Dayton’s $6,000 Ticket to His “People’s Stadium”

Remember when Gov. Mark Dayton dubbed it the “People’s Stadium” in order to sell the proposed $1 billion US Bank Stadium to the public? The press release still resides on the sidelines of the Minnesota Vikings’ website.

“The stadium would be owned by the people of Minnesota and managed for their benefit year-round by a Public Authority. I respectfully urge the Minneapolis City Council and the Minnesota Legislature to vote their approval as soon as possible.  Let’s put thousands of Minnesotans to work building our ‘People’s Stadium’.”

You have to wonder how many of the union workers who built it and middle class Minnesota taxpayers who funded half a billion dollars of it will be able to afford a seat in “their” stadium” on Super Bowl Sunday.

Especially at the going rate of $6,000 Dayton paid an online broker for his ticket last week. That’s roughly what the average Minnesota family earns in a month. But the Pioneer Press noted the governor thought he got a pretty good deal.

Dayton noted the price was above the face value of the seat. “It was fair market value, although it’s gone up (since),” he said of the price. It wasn’t clear where Dayton will sit.

Dayton will be attending the game with his two sons. If they purchased two more tickets from the same broker so they could sit together, the trio’s tickets cost up to $18,000. The Star Tribune noted the “people’s stadium” will go down as one of Dayton’s milestones, good and bad.

But the stadium legacy has been mixed. The Dayton administration faced an ongoing political headache in late 2016 and during the 2017 legislative session after the Star Tribune revealed that government appointees who oversee the stadium got free tickets to two lower-level luxury suites for all events held there. The board of appointees handed over the suites to the stadium’s operator in July.

But there’s still hope for the union workers and taxpayers who aren’t in that league. Elevate Minnesota, a labor advocacy group, will soon announce the winner of its “February’s Big Game Ticket Sweepstakes.” The opportunity to enter the contest ended yesterday, but the lucky winners will get a pair of tickets valued at $9,500, $4,750 per seat in the “people’s stadium.”

That’s less than the governor’s ticket cost, but according to the paper, Dayton won’t flaunt it.

Dayton, who is not known for ostentatious shows of wealth, has family money from the eponymous department store chain and Target, although the family no longer has ties to the company.