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March 10, 2006

Confirmation: Greg Davids is a Yes

Thanks to an anonymous reader, we have this tidbit from the Fillmore County Journal in Preston, MN:

You might want to refine your stadium scorecard for Davids(31B)
Journal: There is a lot of talk about stadiums - are any of them viable? All of them [U of M, Twins, Vikings]?

Davids: Two of the three are viable. I think the Gopher stadium could go ahead because they have done so much private fundraising. I think the Gopher stadium gets done this year, and I will support that.

If the Twins proposal is as it was in '05, where Pohlad puts in $125 million and then there's a designated sales tax increase in Hennepin County only, I would support that.

On the Twins or the Vikings, I will not use general fund money, because then we are taking money out of education, nursing homes and health care.

The Vikings have a ways to go. They have another proposal out there, it is hard to keep up with the different proposals they come forward with.

My prediction is, one for sure (Gophers); two pretty good chance (Twins); three (Vikings) is not going to happen.

This means that the House Taxes Committee now sits at 13 no, and 16 yes for the Hennepin County Twins stadium bill. This is very, very good news (for some of us). Thanks for sending and keep those updates coming!

And as an aside, for the life I me I don't understand why the Vikings aren't getting more support for their initiative in Anoka County. Check this out from the PiPress from a couple of weeks ago:

Trying to pull even in the stadium race, Vikings lead owner Zygi Wilf says he might back off his request for a politically sensitive state subsidy if lawmakers grant his wish for an Anoka County sales tax.

If they get permission to impose the tax, Wilf said, they might withdraw the state subsidy request, which would take the form of an unprecedented $115 million tax-increment financing district.

"If a TIF district is not possible, we have to find another way to fund it,'' he said, adding that he already has had meetings with financial consultants on the matter.

Did you catch that? Not only would Zygi sink $1 billion dollars of private investment in the deal, but he would also pay for some of the infrastructure (which is what the bulk of the state contribution would have covered). Aside from Zygi paying for the stadium himself, I don't know how this deal can get any better.

Could someone explain to me why legislators are so reluctant to embrace it? In many ways it is superior to the Twins plan, yet most legislators say they won't go near it. I know they want to handle the Gophers and Twins first. Maybe it is just an issue of priorities and lack of time.

Posted by snackeru at March 10, 2006 3:29 PM | Stadiums


If people in San Antonio can vote for a baseball stadium, why can't we?

The plan would extend hotel and rental-car taxes that built the arena where the NBA's San Antonio Spurs play. It would raise $200 million for a baseball stadium, along with $40 million for improvements at the AT&T Center where the Spurs play. The proposal would have to be approved by voters in November.



Posted by: let us vote! at March 11, 2006 11:36 PM

How does the Twins offer compare to that of other teams?

from ballparks.com

Owner: New York Yankees
Cost: $1.02 billion
Public financing: $220 million from New York City for parking facilities ($75 million), parkland along the waterfront ($135 million) and other work related to the stadium
Private financing: $800 million from the Yankees

from San Fran:
Owner: China Basin Ballpark Corp., a subsidiary of the Giants
Cost: $357 million
Private financing: $170 million loan from Chase Manhattan Bank, $70 million from the sale of charter seat licenses, $102 million from the sale of naming rights, sponsorships and other sources, and $15 million in tax increment financing by the city's redevelopment agency.

Owner: St. Louis Cardinals
Cost: $344.8 million
Public financing: $45 million long-term loan from St. Louis County.
Private financing: $90.1 million from the Cardinals, $9.2 million in interest earned on the construction fund, and $200.5 million in bonds to be paid over a 22-year period ($15.9 million per year) by the team. Anheuser-Busch agreed to a 20 year naming rights deal (through the 2025 season) which will help offset construction costs.

These other teams paid for most of their stadiums. The Twins will not. Why won't they? What a joke!

Posted by: Anonymous at March 11, 2006 11:43 PM

You are wasting your time. Stick with the Strib boards where someone might actually care about what you are writing.

Posted by: Shane at March 13, 2006 10:08 AM

That second post shows how desperate the anti-ballpark zealots are. The amount of $$$ that the Yankees, Giants, and Cardinals bring in with their radio and TV deals is so much greater than what the Twins brings in is almost laughable. Plus check out ticket prices at the Giants ballpark, they are practically NHL levels.

Finally that St. Louis deal is sweet for the Cardinals. The City is giving, yes giving, ownership rights to literally blocks of downtown St. Louis around the new ballpark. The Cardinals can develop these blocks, sell them, enter into development partnerships, etc. Image the City giving the Twins ownership rights to a couple of blocks in the warehouse district, a couple along Hennepin Avenue, and a couple along Nicollet and you get an idea of how sweet this deal is for the Cardinals. Carl Pohlad would give gladly have the St. Louis deal and to say that the Cardinals are building the ballpark on their own is joke.

Posted by: freealonzo at March 13, 2006 10:18 AM

In regards to your "Wither Vikings?" point, Shane, I think a lot of folks aren't convinced that Zygi Wilf's "$1 billion" investment in a northern suburb is all that great, especially not to sink state general funds into it. After all, it will essentially be moving something that's already downtown (Vikings) and taking it to the suburbs, so it's going to hurt Minneapolis to some degree. Plus, I don't know how easy it will be to have yet another sports entertainment structure to support. More than the Twins and Gophers proposals, the roofed Vikes stadium will take events away from the already competing Target Center and Xcel Center (not to mention the convention center, etc., and what happens to the Metrodome). And for the national events it's rumored to eventually host (Super Bowl, Final Four, etc.), it's completely on the other side of the metro area from the airport. Will the new stadium eventually require its own transit line connecting it to the LRT or Northstar Corridor? It seems to me those are projects designed to deal with suburban sprawl -- the Vikings stadium seems like it is supporting it!

Besides which, the Vikings are easily the most profitable team sharing the Dome right now, and the Dome, although somewhat antiquated luxury-box wise, is perfectly suited to the sport of professional football. Frankly, without the Twins and Gophers to worry about, I'd like to see a thorough Dome renovation plan get a fair hearing (without the McCombs-style dismissal, although Zygi will probably just refuse it more tactfully).

Posted by: spycake at March 13, 2006 2:47 PM

Well spycake, you are really on a roll. I agree with you again! I wouldn't mind a renovated Metrodome. Truth be told, I think Zygi is so hyped up about all of this, a couple of years of hearing "no" from the legislature just might make him build the a new stadium himself. Would I ever welcome that...

Posted by: Shane at March 13, 2006 2:52 PM

Sounds like Shane, like all other welfare for stadium advocates, doesn't like to hear the facts! Are you that blind that you don't see how bad that deal is? It seems like you really don't care, just as long as you get your fix of the opiate of the masses you call baseball. Guess what, most people in this state don't care! That's why the team is scared of a referendum. There is NO WAY they could ever pass that joke of a stadium "proposal".

The amount of money the other teams bring in is of no concern to taxpayers. That's a problem for the PRIVATE sector. If the Twins can't compete in MLB then they should move to AAA or be eliminated through contraction!

Posted by: theTruthHurts at March 13, 2006 4:26 PM

You are way too filled with hate. Please go back to the Strib boards from whence you came. You are wasting my time and your own. I've heard all these "facts" before and they are growing tiresome. Besides, don't you know a Twins stadium will never be built in Minnesota? Why are you harrassing me? You are winning!

Why don't you harass the legislature for actually passing a half-cent sales tax in St. Paul to build the X? That is a "corporate welfare" tax people are already paying! And boy do St. Paulites hate that place! Phew, that was sure a bad idea. Why don't you harrass the legislature for passing the tax to build the Metrodome? People in Minneapolis are still paying that tax! And by the way, that tax funded 91% of the Dome. Talk about a rip off. That place hasn't been good for Minnesota at all.

Quit bugging me over something that will never happen and start fighting over these injustices that are already happening!

Posted by: Shane at March 13, 2006 4:41 PM

Such anger truth, what has Shane done to deserve such treatment? Seriously.

As much as spycake and david w. disagree with Shane on the stadium issues, they at least have the decency to be civil about it and actually have a discussion.

You bring up facts about other teams deals, but then when someone refutes them, you say what other teams do is irrelevant.

As Shane has pointed out on many occasions, he loves free speech and willingly accepts those who disagree with his views. But enough is enough already with the tone of your posts. Be civil or just leave and quit posting with all sorts of fun little "names".

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 13, 2006 4:51 PM

Guess Shane already posted a retort, he must have been typing when I was. Good man, Shane.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 13, 2006 4:54 PM

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