Monday, November 20, 2006

Minnesota Vikings' Blaine deal D.O.A.

Good things happen when cities who are courting professional sports franchises present a deal and refuse to budge. Sure, it has something to do with the potential cost escalating from $600 million to $800 million for a retractable roof stadium which would have eventually anchored billions of dollars of development in the northern no-man's-land 'burb of Blaine but this parting of ways is for the best.

Why did the Vikings ever consider Blaine in the first place? Oh, yeah, it was because of the monetary giveaway from Anoka county. A county, which by all stereotypes, should invest in its welfare program and meth cleanup efforts but I digress. The Vikings and owner Zygi Wilf were living in a fantasy land by even thinking for a moment that such a relatively unpopulated suburban county with a tax base far smaller than that of Hennepin county could ever make this a reality.

Instead, the deal was called off. It would have been an ugly thing had it become reality. Would fans from the southern and southwestern suburbs actually travel to the paved over cornfields of Blaine ten times per year to watch a sub-.500 team lose badly to teams like the San Francisco 49ers? Sure, some would but the casual fan base wouldn't. Those casual fans are the bulk of fans around here.

The Metrodome, that rat infested, teflon covered, concrete eyesore in centralised downtown Minneapolis will instead continue to be home to the lowly Minnesota Vikings for the forseeable future.

Why can't, once the new University of Minnesota stadium is built, it be demolished so Wilf can construct his new dream stadium with some taxpayer handouts where mass transit is actually available in a city that is more than strip malls and big box retailers?

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