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The state and the city of Minneapolis are contributing $498 million in construction financing.
Schleuder’s concern, shared by others, is that the team owners will reap so much from the license fees — and other sources of potential revenue, including naming rights and rentals from the stadium’s 115 to 125 suites — that they won’t have to put much of their own money into the project.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, the authority chairwoman, said the sum generated by the fees “is a Minnesota” price and pales in comparison with the more than $400 million fee in new NFL venues in Dallas, San Francisco and New York.
Still, Schleuder and others say, the fees — on top of the price of a season ticket — will be so steep for Vikings fans that they’ll price out Joe Six-Pack.
“I do understand it’s a business, but it’s a lot of money, especially when you have kids who are in college,” said Sue Hannon, a longtime season-ticket holder from St. Paul.
Schleuder said Thursday that she “wouldn’t have a problem” with seat license fees — which amount to a user fee — if the stadium project wasn’t getting so much public financing support. The public investment in new venues in Dallas, San Francisco and Atlanta was much less than $498 million.
“It’s just not right,” Schleuder said. “I just think the only people who are going to be able to afford those tickets are businesses and the rich. And if that is the way the Vikings and our state want to promote our team, then I think we’ve reached a sad point in Minnesota sports franchise history.”
Twice in the past year, Schleuder wrote Gov. Mark Dayton, who championed the project and billed it as the “People’s Stadium,” to express her concerns.
While Dayton wrote to the Vikings owners last fall threatening to undo the deal if they passed on stadium construction costs to fans, Schleuder said, he never got back to her.
Said Schleuder, “It didn’t turn out to be a ‘People’s Stadium.’ ”
Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425