Short takes for May 23

Another major merger


Of course, it’s far too early to tell what the ramifications will be of the AT&T-DirecTV merger that has yet to be federally approved, but we get the sense that these mega mergers are self-serving for the companies, and we consumers are the ones who end up paying in the end. Hopefully we’ll be wrong on this one and the leveling of the playing field will pay off for us. AT&T’s chairman calls the merger a “unique opportunity,” and one that will “redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens” Sure, but at what cost? We know competition is a major driver in keeping prices low, so for now we’ll try to stay optimistic that will be the case here.

There’s always next year


Indulge us with our one, final take on the 2014 legislative session. While this session will go down as a most productive and historic one, we can’t shake the disappointment we feel that the final construction bill didn’t include the MERIT Center. Yes, there is $1 million in the bank already for some expansion there, but a quick look at the final bonding proposal that was approved by the House and Senate last week bothers us. In the category of Department of Public Safety, five projects were included for bonding dollars – including more than $1.4 million each for Cottage Grove’s Regional Public Safety Training Center and for Maplewood’s East Metro Public Safety Training Center. Worthy projects to be sure, but why not just give those two projects an even million and then another million to the MERIT Center? In the ongoing battle pitting metro vs. outstate in St. Paul, it’s clear metro came out on top in this area.

Super Bowl coming


What’s not to love about the state of Minnesota hosting a Super Bowl in 2018? The NFL would be wise to really consider shuffling the game more often to places that normally don’t host. Sure, New Orleans and Miami have plenty going for them in terms of entertainment and weather – and history as both Louisiana and Florida have hosted a number of times – but the NFL should make sure the Super Bowl hits more cities to allow them to showcase their best. There were many reasons why stadium backers wanted to build a new Vikings stadium. This is one of them.