Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wow, that's footballsy.

Cardboard Viking Ships

"I certainly think that taking a look at the Legacy money to fund a stadium is something that should be on the table," said Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, an assistant Majority Leader in the Minnesota House.

Wow, I just heard about this.  Let's fund a new stadium using the Legacy money.  You remember what that is, right?  We voted in 2008 for the Legacy Amendment here in Minnesota that added a bit to our sales taxes to help fund arts, parks, and conservation.  Around here, we got a chance at our libraries to offer tickets to museums and events that our patrons may not otherwise have had access to.  There's a certain formula for the proceeds of this 3/8 of one percent sales tax hike:  33 percent to the clean water fund; 33 percent to the outdoor heritage fund; 19.75 percent to the arts and cultural heritage fund; and 14.25 percent to the parks and trails heritage fund.  Libraries got some of that 19.75% going to the arts and cultural heritage fund. 

There is some discussion of how loosely that money has been distributed and how even more willy-nilly the money has been accounted for.  So, it stands to reason that instead of handing out free tickets to cultural events and museums at libraries; some legislators want to use that money to help build a new stadium for our professional football team.

Guess what I think about that?

I don't like professional football.  It's driven me crazy for years.  I don't like the celebratory cavorting after every just about every play.  If I acted like that every time I shelved a book I would get fired.  Maybe they aren't as bad as they were when I first became irritated by that, but I haven't given professional football a second chance.

But that's beside the point.  I understand that a lot of people would be affected by the Vikings moving to a different state.  Love them or hate them, they do produce revenue for businesses.  There are a lot of people who work for them.  That guy who walks up and down the stands bellowing his hot dog prices relies on sporting events (and the hungry people who enjoy them) for his living.

I just don't think it's fair to change the rules when the game isn't going the way you want it to go.  Robbing Peter to pay Paul is what the whole shifting of funding looks like to me.  And poor Peter didn't have much to begin with.  Does professional football qualify as arts and cultural heritage, outdoor heritage, or parks and trails heritage?  I suppose if they want an outdoor stadium it could count as outdoor heritage.

I don't know what you think, but if this doesn't sound like an okay idea to you maybe you should send off some emails to your legislators.  I'm thinking I might even send one off to the Vikings. 

Vikings.  Hunh.  They were looters and pillagers, weren't they?

 Baseball is what we were.  Football is what we have become.  ~Mary McGrory


  1. I couldn't agree more! Studies have shown that those entertainment dollars would just get spent elsewhere. They would still get spent. Obviously not on Vikings tickets, but maybe the Twins, Wild, Waterpark of America.

  2. Hi Alicia-

    I work at the Minnesota Historical Society and would love to hear results of the survey. Would you be able to share them?

    Julianna Olsen

  3. Julianna, I forwarded your request to Miriam K. from the Arrowhead Library System. She said, she will gladly forward the results, and she also has some preliminary results from the survey, already.