Legacy Arts Funding to Vikings Stadium?

I have three thoughts as I read the below.

1. Aargh to the idea that arts funds would go to this cause.
2. Aargh to the robohelp aspect of the way they want you to contact your legislator, even if you don’t know who they are.
3. Aargh, just in general.

How about you? –db

From: Sheila Smith [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 12:05 PM
Subject: arts alerts: Take Action Now to Oppose Diverting Arts Legacy Funds to Vikings Stadium
arts alert / arts alert / arts alert /arts alert / arts alert
MCA
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
2233 University Ave. W. #355
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-251-0868 fax 651-917-3561
staff at mncitizensforthearts.org
www.mncitizensforthearts.org
@MnCitizen
Arts Action Center

October 21, 2011
ACT NOW! To Oppose Diverting Legacy Arts Funding to Vikings Stadium

As unbelievable as it may seem, some legislators have proposed diverting Arts Legacy funds to pay for a new Vikings Stadium. We must vigorously oppose this proposal which would do harm to arts funding in every corner of the state.

Go Here Now to send a letter to your legislators opposing this proposal. Talking points are provided there for you to use, and it will automatically send the letters to your legislators, even if you don’t know who they are:
http://www.capwiz.com/artsusa/mn/state/main/?state=MN
If you see your legislators in the next two weeks, here are some talking points:
I am alarmed at press reports that some legislators are proposing diverting the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund to pay for a Vikings Stadium. I want you to know that, as your constituent, I am absolutely opposed to using this Fund for the stadium.
Thousands of Minnesotans worked together on the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Vote Yes campaign to ensure dedicated funds for the outdoors and for the arts and history. Diverting these funds is not only illegal, but a bait and switch to the taxpayers who voted for the amendment with the belief that we were preserving the arts and outdoors.
Those who have made this proposal have obviously not read the constitution. The constitution limits says these funds “may be spent only for arts, arts education, and arts access and to preserve Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage.” There is no mention of stadiums anywhere in the constitution.
It is clear that the legislative intent of the Fund is to support Minnesota’s arts and history. No where in that debate, nor in the constitution itself, is there language that says these funds can be used to pay for-profit stadium. Legislative intent is very clear on this matter.
The non-profits in every corner of Minnesota who depend upon these resources to provide arts opportunities in every county would be harmed by this proposal. There is not a single legislative district that would not have a negative impact from it.
Please immediately oppose the diversion of Legacy funds for any stadium.

Take Action Now!
***If you hear back from your legislators, please let me know what they are telling you about this proposal. Thanks! ***
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32 Comments

zra

about 11 years ago

It's being called Wilfare.

wildgoose

about 11 years ago

Thanks for posting this. When I first heard this preposterous idea I cringed.  I believe it's unconstitutional according to the MN Legacy Amendment decided by voters.  But, hey I thought that corporations buying elections was unconstitutional, too.  Despite being a Vikings fan, this is a move I will fight.  Disgusting.

in.dog.neato

about 11 years ago

What Wilf wants, Wilf gets ... despite he and his cohorts having more than enough in their personal wealth to finance most of what will be needed to build this stadium.

Another case of the poor being made to coddle the rich.

adam

about 11 years ago

Fuck. Subsidized. Sports.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

Between the random cuts to people on disability, the outright attacks on folks who are gay and wanting to raid the Legacy funding to pay for a monopolistic, financially closed, limited benefit enterprise such as a sports stadium, this legislative session has my fists itching like none other. 

If they want the funding so bad without the courage of their convictions to raise taxes to do so and face the music for it, let them do what the legacy folks did and propose a statewide referendum, we'll see just how beloved the 1-5 Vikings are. 

Do people seriously think it is a good climate for a sports team to go begging to other cities to pay for stadiums? I think the team is bluffing and if not ... eh. Rules need to change so teams can be community owned, much like, *gasp* Green Bay. That small market team has been more successful than most of its big market competitors.

Fuck the bastards who want to do this, fuck them sideways, and fuck the horse they rode in on ... seriously.

dbrewing

about 11 years ago

Gambling is the answer.

wildgoose

about 11 years ago

I like your idea Edgeways - Statewide referendum.  And I'd almost certainly vote for it, too.  But they need to keep their paws off the legacy dollars.

jessige

about 11 years ago

Edgeways has an interesting thought there.  I have no idea how the NFL is structured, but if a team really wanted a stadium, couldn't they make the team publicly traded in order to fund a stadium?  I realize the Packers are different because of their ownership structure, but that's what they do when they want to build -- they just issue more stock, as they are about to do here shortly.

I'm sure there are at least what, a half-dozen or so of you that would pay $100 for a share of the Vikings, right?  (I kid, I kid.)

edgeways

about 11 years ago

Jessige, I am not a huge football fan, but am given to understand that the NFL now has a rule that essentially no one else can do what Green Bay has done.

The Big E

about 11 years ago

Let LA or Omaha or whomever have the Vikings.

Lojasmo

about 11 years ago

Anybody want to guess which legislators are proposing this? (r v. D)

Endion

about 11 years ago

While I don't want to see art funds go to a stadium I also disagree with a few posters who say screw the Vikings.  Here we build stadiums for every team, including the updated UMD football and Amsoil, but not the most popular sport.  It doesn't make sense.  

I agree with dbrewing, the racino would be a great option and pay for the thing. Just got to get the DFL to go against the gaming lobbiests... 

While I love the arts and support them I also think that artists should respect other people's entertainment as well.  They moved a theater a few blocks in downtown Mpls for millions and fund lots of museums and the arts around the state.  If you want that to continue you must also appreciate the tax dollar of those who support sports.

My tax dollars fund tons of stuff I never see or use, but I would also like to keep the Vikings here and am willing to pay for something I will enjoy.

The Big E

about 11 years ago

Regardless of what one thinks about NFL football, siphoning off Legacy Amendment funds to build Ziggy Wylf a stadium would set an amazingly terrible constitutional precedent.

Jadiaz

about 11 years ago

I'm against this, but playing devils advocate, it is the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. As much as theater and arts are a part of Minnesota's cultural heritage for some individuals, can it not be argued that the Minnesota Vikings are a theater experience and cultural experience for others? Hunting is passed down, a love of arts is passed down, as is a love of sports from generation to generation. 

Again, I am against the use of the Legacy funds for building Zygi's palace. He has the funds to do so himself. Just presenting the question of, how are the Vikings less culturally significant to Minnesota's legacy after 51 years than say, the Guthrie?

Rhetoricguy

about 11 years ago

Jadiaz, a fair reading of the referendum, I guess (although by that standard, Target could be argued to be part of Minnesota cultural heritage, as could Northwest Airlines).

But the actual program is more narrow, I think.  See below.

Now, since the Vikings are outdoors, if the Hunters want to give up their percentage of the Legacy fund...  No, I wouldn't support that either.


The current general sales and use tax rate is 6.5%. Sales tax revenue is deposited in the state General Fund. The amendment will increase the general sales and use tax rate by three-eighths of one percentage point (0.375%) to 6.875% and dedicate the additional proceeds as follows:
- 33% to a newly created Outdoor Heritage Fund to be spent only to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for game, fish, and wildlife (approximately $80 million in FY 2010 and $91 million in FY 2011);
- 33% to a newly-created Clean Water Fund to be spent only to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater, with at least 5% of the fund spent to protect drinking water sources (approximately $80 million in FY 2010 and $91 million in FY 2011);
- 14.25% to a newly created Parks and Trails Fund to be spent only to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance (approximately $35 million in FY 2010 and $39 million in FY 2011);
- 19.75% to a newly created Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to be spent only for arts, arts education, and arts access, and to preserve Minnesota's history and cultural heritage (approximately $48 million in FY 2010 and $54.5 million in FY 2011).

Jadiaz

about 11 years ago

- 19.75% to a newly created Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to be spent only for arts, arts education, and arts access, and to preserve Minnesota's history and cultural heritage (approximately $48 million in FY 2010 and $54.5 million in FY 2011).

Some would argue that yes, the Vikings are part of Minnesota's history and culture. I did playing Devil's advocate. 

I don't feel that any type of tax, unless voted on and approved by the people, should be used to pay for any professional sports facility. Period. Nor do I feel that the Legacy fund should be used. If it is, there is going to be a court case, and it could very well go in favor of using it, as the clause above doesn't specify what can be considered Minnesota history and cultural heritage.

Question

about 11 years ago

Despite how we all feel about tax dollars going to pay for this stadium, we all need to realize that it will cost us more if we do not do it now.

Labor, building and property costs will only go higher as time lapses. If we don't build the stadium now, we will be buying an expansion franchise 10 years down the road just like we did with the Lakers and the North Stars.

If we wait until that point, not only will we be paying some other richie-rich to help him build a stadium who will be less likely to reinvest in the area, which the Wilfs obviously are trying to do with their proposed Arden Hills site. We will also be paying almost a 1 billion dollar franchise fee for the new team along with the stadium.

The Vikings stadium will easily pay for itself over the course of the next 25 years in the form of tax revenue from ticket sales, merchandise, food and beverage and travel; not to mention all the money we get from the fans in the Dakotas and Iowa.

zra

about 11 years ago

I'm more of the mindset that it shouldn't cost *us* anything at all...period.

Let Wylf and his cronies pony up their dough first, before asking the rest of the state to pay for his stadium.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

I just wish they where as focused and creative about paying for QOL issues that affect more people. Cut Health and Human services multiple years in a row, less funding for higher education ... and yet a special session to figure out how to pay to build a stadium for people who could afford it in the first place? I get people like the professional sports, that's cool. Cheering on your favorite team is a great way to waste some time. But, seriously? Here and now? Priorities. This is nothing but corporate welfare, in an age where people are screaming about fiscal responsibility. 

Saying that pro sports teams pay for themselves is not a clear cut truth. There is the assumption that dollars spent on sports tickets would not be spent elsewhere, which is highly dubious. What about fans from outside the area who will surely stay overnight in a hotel? Well that accounts for about 20% and "outside the area" has traditionally included folks who live 30 miles away ... they aren't staying in a hotel.

I'm not dissing pro sports. I, frankly, am not a huge sports consumer, but I understand the attraction and a lot of people enjoy it. But, we have to regularly have ballot questions to help with school funding, we have a ballot question next month to see if we can pay for our libraries and parks for goodness sake. They are things that are open to everyone. But, the Minnesota legislature seems poised to either raid a separate fund, or to raise taxes in some county or city to hand over gobs of cash for a private, monopolistic, secretive venture.

Pro sports, yeah, great, fantastic. Public financing of the same? Christ, give me a break.

bluenewt

about 11 years ago

A stadium does not pay for itself. There's quite a lot of good research on this question, and it shows that publicly funded stadiums are not a good investment. They cost the state more than it ever gets back in tax revenues.

Question

about 11 years ago

Zra, they have ponied up their dough already... Over $400 million of their own money.

Patty

about 11 years ago

A stadium for NFL games is really the place where highly paid people make their living.  Why is it our job to pay for their work place?  We don't usually pay to build plants or retail centers; the businesses who will profit from those facilities pay for them.  Statistics show that pro sports stadiums do not increase business in the neighborhoods they locate.  On the contrary, they suck up all the money and restaurants and other businesses located in the area generally suffer.

zra

about 11 years ago

400 million? Only?

If they can scrape together 400 mil, they can scrape together the remainder ... at least that way they can actually justify the exorbitant prices for tickets and peripherals.

ruby2sd4y

about 11 years ago

American Football sucks ass. Jus sayin. 

It's actually a joke all around the world. Padding and whinging injured wankers - who what? 'Try' to 'play' a 'sport' for a few months for a living?  And how long do they actually play/work for their over-inflated salaries? 

And do people really care about the bi-queens anymore?
If so, I can surely imagine their mentality: vikings, football, tv, food, remote control, cavemen sorts. fuckthatshit/noise.

The Arts deserve way more than the arm-chair-sports droolers could ever understand/comprehend. Legislators... they're just as Fuck-tarded**, as we've seen over and over again.

 **A mentally disabled person is born that way, whereas, a Fucktard makes a choice.

Make the right choice.

Endion

about 11 years ago

Last post was great stuff, ever thought of writing a book?

We pay plenty for the stages, museums, and other venues the arts have.  I was just saying why is it ok to take tax dollars for UMD to build Amsoil up here, but not the Vikings.  The Wilf's are are paying almost half the cost for a really cool stadium.  If the Vikings moved we will be paying waaaay more later.  Tax dollars go to tons of crap that lots of people disagree with, that is the beauty of a republic.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

Why is it OK to take tax dollars for UMD to build Amsoil up here, but not the Vikings?

I wasn't entirely comfortable with that either, however, there is one glaring difference. Amsoil wasn't built for private ownership, predominately single team use. Also a hell of a lot cheaper.

By threatening to move unless they get a large chunk of tax money I think it is form of extortion. What I am saying is that like the Legacy folks, let the issue of a tax raise go to a referendum. I may not be pleased with the results, but at least I could accept it a lot easier.

zra

about 11 years ago

Wait ... if the Vikes left, we wouldn't be paying more later ... we'd be paying less by not having to build another rich bastard's playhouse.

oasis

about 11 years ago

Why is it all gimmie gimmie gimmie? Why can't they get a loan? Or pay back the people who pay for their stadium?

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

I was surprised punter Chris Kluwe wasn't asked what he thinks about the stadium issue during his recent Pioneer Press interview.

Q&A: Vikings punter gives his view on porn stars, social injustice and the filthy rich

I mean, considering that his band rocks out lyrics like: "Recession. Bankers scum. They get all. We get some. Rise up. Occupy. Rich stay rich. Sick. Die." 

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