Mayor Rybak, Council President Johnson Release Three Plans for a ‘People’s Stadium’ in Minneapolis
Plans secure future of three statewide assets for the same price or less than Arden Hills site
October 27, 2011 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson today released detailed financing plans for three different “People’s Stadiums” in Minneapolis. Each of the plans secures the future of three statewide facilities: a new People’s Stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, the Target Center and the Convention Center — for the same cost or less than the plan to build a Vikings stadium in Arden Hills.
Earlier today, Mayor Rybak and Council President Johnson submitted these plans to Governor Dayton and legislative leaders.
Each Minneapolis site — Linden Avenue (previously referred to as the “Xcel” or “Basilica” site), Farmers Market and Downtown East — offers clear advantages to the Arden Hills site:
• Each site is less expensive to build than Arden Hills— and each secures the future of two additional statewide facilities.
• Each site is less expensive for the team to operate than Arden Hills would be.
• Each site is publicly owned and operated, unlike Arden Hills.
• Each site is connected to more — and more affordable — transportation, transit and parking options for fans than Arden Hills.
• Each site provides fans with more — and more affordable — options for food, entertainment and lodging than Arden Hills.
“Over the decades, Minneapolis has stepped up and financed far more than our share of our state’s public facilities, and we’re offering to do so again today,” said Mayor Rybak. “Each of our plans provides Minnesota with a three-for-one deal for the same price or less than the cost of the Arden Hills site. With our plan, we can build a real People’s Stadium in Minneapolis and secure the future of two other significant statewide assets, Target Center and the Convention Center. And for the same price or less, we can create far more good jobs — nearly all of them good union jobs.”
Council President Johnson said, “All of these stadiums are true People’s Stadiums: they are far more accessible and affordable for fans than Arden Hills is. It makes perfect sense for the People’s Stadium to be in Minneapolis, the top host city in the upper Midwest and a city of people who already know how to serve the people of Minnesota. We’re tried and tested in Minneapolis: we know how to do this, far better than anyone else.”
Mayor Rybak continued, “To get the job done, we’re not imposing a tax on another jurisdiction that doesn’t want it and won’t benefit from it: we’re shifting the burden from the narrow base of Minneapolis property-tax payers to the broader and fairer base of people who visit, work, live or spend money in Minneapolis.”
Each plan provides for the renovation of the Target Center. For approximately $150 million — $50 million of which will come through private contributions — this statewide asset can be renovated as a state-of-the-art facility for the 21st century. The total cost represents just one-third of the cost of replacing the facility, as other cities with arenas the size and age of Target Center have already done.
Target Center debt is currently repaid by property-tax dollars collected in a Tax Increment Financing district. Each of the three plans for a People’s Stadium would shift that debt repayment to an expanded sales tax, freeing up $5 million a year for property-tax relief for Minneapolis residents and businesses.
The Target Center generates more than $100 million in new economic impact annually. Over its lifetime, it has generated $120 million in taxes for the State on an initial investment of $7.3 million, for a 17:1 return on investment for the State of Minnesota.
The Minneapolis Convention Center generates $225–260 million in new economic impact annually. The Convention Centers generates $14–16 million in tax impact from non-resident visitor spending annually.
Mayor Rybak and Council President Johnson presented two separate options for financing each stadium site. The first is a 0.35% citywide sales tax, equivalent to an additional 35 cents on a $100 purchase, along with an additional 1% lodging tax. The second is revenues from a casino at Block E: 5% of gross revenues from through 2020, then 3% of gross revenues after 2020, along with a $20 million license fee.
“I have long opposed the expansion of gambling in Minnesota because I believe it is important to honor the spirit of the compact between Indian tribes and the State,” Mayor Rybak said. “For this reason, I will support a Block E casino as a financing solution for a People’s Stadium in Minneapolis only if it heavily recruits for construction and long-term employment opportunities among residents of high-poverty areas of Minneapolis, especially those where urban Indians live, and only if it sets aside significant resources over the long term for those same communities to reinvest in their needs.”
A grid that compares all three plans for a Minneapolis People’s Stadium is here. A fact sheet about the Linden Avenue site is here. A fact sheet about the Farmers Market site is here. A fact sheet about the Downtown East site is here.
Published Feb. 1, 2011