Soccer Stadium in Minneapolis (cancelled)

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Rich
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Rich » January 3rd, 2014, 10:02 am

Beggars can’t be choosers. Zygi isn’t perfect, but we’ve had worse owners around here. And one minor league season doesn’t yield much data on which to judge Bill McGuire. Whichever guy can land an MLS franchise works for me. Isn’t it better to have a team with a flawed owner than no team at all?

Viktor Vaughn
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Viktor Vaughn » January 3rd, 2014, 10:05 am

Rich wrote:Isn’t it better to have a team with a flawed owner than no team at all?
That depends. Does the public have to subsidize their business?

Rich
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Rich » January 3rd, 2014, 11:06 am

Whether MLS uses the new stadium or not, the public’s oversized share of it’s cost remains the same. At this point, as a taxpayer, I’d just like to see the stadium be as useful as it can be. Even if it takes another Zygi-owned franchise to make it happen.

go4guy
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby go4guy » January 3rd, 2014, 11:10 am

If you could choose between similar owners, and one cares enough about his city that he built a new park for it. And the other has managed to get taxpayers to pay for his $1billion stadium. I will choose McGuire any day of the week.

Rich
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Rich » January 3rd, 2014, 11:26 am

Zygi can be rightly criticized. But Bill McGuire has his share of critics as well.

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/200 ... o-the-wall
http://www.chron.com/business/steffy/ar ... 901786.php

BigIdeasGuy
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby BigIdeasGuy » January 3rd, 2014, 7:49 pm

go4guy if I have you're argument correct the Wilf's have been terrible owners because 1. they defrauded business partners in a real estate deal in New Jersey and 2. they acted economically rationally and asked the public for money to build a new stadium which we decided to give him. Is that correct?

Because if it is, first find me a billionaire who doesn't have a shady business deal in his past and second we can debate the merits of public subsidizing a football stadium all day (I happen to be for it) but I think it's safe to say everyone on the board would have done the same thing if they were in the Wilf's position.

And Daniel Snyder is terrible owner as is Jerry Jones not to mention Al Davis in his later years. In today's major sports having a hands on owner is a bad thing not a good thing. At their core they aren't "football guys", they don't know the game in and out like a general manager needs to. Look at Patriots, Giants, or Steelers in football or the Cardinals, Giants, or Red Sox in baseball they all have owners that give their franchises the tools and resources they need to compete and get out of the way. The owners seek the limelight, they don't talk out of turn to the media, and they certainly don't get overly involved in personal decisions.

Have the Wilf's been perfect, not even close, but they have been a hell of a lot closer to the second group of owners than than the first. And that's a good thing

Didier
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Didier » January 4th, 2014, 12:41 pm

To be sure, while Bill McGuire has the money, his son in law actually runs Minnesota United. And in this small window of time I think he's proven to be very good.

Didier
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Didier » January 7th, 2014, 12:27 pm


go4guy
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby go4guy » January 7th, 2014, 1:26 pm

I really hope the Twins/United ownership group pulls out the win. That would be great to have two good local owners that actually care about the community. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't United state they would pay for the stadium themselves? And the Pohlad's proved in the Target Field era that they care. They covered any overruns and also covered any additional items and have put money into Target Field shortly after completion to improve it even more. McGuire has a lot of cash and has proven to care about Minneapolis as well. Seems like a great fit. Plus, playing in an empty domed stadium is not what MLS should want.

MNdible
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby MNdible » January 7th, 2014, 1:58 pm

Why would anybody build a stadium on their own dime when there's so much public money available?

(Serious question -- not just snark.)

Viktor Vaughn
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Viktor Vaughn » January 7th, 2014, 2:47 pm

Such a moral hazard...

(If you give wealthy people money, they'll just become dependent and leach off the public, pretty soon they'll hire people to hang around the lobby at the capital waiting for public money, then they'll tell their friends, and pretty soon our government will be completely overrun by entitled rich people begging for handouts - that's how we end up with so many takers - once you give a few hundred mil to one billionaire, it takes away the other welfare billionares incentive to work...or use their own capital)

talindsay
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby talindsay » January 7th, 2014, 6:54 pm

MNdible wrote:Why would anybody build a stadium on their own dime when there's so much public money available?

(Serious question -- not just snark.)
I think Maguire proved with the Gold Medal Park thing that he's legitimately interested in the City, and he's filthy rich. I'd suggest that his primary interest in NASL and MN United isn't to make money. Perhaps he would want to leave a legacy, and nothing murks up a legacy quite like sitting on your wealth while you bitch and squabble with politicians in front of the news cameras.

Maybe there's a little altruism, although I don't think that's either likely or necessary to explain somebody with a lot of money choosing not to beg for public money. He looks like a magnanimous good guy, he gets a good reputation, people say nice things about him; he feels better about doing something with his money. Obviously building a for-profit venture with his own money wouldn't qualify him for Andrew Carnegie status, but the general idea is the same - philanthropy and quasi-philanthropy are great ways for super-rich older people to leave a legacy, help shape their community, get their names on things, and help themselves sleep easier.

Fighting over subsidies is for people looking to make money (Zygi) or at least protect their money (Pohlads, I'd wager) - or for people who don't have enough money to do what they want (Saints owners, whoever they are, I bet).

Didier
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Didier » January 7th, 2014, 8:20 pm

I still don't understand why the Wilfs are greedy bastards and the Pohlads are upstanding civic advocates in the eyes of people here. They're not that different.

In regards to a soccer stadium, I don't think there's enough demand for pro soccer to force the public's hand on a subsidy. I think McGuire would basically have to put up $100 mil and hope the city throws $10 mil in for infrastructure. Something like that.

Silophant
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Silophant » January 7th, 2014, 11:58 pm

Didier wrote:I still don't understand why the Wilfs are greedy bastards and the Pohlads are upstanding civic advocates in the eyes of people here. They're not that different.
Because, when Target Field had some cost overruns, the Pohlads covered them out of their own pocket, but when the final numbers came in for the Vikings stadium and they were looking at cutting the stuff like the glass doors and scoreboards to stay on budget... Oh. The Wilfs agreed to cover it out of their own pocket. Huh.

Rich
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Rich » January 8th, 2014, 8:20 am

Not sure if this is an apt comparison, but here are some numbers for perspective:

In the end Pohlad paid for 40% of Target Field ($167 mil), for which he gets exclusive access to the facility for about 40% of the 200 or so days it can be used.

After covering cost overruns from his own pocket, Zygi will now pay for 51% of the new stadium ($518 mil), for which he gets exclusive access on roughly 3% to 9% (depending on MLS) of the 365 days it can be used.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby RailBaronYarr » January 8th, 2014, 8:59 am

Rich wrote:Not sure if this is an apt comparison, but here are some numbers for perspective:

In the end Pohlad paid for 40% of Target Field ($167 mil), for which he gets exclusive access to the facility for about 40% of the 200 or so days it can be used.

After covering cost overruns from his own pocket, Zygi will now pay for 51% of the new stadium ($518 mil), for which he gets exclusive access on roughly 3% to 9% (depending on MLS) of the 365 days it can be used.
You could flip that around and say the public's investment in a ballpark used 81x a year is maximized because it brings in 20-30k fans (average attendance in an average year) for each event, spending money and whatnot. That's over 2 million people coming in per year, compared to 8 games at 70,000 (maximum capacity) bringing in 560k fans a year. The public's absolute investment for Target Field was half that of the Vikings Stadium, making whatever ROI you want to calculate (assuming Vikings fans spend as much money on food/entertainment in downtown as Twins fans, a dubious claim) 8x better for Target Field.

Regardless, I don't think that public opinion of the Twins ballpark funding and owners was rosy, it's just easy to view it that way now that we're 4 years into the stadium and don't think about it much anymore. I personally don't like that either (highly profitable) team needed so much subsidy.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby mplsjaromir » January 8th, 2014, 9:12 am

To my knowledge none of the Polad's have been found by a court liable in a civil racketeering case. I cannot remember a time when a Polad has been even accused of fraud.

People tend to not like the idea of giving fraudsters a bunch of public dollars.

Gman12
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Gman12 » January 8th, 2014, 9:46 am

mplsjaromir wrote:To my knowledge none of the Polad's have been found by a court liable in a civil racketeering case. I cannot remember a time when a Polad has been even accused of fraud.

People tend to not like the idea of giving fraudsters a bunch of public dollars.
They have. Claiming they needed taxpayers money to help build a stadium in order for the team to be able to compete (increase payroll) and then collecting the increased revenues from the stadium and slashing payroll to pocket the tens of millions they've made off the publics money seems fraudulent to me. Not to mention they were taken to court and fined for tax fraud.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack ... ins-owner/

"But according to a previously unreported lawsuit filed by Pohlad’s estate in U.S. Tax Court last month, it valued his Twins stake as just $24 million for tax purposes. IRS auditors disagreed, pegging it at $293 million and slapping his estate with $121 million in extra taxes for the team, plus a $48 million (40%) penalty for gross valuation misstatement."

mattaudio
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby mattaudio » January 8th, 2014, 10:00 am

This just goes to show that comparing public stadium subsidies benefiting wealthy franchise owners is like comparing who's shit smells better.

Rich
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Re: Major League Soccer in Minnesota

Postby Rich » January 8th, 2014, 10:12 am

RailBaronYarr wrote:The public's absolute investment for Target Field was half that of the Vikings Stadium, making whatever ROI you want to calculate (assuming Vikings fans spend as much money on food/entertainment in downtown as Twins fans, a dubious claim) 8x better for Target Field.
I totally agree that the public gets a better ROI from it’s Target Field investment. My point relates only to the debate about the relative magnanimity of local sports owners. Zygi obviously has his flaws, but he’s still paying for 51% of a facility which belongs to the public over 90% of the time.


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