|August 4, 2007
|Ignoring Clint Eastwood's advice in "Dirty
Harry" that opinions, like certain body parts, are best
kept to yourself.
New Twins Stadium
Out of respect for
the families and victims of last week's tragic bridge
collapse in Minneapolis, the
Twins have delayed the groundbreaking ceremony for
a new outdoor stadium that could eventually cost taxpayers
up to $1 billion.
The Twins organization has been
beating on the legislative door for years, trying to get
funding for a new stadium. Now, with the support of Hennepin
County (downtown Minneapolis and surrounding area) the team
has finally gotten what they wanted, a new place to do
business, with someone else paying for it. Nothing new about
that, every sports franchise has this deal, but even the
most hardened sports fan must realize that if building a
stadium was such a good financial deal, the owners and
multi-millionaire players would be stepping over themselves
to invest in the project. They are not.
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was funded with a bond issue
supported by increased sales taxes in the Twin City area.
No, the increase wasn't on everything for everybody.
Employing the philosophy that fun should be paid for by
others, visitors to Minneapolis were subjected to additional
taxes on car rental, hotel rooms, and meals and drinks in
local restaurants. So, over the years, a lot of the present
Metrodome cost wound-up on salesman expense account reports.
increased sales tax continues, and now residents of Hennepin
County will have to consider dealing with increases in
property and other taxes to make this deal work. All of this
necessary, they say, to keep the Twins in Minnesota.
is no doubt that baseball brings intangible benefits to the
community, stirs local pride and encourages boys and dads to
get out and do something together, sharing a few five dollar
hotdogs and cokes while cheering for the home team. Nothing
is more American than baseball, and we all know it, even
those who don't want to buy billionaire Twins owner
Pohlad a new stadium.
location with heavy traffic and lack of parking is a concern
to some, who would rather have seen the park built in a
suburban location.When the present downtown stadium concept
was being sold to the public years ago, those lobbying for
the new stadium would say parking was not a problem, with "70,000
parking spaces within one-half mile of the proposed stadium
location". What they didn't say was, most of those
parking spaces already had a car on them.
economic standpoint, study after study around the country
shows that building a stadium is either bad for the local
economy, or does not create the jobs and benefits promised
before construction began. Team owners, the players, and
those employed by the facility, and hospitality businesses
in the immediate area benefit, but other areas of the city
may suffer. Fan expenditures for tickets, parking,
souvenirs, and food and drink are not unlimited, and money
spent at a Twins game is money unavailable the next day for
other entertainment or recreational opportunities.
a team threatens to leave town, sports writers fret about
the possible economic loss to the community. No one wants to
see a team leave, but the loss suffered is mostly
intangible. With the team gone, you'd have to watch them on
television, in a far-away city with a new name on the
jersey. Economically, however, not much would to happen,
provided something can be done with the empty facility.
Sports fans would still manage to spend every dime until
payday, when bank accounts are reloaded, and then more would
be spent. Those baseball dollars always wind-up somewhere.
The stadium will be built, and the Twins will
stay, but maybe baseball fans should remember to spend some
of the money at St. Paul's Midway Stadium, where the
Paul Saints entertain fans all summer for $4 bucks
a ticket, and parking is free. What a deal.
Air Aviation Referral Service
I welcome responses,
and will be glad to post them here. Email your remarks to
Minnesota House Of Representatives H.F.No.2480, 6th
Engrossment - 84th Legislative Session (2005-2006) Posted on
May 21, 2006
But, will it really bring the jobs
and economic boost to the local community that the
developers are promising? I have to agree with you Ron,
Here's what is written into the bill
by the Minnesota House Of Representatives H.F.No.2480, 6th
Engrossment - 84th Legislative Session (2005-2006) Posted on
May 21, 2006 5.20 Sec. 9. [473.754] EMPLOYEES AND VENDORS.
(a) The Minnesota Ballpark Authority
shall make good faith efforts to have 5.22 entry-level
middle management and upper management staffed by minority
and female 5.23 employees. The authority shall also make
best efforts to employ women and members 5.24 of minority
communities. The authority shall make good faith efforts to
utilize minority 5.25 and female-owned businesses in
Hennepin County. Best efforts shall be made to use 5.26
vendors of goods and services provided by minority and
female-owned businesses from 5.27 Hennepin County. 5.28
(b) The authority shall contract with an employment
assistance firm, preferably 5.29 minority owned, to create
an employment program to recruit, hire, and retain
minorities 5.30 for the stadium facility. The authority
shall hold a job fair and recruit and advertise at 5.31
Minneapolis Urban League, Sabathani, American Indian OIC,
Youthbuild organizations, 5.32 and other such organizations.
(c) The authority shall report the efforts made in
paragraphs (a) and (b) to the 5.34 attorney general.
again, they want to spend 1 billion dollars to make the rich
richer and step on the backs of the taxpayers. I guess the
winner is Carl Pohlad, and maybe some part time worker
minorities, and all those in charge of the project who will
line their pockets with the payoffs.
Jim I. -
Ron: Surprise, surprise! I am with you on this one.
Even though the state does benefit significantly from income
taxes on professional sports, it is hard to swallow the gift
of a stadium to a bunch of multi-millionaires. Carl Pohlad
isn't the only one. And now we have to build a new bridge
for the fans to get there.
The Neurotic Norwegian
Hey Ron, Great article, All I have to say is: Go
Twins and take the Vikings with you!