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Minnesota can't afford its sports teams

We can't afford to buy tickets to this beautiful building.
We can't afford to buy tickets to this beautiful building.

It's bad enough all of Minnesota's sports teams stink. Now, it turns out we can't even afford them.

Minneapolis-St. Paul is about $40 billion too poor to host four professional teams, according to a new study by the Business Journal. That deficit ranks the Twin Cities ninth-worst out of 85 metro areas studied, and definitely doesn't help in the ongoing appeal to keep the Minnesota Vikings from becoming the Los Angeles Vikings.

The study  weighs a city's total personal income against the number of pro teams in town. In ninth place, Minneapolis-St. Paul is behind depressed cities, financially and otherwise, like Cleveland and Pittsburgh. But the Twin Cities, with four teams, are apparently a worse host than Detroit, which has four teams and absolutely no jobs.

According to the Business Journal, a city needs about $85 billion to adequately support a baseball team, what with 81 home games each year. NFL, NBA, and NHL teams each need around $35 billion, and an MLS team can get by on $15 billion.

Minneapolis-St. Paul has a total personal income of around $154 billion, according to another Business Journal report, but most of that total probably comes from Glen Taylor, the Timberwolves' billionaire owner.

Topping the list of "overextended" sports cities is Denver, which has teams in all five major sports -- football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and soccer -- and is about $87 billion short of being able to support them. Cleveland is second-worst: With only three sports teams, none of which have Lebron James anymore, the city's about $70 billion short.

Midwestern cities dominate the worst-off rankings, with Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Green Bay -- which has only one pro team -- all making the list.

Last week, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was asked if fans should be worried about the team heading for L.A., which has no pro football -- and, it should be pointed out, didn't make the "overextended" list, despite its having two baseball teams, two basketball teams, and one each in soccer and hockey. Wilf told reporters that everyone should calm down, the team's not going anywhere, according to the Star Tribune.

"No, we've got momentum here in Arden Hills," Wilf said, referring to the proposed stadium site.

You've got momentum, sure, Zygi. But we're between paychecks right now. Can you spot us, like, $40 billion?


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