September 21, 2005
In case you were wondering...
I'm home sick today. I'm too sick to even write about the stupidity that is John Knight, Nick Coleman and all the other moron anti-stadium people out there. You know, the people that fight and fight and fight against any kind of plan until it costs too much, the teams leave, and we end up begging for another team that costs three times as much. Oh, and then we build a new stadium. Genius.
Don't think it could happen? Do you remember the North Stars? We could have renovated the Met Center for a pittance, but instead the team moves, we beg for a new team, and we build the X. More expensive? Yes. Flat out stupid? Oh yes. How long did it take before we had a new hockey team in this state? 7 years.
New stadiums are inevitable. We have some good deals on the table right now and we should take advantage of them before we fight ourselves out of a great deal of money. That's right, stadium opponents are actually costing Minnesota taxpayers a lot of money. Take Camden Yards for example. It cost about $100 million to build. The Twins wanted to build a new stadium right around that time, but of course, stadium opponents said no. Now a new Twins stadium will cost upwards of $500 million. Gee, thanks a lot for all your efforts Mr. Knight.
Houston Oilers ... no new stadium ... they move to Tennesee ... now the Houston Texans play in the highly expensive Reliant Field. Cleveland Browns ... no new stadium ... they move to Baltimore ... now the new Cleveland Browns play in a new highly expensive stadium.
Over 30 other communities have figured out how to get this done. It is time for Minnesota to finally figure this out and move on!
I'm going back to bed.
Posted by snackeru at September 21, 2005 10:57 AM | Stadiums
It sure didn't take Nick Coleman long to rip into the Viking stadium plan. These morons would bitch if Wilf paid every penny on a new stadium out of his own pocket. Last time I looked they had the name of MINNESOTA Vikings not the WILF Vikings!
Posted by: Steve at September 21, 2005 12:14 PM
I don't want to pick nits here, but the North Stars were moving no matter what. Norm Green was just looking for an excuse to leave. He stated he needed 10,000 season tickets sold or he would leave. Done. He couldn't leave. The EXCUSE was the Met, but it was just that. He wanted out of Minnesota, and it was just a matter of time.
A similar thing can be said of the Browns. Their owner wasn't making any money. Why? He was spending all his money on payroll. Instead of letting a free agent go, he would sign them for inflated prices. He had no football business sense and it was breaking him. He got a better stadium deal and moved. Both of those owners should be ashamed of themselves!
Pohlad has a great deal in Minnesota. (Although he wants a better one.) That is the reason he has stayed. He gets to use the dome for practically nothing. Sure it isn't a great baseball park. Sure plenty of Minnesotans want outdoor baseball. However, a new stadium isn't going to improve his bottom line that much. Why do you think he is unwilling to pay for it? If he can get a better deal than he is getting now in the dome, he'll try for it. The only leverage he has is moving the team.
This threat works on Twins fans, but it can't work on people who don't care about the Twins. THOSE are the people you need to convince, and you have a lot of work to do with that. You need to come up with a $400,000,000 reason to keep the Twins around and a $600,000,000 to keep the Vikings. It is actually a bit less than those numbers, but that is what the public sees. It would take a heck of a lot of "increased tourism" and "local business increase" to come up with the billion dollars. Pile on the fact that these owners could write a check right now and pay for the stadiums out of their own pockets. Plus the high ticket prices and the high concession prices...
You need to convince the Nick Coleman's of the state that this is a project worth pursuing, and stadium proponents haven't done a good job of it.
The Viking deal is much closer than the Twins. This is primarily because Wilf is putting up nearly half. Why would people living in Ely or Pipestone or East Grand Forks have to help pay for a stadium in the Twin Cities? This is the sticking point for that. No state money. It is close, but not there yet.
Posted by: DouglasG at September 21, 2005 3:09 PM
Home sick, huh? Well, those hangnails can be tough on librarians. I remember when my grade school librarian had one of those, but her on the DL for 4 days. Hope you get better soon buddy!
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at September 21, 2005 7:38 PM
You know the Twins are only talking about a $500m project because they're trying to bilk the public out of as much money as they think they can get away with doing. There have been much less expensive projects completed even in the past 5 years.
Douglas is right. You need to convince the skeptics and the opposition that the Twins ballpark needs to be built, that it's good for everyone's interest, and ballpark proponents have done a poor job of it. It's too bad the Twins themselves are still more interested in trickery and strongarm tactics rather than the arts of bargaining and persuasion.
Posted by: frightwig at September 27, 2005 9:41 PM
Well, Frightwig, I don't think any of us will have to worry about this anymore. And, at least today, I'm OK with that. In fact, I'm kind of used to it. Really, we can try to convince each other but we'll never change our minds. You and I are too stubborn. So, let's talk about something else. Cats, perhaps ...
Posted by: Shane at September 28, 2005 9:35 AM
Frightwig: What on earth will you blog about when the Twins are gone? What I can not understand is how you feel that 3 cents for every 20 dollars spent is over the top. You blog about the Twins, attend Twins games, and yet are fighting the stadium every single step of the way! Why?! Yes, I know that it would be best if Carl Pohlad (or Zygi) paid for his own stadium. I would love that more than you know, as I despise Pohlad and would love to see him spend his own money. That being said, it will never happen and has never happened in the history of major pro sports stadiums in the Twin Cities.
I'll tell you what I'll do: if the stadium bill passes as it is currently written, and if you feel that you are being burdened unfairly, let me know. I'll keep every single penny that I would usually put in those "penny jars" at gas stations and convenience stores. I'll call it the "Hennepin County Tax Payers Relief Fund," and after twelve months, I'll probably have enough to take care of most of your stadium contribution for the whole year! If you want to take me up on this offer, let me know. I'd be glad to help, especially since I don't live in Hennepin County.
Curt in Grand Forks
Posted by: Curt Hanson at September 28, 2005 6:30 PM
First of all, I don't buy in to the idea that the community is stuck with a choice of letting Pohlad take us for all he wants or else kissing the team goodbye. The community should stick up for its interests, which extends beyond the simple enjoyment of watching Major League Baseball in downtown Mpls. We should drive a hard bargain, with the aim of getting a workable compromise in the end.
I am not anti-stadium. I'm against rip-offs of the community. It's not about my own wallet. It's about what the whole community is getting for its investment, and how you might win over those who don't love baseball so much that they'll just give away $375m for the pleasure of watching it in a nicer venue.
Posted by: frightwig at October 3, 2005 7:10 PM