Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the stadium bill on Monday, paving the way for a facility to replace the aging Metrodome and ensuring that the Minnesota Vikings will stay in the state for another 30 years.
Purists object to public financing of stadiums for pro teams, and we can understand. On the face of it, it is easy to argue against public subsidies. Then again, how many other recreational/cultural opportunities is the state funding? And how many other states do the same thing? If citizens want to make a cultural/societal turnaround in their current infatuation with sports and with publicly funded goodies, count us in. In the meantime ...
The Vikings stadium deal is a good one for the state. The team is paying just less than half the cost of the $975 million construction, with Minneapolis chipping in another $150 million. The stadium will serve as a venue beyond Vikings games. All of the people associated with the ongoing operation of the stadium - including Vikings owners and players; Minneapolis bars, hotels and restaurants, etc. - will be paying taxes. People should remember that tax revenue associated with the stadium benefits the state's coffers. And, finally, the state is not using general tax revenue to pay for its portion of stadium costs. Rather, it has authorized electronic pulltabs statewide. People are free not to play these games, if they so choose.
In the end, we believe the time and effort put into this issue by leaders like state Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, and Gov. Dayton has been wise, if not easy. They have been trying to maneuver through a contentious situation to find a realistic solution. We believe they have done so.