Only 30 percent of Minnesotans support the use of state funds to help finance a new Vikings stadium, according to a SurveyUSA poll. The unpopularity can be attributed to many things, most notably the size of the current deficit and the taxpayer commitment likely needed to help finance a new stadium.
Looking at the history of Minnesota stadium financing, it is surprising to see the past fiscal support made by state and local governments. All the current stadiums (Metrodome, Target Center, Excel Energy Center, Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium) have received public financing to some degree. Examples of public support include increases in sales tax, interest free loans and revenue bonds. The House Research Department recently created a table laying out the major Minnesota sports stadiums’ financing.
It should be no surprise the Vikings organization has increased its lobbying efforts considering the current state of the state’s finances. It seems very unlikely the Vikings will receive government fiscal support like past stadiums. Facing a tough defense, the Vikings became an unlikely ally of the racino proposal being discussed in the Minnesota Senate. After the racino bill was withdrawn last week, the Vikings chances to receive state financial support for a new stadium seemed to be fading for this legislative session.
What’s next for the Purple People Eaters? One possibility is to redesign the Mall of America Field (formerly known as the Metrodome) as a temporary solution. Another outcome could be the relocation of the franchise to Los Angeles where investors have already begun building a privately financed stadium. With schools laying off teachers, an aging infrastructure, and a multi-billion dollar deficit, the Vikings stadium offense is facing third and long.