Thanks for inviting me!

I’d like to thank Skip Sauer for inviting me to The Sports Economist blog. I have several friends here already with Brad, Phil and the Double-E, and while I don’t research the area as much as Skip or Brad or Rod do, it will be fun to participate to get materials for my course I occasionally teach on the economics of sports. I’m King Banaian of St. Cloud State University’s economics department (currently imprisoned as chairman) and operator of SCSU Scholars. I also appear on radio many Saturdays, 12-3pm CT, on the Northern Alliance Radio Network.

I suppose I should make an offering of some kind, so let’s look at TwinDomes Stadium, a concept for co-locating the Minnesota Twins and Vikings in two stadiums separated by a mall. It has the kind of language a good free market economist like me would like, saying that the proposal was

written to meet the Governor’s Stadium Steering Committee specifications last year, but not submitted because the governor’s process was designed for communities, not for individuals with intellectual property rights to protect.

Yet when you dig inside you find infrastructure expenditures greater than $250 million, and “gap funding” of $155 million to the two teams, in return for which the governments would become part owners with leverage over who could buy the team. That funding is called “optional” and were I an owner I think I’d decline; gap funding reduces the property rights of the owner.

The estimates on PSLs strike me as rather high. Packer fans forked out $92.5 million for PSLs to re-do Lambeau Field and $122 million was paid out for Ericsson Stadium for the Carolina Panthers. But then $30 million more for PSLs for the Twins? I find these valuations dubious.

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