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Vikings stadium reaches 65 percent complete, is it a bad deal for Minnesota?

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With the opening of U.S. Bank Stadium nearly one year away construction of the new home of the Minnesota Vikings has now reached 65 percent complete.

The team says by the end of the month, nearly $550 million dollars worth of work will have been installed by the nearly 1,200 workers onsite daily. So far, those workers have put in more than 1.6 million work hours; once completed the project is expected to surpass 4 million construction hours and will have cost more than a billion dollars.

A billion dollars for a football stadium seems like a lot of money – consider this WCCO Reality Check done by Pat Kessler this week.

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State taxpayers got raw deal on Vikings stadium

About half of the billion dollar price tag will be paid by the state and the City of Minneapolis – $500 million dollars of public money going to stadium construction.

And this week Marketwatch has named Minneapolis in its top 5 list of cities who got the worst deal from a professional sports team.

"How do you get taxpayers to chip in $500 million on a more than $1 billion stadium when only one city, Indianapolis ($620 million), has ever paid that much? Tell them you'll move their 54-year-old NFL franchise to Los Angeles.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf did just that and got the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis to go along for the ride."

The plan originally called for the state portion of the stadium to be paid for through charitable gambling, but the electronic gaming revenue fell drastically short of predictions so the state used a tax on cigarette inventory instead.

The other four stadiums to make the Marketwatch list:

  • Atlanta – Cobb County will borrow $397 million to finance the new Braves home SunTrust Park.
  • Glendale, Arizona – With a $455 million dollar football stadium for the Arizona Cardinals, a 15-year, $225 million arena management contract with the Arizona Coyotes and millions for a spring-training facility for the White Sox and Dodgers.
  • Milwaukee – $250 million plus interest for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks
  • Washington D.C. – which raided $150 million from a school-modernization program to pay for a new stadium for the D.C. United.

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