Driving up Hiawatha onto I-35W two weeks ago, I noticed that workers had just placed U.S. Bank’s “US” insignia on the southeast end of the new Vikings stadium. They should have stopped right there. No need to add the words “Bank Stadium.”
According to the Vikings’ website, we the taxpayers, in order to form a more perfect NFL union, are footing 48 percent of the $1.027 billion construction costs. The Wilfs claim to be paying 52 percent, but that includes money from fans purchasing Stadium Builder’s Licenses — a fee paid for the right to buy season tickets. In actuality, the Wilfs are paying 40 percent ($404 million) of the construction costs, and for that minority share they acquired the naming rights to our stadium, which they sold to U.S. Bank for a reported $220 million over 25 years.
I’m no businessman, but that seems to be what economists would term “a really bad deal.” I’m pulling the red flag: I’d like that play reviewed. The Twins and the Vikings can sell the naming rights to our stadiums, but we can call them whatever we’d like. May I suggest ‘Taxpayer Field’ and ‘Us Stadium’?
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