Proposed Vikings Stadium Could Be Very Taxing
As if ramming a stadium tax down the throats of Hennepin County voters wasn't bad enough, the Vikings want to tax all metro counties. From the Star Tribune:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty clipped the wings off the latest concept for building a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, saying Monday there is no political support for a seven-county metrowide sales tax to finance a $900 million stadium with a retractable roof.
Such a tax "isn't going to fly," Pawlenty told reporters in response to questions after an event in St. Paul. "The counties aren't going to support it. The people in the metro region aren't going to support it. I'm not going to support it."
Pawlenty also said the Vikings are "in a real pickle" because they don't have a host community where public officials are united in accepting the financing burden.
Pawlenty has been veering a bit to the left lately, so reading that he plans to say no to any 7-county tax for a Vikings stadium is a breath of fresh air.
I admit that I am not a big spectator sports fan, except for women's beach volleyball, and the Olympics, so I really don't care where they build the stadium, as long as I am not forced to pay for it.
The biggest problem with these stadiums is that the franchise owners have grown accustomed to using various extortionistic tactics (build us a stadium or we'll move to another state) to get their way. Instead, I would really like to see these owners do something creative: pay for the stadiums themselves. It is, after all, a business investment.
Unfortunately, since the 1950s, they have grown accustomed to being able to pressure communities to tax their citizens in order to build their playgrounds for their million players. In a way, it's disgusting, as even the lowest played professional athlete makes many more times in salary than the average citizen they expect to foot the bill for these stadiums. Add to that the fact that these buildings are not much more than white elephants; anchors around the necks of the communities that build them.
I wish Pawlenty had had the cojones to say no to the Twins last year. Unfortunately, he lent them to Carl Pohlad instead.