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Stadium Issue Is Hotter Than Ever

Last week, the NFL has opted to scrap their revenue sharing program which will hit the Vikings in the pocketbook worse than any other NFL team besides the franchise.  In fact, the Vikings will lose anywhere between $15 million to $20 million per year.

The program was designed to help teams having trouble generating revenue via contributions from the more financially sound teams.  The fact that the Vikings are still without a stadium that generates revenue to put them on par with the rest of the league means that until a new stadium is built, they will have to operate without the gift from the league that they’ve grown accustomed to.

At this point, the State of Minnesota seems unlikely to give the Vikings the roughly $600 million of public funding that is thought to be needed to get a new stadium built when they are facing a $1.2 billion deficit.  Also, the NFL’s stadium assistance fund has long been running dry

This all adds up to the prospects of keeping the Vikings in Minnesota much less feasible and appetizing to Zygi Wilf I am sure.  Then again, perhaps this is the exact pressure that is needed to get this thing done once and for all (or at least for another 25 years).

The outlook is not complete gloom and doom, however.  The Star Tribune reports that headway is being made on the stadium issue and Zygi Wilf and Governor Tim Pawlenty are scheduled to meet prior to the State Legislature convening in February.

Also, State Senator Dick Day plans to resign from the Senate to pursue a lobbying effort to place slots at Minnesota’s two major horse racing tracks.  This plan is estimated to raise $125 million annually, some of which could help get a stadium built for the Vikings.

Many of Minnesota’s influential business owners and political insiders are suddenly supporting the project.  Tim Pawlenty is a politician, and thus primarily concerned with the preservation of his career, and doubtless would like to find a solution that creates a great amount of jobs, does not raise taxes, and keeps the State’s most popular team where they belong.

I have said many times before that I am no longer a resident of Minnesota, so I will try to refrain from giving my opinion on the matter.  I hate when out-of-staters try to tell my state how to spend my money, so I will not tell Minnesotans and Minnesota how to spend theirs.  I will say that I hope the lack of revenue, which is now lacking anymore, does not affect Wilf’s ability to afford a top notch roster.

I will, however, endeavor to bring you many opinions, from people other than me, on the topic.


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