Two for the money

Students will carry the burden of paying for two stadiums if the Twins have their way.

The Twins stadium proposal continues to work its way through committees in the House, passing both in the Taxes and the Ways and Means committees. Although it is not the Gophers football stadium, it is still something students and the University community should care about. The bill plans on covering three-quarters of the $522 million project by increasing the sales tax in Hennepin County by 0.15 percentage points.

It would be great to see the Twins stay in Minneapolis. The location without a doubt will give the city a shinier surface. The Metrodome already brings in added revenue to many restaurants and area businesses from ticket holders that otherwise might spend their money elsewhere.

However, it is a bit much to ask the residents of Hennepin County to pay three-fourths of the cost. The team is handing over only $130 million, leaving residents to pay for the remainder. Minneapolis’ amusement tax has been added to the proposal for ticket sales at the stadium, raising another $3 million to go toward the cost of policing the surrounding area.

As students, this means we will be paying for the Gophers stadium through student fees, and also will be paying our part with every purchase we make in Hennepin County toward the construction of the Twins stadium.

The Twins predict they will increase their annual revenues significantly upon completion of the project, about $40 million per year, which is likely true. They also say it will be enough to pay their players an average salary. You would think the salaries they earn already are enough that they could afford to fork over a bit of that extra profit toward their so urgently needed stadium to lessen the burden of the cost on the county.

The University has won the battle with the state regarding funding for its own outdoor field. Now it becomes important that we recognize the full impact the proposed Twins stadium will have on students and all residents of Hennepin County.