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

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:

“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.”

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 10/17/2013 - 11:55 am.

    The magazine has it right!

    The public has no business supporting a very private business with very public money. We have schools over 100 years old that need to be replaced and could put the money to better use. The public should get the naming rights and the concession receipts to help reimburse the coffer. The stadium name should be “This stadium was paid for by the public”. Hey, it makes as much senses as other stadium names. Names like Sports Authority Field at Mile High, FedEx Field, and the Bank of America Stadium. Names like these make them sound like they are so much part of the community that actually paid for them, NOT. The public needs to start standing up to the professional negotiating bullies that MLB and the NFL put forward. It is the publics money and the public should be calling the shots not the bullies.

  2. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/18/2013 - 07:57 am.

    Has anyone contemplated a RICO lawsuit or…

    …criminal prosecution of the NFL ?

    I’m just sayin’.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 10/18/2013 - 10:00 am.

    Link bait

    Articles like this are intended to generate links. There is very little substance here, or any evidence that the author of the piece has any understanding of what’s at issue.

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