image description June 9, 2014

Rants & Raves

Rants & Raves

NFL Perks & Challenging the 70/30 Rule

By Andrew Zimmern

Local scribes and pundits have gone all “WHAT?!?!?!?” on their social streams expressing outrage that the NFL requested a massive perk list before awarding the 2018 Super Bowl to Minneapolis. All for free. That’s like crying fire after you passed around the gasoline and matches, for the 50th time! Every newspaper-person, government official, civic leader, etc. who is opining foul, who is screaming for transparency in the process, or who thinks the NFL did anything out of sorts is naïve at best, and at worst is feigning anger to gain reader sympathy and stir the pot unnecessarily. Even small conferences that come into the Twin Cities have lists of asks when they circulate the RFPs to see where to hold a convention or a major multi-day event. If you are the NFL and awarding a Super Bowl, you CAN’T do it unless you contractually have a city on the arm for a certain number of perks they can re-sell as sponsored events (bowling tournaments), or a guarantee of state of the art infrastructure like cell towers and the like. It’s how these things work.

I’m not saying it’s right or fair but it goes on all the time. Everyone knows it. It’s part of the cost of doing business. When Arne Carlson and other pols waxed poetic that the costs, perks of the bid, and the award needed to be transparent to all because of the public tax contributions to the Vikings stadium, they are screaming for the barn doors to shut after the horses ran away, and then blaming someone who wasn’t there.

EVERYONE associated with this stadium on a public and political level knew exactly how this would go down. We are lucky that we have a host committee that has already raised $30 million in pledges to offset some of these costs.

These issues are real. I happen to agree with the criticism, but where were the voices when it mattered? And why didn’t our pols push for that type of bid transparency to be contractually stipulated within the stadium deal for these types of events? That’s the better question.

The 70/30 Rule

Speaking of local anger, the 70/30 rule is being challenged this November on the ballot in the Twin Cities. The rule applies to restaurants in residential areas of Minneapolis, like the restaurant corridor at Nicollet in the 30s that includes Blackbird… and 70 others. The rule essentially means that 70 percent of sales should come from food, and 30 percent can be beer or wine. That was fine and dandy when burgers were 3 bucks and beers were a quarter. But today you can hunker down in front of a $10 bowl of pasta with a $20 glass of Barolo next to it.

The rule is an antique. And it’s not the only one being challenged. Lets say you sit down at the same restaurant and simply order a beer while you decide on dinner. If you are served, the restaurant is technically breaking the law that states you have to have a full meal in front of you before you can be served.

Check out to find out how you can help change this ridiculous rule that puts many restaurants and neighborhoods at a competitive disadvantage.




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