Kahn’s solution doesn’t cut it

Daniel Peterson - University student

Rep. Phyllis KahnâÄôs idea to help pay for a new football stadium by selling public stock of the Minnesota Vikings may seem like a good idea, but in reality it has little chance of making much noise in the legislation.

The current Vikings situation has few similarities to when the Green Bay Packers offered their first public stock sale. The Packers were close to insolvency, and the only way to keep the franchise in Green Bay was to hold a stock sale in 1950. Since then, the Packers have been run like a nonprofit corporation with a board of directors making all the business decisions.

The Vikings are financially stable. According to Forbes, the team is worth $200 million more than when principle owner Zygi Wilf bought the team in 2005. There is little incentive for Wilf to offer a portion of the team to the public if he has the resources and the option to move the team to Southern California if Minnesotans donâÄôt fund a stadium. The Vikings would also stay a for-profit organization if Wilf still wants to make money off his investment. The VikingsâÄô stocks would then be worth money, unlike PackersâÄô stocks which are only worth the paper they are printed on because the team is nonprofit.

Making profit off the stock may seem like a good thing, but it will only further complicate matters in the future by causing a possible power struggle between stock holders and Wilf.

Another big hurdle for KahnâÄôs proposal is the NFL bylaws itself. Resolution 1996 FC-5 states, âÄúfrom the date of this resolution, up to a total of 25 persons may own direct or indirect interests in such clubs.âÄù The NFL created this rule so there would be a decreased chance of disputes among ownership groups.

The Packers were grandfathered in because this resolution occurred after the team already had a stable leadership structure in place. To say the proposal has a proven track record is misleading when understanding the Packers situation is quite a bit different than the Vikings. The NFL has created rules to curb any further ownership groups from taking their team public.

Any solution a public stock sale solves only causes an equal amount of new problems to arise. KahnâÄôs proposal fails at making progress to a problem that does not need to become any more complicated.

The idea lacks the thought and perception I expect from a representative that has served Minnesotans well for the past four decades.