Letter to the editor: Stadium plan good for state

NOTE:This letter to the editor was published in the South Washington County Bulletin on May 9, 2011

Stadium plan good for state

After reading a recent letter to the editor regarding Rep. John Kriesel’s support of a Minnesota Vikings stadium, I felt another perspective may show that Kriesel’s support of this bill is beneficial to the state of Minnesota.

It is easy to say bailing out millionaire players and billionaire owners is a bad decision in these economic times. Are we doing that or are we increasing tax revenues for state and local governments? A report from Convention, Sports, and Leisure states that a new Vikings stadium would generate $26 million in tax revenue annually. Based on this number and the $300 million investment the state is proposing, it would take approximately 11 1/2 years to cover the initial investment. Typically new stadiums carry between a 30- and 40-year lease. Keep in mind that the $300 million is raised by an income tax on those millionaire players, sports apparel/memorabilia tax, Vikings lottery funds, stadium naming rights, sales tax on luxury suites in the stadium and a sales tax on digital video equipment to facilitate satellite downloads.

So the players, fans and season ticket holders of the Vikings will generate the funds to cover the state’s portion. Don’t forget the Vikings ownership kicking in a third of the cost. Having two-thirds of the stadium paid for by user fees and ownership shows no burden to taxpayers unless they decide to contribute.

What about other events at the stadium? How much revenue does a Final Four generate for the state and local governments? A Super Bowl will be brought to Minnesota if this stadium is built. How about the workforce impact? A projection of 13,000 jobs is estimated if the stadium is built. Once the stadium is built 3,400 full- and part-time jobs will be created.

If we lose the Vikings there will never be a way to fill the lost revenue to the state. We invest in a stadium that is used year-round and in return we get tax revenue for the people of Minnesota. My thanks to Kriesel for supporting a bill that invests in Minnesota’s future.

Bill Thurmes
Cottage Grove

(Source: http://www.swcbulletin.com/event/article/id/18188/group/Opinion/)

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