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“I think there’s always a question, whenever you buy a car or buy a house or anything where there is a negotiated price, you’re always left with the question in the back of your mind ‘Could I have done better?’ ” Stinson said. “Could we have done better? Should we have insisted on this rather than that? That’s just part of the bargaining process.”
Prof. Robert Boland of New York University’s Tisch Center for Sports Management, said that to a certain extent, what’s happened with the Minnesota stadium project was inevitable. When it comes to public-private financing, he said, there are always disputes or problems involving the site, land acquisition, financing or cost overruns.
“Your set of problems are the same as everybody else’s,” Boland said. “You may have had a few more of them, but the range of them is absolutely a sign of the times.”
Although stadium groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for early November, the political noise and skepticism probably won’t subside anytime soon.
The lease and development agreements still being negotiated will spell out terms of the team’s lease, as well as determine how much revenue the authority and team receive from advertising and sponsorships. They also will establish the terms for the personal seat license fees — the sum charged to season-ticket holders on top of the price of a ticket for the right to reserve a seat. Those fees, which can range on average from as little as $1,000 a seat to more than $10,000, count toward the team’s portion of financing.
It’s unclear why the agreements, which have been negotiated for months, were delayed this week. Stadium officials already were worried about the tight construction schedule.
“Once a deal is done and it’s built, the opposition tends to melt away,” Lanning said. “But until that happens and this moves forward and is built, the opposition will continue and people will pick at it and second guess it.”
Staff Writer Jim Ragsdale contributed to this report
Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425