Thank you, taxpayers: New Vikings stadium cost more than Pluto expedition
Few things define the American condition more than excess and sports, so it seems only natural that we find ways to combine the two. According to Bleacher Report, the recent New Horizons expedition — a trip to Pluto which radically expanded our understanding of the solar system — cost astronomically (pun wholeheartedly intended) less than the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
For reference, the New Horizons expedition cost NASA roughly $700 million in total. That’s nothing to scoff at, but side-by-side with the whopping $1 billion to erect the new home of the Vikings, the U.S. Bank Stadium, it’s a sobering comparison.
Not only that, 48 percent of the funds to pay for construction come from public funds — or in layman’s terms: your hard earned tax money. This practice has become fairly widespread among NFL teams, who use threats of team relocation as a means of securing these public funds. For example, teams like the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers consistently threat to move their teams to Los Angeles to strong arm their respective cities into acquiescing.
Late night comedian John Oliver even went on on a tirade about this issue on his show recently:
Despite the fact that professional football generates huge profits — $7.24 billion last year — teams do not want to shell out their money for new facilities when they could gain access to public money. In a nation plagued with financial problems ranging from crumbling infrastructure to viable renewable energy solutions, that money could prove useful elsewhere.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe had this to say about this issue:
“Would I love the Redskins to move to Virginia? Sure I would … Does it make economic sense for us? I can’t answer that question sitting on the radio today. We’re not at that stage.”
What are your thoughts on public funds being used for NFL stadiums? Should NFL franchises play a bigger part in covering the cost of their facilities? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!