A Picture That Sums Up Everything Wrong With Publicly-Financed Stadiums

The state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis agreed last year to give the Minnesota Vikings a total of $348 million in public money to build a new stadium, and since then, the deal has turned into nothing less than a disaster. First, the gambling revenues that were supposed to help pay for the stadium started coming in far short of expectations, leading the state legislature to review alternative financing methods. Then, a New Jersey court found Vikes’ owner Zygi Wilf guilty of violating racketeering laws, which caught the attention of Gov. Mark Dayton (D).

Despite the troubles, the Vikings broke ground on the new stadium Tuesday, and this picture of Wilf and Dayton from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Glen Stubbe) sums up the fiasco the stadium became even before the first shovel got dirty:


Wilf, on the left, looks like a guy who’s shoveling millions of dollars into his own wheelbarrow. Dayton looks like a guy who knows he’s shoveling millions of dollars into someone else’s coffers. Since that’s exactly what’s happening, this photo ought to adorn every corner of the new stadium when it finally opens — and exist as a reminder to politicians who hand out this money of how badly stadium deals usually turn out for states, cities, and their taxpayers.