A private championship

Vikings need to provide more funding if they hope to get a new stadium.

Editorial board

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series on Monday, securing the teamâÄôs first championship since moving to that city in 1958. They did it playing their home games in a decade-old stadium that was completely privately financed. When the Minnesota Vikings ask the state to help fund a new stadium this spring, they should follow the GiantsâÄô lead and offer up more private funds.

Proponents of new stadiums say newer facilities mean greater sources of revenue, leading to a more competitive team on the field. Certainly that was true of the Minnesota Twins this season, when the teamâÄôs brand new ballpark spurred a $90 million payroll, the thirteenth largest in the league, according to ESPN. In turn, the team saw success on the field. Two-thirds of Target FieldâÄôs more than $500 million price tag came from a .15 percent increase in the Hennepin County sales tax. The Twins paid the rest but, in hindsight, could have contributed more.

The Vikings will be knocking on the door of the State Capitol come spring, asking for a similar subsidy from a government facing a $6 billion budget deficit. The Vikings are one of the NFLâÄôs least-valuable franchises, but with a salary cap and revenue sharing, the teamâÄôs competitiveness is not directly tied to its ability to earn revenue. A new stadium, perhaps as expensive as $870 million, will increase the VikingsâÄô value, benefiting the owner more than the team.

In the past, weâÄôve called on lawmakers to make a new Vikings stadium a priority, and we do so again now. But the Vikings should be realistic in their requests. Owner Zygi Wilf must accept that for a solution to be found, the ownership needs to foot a bigger portion of the bill. More private financing is the only fair answer to this question.