Monday, March 25, 2013

Apparently It Is Possible to Get a Better Deal on a $1 Billion Stadium

Throughout the build-up to the final vote on a Vikings' stadium, residents of Minnesota were hammered by the local media and the Minnesota Vikings that a new stadium would cost $1 billion and that the team could not possibly be expected to pay for more than one-third of that deal.

After much hand-wringing--all on the side of the woefully unprepared public leaders leading the charge for a new stadium--a deal was struck leaving the Vikings with precisely what they wanted and the public with an enormous debt that it now appears has no funding viable funding mechanism.

"That's the way of the modern world," we were told.  "Build this or the team moves--we couldn't take a chance."

Far South of Minneapolis, in a land often mocked by Northerners as the land of the less educated, the City of Atlanta struck a far friendlier deal with the Atlanta Falcons.  Rather than flinching in the face of hints that the Falcons might move to L.A., the City made its best offer to the Falcons, offering a package that included $200 million in funding for an $1 billion stadium with a thirty-year lease.  The Falcons will be footing the remaining $800 million.

Maybe it's time for Minnesotans to stop assuming wisdom of leadership and start demanding it.

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