Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced his stadium plans Monday afternoon. The governor's stadium advisory commission recommended the state build new ballparks for both the Minnesota Twins and the Vikings.
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(00:00:10) And good morning. Welcome to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten glad you could join us after years of talk Governor. Tim pawlenty says it's time to act Governor says the time it's time to build new stadiums for both the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings actual construction, of course is still a long ways off. In fact, those stadiums may never get built the governor yesterday outlined a wide variety of ways to come up with the billion dollars or so needed to build the two facilities the outlined a framework for how the stadium negotiations should proceed. And now he says it's time to get going. Well during this our. Midday. We're going to talk with the governor's Point man on the stadium Chief of Staff Dan McElroy, but first with more on what the governor is proposing and some early reaction to the governor's plan. Here's Minnesota Public Radio. Michael cool throughout his time in the legislature governor pawlenty was a reliable no vote when it came to State assistance for professional sports facilities, but he says with the twins on a year to year lease at the Metrodome and the Vikings lease set to expire in seven years. The time had finally come to act as Governor. You have the responsibility to solve large problems Statewide large problems. We need to do what we can within reason and in a responsible fashion to keep our teams here bottom line. I don't want to lose the Vikings in the twins on my watch. The plan is a rough framework that would create a seven-person Minnesota Stadium authority to work out the fine points including where the facilities would be located Minneapolis. And st. Paul are FrontRunner for a twins Ballpark and Anoka County appears to have the lead for a Viking Stadium. The governor's package would require the teams to pitch in roughly one-third of the costs. The eventual host communities would raise local taxes to fund their contributions. And would have the option of putting their new levies to a voter referendum or not. The states share would come from a portion of whatever income or sales taxes the facilities generate above what's currently collected at the Metrodome pawlenty estimates that could run to seven million dollars a year for the Twins and an undetermined amount for the Vikings the governor argues those extra revenues wouldn't exist without a new stadium and therefore can be diverted from the general fund without compromising his pledge not to provide direct State funding critics say that's dubious certainly looks like a direct subsidy direct taxpayer subsidy period Republican representative feel cranky of Shoreview has been a vocal opponent of State funding for ballparks. He argues that stadiums don't actually boost economic activity. They merely siphon it from other parts of the economy that do contribute tax dollars to schools and health care and transportation cranky says no other Minnesota business could count on such a deal. We now need to have some some other new process by which we capture sales and income tax to pay for a bailout of professional sports pawlenty acknowledges. He's not ready to make similar offers to other businesses professional sports stadiums are fairly unique creature and we need to treat them as such they are they're not exactly the same as other businesses for all the obvious reasons among those reasons Administration officials point to baseball's federally protected Monopoly and they say the games draw fans from out of state who wouldn't otherwise spend their entertainment dollars in the Twin Cities. Both teams reacted positively to pawlenty's ideas, but Vikings president. Gary Woods says getting it through the legislature will only be the first step before hashing out the details with the stadium Authority if that happens, then we have a framework of dealing with very small group of people and then negotiating the finer points of a new And so that is a really A Plus wood says the team has some reservations but wouldn't elaborate the twins like the Vikings have argued for years that the current Metrodome doesn't generate the revenues necessary to consistently field competitive teams. Jerry Bell is the president of twins Sports the also applauded pawlenty's initiative, but he says it's too early to celebrate in particular. He says that the final deal should not impose too many costs on the team. Thereby negating the whole rationale for seeking a new ballpark. Some of the financial contributions could be could be a stretch because we also have to assume all the operation and maintenance we got to contribute the profit sharing we have guarantees to make and then there's a pretty heavy burden there. But you know, who knows the University of Minnesota gopher football team also plays at the dome but wasn't included in the governor's plan. The university is moving on a separate track to finance a 222 million dollars. Stadium in large part through private donations current plans call for the state to pick up no more than a quarter of that projects cost 20 says he hasn't forgotten the Gophers needs leaving open the possibility for three new stadiums in the near future at the Capitol. I'm Michael coup Minnesota Public Radio. Well joining us now is Dan McElroy the governor's chief of staff who chaired the governor's Stadium screening committee. And as always we invite you to join our conversation. If you have a question about the governor's Stadium plan, give us a call here Twin City area number is 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight. You can also submit your question online. Just go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question and McIlroy. Thanks for joining us this morning (00:05:52) Gary. Thank you for inviting me. It's always a pleasure. I (00:05:54) want to zero in on some of the specifics, but first of all some big picture questions, Fundamental one why can't these teams pay for their own stadiums? And then they could keep all the money they (00:06:07) generate largely because their competitors haven't had to do that both baseball and football have a limited number of franchises. They rely on competition between cities or countries to host teams and of the 30 major league baseball teams, I believe it's 18 now have built new stadiums two of them have kind of what are called real estate development deals in San Francisco in St. Louis. The rest have fairly significant public subsidies football has about the same. I think they may be at 19 new stadiums and all but one of those have very significant public subsidies. It's an issue of competition, but I do want to make clear we wouldn't have to as a community choose to be a for sport to City. There are other cities not dramatically smaller than we are that have chosen not to be and as I look at those It is I think that they have somewhat less National or International caliber, but that's a discussion as a community that we should have (00:07:08) priorities. Does the governor's financing plan drain money or potential money from other public purposes education Healthcare in the (00:07:18) rest. Absolutely not and let me explain know why not the vast majority of the funding comes from the teams and fans and from choices local communities may make for taxes like lodging tax or local memorabilia tax parking surcharges parking income the piece that may be somewhat controversial is the tax increment District inside the stadium only we will calculate the amount of Revenue paid in the stadium from sales and income taxes for three years prior to a new stadium opening and then capture the increase up to a maximum to be She ate it we're thinking seven million dollars a year for baseball. We're not trying to capture any of the increased Economic Development around a stadium any new construction the twins Ville proposal in Minneapolis the Gateway Redevelopment in st. Paul. We don't capture increased food and beverage sales tax or Hospitality sales tax or Increase jobs. So relatively small portion of the economic activity generated by that portion of the tourism. That's not a redirection of other money would be in this District. It's the way it has been done in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. We think we believe it's been successful Economic Development isn't the only argument the fact that 1.6 million people a week. Listen to the twins on the radio or nearly two million people watch every Vikings game means that this is different than other businesses and that there is some quality of life value and some public awareness of the of the region value, but it's certainly a Debate that I know people are of different opinions. (00:09:04) How should we think about the governor's plan? Mr. McElroy as a starting point for legislative discussion or is this what he wants done and legislators should adapt accordingly (00:09:17) all we know we'll have to work with legislators Gary the key concern that that Aaron Cohn in the Pioneer Press expressed or that some others Express is that this isn't as narrowly defined as the 2002 bill or the 1997 Bill and there are two general strategies that communities and proponents of used around North America one is called a deal in a bill where the great level of detail is in the proposal and you can tell exactly where the money comes from and where the money goes to very difficult to negotiate a deal with a board of directors of 201 members. The successful more successful approach has been what are called criteria bills where the legislature sets maximum investment set things that have to be accomplished before construction be can begin but the details of a negotiation are left to a more finite committee. And so some have looked at this and said this isn't a plan. It's a buffet that's not accurate. This is the way the Metrodome a bill was structured in 1977. It's the way the Mets SportsCenter bill was structured in the mid 50's. It has been the most successful General approach and that is to create we're suggesting 16 criteria. There may be more than that when we're finished, but that the Met Minnesota Sports Authority would have to meet in negotiations with the team in the host communities in order to proceed with stadiums. (00:10:51) One more big picture question for you Dan McElroy, and then I want to get the listener questions in terms of who's going to pay how much My understanding is the teams are being asked roughly to pay a third of the cost how much in terms of a percentage would the state pick up and then how much would the local community pick up terms of a percentage? (00:11:16) Well in some of that most of that still has to be negotiated and you have to have this Arcane debate Gary between the small s State meaning the community largely through fans and in things like personal parking licenses personal seat licenses or other mechanisms were fans make a direct contribution and capital S state in state government and the capital S State investment is in two ways. One is to capture a portion of the future increment only that that occurs directly in a baseball stadium and or in a very narrowly defined football district. The other is to use the state's tax exempt Revenue bonding Authority and I want to make clear that the bonds proposed are all revenue bonds. Meaning that the people at risk are those who buy the bonds not the taxpayer to take advantage of today's historically low long-term interest rates by borrowing at relatively low rates and using money that would come from the teams and potentially from the future value of the Metrodome in the last user is gone to use some interest income to help pay the costs. But the capital S state that the state government role is relatively limited (00:12:35) percentage-wise not negotiated yet. You're not negotiated yet. But the local community. I think it's fair to say that they're expected to pick up about half the cost more or less. (00:12:45) Well, let's use baseball Innings example. Yeah, if we get to a 500 million dollar stadium and the twins agree to guarantee in us with a fight formal what's called a This year, I guarantee a lot of credit seven million dollars of increment that funds a hundred and ten million dollars of revenue bonds. And so the state would the capital S state would be picking up about 22% of the cost the team 33 percent of the cost approximately and the host Community but through a wide variety of mechanisms many of which fall on only on fans would pick up the (00:13:27) balance talking at this hour with the governor's chief of staff Dan McElroy. Mr. McElroy has been the governor's Point man on the stadium issue the governor yesterday released his Stadium plan. And of course legislators will now Begin work on that plan. If you'd like to join our conversation, if you've got a question for Dan McElroy, give us a call six five one two, two seven six thousand or 1-800 to for 22828, or you can submit your question online. Just go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question to (00:13:59) Your first go ahead, please. Hi. Thanks for taking my call. That's it. I would consider myself a moderate and I've always been opposed to any federal tax dollars or estate tax dollars going towards any stadiums. But I do like the idea of I guess what I had heard that I thought was the was it was the plan for where the dollars were going to come from was going to be the taxes earned on sales inside the stadiums and to me that's that's just the fans paying for it. And in my opinion, I would support that but I don't really watch that many sports and to tell you the truth, I'd be just as happy if I want to see him live to go watch the Saints but I'm not really that into sports either. So I (00:14:37) guess as long as the people who are going to be watching the sports are paying for it. It'll fly. All right, that's my opinion. All right, when all is said and done and McIlroy will the we'll all of the costs or the vast majority of costs for these stadiums be picked up either by the team or the people who go watch the (00:14:58) games. Gary I think in Anoka County that's probably a stretch the county is proposing some countywide taxes and that their County Board is on record as supporting in st. Paul. There are proposing a food and beverage tax like the one Minneapolis uses for the convention center. It is they're likely to use a referendum because of just the nature of their political situation in their Charter. Those are paid by people who choose to use those businesses and it's broader than fans things like the tax increment capture the team contributions parking surcharges. Those are paid by fans. So it will depend on in which host Community you're describing as to how much is paid by the general (00:15:51) population. Ricky Rask is on the line. And of course Ricky Rask is been very very active in opposing past stadium plans. Thanks for calling and Ricky. How are you? Hi, (00:16:00) Dad. Good morning, Reverend Houston. You are more than welcome to participate. This is a public debate for the listeners. The Reverend Trask is the only person I know who can knit and participate in the public policy debate at the same time. And I don't think you ever drop a stitch. Do you (00:16:20) know sir? I do not and I tell you I am a woman of the 21st century for you. All right. Now your comment or question, please well. probably more a comment, you know as my call has always been one of priorities. I've always been real clear that I think I have no problem building a stadium certainly not with Public Funding, but I've had no problem with that but I think there are other priorities that we need to take care of in the course of this. How long has it been then eight years nine years. (00:16:59) No Ricky. It's been a hundred and seven years that debate started in 1897. See I (00:17:06) knew it sound like a long time at any rate. Um, when when we got rolling on this, I didn't know a whole lot about other things other than the priorities what I've learned over the hundred and seven years have been that There's not a nationally known Economist who has ever put together anything other than a well thought out well mess, you know, good methodology. It says that these stadiums ever bring any economic impact into the area that you know about the money being shifted from the discretionary funds that there is no economic impact that many of the stadiums that have been built the new ones. They are really not doing well in terms of what they're promising and I think that that this 7 million that you're talking about capturing, you know, that works as long as the interest rates. Stay where they are, but you because interest rate varies. It's a risky business and the one who ends up taking the risk as the state aka the taxpayer. Okay. Well, let's yeah, I'm Wendy. (00:18:35) Well, first of all, we agree with the Reverend Trask that this is not as important as education or Healthcare or the environment or Transportation or a lot of other issues. That's why it's coming fairly late in the session. It's why we have dealt with our budget or education initiatives are environmental initiatives before returning any attention to this and why it doesn't I know many of my friends are concerned that all the time I spend is on stadiums and that's far from the truth. As I said somebody to somebody only about 15 of the 90 hours. I worked last week had to do with the stadium. And so the taxpayers didn't get taken advantage of The in terms of this tax increment issue what I think Reverend trask's plane. Is that no Economist. I know would say that at the economic development around the stadium will pay for the facility. And that's I clearly agree with that. That's why we think the big S contribution of 20% or 22% is pretty reasonable. They do have economic activity in baseball a little more than football. Although that's people argue about that baseball has 81 events. They play them in series of three and four games about 20% of the people travel from for some distance and stay overnight. We're not capturing most of the revenue from that. We were capturing a little bit. The twins have to or Vikings have to guarantee the increment and not just with their word, but with a letter of credit or with a fiduciary instrument and we don't believe that the taxpayers are at risk the Deal will be structured to pay the interest rate at the time we issue bonds and they'll be fixed rate bonds over 30 years over the life of the lease and that's still to be negotiated probably would be 30 years. (00:20:22) Mr. McElroy Mike from Savage sends in an online question having to do related to this increment financing component and he says how about giving the tax money generated by 3M back to 3M if they went out of business or moved the taxes would not be (00:20:37) collected 3M certainly can qualify for our jobs. He's owns if they want to add new jobs in economically challenged parts of Greater, Minnesota. But 3M is a different circumstance. They don't have antitrust immunity. If 3M goes out of business other people will make sandpaper and could make it in Minnesota or Scotch tape or do the great research. They do we think we should create a business environment where 3M can succeed but the number of sandpaper companies is not set on with antitrust immunity by the US Congress and 3M is competitors in a with a finite number of markets haven't elected to provide public subsidies for their facilities. So we don't compete on an unlevel playing field for those for that economic activity and 3M is an interesting example because they're well-known. I think their quality part of our fabric of life people usually call and ask me about Joe's Body Shop. Why don't we build a facility for or Mary's (00:21:41) Bakery? (00:21:43) And my argument is that there aren't 1.6 million people a week that listen to those businesses on the (00:21:49) radio. Darren a your comment, please. (00:21:53) Well, I just need to calm in (00:21:55) comment. I feel like I'm kind of the silent majority and I'm glad to hear I'm very positive to see the governor come out with a stance like this or many people like me without any kids with the kids and schools who Fork over their paycheck every month to find in schools hospitals, whatever who are big sports fans who love the twins the Vikings who look forward in this is a quality of life issue and I'm glad to see the governor come out and finally address this and represent people like me who are saying enough dumping money into schools and let's do something for people like me who just enjoyed watching the games. Do I go to the twins games? Enjoy having a national exposure that they offer and I think it's a great all-around investment for the state and just want a voice that and say there is a lot of people like me who are forking over their paychecks every month for everybody else. Now, we want them to serve ourselves. Thank you. All right. McElroy a good way to look at this issue from your Vantage Point. (00:22:53) there not everyone will agree with the with Darren's point of view, but I appreciate hearing from those who are supportive. I think it is a matter of balance, but it's also critical to note that the resources were using here are not those that compete with education or Healthcare or some of the other issues that during mentioned. (00:23:13) We have a another online question for you and this from Chris and Minneapolis. He says or she says it seems a sure thing that there will be voter referendum on stadiums. If voters reject the idea of new stadiums in the selected site cities. Will this issue go (00:23:33) away. I think it may go away in that City for some period of time but I would remind people that we've been having Stadium discussion since August of 1897 when Athletic Field in Downtown Minneapolis had to be torn down on fairly short notice and Nicollet field was built at 31st and Nicollet and all the communities. I'm familiar with that have double a triple A or Major League Baseball or professional football have facilities discussions on a fairly regular basis. And so even if we made the decision as a community to not be a force Port City, it's likely that sometime in the future they would be Advocates who wanted to compete for facilities for another sport. People ask why won't this go away and I suppose it's because democracy works on the voice of those who speak up and are interested in there are people interested in this issue (00:24:29) on the issue of referenda. Why didn't the governor say, you know, I want the local communities who are going to be taxed for this to have an opportunity to vote. He left that open one way or the other (00:24:41) we are proposing to provide the authority particularly to the County's the cities are both Charter cities and have the authority he was most of the communities that are potential host with the exception of st. Paul say that they're willing to put their election certificates on the line. And so commissioner are heart of Anoka County would say there isn't a referendum. It's called the County Board election and if people don't want us to do it, then they should vote us out of office. It's a question of direct democracy or representative democracy. We think they'll be a robust. Russian of this issue in the legislature and we'll have to stay tuned as to what the majority of the legislature thinks. (00:25:22) Ann McElroy is our guest this our he is the governor's chief of staff and he is also the governor's Point man on the stadium issue the governor, of course released his Stadium plan yesterday actually proposing new facilities for both the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings the Twins and negotiations according to the plan would be wrapped up by the end of this year the Vikings negotiations by the end of 2006 total cost probably higher than a billion dollars for those two facilities put together the governor's proposing a mix of financing tools. Mr. McElroy is here to talk about the governor's plan. And again, if you'd like to join our conversation, you can give us a call don't call right now. You'll get a busy signal but here is the number Try Us in a few minutes six five. One two, two seven six thousand or 1-800 to for 22828. You can also send in to your question online go to our Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question and we'll get to more of your questions in a couple minutes programming is supported by Ecolab dedicated to improving cleaning and sanitation standards for leading Hospitality Healthcare and food processing customers worldwide on the web at Ecolab.com. (00:26:39) This brain Garrison Keillor presents the all-new rhubarb show at the Fitzgerald theater is a jovial late-night Cabaret with the young upstarts and old veterans. The shows will be packed with hip-hop vagabonds bluesman. Twangy folk rockers and much more stay out late for the rhubarb show hosted by Garrison Keillor. The first of four shows is Saturday, March 27th at 9. The kids are available through the Fitzgerald theater at 651290. 12:21 and Minnesota Public Radio members get a discount. (00:27:06) It's catch up on the latest headlines. There's 20 grand off Tony. (00:27:09) Good morning. President. Bush says the people of Iraq don't want Coalition Nations to pull out because they want to stay free Bush spoke as he met with the Dutch prime minister. There have been calls from the Dutch people to withdraw troops and Spain's new leader has pledged to withdraw Spanish troops Spanish police are widening their probe into last week's deadly train bombings in Madrid a newspaper says they've identified five new Moroccan suspects and they've detained an Algerian to see whether he knew in advance about the X meantime the number of deaths has gone up to 201 Witnesses say Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a building into cars in Gaza City today Hospital officials say at least 10 people were hurt earlier reports that three people died couldn't be confirmed. The attack could be the start of a new Israeli campaign against suspected militants as Central, Ohio authorities continue to hunt for a man wanted in a series of Highway shootings. There's word. He's been reported missing and a missing persons report Charles. McCoy's mother says she last saw her son on Friday police consider the man armed and dangerous in Regional news as you've been hearing on. Midday Governor pawlenty has proposed plans for twins and biking stadiums that would allow some funding from income and sales taxes generated at the facilities earlier. The governor had said, he wouldn't let State money go toward a pro sports Stadium. The founder of the Parker Hughes Institute says the Star Tribune misrepresented his Send an article on a drug. He developed to treat HIV and Leukemia. Dr. Fatty Okun says Sunday's article was fraudulent journalism. The Star Tribune editor says the story was an important and thoroughly reported article Minnesota Rockstar Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night. He performs in the Twin Cities on June 16th in the weather forecast for today light snow developing in the Western and Central parts of the state and there's a chance of light snow late in the afternoon in the East today's highs will be in the low to mid 30s right now in Rochester. It's 32 degrees 31 degrees in the Twin Cities. Those are the headlines now back to you Gary. (00:29:20) All right. Thanks Tony. It's 25 minutes before twelve over the noon hour. We're going to hear from Charles Lewis. He's the head of an outfit called the Center for Public Integrity a nonprofit nonpartisan Watchdog group. That spends its time tracking the link between money and politics. Some interesting comments to make on the presidential race underway and will hear from Charles Lewis over the noon hour this hour we're talking with Governor pawlenty's Chief of Staff Dan McElroy about the governor's Stadium plan that was released yesterday. Lots of callers on the line with questions for Dan McElroy Mark your next go ahead, please thank you. I guess I have a comment than a question. I think it's fairly easy to look around the nation and find different examples of failed stadiums and successful stadiums and on the side of a successful Stadium, if anybody's been to Memphis with in recent time, you can go downtown and see an area that's been totally revitalized by a triple A Stadium not even a pro AAA baseball stadium. I think it's if it's done right it can have a great effect on an area and it's tough. It's tough to talk about this now without plans. For me their City saying exactly this is what it's going to look like. And this is how it's going to (00:30:36) integrate into the surrounding area. (00:30:40) But then my question is, is there any any talk of a guarantee from either the twins are the Vikings about the money they're going to put into a team after a stadium is built. So there's not another Milwaukee (00:30:53) Brewers on our hands (00:30:56) and McIlroy (00:30:58) there has been some discussion of that. Although it's more just that discussion then negotiations for some provision in the bill. The teams would argue that they have every Financial incentive to be competitive. There is a provision in the criteria saying that there will be incentives for High attendance that there or penalties for low attendance and I think that may get to Mark's point. We are a lot of this has to do with management the best manage teams in new facilities do very well the best manage teams in older facilities also do well the twins have done. Well on the field Oakland Athletics have done well on the field because they're well (00:31:38) managed. What about the idea of community ownership Senator? Alan Anderson is introduced that proposal in the state senate and passed a first committee test. Does the governor think that's a good (00:31:49) idea. Well, the challenge of course is that the league rules in both baseball and football prohibit that kind of broad public ownership now Center Anderson's latest proposal is interesting and then it includes a provision for non-equity stock essentially stock where you have a vote but you don't own a piece of the team and I have not yet had a chance to read her bill. We don't know if it how it works with the with the league rules and the League's as I have said at least for baseball have unique antitrust immunity that makes them almost impossible. Possible to sue over issues like this, but the commemorative stock issue. I'm certainly looking forward to learning more about it. Actual Equity is prohibited by the league (00:32:33) rules wondering to mr. McElroy is do does the governor. See this is a package deal. He proposed new facilities for both the Twins and the Vikings. Let's play the what if game Let's assume the legislature in its wisdom decides this spring. Well, okay, we'll give the twins a new stadium. We won't give the Vikings or a new stadium now, would that be acceptable to the governor? (00:32:59) We'll cross that bridge when we get there. We think we should keep both doors open and let both teams negotiate with the host communities in the Sports Authority. I think it will take longer to come to an agreement on football and (00:33:12) baseball John your question, please well, thanks for having me today. I just some general comments. I'm a restaurant over here on Grand Avenue and st. Paul and and with the recent Xcel Energy Center are going up. We just see a great Vitality kind of a new Rebirth of downtown st. Paul and we look forward to that. We saw in the winter carnival in the NHL All-Star Game a different energy in a certain kind of Pride that we just haven't seen in st. Paul here for quite a while and we actually look forward as a business owner to we look forward to trying to get the twins over here and Sienna new vitality and with the say Paul and say Paul being the capital city. We just look forward to that John. I'm wondering the money that you made and have made from the existence of the XL Center and all the other activities. Is that in your mind. Is that some kind of new money or is it? As money that somebody would have spent in Burnsville, but now they decided to spend in st. Paul. I think you hit it right on the right on the nose there a it is money. That would go somewhere else and we hate to see that go away whether to over to Minneapolis or Burnsville or Blaine. We're proud of st. Paul and we think we got a lot to offer and and we think that that's a tea would be great for the whole area. (00:34:31) Okay, but Jerry, let me interject there and ask John John. Are you also seeing Wisconsin and Ontario and Manitoba North Dakota checks and credit cards that you might not see if people hadn't made the (00:34:42) trip. We sure see that we saw it exactly with the with the NHL All-Star Game. We're looking forward to seeing you again on the on the WCHA FInal Five. We see it in the Statewide when we have this tournament for the high school tournaments. Okay. Thanks for the call John. I appreciate it. Thank you Tanya from st. Paul sends in an online question Dan McIlroy and she asks has the possibility of a multi-use facility. The needs of both the Vikings in the twins Allah the Metrodome presumably has that been totally (00:35:15) eliminated in the answer is probably there is are some Architects mainly in Europe who talked about building a stadium where huge pieces of the stadium move to get the geometric alignment right for baseball and football, they've never been built they are very expensive and the challenges that the geometry of watching a baseball game is different than the geometry of watching a football game football is played on a rectangular field where the ideal seat space the 50-yard line baseball is played on a diamond shaped field where the ideal seats face the pitcher's mound or home plate and we've been trying to play baseball with seats that are designed for football and it is not been terribly satisfactory the numbers as I recall our that about 20 percent of the seats in the Metrodome are between the first base and Third Base Line in a modern. Stadium between 50 and 60 percent of the seats are between the first base line wrapped back around home plate out to the Third Base Line. There are also built with different kind of slope alignment of What's called the seating Bowl so that you're much closer to the playing field in a modern baseball park than you could be in a multi-purpose Stadium. There are also obviously issues of Revenue relationships between the teams, although you know, newer Stadium you'd have more electronic signage that would get changed between baseball and football there may be ways to work with that but that darn geometry gets in the way of a joint use field. There hasn't been a joint use Stadium built since the Metrodome to the best of my knowledge the only two still in use our players feel player stadium in Miami and their teams are working on Alternatives and the Metrodome (00:37:06) the we haven't talked about the sport. Sora T that would be set up to actually negotiate the stadium deals oversee the Stadium's if they're built who would serve on that committee 7 (00:37:19) Minnesota citizens to be appointed by the governor. We are kind of leaving open the geographic Arrangement, but we envision it as a Statewide body. (00:37:30) Let's see Bob your question. Please wouldn't taxpayers and the localities where the stadium would be built be stuck for millions of dollars of infrastructure costs Road sewer water police (00:37:43) Etc. In the to downtown stadiums both the Stadium's argue or both cities would argue that the number of people who come to games is substantially smaller than the number of people who work downtown about 45,000 people come to a sold-out Twins game. The majority are on weekday evenings and weekends and the downtown Minneapolis I think is host to about a hundred and eighty thousand office workers has I don't remember the number of parking spaces, but dramatically more parking spaces than needed for a stadium and so the infrastructure in the to downtown localities, is there the base for the football is a different story because they're both serious proposals our Suburban. The Anoka County proposal is on a 700-acre side along Interstate 35W in Blaine and there will be some infrastructure needed in sewers and streets but it's also needed for the large development of which they Envision a stadium to be a part The Preserve at Rice Creek that would have residential commercial Medical Hotel and the stadium and so they're looking at this is a way to get some assistance from the stadium financing to pay for infrastructure that they want to create any way for this very large mixed-use (00:39:07) development given away. The governor's proposal is laid out and given what we know about the various proposals from from Minneapolis Hennepin County st. Paul Blaine and so on is is any one of those sites favored in any way shape or form by what the governor has proposed in other words who does one of these sites have a leg (00:39:30) up No, I don't believe so. The referendum issue could be argued to give some communities smaller communities, perhaps like Eden Prairie and advantage that they might be able to win a referendum easier than all of Hennepin County are all of Anoka County but that's debatable. There are those who argue those County Commissioners or city council members may be able to take the decision on a representative democracy basis rather than a direct democracy basis the structure. I don't believe favors the site or the infrastructure of any particular proposer (00:40:11) another online question for you. This comes from Dave and st. Cloud who asks what evidence exists that the fans will come up with a kind of money being counted on for seat and parking licenses ever higher ticket prices in the rest particularly things like the those personal seat licenses where you're supposed to Play to pay two or three grand just for the right to pay another 2 or 3 grams and to buy the ticket. (00:40:38) It's and he's talking about football and if in that case and I think the evidence is (00:40:44) there wouldn't be any for baseball (00:40:46) there would but a much smaller number because baseball games don't sell out as often as football games. It would only be the probably a number of Premier sheets club seats or The Dugout side box seats that may be licensed. And the the theory is that you're buying a seat license as your share as a serious fan of the capital cost of the stadium usually buying it from the stadium Authority. So it's not taxable to the team. It's a one-time purchase and it can be resold. Over the life of the license and so a two thousand dollar expense to have 15 or 20 or 25 year license to enjoy a facility that couldn't be built. Otherwise, maybe an investment some fans are willing to make the only argument I can can offer is that they have sold well in the communities that have used them the football stadiums in Charlotte Nashville were principally funded with seat licenses if your callers are interested in going to www.nfb.org cam. There's a Stadium section there. They have their Stadium fact book that shows the use of permanent seat licenses in Green Bay. I believe there were ninety seven million dollars of seat licenses sold in Philadelphia about 60 million it they appear to be selling St. Louis and Texas have you seat licensing successfully for baseball, but at smaller numbers, (00:42:16) let's go back to the phone Susan your question, please. I have a question. Thank you for taking my call and I'll take my answer off the air. I'm all for building new stadiums. Especially for the Vikings my question those particularly about the twins as most people know, although we can be just as good as a baseball team as the Yankees were not on a Level Playing Field with them in many other reasons, and I'm just curious what happens if they try to snatch the twins away from Minnesota once again, and we've built this new ballpark. Thank you, (00:42:45) okay. The best answer I can give you is that the bill requires that the leash include guarantees of payment those guarantees are often in the form of personal guarantees that are quite comprehensive or a letter of credit or posting of a bond. And so even if the Twins were to fold up to be contracted or New York were to decide that they wanted to have another baseball team and they'd buy the twins the there are some protections for the fan in the event of bankruptcy or personal bankruptcy. They may not be foolproof. But you do your best to construct them to be effective (00:43:29) another this is kind of a philosophical / political question for you to and McIlroy. The governor is well known for his no new taxes pledge this plan would Envision substantial local tax increases. Why don't they count (00:43:48) Terms of tax (00:43:48) increases especially at a time when when the governor himself is putting the pressure on local communities to hold down tax increases hold down (00:43:57) spending. The and we have that's this you gave me a great chance to command and cities like st. Paul in Anoka who have set records for how Frugal they've been on their spending. I believe Saint Paul is now in their 11th consecutive year of the same Levy for local services in dollar terms, and they've added some fees but in general they have done a great job of holding down their costs and we would argue that communities who find a benefit should have the opportunity to fund the the economic development the Community Development the Sports Development that they feel brings them benefit and we have never said we'd stand in the way of local units of government that want to raise their taxes. We do commend those who have been focused in Frugal and how they spend their tax payers money. (00:44:44) Dunno your question, please. Yes, first of all phone to say that I support the development of new stadiums. One thing the critics have said with regard to this tax increment financing pieces that a lot of those dollars are merely dollars. That would be spent Elsewhere on the other hand. It seems to me that the income tax. It would be collected on players salaries both home players and visiting players is something that would not otherwise be spent in Minnesota, but for the presence of the teams, so I was wondering if it was any thought given to using that as a potential funding source. (00:45:27) Gary that is a big part of the funding source. We're very grateful when Alex Rodriguez comes to the we got one 162nd of his annual salary per game and the same with a wide variety of other highly played player paid players and the increase in team payroll is a part of it as is the increase in payroll for expanded concessions and a memorabilia Superstore and a Hall of Fame that is a part of the argument. I want people to be reminded. However that we're only proposing to capture increment in the baseball sense inside the stadium and if any of your listeners have traveled to Coors Field in Denver or to Camden Yards in Baltimore, Jacobs Field or any many of the other new stadiums, they've created substantial entertainment districts around the stadium that ad Sales tax and income tax and property tax and great new jobs to a community. None of that is captured in this proposal (00:46:34) in terms of what is captured though. Again, the economists would argue. Well, if you if you buy that popcorn at the baseball park and and there's money generated there might very well have bought that same popcorn and Burnsville the (00:46:51) tires gray. That's true. If you live in the metro area, if you live in Winnipeg, you would have bought the popcorn in Winnipeg. If you didn't come to a baseball or football game, (00:47:00) right, but of the the player salaries clearly, I mean if they're not here playing there you're not they're not going to collect any taxes from them how much of that proposed plus or minus 7 million that you're talking about per year how much of that comes from the players salaries as opposed to extra sales taxes collected at the Ballpark. (00:47:20) I don't remember I'd be happy to look it up. I have some figures but if at the average clubs Payroll is I suspect 40 million dollars in baseball. And so we get and if the Twins were to have an average payroll, that means that we'd get credit for about 80 million dollars in payroll because we get the visiting players share also and our tax rate most of them would be taxed at nearly eight percent. So it's a question of what the increment is. I don't know what the current collection is, but we can I'll be happy to provide that to your Capital Bureau. (00:47:59) Okay, Jack I your question please. (00:48:02) Yes. Thank you for taking my call Gary. (00:48:04) Can you speak up just a tad there Jack? I will try my best. There you go the better you bet. All right. I want to know what your guest has to say about what our state government Constitution says about what its role is isn't it to provide? (00:48:22) And protecting (00:48:23) serve citizens of Minnesota. I don't recall any Amendment saying it's a government for profit. I don't understand why we have to fund. Sports thing for the citizens of Minnesota. (00:48:40) Okay and Jack I wish that we didn't and if our competitors didn't we wouldn't be here but there are finite number of franchises available for both the baseball and football in the communities that we compete with for those assets have made the decision to provide local funding. I will remind you that this is the fifth significant Stadium debate in the last hundred and seven years. And this would be the first time there was a significant owners contribution. The previous four rounds of stadiums have been paid for entirely by the communities. (00:49:16) What about the U of M and and the pro sports contributions now, there's a bill the governor is not specifically addressed the U of M situation but there's a bill now before the legislature which would require the U of M to pay 75% of the cost of its proposed football stadium. Why not expect something comparable from the protein? (00:49:39) I think it's the the two issues. First of all, it's hard to raise money from donors other than the owner in a pro stadium and president bruininks believes that a substantial number of University of Minnesota alumni friends parents and students will make contributions. And secondly, it's an issue of competition with the exception of pacbell Stadium in San Francisco. I'm not aware of a stadium that has a private contribution that approaches 75% (00:50:10) quick question Mary before we wrap up here. Mary about accessibility to the public and preventing scalpers from getting in and buying up the tickets. I just bought culture cago to Wrigley Field in July and they all they had were single seats available. But if you go on the internet, the scalpers had them for sale 445 10 times what the you know, the list price was okay, and you know is when keep people from are going to games anyway to make sure Dan McElroy that minnesotans could actually go to these games. (00:50:45) That's a great question. I think the teams would say by early and or buy season tickets or share season tickets or go in a group that with your local Civic club or church or Chamber of Commerce. We haven't had a lot of sellouts in baseball in Minnesota. And so it's a hard for scalpers to function except in an environment of frequent and dependable sellouts football has been a different story. The Vikings all about pushing 90 percent of their seats as season tickets, we have laws against Calpers, but they're not terribly effective against the internet will hope that we can work with the teams to continue to make tickets is available to the public as possible. There's a provision in the bill about ticket affordability baseball is excellent for this because they're not always sold out and they have Outfield seats that can be kept at a relatively low prices. I believe the twins still have some five dollar tickets and they have family packs in a variety of ways to make the game as affordable as possible. (00:51:51) Ron a couple more questions for you by you here before we wrap up number one. This is the Senate says the house should go first on this the republican-controlled Minnesota house. Can you generate enough Republican support for this to move it forward? (00:52:05) I think that's up to the community. If a majority of the people in the community will either in by how they contact us in their legislative. Juror, or how they respond in polls seem to support this approach. Then I think we have a good chance. This is an issue of representative democracy. (00:52:24) There is a theory that says nothing is going to happen on this issue unless the governor walks the plank and really provides leadership pays a price perhaps would you agree with that? And is he willing to do (00:52:35) that? He said yesterday that Governors and leaders solve problems. We think that this is a problem who's an opportunity whose time has come we don't have to do this as a community, you know, there are other great metropolitan areas almost as big as we are like Indianapolis Salt Lake New Orleans Mexico City Mexico City substantially bigger that don't have all four major league sports and you know, hopefully as a community will make a decision. I'm not confident it would go away if we decided not to make the investment. The governor thinks that it's a robust discussion. It is not as important as education or Health Care the environment, but it has long-term long-term impact (00:53:23) and McIlroy. Thanks so much for joining us today. (00:53:25) Appreciate it. Very thanks for having me. It's always a pleasure (00:53:27) and McIlroy who is the governor's chief of staff and the governor's Point man on Stadium discussions would like to remind you that programming is supported by the Dale warland singers presenting Cathedral Classics a program of sacred choral Treasures along with new works commission for The Ensemble performance is Thursday, March 18th at 7:30 and Saturday, March 20th at 8 p.m. At the Basilica of St. Mary tickets at 6123433390 news headlines next then money and politics.