The Minnesota Vikings continue to explore new potential sources of income to help fund a new stadium for the team. It's been a long and arduous road through Minnesota legislation for the team, who has been trying to explore new ways to get the state to sign off on new financing plans and, accordingly, a new stadium. This has been going on for several years, coming just shy of a decade, really.
Over the weekend, the team unveiled a new finance proposal by way of a newspaper ad campaign. The team calls it the "But-For" Stadium Finance Plan, and it's really simple in execution. The proposal would take the team's players, owners, employees and visiting players income taxes and divert them from the state to the stadium. The deal also would include the sales taxes on all the spending from fans inside the stadium.
In short, the financing plan would take taxes that wouldn't be there if not for the team being in Minnesota, and divert it to building the new stadium, on top of the $407 million that the team already plans to contribute itself (which is noted in the ad as the third-largest private contribution in NFL history). The ad goes on to extol the simple nature of the plan and mostly condemn that process that's failed to get together a strong financing plan thus far:
Sure, there are other financing plans being discussed that raise new revenues, and those plans are acceptable. Problem is, they never seem to leave the discussion stage. So we're now recommending a pure purple financing package.
In February, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission estimated that the team and its various connected revenue streams generated more than $20 million a year in various taxes. The only thing unaccounted for is the lost revenue for the state - but then again, that's sort of covered by the threat that the Vikings will leave town if they don't get the stadium built at the site in Arden Hills.