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Pittsburgh Magazine cites Vikings stadium deal as poster child for NFL’s ‘public extortion’

The story, “The NFL is Running a Billion-Dollar Con,” takes shots at the team’s owners and the public subsidy for the billion-dollar stadium.

An article in this month’s Pittsburgh Magazine takes a negative look at the National Football League’s use of public money to build its stadiums around the nation, and the Minnesota stadium deal is the poster child.

“The NFL is Running a Billion-Dollar Con,” by Sean Conboy, says:

“…the incomprehensibly rich NFL team owners are busy crafting a neat little narrative for you, the fan: They need more of your tax dollars to build their lavish stadiums.”

The story takes shots all around:

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“Vikings owner and real estate mogul Zygi Wilf is a crook and a fraud, at least in the eyes of the court of New Jersey.”


“The state of Minnesota is on the hook for $348 million, while the city of Minneapolis kick in $150 million via the highest downtown sales tax in the country (hope you like $9 Coors Lights). This comes at a time when more than half of Minneapolis public schools are facing budget cuts.”

The author even makes fun of Vikings fans who supported the deal:

“Somehow, a bipartisan coalition of hucksters and thieves had convinced a working class man to feel warm and fuzzy about using his tax money to help a billionaire build a gaudy monument to his own ego. They did this by painting critics of the deal, who had the audacity to suggest that $500 million of their money might be better spent on social services or education, as the lazy poor.”