Minnesota Vikings $450 Million, Minnesota Orchestra 0

While the Minnesota Orchestra contract stalemate continues, the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings are apparently set to receive at least $450 million in public money toward a new stadium.  The Minnesota Orchestra needs about $6 million to settle its deficit.

I will grant you that the Vikings bring more fans downtown than the orchestra, but I will guarantee you that the orchestra’s reputation carries much further and lifts the perception of the state of Minnesota far more than the Vikings.

Some state legislators have the attitude that “the orchestra, unlike football, is an amenity only for the well-to-do elite.”  Yet it costs substantially more to attend one football game than to attend a concert.

In addition, the orchestra’s performance hall was recently renovated with help from $16 million in state bond funds. A hall which has yet to hear one note played.  One of the orchestra members put it very well when he said he had gladly paid the tax to help build Target Field for the Minnesota Twins, but that if they had then brought in a minor league ball club to play, he would have been upset.  The same holds true, he contends, with the renovation of Music Hall that this impasse may result in a minor league orchestra.

Some may ask why Columbus music lovers should be concerned about Minnesota’s problems.  Orchestras such as that one, the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and L.A. Philharmonic, set the tone and the standard for the rest of the country, not to mention elevate our standing in the eyes of the rest of the world.  This country has done enough damage to its reputation without demonstrating that the Arts and Culture are not very high on our list of priorities.

Read more: Leaders Look at More State Aid for Minnesota Orchestra (Star-Tribune)

Watch: Minnesota Orchestra (above) play Sibelius from its Grammy-nominated recording

  • eric2001

    The numbers are closer than one might think in terms of how many people the orchestra brings downtown Minneapolis vs. the Vikings. The football team plays 8 home games and brings in around 500,000. The orchestra plays every week all year long and more than 300,000 people, including some 80,000 school children hear our orchestra every year. Keep in mind people enjoy meals in restaurants and many concert goers from out of town stay in hotels. Thanks for covering this story. Beware of bankers who know nothing about music, coming in and hacking up a perfectly fine orchestra.

  • Guest

    It’s = it is
    Settle it is deficit
    Damage to it is reputation
    Play Sibelius from it is Grammy-mom instead recording

    The odd error is NBD and expected, but that was just painful.

  • Wendy

    And the Minnesota Vikings are 1 and 5 this season, and the Minnesota Orchestra was already acknowledged as a world-class orchestra. Odd sense of priorities, yes?