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Columnist proposes lottery for new Vikings stadium

Editorial / OpinionEditorial / Opinion: Columnist proposes lottery for new Vikings stadium

by James Lileks, Star Tribune

A lottery for a new Vikings stadium? Sure. I'll buy a ticket. Don't know why the governor is opposed to racinos, unless it's opposition to slots. I don't play them — it's like giving someone a dollar, asking him to make beeping noises for 10 seconds, then watching him put the dollar in his pocket and walk away. But if you put up a bank of Viking-themed machines, even idiots like myself might play. Sorry, we're talking about gambling: especially idiots like myself, I mean.

Same with the lottery. I don't play it now because I am afraid I would win, and that would ruin my life. Everyone wants something. You have to go live on the special island set aside for lottery winners, and even then there's hard feelings when the guy who won the most doesn't pick up the lunch tab.

But I'd buy a Vikings lottery ticket because

  • I want the Vikes to stay.
  • It might mean they'd use the Strib building and we'd have to move, and while that would be sad I have come to believe the coffee stains on the carpet by my desk are never coming out.
  • It would be voluntary.

That last reason is the sticking point for many, because they don't want to pay for another stadium. But there's yet another philosophical objection: Former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, angling to be the next gov, said that if 3M wanted a new facility, would Minnesota "do a 3M lottery game?"

Well, you don't see 60,000 people gathering to scream "PERFECT THAT NEW ADHESIVE" or "BLOCK THAT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT." Sports teams are private entities, yes, but we pretend they belong to Us, The People.

Let's put it this way: a Vikings stadium lottery would be the funding mechanism that irritates the smallest number of people. Just be prepared to get some hard looks if you win. Yo, Mr. 20 Million, you just pushed back the completion date by a year. Thanks a lot.

Hey, where's he going? He didn't even pick up the lunch check.

Star Tribune

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3 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by CAL-LottoPlayer.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
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April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
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Posted: February 7, 2010, 11:27 am - IP Logged

I've always considered this whole scenario a form of extortion. "Build me a new stadium or I'm going where somebody else will."

What would they do if nobody built a stadium for them? They'd stay where they are and build it themselves, that's what they'd do. And that's the way it should be.

But since that's not the way it is, I think a lottery would be the next best thing for those who want to bribe the team to stay. At least you're not forcing people who don't want to pay the bribe to pay it anyway through a tax increase.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    bashley572's avatar - starwars14
    West Side of Sunny Florida
    United States
    Member #55048
    September 8, 2007
    3371 Posts
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    Posted: February 8, 2010, 6:51 pm - IP Logged

    I've always considered this whole scenario a form of extortion. "Build me a new stadium or I'm going where somebody else will."

    What would they do if nobody built a stadium for them? They'd stay where they are and build it themselves, that's what they'd do. And that's the way it should be.

    But since that's not the way it is, I think a lottery would be the next best thing for those who want to bribe the team to stay. At least you're not forcing people who don't want to pay the bribe to pay it anyway through a tax increase.

    Kinda like large companies that 'shop' around for which community will offer the best 'deal' on taxes & incentives.

    Money won is twice as good as money earned!

      Avatar
      California
      United States
      Member #80929
      October 7, 2009
      94 Posts
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      Posted: February 8, 2010, 7:55 pm - IP Logged

      I agree with both of the above posts.  It is extortion and they do like to shop around.  If a team wants to stay in a city, let them build their own stadium.  These franchises make millions and the team owners are typically billionaires.  Typically, the jobs they provide are lower-end jobs so there's no argument there either.  I can think of a dozen better ways to spend money than on a sports team.