Legislators weigh Super Bowl tax breaks

  • Article by: BAIRD HELGESON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 24, 2014 - 7:38 AM

Legislators wrangle over whether it’s worth giving goodies to get Super Bowl.

hide

At stake: The 2018 Super Bowl would be Minnesota’s chance to show off the state and the new stadium before a global audience.

A tax relief package designed to lure the Super Bowl to Minneapolis is running up against the limits of bipartisan zeal for cutting taxes at the Capitol this year.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton met recently with legislative leaders from both parties to press his case, and cautioned against a partisan fight that could doom the state’s Super Bowl bid.

“Life will go on if we can’t keep this out of the partisan politics,” Dayton said. “We’ll just have to let the opportunity go by.”

Under consideration is roughly $10 million in tax breaks for gameday player salaries, NFL Super Bowl events and even tickets to the big game, which can reach $2,600 for the best seats.

Hanging in the balance is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase the state and the new $1 billion Vikings stadium before an international audience totaling hundreds of millions. State leaders must weigh it all against the political consequences of handing out tax breaks to the National Football League and potentially some of the nation’s most highly paid athletes.

Minneapolis is competing against Indianapolis and New Orleans for the right to host the 2018 Super Bowl. With the final pieces of the old Metrodome coming down, stadium officials face a deadline to put together a proposal by next month. A decision is expected in May.

“The new stadium is a significant component in analyzing Super Bowl bids, but that alone won’t deliver it,” said Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president of stadium development. “If the public sector is not fully on board, it won’t work.”

Boosters are touting the potential economic impact of the event at well north of $300 million. Some independent economic studies put the ­benefits at less than $100 million, still an intoxicating ­windfall during the sluggish winter months.

Dayton and legislative leaders express at least a willingness to consider the tax breaks, but many rank-and-file members of the Legislature are far more apprehensive, particularly in an election year.

A matter of priorities

“No, no, no,” said Sen. David Osmek, R-Mound. “Why should we be giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires when we can’t fill potholes in Minnesota?”

Osmek said the NFL gins up the competition and then works community leaders into a frenzy over who can offer more.

“The NFL is playing us all against each other,” he said. “Why can’t Minnesota be the first one to get off this train and say, ‘Stop?’ If the Super Bowl wants to come to Minnesota, then you pay the same taxes as Joe Taxpayer in Minnetonka.”

The proposal scrambles the usual partisan dynamics around the Capitol, with Republicans speaking stridently against the kind of tax breaks they usually embrace and Democrats open to tax relief for the multibillion-­dollar NFL.

House Taxes Committee Chairwoman Ann Lenczewski said she hopes legislators move past the divisive fight over the new stadium, which pulled together one of the most politically diverse and fragile coalitions in recent history.

“People need to think about this a little differently, now that the stadium is approved,” said Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington. If the economic benefits can be proven, “it probably warrants some help,” she said.

One major snag for many legislators is the proposed tax break for players’ gameday ­salaries.

“If you are an NFL player, and you get to go to the Super Bowl, are you not going to come if your income taxes aren’t exempted that day?” Lenczewski asked. “That one would be off the table, for me personally.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati 0 Delayed
Baltimore 0
Boston 7 Top 4th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 1 Top 4th Inning
Cleveland 2
NY Mets 5 Top 4th Inning
Miami 3
Philadelphia 0 Top 5th Inning
Atlanta 0
Toronto 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Tampa Bay 2
Milwaukee 0 Top 1st Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
LA Angels 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Houston 0
Chicago WSox 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Minnesota 0
Texas 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Kansas City 0
Pittsburgh 0 Top 1st Inning
St. Louis 0
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Washington - D. Fister 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Vikings win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close