Vikings’ stadium puts unnecessary strain on Minneapolis taxpayers

Sophie Downey, Staff Writer

The Vikings logo is an iconic Minnesota symbol. Most Minnesotans wear yellow and purple with pride, unashamed to show their support for their favorite team. But should we take so much pride in our beloved Vikings?

The Vikings have never won a Super Bowl, and their record is unpredictable. The quality of their playing aside, the Vikings are hideously over-paid athletes whose exploits do nothing but take money from other areas where it could be better invested. Their latest demand? A shiny new stadium. 

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the stadium plan, and for good reason. The plan includes sucking taxpayers’ dollars, years of construction, and the waste of not one, but two perfectly suitable stadiums.

While several plans and sites have been considered for a new stadium, Governor Dayton and the Vikings announced a deal last Thursday that would lead to a new stadium that includes the current Metrodome site.

This plan depends on taxpayers for a substantial amount of the funds. The State of Minnesota will foot 26.7% of the $975 million bill and the City of Minneapolis will contribute 22.7%, while the Vikings pick up the other 50.6% Is this huge amount of money really worth it?

The money that would go towards the new stadium would be much more beneficial going towards schools or other areas that are underfunded, like infrastructure or parks. In our current economic state, it is much wiser to invest in things that will end up being sustainable in the long run, as opposed to sports teams.

We have a lot of options: schools could always use more money, and renewable energy is a field that would yield major rewards in the long run. The question we have to be asking ourselves is, when do we say enough is enough to millionaires?

A common argument for the new stadium is that the Twins recently had a new stadium built. However, the Twins stadium cost much less, a modest $55 million, compared to almost $1 billion for the Vikings. In addition, Target Field gets more bang for its buck. The Twins play 82 games in their stadium, compared to the Vikings’ underwhelming eight.

The Viking’s plan to pay only 50.6% is in stark contrast to what other football teams have recently paid for their new stadiums. The Giants and Jets stadium in New Jersey was 100% privately funded, and the Dallas Cowboys stadium and the Lincoln Financial in Philadelphia were 63% and 64% privately funded.

When the Metrodome collapsed in 2010, it took nearly a year to rebuild it, and was a massively expensive project, costing around $20 million. However, with the Minneapolis stadium plan, the Metrodome would be completely torn down to make way for a new stadium. While the dome was under construction, the Vikings relocated to the University of Minnesota stadium, which they would be expected to play at if they wanted to switch stadiums. But with the new plan, the Vikings would only be playing there for a few games. This is a huge waste of time, money, and resources that went into making that stadium possible.

The Vikings will argue that the stadium project will create new jobs, and while that may be true, they won’t last for long. Any money that will be put towards this stadium is a huge waste. We shouldn’t be focusing on the wants of millionaires, we should be focusing on better investments.