MN doesn’t yet need soccer arena

Daily Editorial Board

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges met last week with officials of the soccer team Minnesota United FC and other city leaders in an apparent âÄúexchange of information,âÄù the Star Tribune reported Saturday. Rather than debating whether to build a new soccer stadium, discussion has shifted to what the terms of such a project would be. While some Twin Cities residents are reportedly suffering from âÄústadium fatigue,âÄù others are enthusiastic about the proposal to build. Stadium supporters like Steve May, president of the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association, claim that a new stadium could attract youth. In recent commentary for the Star Tribune, for example, May claimed, âÄúSoccer fandom is unique at those stadiums that bring fans close to the action.âÄù However, some remain skeptical as United has requested exemptions on property tax as well as sales tax for construction supplies. When combined with the teamâÄôs preference to exhibit private control over the stadium, this remains an unpopular deal for many people. We recognize the widespread popularity of soccer in Minnesota and the importance that professional-level sports teams attach to having their own stadium. However, we feel that it is unwise to use taxpayer money to finance a project that holds questionable economic benefits for the surrounding community. We urge both cities to further explore the economic impact of existing stadiums such as TCF Bank Stadium, Target Field and (in the future) U.S. Bank Stadium, the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, before approving yet another expensive stadium project.