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How About A Post-Stadium-Battle Stadium Battle? How Does That Sound?

“The People’s Stadium” is named as such simply because it will be constructed entirely of the nerves and patience of Vikings fans.

With nothing left to do but design and build the damned thing, Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton opened a can of worms on Tuesday by sending a scathing letter to the Vikings organization regarding the team’s intent to use Personal Seat Licenses as a funding avenue.

“I strongly oppose shifting any part of the team’s responsibility for those costs onto Minnesota Vikings fans,” Dayton said in the letter sent to the Wilfs. “This Private Contribution is your responsibility, not theirs.”

The legislation passed to build the stadium does include provisions allowing the team to levy PSL’s, as has been very well laid out here by 1500 ESPN, but Dayton appoints the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission and could potentially have enough pull to throw a big wrench into everything.

The truth is that this whole issue came about because the team sent out a survey seeking input on the new stadium, and one of these questions was about PSL’s, a commonly used fee around the nation.  The Vikings were not very happy with this issue being the news of the day, and made a statement later on Tuesday.

“The Minnesota Vikings greatly appreciate Governor Mark Dayton’s support for the new multi-purpose stadium for the Vikings and the State of Minnesota. However, we are disappointed by his recent letter to the team, which does not recognize a key component of the stadium agreement struck by the Vikings, State and Local leaders this past spring.

The stadium bill, and the prior term sheet, that was negotiated with the Vikings over the last two legislative sessions by the Governor’s own representatives and legislative leaders, includes provisions that expressly authorize the sale of stadium builder’s licenses and include the proceeds of any sale in the project budget. Stadium builder’s licenses were vetted by the Legislature, testified to by Vikings and State of Minnesota negotiators, and most importantly, specifically reflected in the stadium legislation that was passed and signed by the Governor.

The Vikings look forward to discussing this issue and moving forward with the agreement that was completed after many long years of effort.”

I’m not sure what exactly Dayton is trying to accomplish here.  If the Vikings now gouge extra dollars out of Minnesotans through the use of PSL’s, via the stadium legislation he endorsed, then he looks foolish.

However, if he now backs down after creating such a stir, then looks, umm… foolish.

Oh, and all of this has really only come up because he drew attention to it which makes him look… well, you get the point.

The truth is that I have yet to hear an NFL observer or Vikings fan that is really surprised by the fact that the team could utilize PSL’s.  In the world of new NFL stadiums it is pretty much the norm.

Unfortunately for America in general, politicians opposing the very things they campaign for (or campaigning for the very things they oppose) has also become the norm.

It is too bad that more people don’t find red tape interesting, because then Dayton could sell PSL’s at the State Capitol to pay for the $60 million in improvements to the building that were approved around the same time as the stadium.

If he could, I’m willing to bet he would.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. You forgot one detail, Dayton is a democrat, he is already foolish. I think it is just a politician trying to look good in the public eye, and being that a majority of voters are idiots(proven nov 6th) they will probably think hes a white knight taking on the evil rich man Zygi.

    1. Impressive.

      I’m certainly no economist, but after spending quite a bit of time boning up on the published and empirical effects of the differing macroeconomic theories (both hypothetical and in practice) prevalent in today’s world: mostly supply-side vs. Keynesian, and more particularly, how to best deal with a recession (stimulus, austerity?), I cannot imagine being so sure of myself that I’d hurl the insult of “foolish”, or “idiots” on the simple merits of someone disagreeing with my personal take. Your education, your wisdom, well, let’s not beat around the bush, it must be the stuff of legend.

      Bravo sir, bravo.

  2. I would completely agree with Dayton if he had actually demanded that the stadium deal wouldn’t allow PSL’s or the team to play games away from a brand new stadium when it was, you know, written. Making a stink about it now is pretty lame, even if he had some kind of unwritten deal with the Wilfs. I think it was in poor taste that the team immediately signed up for a game in London after getting a new deal. Fact of the matter is, they passed legislation that allows PSL’s and the team to play three home games off site. The time to negotiate those things away was when they were dangling millions of dollars in front of the team, not after they already settled everything.

    1. Yeah, I didn’t even mention the London deal, but that’s because it is a non-starter for me. The Vikings have no lease at the Mtrodome, or anywhere else right now, so why not play one game overseas per year until the new home is built?

      If Minnesota hadn’t waited so long to pass a stadium deal then the Dome lease wouldn’t be up… and they’d probably not be playing in London.

  3. Politics

    Here’s how it will play out.
    The Vikings Float the PSL idea – done
    Dayton opposes – done
    Vikings will fight back, propose PSL to cost each season ticket holder $7,000 to $10,000 (it’s coming)
    Dayton says PSL is a deal breaker (it’s coming)
    Vikings concede …. a little, reduce the cost of PSL’s to $5,0000 (it’s coming)
    Everybody comes out of this claiming victory and congratulates themselves (it’s coming)
    Viking Season Ticket holders pay $5,000 PSL, to be increased in a few years (get bent)

  4. One thing to keep in mind throughout this new stadium financial imbroglio
    one way or another, it’s gonna be the Viking Fans who will ultimately be paying for this thing.

  5. I don’t know about this Dayton character he seems like a real flake. Interested to hear Freds take on this.

    1. Let me take a shot at that, johnny…

      Dear Mr. Governor Dalton,

      Yup, Marv, it’s me your old pal Fragile Freds. Thanks for your tirade against the Minnesota Vikings as soon as you heard of their little financing trick. Like you, I am very concerned about the POS fees that are being proposed by the Vikings in the new stadium. I mean you’re right, who are they to decide who is and who is not a POS, and then set the ticket fees accordingly? Just because I may not be rich does not mean I am a POS. These people who make all this money and pay all these taxes to keep our state even close to solvent should be stopped from such activity, and you are just the man to get it done.
      I know it wouldn’t be easy, but you may once again have to impose a shutdown until they come to their senses on this. After all, if we already have to wait 3 more years for the new stadium to be built, what’s a couple more years to wait? It’s not like we don’t already have a nice little not-for-profit arena that can suffice until that happens. Those stadium commission people have families to feed, too.
      Stick to your guns, Marv. Your old pal Freds has your back.

      1. Nicely done Coach…only thing missing was a desire to fist fight someone, likely Al Franken, but he may have moved on to bigger fish.

      2. Buds,

        Your old pal Fragile has had a very difficult few weeks recently. Thanks for the laugh. Freds needed that.


        Your old pal Fragile

        1. My pleasure Freds. Sorry to hear you’re down a bit. Hang in there, my friend. The sun will once again rise in your life, one way or another.

          And remember this… at least we’re not Chiefs fans.