Another Minnesota Legislature session is just around the corner so that must mean it's time to talk stadiums again. Ho-hum.
Haven't we been down this path time and time again? The proposals and some of the names and faces change but the voting public's attitude remains the same: No general fund taxes for a stadium when we're struggling to maintain roads and keep our schools going. The legislators, for the most part, reflect this attitude also.
That's not an unrealistic position in our view. The Twins and Vikings are assets to Minnesota. But they are also private, profit-making businesses that bear a responsibility to provide for themselves.
The consensus seems to be that multi-use stadiums such as the Metrodome that try to satisfy both baseball and football interests end up as mediocre venues for both sports. So if both entities are determined to come to the state for their own stadiums there should be some ground rules. User fees, location-specific sales taxes and bonding authority are all tools that could appropriately be used by the state to assist in the construction of a new stadium for either pro football or Major League Baseball.
If the team owners demand more than that, it's time to issue them a polite "no" and wish them well in the future. Minnesotans just have no stomach for using general fund tax dollars to fund a playground for millionaire owners and their millionaire athletes.
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