Post Mothers’ Day Blog: Part 2 [UPDATED]Published 6:40pm Thursday, May 12, 2011 Updated 6:41pm Thursday, May 12, 2011
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Here is the second half. Expect more bias, rants and basic overall flavor than your other leading sports columnists.
Let’s get to the crown jewel of recent state sports new…the Minnesota Vikings stadium.
Let’s start off with the facts first. The Minnesota Vikings and Ramsey County have announced that they are working towards building a retractable-roof stadium in Arden Hills. The cost of the overall project is projected at $1.057 billion. The Vikings will pay for $407 million of it, $350 million by Ramsey County and $300 million by the state. The retractable-roof maybe made fixed roof if it is not “economically feasible.” The stadium, if passed, will be finished by the 2015 season.
Now for my take. Remember back when we lost the North Stars? Now imagine if we lost the Vikings. Many fans need to realize that if we keep putting off giving the Vikings a new stadium, they will leave and we will end up whining and crying about how we need a football team in Minnesota and 10 years down the road we will be dishing out $2 billion for a new team. Also, knowing the luck of many Minnesota Vikings fans, Leslie Frazier will turn around the Vikings and lead them to their first Super Bowl victory, much like Brian Bullick did for the Cleveland Browns when they moved to Baltimore.
The stadium also has a prime location (not like the beautiful Target Field, which looks like it was jammed into downtown Minneapolis). They Vikings will have everything in one area: practice field, offices, etc. A plus for the fans would also be the parking around the stadium. If the Vikings charged you $10 to park anywhere by the stadium, rather than fighting your way downtown and paying $30 for a mediocre parking spot around the dome, I think it would be worth it. Also, it brings in the tailgating crowd. Not that far to walk to the stadium when its across a parking lot.
If Zygi Wilf gets his wish, this will bring about numerous shops and other stores in the area around the stadium that would make the area itself viable and create numerous jobs.
The idea of having a retractable-roof also creates a huge plus for the Vikings (sorry fans who think the Vikings should play outdoors, you really must not see the forest through the trees). If a retractable-roof is install, the stadium may play host to a Super Bowl (sorry Packer fans, that is usually what it takes to get one up in the great white north. Just ask the Lions). Other events, including rock concerts, NCAA final four, NCAA bowl game, high school football tournaments and anything else a dome could include. An open stadium would not allow for these revenue boosters to happen.
I have heard some fans question why Wilf and his partners just don’t use their own money to build a stadium. Ask yourself this question, could you have bought your first home without a loan? Think of the bank as the state of Minnesota and the Vikings as you. Now you could live in an apartment all your life and deal with a landlord (Metrodome, Minneapolis Sports Commission) or you could buy your own house and crank your music to 11 in the middle of the night (assuming you don’t have neighbors really close).
Not trying to take sides on a city issue, but why doesn’t our city council get to vote on a Vikings stadium (it might pass). Sarcasm aside, I think that it would be in the best interest of both the state and the Vikings to stay in Minnesota. The state for what they will save on money and the Vikings for making the mistake that the Raiders and Rams did by being a football team in L.A. (hey, the USC Trojans are still considered the 33rd NFL team).
In college football news, Fiesta Bowl gets to remain a part of the Major BCS Bowl games. I hope the $1 million fine was too harsh.
A sad note was posted on ESPN today. Alabama linemen Aaron Douglas was found dead. The kid was an All-American tackle at Tennessee as a freshmen, before transferring to the Tide. Douglas had admitted to suffering from depression. He will be missed.
Good Luck to the M State baseball team. Talked to pitching coach and friend Casey Kowalski. He really likes their chances this year in the region XIII tourney. After watching the Spartans play, I can see why. Go Big Blue.
Well that is it for me, keep your stick on the ice.