Minnesota United FC claim to be ready to spend $250 to bring MLS to Minneapolis. And they’re not asking for subsidies. Or at least for “direct” subsidies.
This week Minnesota United, the latest confirmed MLS expansion team, announced their financial scheme for new stadium. In total the club want to spend $250 million on MLS, $100 million of which is the amount needed to enter the league as a franchise.
Stadium-associated costs amount to $150 million, which includes $30 million for land acquisition. Entire construction cost of the stadium would be covered by the owners and commercial partners, which seems like a great deal for the city of Minneapolis and regional authorities.
MUFC have listed expected benefits of a new football-specific stadium for roughly 20,000 people. These include 1,900 construction jobs, hundreds of service-sector jobs, general boost for positive changes and $2.5 million of state and local sales taxes.
However, the plan does ask for specific forms of subsidy, particularly tax exemptions: sales tax exemption for construction materials and supplies and property tax exemption. These two kinds of reliefs are quite common for large private projects. There’s also a third category, which asks for limits on future taxes levied on facility operations that do not currently exist.
According to Field of Schemes, blog monitoring stadium spending, these may total to approximately $48 million, which is in fact a large public subsidy, even though it’s demanded based on future tax revenues, not current budget.
State authorities were first to react to the proposal. The governor and legislative leaders all agree that any path to some state help for the project would be inaccessible this session. While Minnesota United aren’t asking for much compared to other stadium projects in the past, the spirit seems to be generally against any kind of taxpayer support towards such investments.