Monday, May 03, 2010

Just say no to the stadium

It's a day that ends in "Y" during a state legislative session in Minnesota so that must mean that it's time once again for the Minnesota Vikings to piss and moan about their hard luck and their financial disadvantages compared to other NFL teams with big, shiny, new billion dollar stadiums. Yep, yet another plan for a new Vikings stadium. And this one has a price tag of only $791 million dollars.

The irony here is that the Vikings franchise is willing to pony up a whopping $200 and some odd million dollars - not quite a third of the cost. Really? Not even a third of the price for a playground they'll use for ten days each autumn? But the rest will come from "user fees". In Governor Tim Pawlenty-speak those are really taxes but because the legislature will need his support they use his terminology and because he's a good Republican he doesn't raise taxes, he just supports new "user fees". Some of those new user fees will come from a tax on sports jerseys. So Twins, Wild and Vikings fans would each potentially pay for a part of the new Vikings stadium. So would people renting cars and hotel rooms because those people are obviously Vikings fans and nobody comes to Minneapolis or anywhere in Hennepin County or the Twin Cities except to see a Vikings game.

But the good news is that some lawmakers with common sense are calling the possibility of financing a new Vikings stadium a "non-starter". Though even bad news like that isn't souring the hopes of rabid (and hateful) Vikings fans. @molliepriesmeyer can attest to that. I watched both Friday and today as Tweets from the Minneapolis-based journalist chronicled the shit-storm which erupted after she voiced her disapproval of a publicly financed stadium. And, yes, I also feel that a stadium financed even with the bullshitology that is "user fees" is publicly financed. I just wish that people could have a civil debate - even those on opposite sides of the debate - and realize that name-calling doesn't solve anything and those slinging the names are only hurting the very cause they champion (yes, feel free to call me a hypocrite).

Nobody, regardless of what they said (especially in a civil tone) deserves to be called a cunt but Priesmeyer had that hurled at her Friday after launching an online petition against a publicly funded stadium. Hey, if this is the face that grassroots stadium supporters want to hitch their wagon to, then may the Vikings fare well in the greater Los Angeles area but I truly hope that the Vikings can find a way to secure a stadium here in Minnesota without sticking fans who will never be able to afford to see a game with the bill.

If you read all the way through that rambling screed then you deserve a break - head to MinnPics and scope out the awesome photos from around Minnesota.

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