Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The best anti-stadium summary I have read

I don't like to get into politics too often here, but this relates to the issue of the Vikings stadium. Last week, the Star Tribune ran a point/counterpoint feature in their opinion section on whether or not to provide public financing for a stadium:
You can read it here.
Now, I would like to see a stadium built for the Vikings as much as I joke. Things like stadiums or museums are points of civic pride for the towns they are built in, but they are luxuries, not  necessities as Mike Meyers, the author of the piece points out. I mostly agree with Meyers' points, but there are a few points to make.
In better times, I am totally OK with public funds going to stadiums, so long as the governing body has the authority to use the stadium for their own uses (like high school sports, conventions or what have you) in the future. Target Field has hosted U of M games and construction was begun at the peak of an economic boom. TCF Banks stadium was built for a government institution and has proven to be good for the U's bottom line.
Mostly, though, a stadium is just there for civic pride. That's the benefit to the city as a whole. In times such as these, the people that benefit from the stadium financially should be the ones that finance the stadium.

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