I'm not sure why the Lege made it so difficult. I supported the idea of simply using any direct revenues we would lose in player and team admin/management payroll taxes and roll that into the package. Seriously, no one can argue that this money would flee the state with the team, and drain the General fund of those monies. Player salaries alone, over the course of a 30 year lease, would bring in $460 Million. This doesn't even count non player employees. For all the talk of a Yes vote costing the state over 500 Million in general fund money that could be use for roads, bridges, schools, and other government supported activities needed to accept the alternative. A no vote would cost is about the same.
To be balanced, we need to look at my Good Friend, and now State Legislator, King Banaian's take, recently feature on Time's 'Keeping Score' blog. Admittedly more of a Giants fan the a Queenie supporter, his decision came down to pure economics. And as a Professor of Economics at my Alma Mater, St. Cloud State University, he certainly has credibility.
But Banaian has run the numbers, and believes the $443 million public cost is too prohibitive, especially in a down economy. Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, says stadium construction will deliver 8,000 jobs: Banaian estimates that the project will add 2,000-2,500 jobs. Economic study after economic study has shown that the promises of stadium windfalls don’t come true. One major reason is the substitution effect: if people don’t spend their discretionary dollars on season tickets and hot dogs and parking and other costs associated with attending sports events, they’ll spend it on other activities and businesses within a metropolitan area (the movies, the car dealership, restaurants). Or maybe individuals will — gasp — save that Vikings money, which might not help local GDP in the short-term, but could greatly benefit an individual down the road.I tried to avoid including revenues that could be subject to the substitution effect, and like I stated above, payroll tax revenues leave the state with the team, there is no substitution. The Conference committee report that passed the House early this AM, and now goes to the Senate, shows the state's share at $348 Million. 460 - 348 is a net WIN for the general fund coffers, and we get to keep the Queenies home, warts and all. I look forward to an opportunity to pick King's brain on this one.