Let the users pay for a stadium | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Let the users pay for a stadium

OUR OPINION: Vikings stadium

Posted: May 13, 2011 - 7:53pm

Price tags that run into the millions get tossed around pretty freely when talk of professional stadiums is in the air. It’s all a bit of blur to us. However, it’s clear that any sort of financing package that might produce a new Vikings stadium is going to involve team contributions, taxes related to the team and maybe revenue from the host city or county.

Ramsey County’s Arden Hills site seems to be the current favored location of the Vikings’ owners. The new site’s main liability is that it needs road work in order to support an NFL stadium — lots of road work . MnDOT officials estimated a stadium without surrounding development would require $175 million in road work while a stadium with a fully developed site would require up to $240 million.

The trouble is both Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders have been pretty clear any tax contribution from state sources is going to be capped at $300 million and that doesn’t allow extra money for road work. If the Vikings are really keen for the Arden Hills site, it should be up to them to foot the bill for the extra road costs.

While affection and fervor for the Vikings is strong in the Brainerd lakes area we hope lawmakers keep in mind that the chances of many outstate fans to ever attend a game in person is about as remote as trip to the moon. Let those who use the stadium and profit from it bear the brunt of the cost.