Ted Mondale is the latest Vikings stadium party pooper
Ahem. About that $175 million?
Ted Mondale, the governor's point man on steering a stadium deal that will keep the Vikings in Minnesota, pointed out today that all this self-congratulatory backslapping between Ramsey County and the Wilf brothers (and SaveTheVikes) over a new stadium in Arden Hills is, shall we say, a little premature.
"You've got a site from the perspective of the Vikings that works. We have a funding gap as it exists of this moment of approximately $175 million of state highway money, and may be as high as $240 million," " target="_blank">he told MPR. "I'm not sure if that number goes down later this afternoon. I know there's a lot of discussions with Ramsey and MnDOT. But at this point, that's where it stands. The Vikings have selected a local partner, there's a funding gap. Nobody's quite clear how to resolve that."
The Vikings sound pretty certain about how to resolve that: Just have Minnesota pick up the difference, even though the state is broke, and even though the stadium bill caps a taxpayer subsidy for Schloss Wilf at $300 million.
What's $175 million between friends when we're talking about building roads to funnel Vikings fans to Schloss Wilf? Sure it would cover the entire amount sliced from metro area transit this year, or the cost of cuts to the Department of Natural Resources, and the St. Paul and Minneapolis school districts combined.
Your tax dollars at work.
Mondale's hardly alone in his skepticism about the stadium bill's survival. Here's Sen. John Marty:
The Ramsey County Board has been at the Capitol this year, pleading that they cannot manage more cuts without painful consequences for people with disabilities, the poor, and the vulnerable. Now, they are promising to raise taxes on Ramsey County residents, not to address these needs, but to subsidize a billionaire businessman. Don't they have a clue how this undercuts their other concerns? The stadium subsidy has effectively become Ramsey County's number one priority in the eyes of many legislators from around the state."
Then there's the not insignificant fact that a vast majority of Minnesotans have no desire to subsidize the team's new stadium either.
Get the feeling this thing's far from a done deal.
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