With states and cities broke and capital markets frozen, the stadium-subsidy scam seems to be in abeyance. The owner of football’s Minnesota Vikings said if he could get a $635 million subsidy for a $954 million stadium, he could provide 5500 jobs and $500 million to local contractors. This is the state in which a bridge collapse became the national symbol of neglected infrastructure. Upon hearing the Vikings owner’s pitch, state legislators erupted “in paroxysms of laughter,” says the University of Michigan’s Rodney Fort. The legislators responded, “It may create a few jobs for a short time, but we have a long term to think about.” Fort notes that baseball’s Oakland A’s and football’s San Francisco 49ers don’t have their new stadiums and the Chargers haven’t been able to wangle one, at least yet. The establishment is hoping that public frenzy over the current team’s late-season success will lead politicians to give the team a billion dollars’ worth of land, although team lawyer Mark Fabiani admits the City is at or near bankruptcy and financing is two or three years away. A builder in the City of Industry near Los Angeles claims he is still on schedule to construct a football stadium (an assertion that many question). The Chargers could use the threat of moving there as a poker chip. But the old “build me a stadium or I leave” ploy may not work so well now. “I don’t know how other cities will be able to come up with the capital,” says Fort.