I admire the tenacity and commitment of the anti-stadium crowd, who — even though the Metrodome is history and the new stadium is well on its way — maintain their hope that the project will be scrapped. However, the “facts” they cite in stating their case have always been suspect at best. The latest example was a letter to the editor that appeared May 9 in the Star Tribune. I will address the points the letter writer made:
“The NFL is a dying league.”
Wrong. The NFL is the most popular sport for at least the 30th year in a row.
“Exorbitant ticket costs.”
While there certainly will be expensive seats, many will be $50 or less, about midrange for entertainment options. Many concerts cost well more than $100 to attend these days. It costs more than $30 just to see a small production at the Ames Center for the performing arts in Burnsville, where I live.
“Nonprofits, charities, cities and otherwise worthwhile causes lost funding due to the stadium.”
Just flat-out false. There is not, nor has there ever been, a connection between funding a stadium and not funding roads, schools, hospitals, charities, etc. By the way, how many millions do the team and players contribute to charities every year?
“The Super Bowl won’t bring anything to our city other than headaches.”
Again, saying it or believing it doesn’t make it true. A Super Bowl would bring tens of millions to the local economy.
“Neighbors of the new stadium, who will live near an empty, hulking behemoth for about 350 days a year.”
I’m pretty sure of two things: (1) These people knew about the stadium before moving across from it and (2) no one forced them to do so.
“Rich out-of-staters like the Wilfs don’t deserve to be further enriched on the public spigot.”
Yes, because they’re the first out-of-state entity ever to receive a subsidy. Sheesh. At least the public will get a return on this one.
“Most Minnesotans didn’t want this stadium.”
Again, simply not true. A vast majority didn’t want to lose the Vikings. The issue was how to pay for the stadium, not whether it was needed or wanted. The majority favored a penny-a-drink tax or some other common-sense, statewide solution.
“I’ll remember that stadium when I spend my money and when I vote.”
The same thing was said about the gutsy people who made Target Field happen, and they subsequently were re-elected. Target Field is a gem and a smashing success, regardless of whether the same can be said of the team that plays there.
As was suggested by the comment by US Bancorp President and CEO Richard Davis that led to Friday’s letter, it’s time to get over it. Or at least bring facts to the argument.
John G. Morgan, of Burnsville, is an electrician.