Posts Tagged ‘stadium’

The lament of a new fan

I finally figured out what was going on, how the team has four tries to move the ball ten yards, that they’ll usually try to run it first, then pass it, then punt it. I have to be honest, the sport of football has always confused me, like when the clock keeps going and when it stops, why they run for three seconds and then walk around for five minutes. But yesterday, I finally figured it out, watching the Vikings get beat down by the Eagles. I tell you, the Vikings seem to be a team that can regularly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Occasionally, despite their best efforts, they do win. But not yesterday, and the fans leaving the Metrodome, upon being asked what they thought of the game, regularly responded with “Fire Childress”, according to what I heard on MPR this morning.

This is the first season where I’ve watched games regularly, going over to my friends place to watch the game on the big screen HDTV, where you can see individual beads of sweat. He also has surround sound, where the noise from the crowd is in the rear channel, so you actually hear the Metrodome fans behind you. If many viewers have set ups like these, it’s no wonder that they had trouble selling tickets to avoid the blackout. But they did sell those tickets, with a day to spare. I don’t know if they discounted the tickets in the final days or not, but according to the Star Tribune, it was all the fans this time; no corporation or local station bought the block of tickets.

A follow-up item on MPR was about budget plans for Minnesota, and Pawlenty talking about his priorities being Military and Vetarans Affairs, Public Safety, and then K-12 Education. A new Vikings stadium with state money definitely is not part of the agenda. Ain’t it a shame…I’m sure the Vikings could use something to cheer them up.

MOA Expansion Cost vs New Twins Stadium Cost

The latest numbers on the Twins stadium:

Cost: $544.4 million (including site acquisition and infrastructure)
Public financing: $392 million from a 0.15 percent sales tax in Hennepin County
Private financing: $152.4 million from the Twins

Those are ballpark figures (*ba DUM bum*). I also read $522/$387/130 + about $5/year for naming rights. Looks like the more recent the estimates, the higher all figures are.

The latest numbers on the MOA expansion:

Cost: $1.9-2.1 billion
Public financing: $371 million from a TBD sales/food/lodging tax in Bloomington
Private financing: $1.5-1.8 billion

Again, costing varies depending on the date of the article. Here’s what you get in Phase II of the MOA. Phase I puports to bring $1.8 billion/yr to the city of Bloomington. Slightly off topic, I wonder how this will affect the Waterpark of America.

Part of the hang up here is the financing of the parking ramp to the tune of $186-$204 million. The parking ramp funding will certainly have implications for whatever large projects follow it (like a Vikings Stadium).

But… just look at the disparity in public vs private financing. The only direct comparison of benefit I turned up in my cursory research is that the state expects to collect $10 million/year from ballpark-related sales and player income taxes. The MOA pays $55 million/year in state and local taxes.

Tell me how the relative cost of taxpayer burden is worth what the venture brings to the region (yes, I know it costs me personally about $30/year for the Twins stadium). I’ll add in my argument for the social and cultural benefit of having a common cause that unites us.

Maybe I should wait to see how they go about approving the tax in Bloomington before I come to a conclusion. Maybe the residents will get a choice in the matter.

[Hennepin County/Twins Ballpark Fact Sheet (pdf)]

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