Skip to content

The economic development pitch ain’t sellin’ or workin’

2009 February 24
by Skip Sauer

If stadiums were economic stimulus, you’d think the Vikings’ pitch for a subsidy would be flying high in Minnesota right now. But it was unceremoniously “brushed aside” in the legislature:

The Minnesota Vikings’ already wobbly prospects of getting public financing for a new stadium this year got no firmer Monday at the State Capitol, where legislators said the state’s dire financial picture made the project nearly unthinkable.

In doing so, a House panel brushed aside a new study by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, owners of the Metrodome, that said a new stadium on that site in downtown Minneapolis would generate $734 million in construction spending, create 13,400 jobs during construction and generate $32.2 million in taxes during the first year after a new stadium opened.

“To come in with a two-thirds publicly funded proposal for a brand new stadium here this session would appear to be a nonstarter,” said Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis.

Can we agree then, Minnesota legislators, that stadium subsidies do not stimulate the economy?

On a related note, “The Sports Museum of America” is closing less than a year after opening for business in New York. The museum was financed by $57 million worth of “Liberty Bonds.” These bonds were “part of a $20 billion package Congress granted New York City to assist an economic recovery in lower Manhattan following the September 11, 2001 attacks.” Chalk up a stimulus failure on that one.

Comments are closed.