Sunday, November 13, 2011

Taxpayer Support of Stadiums

A few weeks back Gov. Dayton announced that increasing taxes will not be an option to help fund a new Vikings stadium. Recently, a number of options have been floated that include a heavy gamble proceed angle. For more than three decades tribal casinos have held a monopoly on gaming in Minnesota. With that monopoly tribes in Minnesota have been able to improve their reservations - granted some have done better than others. Today the Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/133748223.html, had an article talking about the new proposed ideas of a casino downtown and allowing the two race tracks in Minnesota to have slots with the revenue going to pay for sport stadiums and school funding.

Personally I don't care if Minnesota keeps the Vikings but I do care on how the new stadium is funded. For years I thought the NFL and the players association missed the boat by not requiring that 10% of all TV revenues be put in a kitty for updates to stadiums. That being said, if a new Vikings stadium is the catalyst to breaking the tribal gaming monopoly I am all for it.

I also found this article, of all places, on Politico - http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68160.html - to which I think it is about time as well. Taxpayers for years have subsidized professional stadiums and when teams cannot sell out they have not been able to watch the team they subsidized per NFL rules. While I can understand why the NFL has a rule that they want the stadium sold out because that is where they get a lot of revenue. At the same time, I wonder how much TV revenue is lost by not showing the local game. I say that as long as taxpayers subsidize the stadiums then no more blackouts.