The Big Story Blog

Vikings plan would be biggest sports subsidy ever?

Posted at 9:56 AM on October 24, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Politics, Sport

State Sen. John Marty of Roseville is a long-time opponent of public financing for sports stadiums. But he made an intriguing argument in a Friday essay that's re-run today on MinnPost.

Zygi Wilf and the Vikings are attempting to make their Ramsey County stadium deal sound like a run-of-the-mill, routine proposal. It is not. The Vikings are asking for the #1, all-time, biggest taxpayer subsidy of any sports franchise anywhere in American history!
That's saying a lot. We've seen baseball and football stadiums built across the country the past two decades in pretty much every major market, most got some public aid. Is the Vikings plan on the table now for Arden Hills ready the biggest public subsidy?

We'll scrounge up some data today. Feel free to send us links to stories or data you've seen.

Marty and GOP Sen. Linda Runbeck offered a plan last week to sell the Metrodome to the Vikings for $1 as a way to keep the Vikings in Minnesota with no public subsidy. The Vikings dismissed the idea.

Meanwhile, GOP Senate leader Amy Koch may be hurting the Vikings chances at an Arden Hills stadium if she presses for a public vote on a Vikings-related tax increase in Ramsey County, but that doesn't mean she can't tailgate.

From MPR News reporter Tim Nelson:

koch.jpg

With the Vikings stadium debate still unresolved at the Capitol, it looks like fans of the team took the opportunity to do a little tailgate lobbying this weekend in Minneapolis.

That's 'Save the Vikes' founder Cory Merrifield at bottom right, with GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch sporting a natty Vikings scarf.

No word on whether they won any points with Koch on behalf of the team.

It looks like the meeting today between Koch, her legislative colleagues and Gov. Mark Dayton, floated by the governor last week isn't happening. Word.is it may happen Friday.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.