By Scott WeissEven with the NFL presently shut down by an outrageous lockout, the Vikings are plotting to have the public (fans) foot the bill for a new stadium. A new stadium bill will probably be introduced this week in the legislature. “The bill doesn’t specify how much the new stadium would cost, but does say it must have a roof. It also lays out a variety of taxes and fees to pay for the stadium, including:
- a pro sports memorabilia gross receipts tax;
- a player income tax surcharge;
- a state tax on luxury boxes at the stadium;
- a sales tax on direct satellite services;
- a sales tax exemption for stadium construction;
- a property tax exemption on the stadium;
- revenues from a dedicated sports-themed lottery game.
The bill also lists other sources of possible revenue that a host city or county could collect to fund a new stadium, including:
- a maximum 0.5 per cent sales tax; a tax on each admissions ticket, up to $1 per ticket;
- a maximum 3 per cent tax on liquor, lodging, entertainment, and food and beverages.
The question is, what is in it for the fans related to this anticipated public handout? If it is up to the Vikings ownership, I’m sure that the answer to this question is nothing more than the privilege to pay lots of money to see the team play. If it is up to SportsFans.org, the answer would be reduced ticket prices, no TV blackouts, no seat licence fees, and fan involvement based on their financial investment in the team.
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