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Category: Vikings Stadium
Posted: 03/25/15 19:57

by Dave Mindeman

Minnesota is going to have an MLS Soccer franchise. That's great. But look out people, we are about to get hit with another public subsidy stadium.

Major League Soccer has committed to Minnesota, awarding an expansion franchise to start playing in 2018 with the expectation an outdoor stadium will be built before then.

What is particularly galling about this one is that the franchise owner is Bill McGuire, the former CEO of United Health. Here is an interesting tidbit about Mr. McGuire....

William McGuire, who served as UnitedHealth's CEO from 1991 to 2006, collected $286 million when he retired.

Ironically, the suggested cost of a new soccer stadium would be between $100 and $200 million. So would it be possible for Bill McGuire to finance and own his own stadium? Why, yes, I think he very well could.

Will he actually do that?

Ahhh, I would say that the public trough will attempt to be tapped.

The political climate for stadium financing is pretty well dried up...but we have heard that before. And we have Target Field, the Vikings stadium, and even the St. Paul Saints getting aid from Minnesota citizens.

The precedent is too tempting to not make the attempt. And why put your own money into stadium building when you can use your big bucks to lobby the legislature into doing it for you?

I'm not much of a soccer fan, but it is a growing sport. Watch this space.

comments (2) permalink
03/25/15 21:32
For the record....I would fight giving even one nickel to this franchise for a stadium. And I have been a critic of every stadium subsidy we have had in the past as well.
03/25/15 21:10
So if you were a soccer fan you would be in favor of another sports subsidy?

The economic damage to our local economy when major sports franchises ship huge paychecks out-of-state is well understood. The damage to all business competing for the same consumer spendable income is serious, and permanent.

These franchisees stake a claim to the state and local taxes paid at the gate, but fail to consider the loss of revenue by the middle class people trying to eek a living out of the same limited spendable income. Revenue that feeds thousands of families, not fuel for private planes. Franchises generate, in round dollars, exactly zero additional revenue. They simply serve to displace what limited resources are available and promptly ship it out of state. The economic hemorrhage is horrific.

On the Tuesday after the big weekend game, there is nothing left to call 'value.' The economic activity generates nothing for the public to benefit the next day. Compare the brick and mortar of a sports franchise to a bridge, or a school, or a hospital. By mid-week they are just an ugly memory of another weekend of losses...



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