EDIT: Bumping this to the front page because CCNorsemen managed to be both very entertaining and very informative about the stadium. Solid work! --Eric
I'm working my way through the 7 stages of grief right now with the Vikings stadium bill. I was in shock last night and had a painful night of tossing and turning. I have been downright angry all morning, and I still am. I'm sure depression will hit soon. In order to a)make a point, and b)add a bit of humor to this situation, I have decided to create this fanpost, hopefully it will serve a therapeutic purpose. Read on after the jump.
Ryan Winkler: How do we know this stadium is a good deal for MN taxpayers?
CCNorsemen: Well Mr. Winkler, if you would have actually, you know, read the bill on which you are being asked to vote on, surely you would have read the part about the additional tax revenue that the state of Minnesota will reap from building the stadium? VP of Finance for the Vikings Scott Poppen mentioned to you that the state will earn an estimated return of $140 Million over the 30-year life cycle of the stadium. He also mentioned that if the Vikings leave the state, the state is then on the hook for about $5-6 Million per year to cover operating costs for a Metrodome that would no longer house the Vikings, you heard all that right?
Winkler: Yeah, but how do we know this is a good deal for MN Taxpayers?
CCNorsemen: Um, ok. At this point I assume that you can't do math or have no understanding of economics? Let me do it for you then. $140 Million divided by 30 years = $4.6 Million per year on average, in additional tax revenue from building the stadium. So, after you pay your share to build the stadium, you'll get that money back, plus $140 million more all in the form of tax revenues from the Vikings. That means: vote yes for the stadium bill and you'll generate about $4 Million per year to the general fund. Vote no, and the Vikings will leave MN and you'll have to foot the bill for $5-6 Million in operating costs for the Metrodome that the Vikings currently pay. Am I getting through? This is as simple as I can make it: Vote Yes = profit of $4.6 Million/year and Vote No = loss of $5-6 Million/year. Which deal would you rather have?
Winkler: Oh, I see. I'm voting no for sure.
Joyce Peppin: I am a strong supporter of local charters. We should add an amendment that allows the local charter provision in Minneapolis that requires a referendum vote to spend more than $10 Million on stadiums to stand.
CCNorsemen: Ok, I get that you support local charters, but you do understand how jurisdiction works, right? The local charter is about the last document that matters in a chain of command that flows through the county, the state and ultimately the federal government. You can put whatever you want in the local charter, but all those other entities' laws will override it in a second. So, what is the point of taking a stand here for a local charter?
Peppin: I have principles! I support local charters and want this amendment to pass.
CCNorsemen: Ok, let me try a different way. You do understand that the majority of the city council already wrote letters of support in favor of the bill, including the provision that overrides this referendum provision, right? You also understand that the charter has been overridden at least 20 times before in the past? This is not without precedence, and if the state legislature would ultimately want to take out this amendment from this committee, it could do that? Again, the local charter is basically worthless.
Peppin: *puts fingers in ears* "I'm not hearing you, I'm not hearing you, I support local charters!"
Frank Hornstein: So, explain to me why the Vikings can't just build this stadium themselves? Why should the taxpayer have to subsidize a hugely profitable billion dollar business? Why can't Wilf build this himself, I mean, the Patriots built their stadium using almost entirely private funds?
CCNorsemen: Sigh....ok, let me explain this to you since it's obvious you don't understand how the NFL works, or what the difference between Boston and the Twin Cities is in terms of market share and business. First, there are only 32 NFL teams, but there are lots of cities in the world that want an NFL team in their city due to the tax revenues they generate.
Winkler: Why would we want tax revenue?
CCNorsemen: Shut your pie hole Winkler, you're not helping.
Hornstein: So what that other teams want an NFL team? We already have the Minnesota Vikings, won't the NFL expand or something if those other cities want a team?
CCNorsemen: You do know the history of teams relocating in the NFL, right? If the Vikings are unhappy with the amount of money they are making in Minnesota, they will simply move the team to a location that is more profitable, like Los Angeles, or maybe even London.
Hornstein: I don't get it. Why can't they just build the stadium themselves? I don't support corporate welfare.
CCNorsemen: Ok, so you do have a basic understanding of economics, right? You understand supply and demand? The supply of NFL teams is very small, but the demand for them is very high. Therefore, if you want to keep the NFL team here, you have to be willing to pay more for them because of the demand. In other words, the Vikings need a greater incentive to stay in Minnesota versus moving to some other city. That incentive is the profit they can earn in MN. Because of the profit sharing rules in the NFL, the Vikings are actually losing money by staying in the Metrodome. So, in order to keep them here, you must help them build a stadium.
Hornstein: But I don't WANT to help them build a stadium. They are billionaires, they can do it themselves.
CCNorsemen: That's fine to have that opinion, but the fact is, other cities are willing to subsidize the team, because of the tax revenues they will generate. If you don't want to publicly subsidize the team, then they will leave Minnesota. It's really a very simple case of elementary economics.
Winkler/Poppin/Hornstein: We have decided to vote No on the Vikings stadium bill.
CCNorsemen: WHAT?!?!? Did you even hear a word I said? You guys are all completely useless. Can somebody please vote these people out of office? They pretty clearly don't have the slightest grasp of economics, math, or common sense.