Third time’s the charm for Minnesota United FC when they received a tax exemption for their soccer stadium late last month.
For the past few years, SFC has been proud of the efforts of Minnesota lawmakers to stop public financing of stadiums or, in the case of State Senator Roger Chamberlain (R-38), provide reasonable stipulations to receive public funds. However, it seems that in a special session of the Legislature, the representatives gave in and granted a property and sales tax break.
While this is better than throwing a stack of cash at the team, this still hurts the Minnesota taxpayer by removing significant revenue to fund necessary public goods, with no conditions or strings attached to make sure that fans can afford tickets, use the field in the offseason, or buy a beer at a reasonable price. It's just another example of the Minnesota State Legislature misusing public funds without keeping fans in mind. The other is the half a billion dollars for the Vikings' stadium which is now falling apart. And, just to throw good money after bad, Minnesota United hired the same contractor!
Finally, we have to remove Senator Chamberlain from our MVP list. In 2014, he valiantly fought to give sports fans something of value from the Vikings' stadium deal -- banning NFL blackouts. Ultimately, due to the lobbying (read: bullying) of the league, he was defeated. Now, he's playing for the other team -- helping out the richest Americans and not providing anything to soccer fans.
We’re excited about the Loons' inaugural season this year and wish the team the best of luck in the upcoming season!
Photo Credit: MLS Soccer