is a safety hazard and has been for a number of years.

    It is impossible to walk through any of the hallways during halftime or at the conclusion of games. Could you imagine if a fire were to have broken out inside? Or what if fans in the upper deck had been inside when the roof collapsed? Fortunately, no fans were inside this time.

    However, I find it extremely disheartening to hear stadium opponents say there’s a lot of life left in the Metrodome and that there’s nothing wrong with the stadium the way it is now. That’s just like saying there is nothing wrong with driving your vehicle, riding a bicycle, or walking over a structurally-deficient bridge. More importantly, it enables the unhealthy belief that government functions, businesses, and other important things we enjoy can get by on the cheap. Not only did that prove not to be the case with the I-35W bridge, it is also being proven in our schools, businesses (newspapers, food places, etc.), and now the Metrodome. When things are not taken care of, they shrivel up and die. Why would people even want to use a facility that hasn’t been maintained? If you ask me, it is unreasonable to ask the Vikings to just “suck it up” and deal with it or move on.

    All sides need to come together in order to bring a reasonable solution for funding a new stadium for the Vikings. It would include ownership kicking in more money toward the project, along with more business sponsorships, and even a racino to be built. If you had those three elements added into the mix, it would not be unreasonable to ask taxpayers to help chip in, given the amount of interest there is in the Vikings.

    I don’t believe moving the team to TCF Stadium is the solution. It would be a major headache for officials at the University of Minnesota, along with the Minnesota Vikings. First, the stadium would have to be expanded to make room for at least 75,000 fans in order to allow the franchise to stay financially competitive with other clubs. Currently, there are are only 44,000 seats. In addition to adding more seats, every seat would have to include solid colored seats or multi-colored seats as opposed to the maroon and gold Minnesota logos in the premium seats. The University of Minnesota would also have to expand drinking for everyone in the stadium and not just those who can afford the premium seats. The stadium is also not in a prime location to hotels and parking to accomodate a stadium for the NFL.

    I also believe that a new stadium could spurn a lot of business downtown in more ways than Target Field has been able to do (and Target Field, along with the Twins organization, have had huge success thus far). I think a new stadium would not limit itself to “just 10 football games a year,” as some opponents have argued. I believe we could attract huge concert tours, other sporting events, and another major political party convention like the one we had in St. Paul in 2008.

    And did I mention that there would be some job creation here? I was unemployed for six months in 2009. Any job is a job nowadays, which saddens me to admit that given I have a bachelor’s of science.

    And with a new stadium, this could eventually lead us to invest in greener ways for transporatation. We could actually expand the Northstar and create a larger light rail system and be a model for other states. OK, perhaps I am thinking too big here, but at least it’s an innovative a start.

    The only thing I see coming out of the mouths of opponents so far is, “keep the Metrodome because it has plenty of life left.” It doesn’t and the collapsed bubble is proof of that. I am also a believer that you cannot cut and expect things to get better. They’ll get worse. Just ask how the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press and any other business how they are after scaling back on resources.

    I know that times are tough and that it may be the wrong time to ask for public funding. But if we don’t do anything to relieve the problem now, we will lose the team and it will cost us billions more to lure an NFL back to Minnesota in the next decade or so.

  • Margie Carlson says:

    December 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I think that the Vikings & the people who can afford to go to their games should pay for any stadium, not most of us taxpayers who can’t afford to go to the games!  Why don’t they just use the foundation of the Metrodome, & remodel it so they can have their fancy suites, it would be a lot cheaper than building a new stadium from scratch.  I don’t want the Vikings to move out of town, but if the owners want a fancy, expensive new stadium, let them pay for it!

  • Allen Kern says:

    December 14, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    People have a tendency to forget that more than Viking football and Twins baseball were played at the Metro Dome:

    • Gopher Football – up till two seasons ago with the opening of the TCF Stadium.
    • A Super Bowl venue.
    • A World Series venue.
    • Several Regional and a Final Four Basketball venues.
    • The Gopher baseball team plays the majority of their home games in the dome.
    • Motor sports – monster truck and motocross venues (that drew over 50,000 in attendance).
    • The MN High School League – Prep Bowl
    • Just to name a few.

    The Xcel Center has done much to revitalize the downtown area of St. Paul; and they play more than Wild Hockey there as well … including concerts,Regional Tournaments and the College Frozen Four Tournament this year.
    (Go - Gopher Hockey ... here’s your chance for home ice advantage for the entire play offs).

    I believe that a new stadium needs to be built (the dome has age issues and has paid for itself); and it needs to be similar to the dome and the Xcel Center … so that the investment made (by public dollars) get us a return as well … then it will be worth the investment … for every dollar spent it will spin approx. 7 times before it leaves the area.

    With the building of the stadium … the state gets approx. 7% back right off the bat (sales tax) for items bought in the state during the planning and building stages;  and then gets that same percentage on the concessions and ticket prices and the utilities and the upkeep and so on, and so, and so to all of the direct and indirect dollars spent to support the Vikings and other venues that make an appearance in the stadium … not to mention the players and owners and coaches that pay income taxes … property taxes … sales taxes … buy clothes and cars and all the same items you and I buy … does it add up … yes it does … and it creates opportunities   and generates revenue for supporting business for the these venues as well.

    I’m not in favor in supporting billionaires … but until we can get every town, city and region to quit giving any incentives … whether it be to Wal-mart or any corporate entity … we’ll be further financially farther ahead with the investment as opposed to sticking our head in the sand and watching another city prosper; because we didn’t realize what we had … until it’s gone.

    Economist figured there was an approx. 9 million in economic loss to the Metro area; because the roof fell in and the game was moved to Detroit.

    Figure 8 regular season games (before preseason and potential play off games) times 9 million = 72 million … times 30 years = 2.160 Billion in economic gain for LOS ANGELES.

  • D.H. says:

    December 14, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Our daughter lives in Mpls.  She and most of the other people who live there cannot afford to go to many or any of the sports events in any of the stadiums. Why should they have to help pay for a new stadium for the Vikings?  They are aready paying a higher sales tax because of the Twins stadium.  Let the players and the owners and those who can afford it pay for the stadium.  We live in a rural area. Most of us who live in rural areas will never get to a game.  If we do have an opportunity, the dome will be just fine!

  • rick says:

    December 15, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I’d certainly like to see a facility that is a lot more than just a football stadium. There are many people that say ” Why Should I Pay for it When I Don’t Even Use It’. Through taxation, we are all paying for all kinds of things we may never see or use… An Interstate Hwy. in another state, or a museum in Washington D.C., or even a Rural Hwy. in Southern, Mn. We are paying for tax favors for maybe a Walmart, even though we may never shop there.
    My view is that people just don’t want to bail out a billionaire and have him sell the team and walk away with the profits. Those with the most should pay the most. The public should be involved but for a low price. Let private investment pay for most of this.
    There is definitely economic benefit for many businesses to build a new stadium and not just redo the dome.

  • Rev. David Buth says:

    December 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    For me the principle reason for a new dome is that the old Metrodome is not ADA compliant.

    A study of the costs of an ADA retrofit or a new dome would be a worthy project. Another is a study of whether Minnesota weather is just too tough on that roofing technology.

  • David Lewis says:

    December 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Every community has the right to build public facilities.  Especially if the facility can facilitate economic benefits.  That said, you can’t build it a turn the keys over to a private enterprise… which is what the pro sports teams demand.  They want a facility that will generate revenue, not for the community, but for themselves, and they want it free.

    Build the stadium, charge fair rent.  Revenue such as naming rights goes to the facility.  Ticket & concession sales go to the team.  But a deal like that would get nothing but laughs.

    If the community exists to subsidize private businesses, it should be done fairly, not just for the sexy businesses.

  • Ressa Harris says:

    December 15, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Minnesota has a long history of “closing the barn door after the sports team has left”. The Vikings are part of the Upper Midwest identity and quality of life. True, most of the citizens who watch the Vikes on television will never attend a game in any stadium, but the fact the professional team is in the area, highly increases the probabily of viewing the game in the distant and remote communities and rural areas.

    There will always be needs in education, health care, and other social needs, but quality of life also includes balance with recreation/socialization. If the Vikes leave the area, many support jobs eg. merchandise sales, food/entertainment,transportation, marketing, etc. will be lost or reduced.
     
    It is time. “Do we want a pro football team in the Upper Midwest or not?” This decision also effects the people of North Dakota and Iowa. This debate has been going on for the 17 years, I have lived in MN without any movement.

    If we Do want a team, then lets get the right expertise together( Owner, business, government, Interstate communities and who ever else it takes to get it done. Building or modernizing a facility we would all be proud of, would also create jobs in a time we need jobs in Minnesota.  We know everythig cost more the longer the project is postponed.

    If we don’t want a pro football team, let the owner know.Then he can seriously consider the other communities who want a team or want to get back a team. And we should not harbor negative feelings towards the owner for taking our identity.

  • Lloyd W. Klefstad says:

    December 15, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    It makes sense in given cases because occasionally it is true. But it must be taken case by case.

  • Jack says:

    December 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    The economics of professional football has changed over the last 50 years.  Lucrative TV deals have made both owners and players extremely wealthy.  In fact, the TV deals are so lucrative that it probably doesn’t matter where the teams play, as long as they’re televised.  Build a couple of stadiums in Hawaii and all the individual teams could play there.  We could cheer our team to victory at local homes and bars.  Sure a stadium would be nice and subsidizing one consistent with the Twins subsidies makes sense.  But there is a feeling now that players and owners are overpaid and show no loyalty to an area or a team - not that they should, but then the fans needn’t show any particular loyalty either.  Are the owners giving the community a cut of the increased value of the franchise?  No - and those values have gone up 100’s of millions of dallars.  If the community generates this increase in value shouldn’t the owners share that increase with those that made it possible?  Lots of issues for me.