Thursday, April 19, 2012

Plenty of Blame to Go Around for Vikings' Stadium "Predicament"

Of course the Minnesota Vikings' stadium dilemma is entirely of the team's making.  The Vikings routinely point to their low ranking among league teams in terms of stadium generated revenue and permit the logic to flow that that signals the team's utter financial disarray.  That, of course, is all misleading nonsense.  The Vikings generate the vast bulk of their NFL wealth, as do most NFL teams, not from stadium revenue, but from television deals and licensing, and, in the Vikings' case, from additional generous revenue sharing.  This all leaves the Vikings well in the flush, just not as in the flush as they would like to be.

The Vikings have exacerbated the situation by playing a card that teams like the St. Louis Rams employed when negotiating their stadium deal--demand everything and see what holds.  That worked for St. Louis and the Vikings appear convinced that it will still work in Minnesota, requesting more public funding for an NFL stadium than any other team in NFL history.

The Vikings also continue to trot out the line--employed consistently since Zygi Wilf's arrival in Minnesota--that they are "not threatening to move the team."  Again, that's nonsense.  That's precisely what the team is doing by reminding everyone that they are not doing it.  Add to that the fact that everyone in the local media, and particularly those affiliated with the Vikings' flagship station, has made the threat for the team, and the claim is less than hollow.

As much as the Vikings have made a mess of their own plight, there are many others who have contributed to the current situation, including politicians on both sides of the aisle, obtuse fans, narrow-minded non-fans, and a Governor who cannot decide if he wants to press for a good deal for the public or cow to the league.

Politically, Minnesota is enduring at least an element of what we all must endure at the Federal level--too many Republicans who think that spending, in and of itself, is the root of our demise, and too many Democrats who fail to see the correlation between keeping the engine running and greater opportunity.  That's meant that, even before the details are defined, the state legislature, bent on competition from within without any meaningful nod to the public they are to be leading as much as representing, will do little--at least without prodding.

Unfortunately, Governor Dayton has vacillated wildly on the stadium issue, at least in the public eye, vowing one limit on state support then another, calling for a stadium at one location before allowing that another site may still be an option, and doing little to lead with respect to how the state's portion of the bill is to be raised--despite seemingly having some viable options on the table.

From the beginning, whether a new Vikings' stadium will be built in Minnesota should have been all about revenue--who gets what and at what cost.  Instead, the Vikings remain committed to demanding the moon, legislators remain wedded to idiotic catch phrases, and the Governor seems rudderless.  All of which gives credence to the rantings of partisan fans and non-fans, alike, rather than allowing for consideration of the fact that the question is not whether the stadium is a sound public investment but under what terms that can be true.

Up Next:  Spielman's Subterfuge Comical.

1 comment:

joseph burrell said...

I think that the Vikings stadium scandal could have been avoided if it is true what I read on a cost per head article, shame on them anyway