The Face of Stadium Subsidies
A great picture from the Minneaplois Star-Tribune:
The accompanying article mentions one way under consideration to pay for the stadium: new taxes on new gambling.
Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, also was well-received. He wants a constitutional amendment that would allow revenue from slot machines at the state’s two horse racing tracks to be used for a Vikings stadium.
“We’re in debt a billion dollars,” said Hackbarth in addressing the shivering crowd. “We don’t have any money at the state level to put toward a stadium … this is the only way.”
This is consistent with political choices over the past 300 years of N. American history, a topic that I’ve studied a good bit. As I point out in my work, gambling revenue was once earmarked for things like bridges, hospitals, and university buildings. To my knowledge, stadiums are a recent addition to this list. Representative Hackbarth’s idea is similar to the mechanism used in Pennsylvania to finance the hockey arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins.