Mike Opat’s Soccer Stadium!
By Andrew Richter
I think it’s fair to say that Hennepin County Dictator Mike Opat has never met a tax or a spending bill he didn’t like. Now he’s throwing he support behind a new soccer stadium, as if we need that!
Back in December he came out unequivocally in favor of a soccer stadium in an interview with Channel 5.
Mike Opat, Hennepin County Board Chairman, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he supports the idea of an outdoor downtown Minneapolis soccer stadium. Right now, Minnesota Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf has made a strong pitch to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise to Minneapolis. Wilf has met with MLS officials in New York and gave them a presentation on how the new Vikings stadium would host a new soccer team.
But, another group headed by former United Health CEO William McGuire is putting together a plan that would include an outdoor soccer stadium built next to the Twins’ home, Target Field. Opat says he is now supporting the McGuire group because they have a “long-standing commitment to soccer in Minnesota.” Opat says McGuire has already had a proven track record as owner of the Minnesota United soccer team and “his experience with professional soccer is a known commodity.”
They must be giving you campaign contributions.
Opat says the county would support the outdoor stadium concept, but that will not likely include any general fund tax money.
Oh I see, so you’re going to bond the project or create a new tax. I guess I should feel good that you want the public to subsidize this but it won;t come out of the general fund. It will come out of a different fund instead! Yippy!
Opat says the county would get behind the outdoor stadium in a much “smaller capacity”, but did not specify what that commitment would look like.
Wait until he is re-elected, then he will tell you.
When the group that Opat supported buying the new team got their franchise, Opat reiterated his support for a new stadium, though that has seemed to put him at odds with Governor Mark Dayton.
It is a process that will require considerable massaging given the political landscape, though the group is expected to commit substantial private resources to build the expected $150 million stadium. Minnesota governor Mark Dayton told the Star-Tribune earlier this week he did not support any form of public subsidies for the new stadium, while Hennepin County commissioner Mike Opat said the new team will likely need to fund the new stadium with limited public financial support.
Being the consummate politician, Opat won’t commit even now to anything specific;
Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, who aided the effort to secure the franchise, remained mum late last week about what — if anything — he might propose relating to the area around the stadium. “Nothing is imminent,” Opat said.
Another commissioner, Jan Callison, said stadium funding is a “challenge.” “People are wary to say the least, and in some cases clearly hostile to the idea of a public subsidy into a stadium,” Callison said.
Ya think? How many stadiums have we fricken built? Since 1990 we’ve built Target Center, Target Field, XCel Energy Center, TCF Bank, a new Saints park, and now a new Vikings Stadium! How much is enough!
HERE is yet another article on Opat’s support for a new stadium and his hilarious little cat fight with the governor.
As with everything about Mike Opat, this is all about him. He wants to be governor and probably thinks he’s a shoo-in to be re-elected next year. Don’t bother calling or emailing Mr. Opat; he doesn’t care about those he represents. All that matters to this guy is his personal ambition! We will stay on this issue and not let this guy get away with dancing on this issue!