SBD/April 29, 2011/Facilities

Sports Memorabilia Tax In Vikings Stadium Bill Could Hurt Twins

Majority of memorabilia tax revenue would likely come from sale of Twins merchandise
If the Minnesota Legislature approves public funding for a new stadium for the Vikings, “much of the money could come from Minnesota Twins fans,” according to the AP. The stadium bill introduced at the state Capitol earlier this month “offers a list of potential taxes, ranging from ticket fees to sales taxes in the community that hosts the team.” Minnesota Public Radio on Thursday reported that “about 60 cents of every $1 the state pays for a stadium would come from one source: a 10 percent tax on sports memorabilia.” That would include “hats, shirts, jackets, balls and all sorts of other licensed merchandise.” MPR reported that the “vast majority of memorabilia tax revenue would come from the sale of Twins merchandise because that's what sports fans buy the most.” Twins Exec Dir of Public Affairs Kevin Smith in a statement said that the Twins “support the Vikings' effort to get a new home, but the baseball team is concerned about the memorabilia tax.” Smith: "It all boils down to affordability. The concern is that particularly suggested funding mechanism would negatively affect the affordability of our product to our fans." MPR said that it “could also affect the Twins' income from souvenir sales.” Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said, "We have only ever advocated for an NFL memorabilia tax. The legislators came up with the idea to tax all sports memorabilia. And that's what's in the bill" (AP, 4/28).
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