The Minnesota Vikings nailed down nearly a half-billion dollars in public funding for their new stadium, and were accordingly awarded with hosting privileges for the Super Bowl in 2018. However, anyone thinking that this was a direct linear equation, or that citizens’ costs ended there, would be ignoring the literally hundreds of other demands from the NFL that Minneapolis had to agree to in order to facilitate the bid for The Game; the Star-Tribune’s Mike Kaszuba and Rochelle Olson got their hands on the 153-page document of requests from the League before the city closed the deal, and it’s relatively similar to what a satirist would draw up.
The table of contents spans seven pages reaching a comically over-the-top, self-indulgent introduction:
After that — and you should really read the whole thing to fully understand the scope of the absurdity — the document calls for all sorts of perks provided at “no cost to the league”, including (but certainly not limited to) police escorts for team owners, extensive advertising in newspapers and on radio stations, billboards, presidential suites in elite hotels, access to three high-end golf courses and two bowling alleys, and 35,000 parking spaces.
“We haven’t seen the bid, so we don’t know what was agreed to,” a spokesman for Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges told the Star-Tribune, adequately summing up both the farcical process and all of our hapless addiction to football. We’re powerless to stop it.
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