Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

We don’t “need” new stadiums February 2, 2011

I’VE ABOUT HAD IT with Minnesota sports teams thinking taxpayers should help them finance construction of new stadiums.

First the University of Minnesota got their new TCF Stadium. Then the Twins got Target Field.

And, as we know, the Minnesota Vikings have been pushing for a new stadium for years.

The St. Paul Saints have now hopped on the gotta-have-a-new-stadium bandwagon and are proposing a $45 million facility in downtown St. Paul, subsidized, of course, by taxpayer dollars.

Over at Target Center in Minneapolis, a proposal is now on the table to make $150 million in renovations to that building, home to the Timberwolves.

Come on, team owners, athletes, government officials, lobbyists, etc., have you heard of budget shortfalls, the bad economy, unemployment, struggling to make ends meet, high healthcare costs, high gas prices, high food prices, etc.?

I have no time, none, to listen to your list of so-called “needs.” You might “want” a new stadium, but in these difficult economic times, when the average Minnesotan is struggling, you don’t “need” a new stadium.

Here are some real needs:

  • Jobs (and pu….lease don’t tell me stadium projects will create new jobs; those are temporary)
  • Affordable healthcare
  • A decent wage for those who work long, hard hours to provide for themselves and their families (no multi-million dollar contracts here)
  • Lower gas prices
  • Better highways in outstate Minnesota (ever drive Minnesota Highway 3 between Faribault and Northfield or U.S. Highway 14 between Mankato and New Ulm?)

Readers, what’s your opinion on the whole gotta-have-a-new-stadium issue? Choose to agree or disagree with me, but you better have a really, really good reason for supporting a new stadium if that’s your stance.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling