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Vikings Stadium lands ’19 NCAA Final Four

The new Vikings Stadium — and its financing — are still under construction, but two major sporting events will be using it for a venue within the next five years. The stadium is expected to be completed and opened in 2016.
The National Football League has already approved the stadium as the site of the 2018 Super Bowl.
And, a couple of weeks ago, it was announced that the stadium will be the venue for the 2019 NCAA Final Four basketball tournament.
According to the announcement in the StarTribune on Nov. 20, the NCAA was pretty blunt in telling Minnesota bidders that unless there was a new stadium, to not even bid on a tournament. The former Metrodome was considered inadequate for a tournament.
There is no doubt that the new stadium will be a gem and a great asset to downtown Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area in general.
Our question is: how is this helping rural, outstate Minnesota?
We scanned the article announcing the landing of the Final Four tournament hoping to find some word as to how revenue from this tournament will help pay down the debt on the stadium.
But what we found is that while event boosters hope it will generate $70 million to $200 million in a financial impact on the Twin Cities area as visitors patronize restaurants, hotels and other businesses, there is actually a cost to host the event that will be borne by a consortium of private businesses, including the stadium’s general contractor, Mortenson Construction, Inc., and health-care giant HealthPartners. There is no indication anywhere that any money generated through ticket prices will go toward relieving the debt on the stadium.
Minnesota Vikings owners recently announced they will be contributing another $648,000 to the $1 billion project, bringing their total contribution to about $527 million. According StarTribune, the city of Minneapolis is kicking in $150 million and the state of Minnesota is contributing $348 million.
While a great deal of the state’s revenue comes from the Twin Cities area, much is generated in outstate Minnesota. There are few outstate Minnesotans who will be able to enjoy the new stadium in person, but they ought to be able to recoup their contribution financially.
We think it’s great the Vikings Stadium is attracting business from the NCAA and the NFL, but instead of footing the bill to bring them here, shouldn’t those organizations be paying us something for use of the stadium?
After all, it was built for Minnesotans and their sports team. We should all benefit from it financially, not just the metro area.