Four Track Process to Follow to Build
Twin City Stadiums
Submitted to the Minnesota Legislature Stadium Task Force:
Steve Sviggum, House Speaker, and Roger D. Moe, Senate
A copy has been provided to: Roy Terwilliger,
Larry Fitzgerald, John Marty, David Jennings, Otis Courtney, Sarah Psick,
Victor Moore, Tom Hanson
Peter J. Jessen
July 23, 2001
1. Develop and implement the first of four tracks: GETTING
a. Help others too: Help the Twins, Gophers, and Metrodome solve
their problem too (as Zig Ziglar would say, get what you want
by helping others get what they want). Why gophers?
It is important to include the Gophers because they are a part of the
sports stadium equation. But they need their own, separate stadium.
And with the majority of legislators being UM grads, they will get their
b. Pointing out the empirical obvious: that the market has already
been proven for all four: it is already there in terms of the tickets
sold and fan support already for each team, and the non-sporting events
at the Metrodome, not to mention the 1.5 million international visitors
to the Mall of America alone, the visitors/vacationers from the U.S.,
and the day trippers from the surrounding area.
c . Demonstrate how all four sites can be integrated (new stadiums
for the Vikings, Twins, Gophers, and the existing Metrodome) into the
regional sports-entertainment-communications-real estate industries
to the betterment of the cities, the teams, and these industries, resulting
in $2-4 billion additional dollars for the state economy that would
otherwise not be there.
d. Develop a Red Carpet for Vikes and Red
Carpet for Twins campaigns, to let Red and Carl know their teams
are loved and wanted, and to approach them with the same attentiveness
as the Olympics, Final Four, Superbowl, etc., not to curry their favor
as boot licks but to let them know we understand their situation and
are willing to join in partnership to enable them to continue to do
business in the Twin Cities and Minnesota so that both the teams and
the cities prosper.
e. Propose to all of the stakeholders that a David Jennings type Minnesota
conversation a group to be convened to work out points above and
below, especially a-b-c above (either by the legislature or by
the teams or by an agreed 3rd party), using any one of a number of conflict
resolution/stakeholder consensus building models, which would include
representatives of the legislature, representatives of the teams involved
(Vikings, Twins, Gophers), representatives of the Sports Commission
managing the Metrodome, selected citizen groups of both Minneapolis
and St. Paul, including www.vikingsstadium.com,
retired professional football and baseball players who have gone on
to post-play prominence, as well as members appointed by the Governor,
by the Mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, by the University of Minnesota
President, with two input panels, one comprised of academic and corporate
economists, and one comprised with open forum citizen input. Have
a draft outline of how to proceed should one be asked for.
f. Provide existing back up studies for the conversation group from
the NFL, the Twin Cities, and other sources to that show the actual
benefits to communities: the $1 billion in direct revenues and
the $1 billion in indirect revenues each year, per team.
g. Do the same regarding other benefits to the Cities: jobs,
housing, payrolls, expanded tourism, etc., following business models.
h. Provide a financing sourcing chart to begin the conversation
(1) $50 million by the owner
(2) $25-50 million by the public for infrastructure (i.e., state costs:
land and site prep, streets and sewers, etc., for each stadium)
(3) $100-200 million by bonds backed by ticket and parking revenues
(4) $225 million***** from lease bonds backed by state income tax
on players and coaches salaries and the salaries of visiting players
(5) $50-100 million plus from anchors & others in
non-stadium part of complex
(6) $25-50 million from interest of monies waiting to be spent
(7) $250-450 million by investors
(8) 725 million 1.150 billion TOTAL
Note: also weight the suggestions received at www.vikingsstadium.com
as well as those from other citizen groups and individuals.
2. Develop and implement the second of four tracks: LEGISLATION
a. Help the legislature see how they can work with all four entities
to provide only the basics, i.e., minimal public funding help for each
(infrastructure sewers and streets).
b. Agree to permanent taxation revenue source legislation
regarding revenue bonds: use an agreed amount (conservatively
figured), backed by (1) the income taxes from both players and coaches
of each professional team, (2) the income taxes onnon-resident visiting
players and coaches of each out-of-state visiting professional team,
and (3) an agreed upon amount of the ticket and parking revenue.
c. Agree to state safety net legislation regarding an escrow
account to back the investment side: Agree to put the amount needed
to complete the project minus the amount represented by the revenue
bonds of #2.b. above, in escrow (an amount estimated to be $200 million,
although the escrow amount could be for the entire amount, if necessary),
to be returned to the owners after at least that amount (more is anticipated)
is raised through the infusion of investors (with the DreamWorks or
d. Agree to no holding the bag legislation ready to relieve
the state of any obligation regarding any future black hole
of future tax payer obligations, that the business model of #3 below
is what gives the agreement substance.
e. Agree to private-public partnerships as part of the
stadium complex, to include revenue sharing with the state of the entities.
This would include moderate housing on the periphery of the site, for
workers of the complex, from which the state would receive a fixed percentage
of a fixed amount of overall revenue as an additional state revenue
source; conference/exhibition hall to work in conjunction with the citys
other entities, which could include extensions of museums, zoos, training
and educational facilities, etc. (in other words, what are some of the
must haves of the legislature in this regard that could
become a part of this complex?).
f. Owners agree to front the $5 million need to put the whole pre-construction
phase package together (the first of three owner contributions).
g. Agree to front the $50 million non-materials costs needed to get
the bricks and mortars in place (which would be the second of three
3. Develop and implement the third of four tracks: PRIVATE
a. Develop an investment vehicle to cover the rest above and beyond
the revenue bonds (the third and final contribution of the owner).
b. The recommended investment model is that of DreamWorks: which
is weighted for success, as DreamWorks keeps 65% of the profits, a time-tested
model proven to satisfactory to all parties concerned, given the non-material
benefits as well. DreamWorks raised $2 billion this way, avoiding
the crushing burden of debt. The teams could do the same, which
could also be used to eliminate existing debt and prevent any black
c. To further prevent any potential obligation black hole,
adopt an entertainment model of operations and use as many of the 40
ways of 26 revenue categories (among the many known and already in existence)
in order to ensure profitability and continuous cash flow year round,
each also generating more tax revenues.
i. This would include an agreement by the clubs to develop and obtain
the financing for a shopping experience location and an office tower
complex to be included on the site, to be privately financed by teams
in agreements with anchors and tenants.
ii. This would include moderate housing on the periphery of the site,
with first residence options to be for workers of the complex.
iii. This would include in stadium sources as ticket sales, permanent
seat licenses, luxury and club boxes and suites, parking, signage,
concessions, League shared revenues, as well as use of stadiums in
iv. This would include other sources as well: multi-media recording
and broadcasting studio facilities, partnerships for usage in the
complex, co-branding, etc.
d. Develop a navigational web portal site to cover all information:
include linkages, web stickers (like those for voting), a navigational
portal function to other relevant and related information, including
citizen input, an Email strategy, including samples of support forms
to send to the legislature, and, once ground breaking begins, a streaming
movie of progress, updated weekly (the Walt Disney model of showing
on TV, weekly, the progress in the construction of Disneyland.
e. Develop a communications strateg in order to keep the campaign on
track, by being prepared to confront high profile attacks on the plan
or any individuals involved with it for both the general press and in
particular for specific individuals or groups in Minnesota, the NFL,
and elsewhere, including what marketing/public relations experts call
a Godzilla tape and print piece featuring well known people
from around the country and state endorsing the plan and the participants,
4. Develop and implement the fourth of four tracks: NFL/PLAYERS
a. Work to change from management union model to senior executive
model for compensation
b. Employ a 12 part compensation structure that works to the advantage
of both the owner and the players, including conditional and unconditional
parts, centered on regular salary signing bonuses that are linked to
golden handcuffs and golden parachutes, profits
pools, investor side stock option pool, ESOPs, retirement plans,
personal affairs assistance/management, tangible and intangible perks
for player families, on-going year-round internal recruitment,
and an information system (newsletter, Email, etc.)