Guestposter Mark Brunswick puts a prominent legislator on the record about a Vikings stadium

June 22nd, 2007 – 3:08 PM by D.J. Tice

State capitol reporter Brunswick interviewed state Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller Thursday about the prospects for a new Vikings stadium as part of a large redevelopment in the Metrodome area of downtown Minneapolis. Here, he provides a fuller version of Pogemiller’s remarks than the newspaper can accomodate:

“I think the Vikings are a valuable asset to the state and I think the general thing is we need to get a way to get these kind of important projects done.

“The size and scope of what Mr. Wilf is talking about is reallypogemiller.jpg pretty significant in terms of construction and activity. I’m certain there will be a very serious and hopefully fruitful discussion about what would be the public participation in that, both in terms of the overall state asset of a facility and the community asset of whatever kind of development would be adjacent to a stadium.”

What kind of public participation might that be?

“I don’t know enough about what the possibilities are. No local unit of government by itself would be able to handle this type of project. It just seems to me that there would some regional and statewide participation of some sort.

“But what that is I don’t know and I don’t think the Vikings know enough to venture a guess about what that would be. Something of this magnitude, any local government could not handle it.”

What’s the time frame?

“We got to get to it. There’s a three or four year time frame for putting a project together. I’ve had no indication that the Vikings are pushing panic buttons or making any kind of discussion of ‘You guys are in trouble of losing the Vikings.’ They are just not doing it that way. It’s kind of ‘Here’s what the owner is thinking about’ and it’s obvious there’s more involved than just a stadium.”

Is there stadium fatigue at the Legislature after bruising battles over the Twins and Gophers stadiums?

“You always run up against the challenge that stadiums are not the highest priority for the Legislature. It’s not the highest priority. But in terms of construction and in terms of public infrastructure it’s a significant undertaking for our community.”

Might you be the author of legislation?

“I would doubt it. I don’t think anyone’s near that far along. I don’t know that anybody’s even talking about that kind of thing.”

Pogemiller said the Vikings wanted to lay some foundation, some groundwork — “How do we talk about this in a way that is digestible, both for the Legislature and the community?” he asked. There has been no indication of an interim stadium task force before the Legislature convenes in February. “It would be fairly informal if there is,” he said.

“People know this is an issue that’s going to be there. I think most thoughtful legislators want to have it in context to what the priorities are. I think there is clearly an intersection between this type of development and transportation issues because I’m guessing that’s why they are looking at that type of development.”

Mark Brunswick

2 Responses to "


Guestposter Mark Brunswick puts a prominent legislator on the record about a Vikings stadium"

Cash N. Carey says:

June 22nd, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Hey the articles on Michele Bachmann have gone down since Eric left. BP – any anti-Christian rants you want to fit in or is that left to your site?

John E Iacono says:

June 23rd, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Let me see if I have this straight.

Mr. Wilf is buying up the land around the proposed stadium site. He plans to develop it. Any bets he wants the city to put in needed infrastructure improvements at taxpayer expense? And probably tax increment financing? And I don’t suppose he intends to share any value enhancements on these properties with taxpayers.

Mr. Wilf, although he seems to have money to buy up surrounding land, just can’t afford more than a paltry 25% or so of the cost of a stadium for his team. He needs to get the rest from my retirement income and the incomes of others like me who will never see a game in his stadium, and who will have to dodge the traffic his events create.
However, like the grasshoppers who were unwilling to grow the crop, he wants to be first in line for concessions and ad revenues in the stadium, as I understand it.

And I can’t seem to get a clear fix on whether he will ante up the enhanced value of his team as a result of the new stadium — should he, like a good “developer” decide to sell it once it is worth more at our expense. Say, 100% of the increased value due at time of any sale? It sounds fair to me.

We have national TV. We have Cable and Satellite. We can watch nearly any team we want to at nearly any time. The cable/satellite won’t cost as much as the inevitable taxes to support Mr. Wilf. We can go to the biffy without interminable waits. We can snack at less than a dollar a bite. We can park on the street or in our driveway without paying a half-day’s wage. If one of the fans near us gets obnoxious or spills beer all over us, we can just “uninvite” him/her next time. We can smoke if we want to. We can even doze off if we want to. (Hold on — could it be the smell of all those profits by OTHER people that has people excited? (Mr Wilf will get most of them if he turns his land into parking spaces.) And the taxes those profits will generate?

As for politicians who talk this bone-headed idea up and make light of the costs to their constituents, I can only ahamedly say we get the politicians we deserve.

As for me, give me the politician who goes on record with “Not in a million years!” If the polls are an indication, s/he should win in a landslide.

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