Minnesota Vikings Stadium Plan: Saddle Taxpayers With $1 Billion FieldAre GOP candidates up in arms against tax-payer subsidies for "Welfare Queen" professional sports teams?
The Huffington Post Ron Dicker
7 Feb 2012
Here's one way a Republican presidential candidate might gain more votes in Tuesday's Minnesota caucuses: Promise citizens they won't have to pay for the Minnesota Vikings' new football stadium.
A fifth plan for a $1 billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis emerged Monday, with taxpayers shouldering a large chunk to aid a privately owned NFL team that hasn't had a winning season in two years and has never won a Super Bowl. The state would be responsible for at least $340 million and Minneapolis for more than $300 million, according to estimates in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Vikings haven't pledged a dime. They promised $425 million for an earlier proposal in the suburb of Arden Hills. That was several plans ago.
From 2000 to 2008, taxpayers contributed $5 billion of the $9 billion used to build 28 major league stadiums, according to a 2008 University of Utah study. That includes the $720 million Super Bowl site, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, a losing proposition for taxpayers, Bloomberg News reported.
In fact, most subsidized sports complexes are a bad deal for communities, the Utah study concluded. Harvard professor Judith Grant Long told Bloomberg that taxpayers shell out an average of 40 percent more than the original estimate of stadiums.
... No, I didn't think so.