Thursday, December 17, 2009

$854 Million?!?

It's old news that the Minnesota Vikings want a new stadium. It's also old news that the Metrodome - where the Vikings currently play - is stale and outdated. So it makes sense that with a somewhat useable building already in place the Vikes make use of the Dome. But the newest plan, costing $854 million, is downright nauseating.

At least this newest stadium proposal makes use of the current Metrodome site in eastern downtown Minneapolis but that price tag is hard to fathom. That number alone is close to what the current budget deficit is for the state of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission wants to erect a building with that sort of price tag. That is what's wrong with professional sports.

Now I don't expect the Vikings to play on a glorified high school football field complete with portable metal bleachers but let's get real here. The Metrodome cost a mere $68 million to build in the early 1980s and to expect tax payers to foot the bill for a stadium costing around 15 times as much as the one currently occupying the space doesn't add up. Have your wages increased 15-fold in the past 28 years? Has the minimum wage increased at that same rate in the past 28 years?

Maybe the Vikings need to take a different approach here. If the Vikings are such a Minnesota treasure that we couldn't bear to go on with our lives without them in Minnesota than maybe it's time for the Vikings to become a publicly owned and traded company. Take the model used in Green Bay by the Packers and use it here. The fans there own the team. The stadium underwent a massive overhaul recently and they play in a historical venue. Maybe now is the time to make that change and allow those with the interest and passion for the team to foot the bill for their stadium. Maybe even some sort of reverse revenue sharing. Maybe Zygi Wilf could still somehow maintain a majority share of ownership and make his dream of developing all around a Vikings stadium a reality. Maybe it would actually work or maybe my idea is so off base that I should be locked away forever. Thoughts?

Or maybe you should just head over to MinnPics as I begin looking back on the year that was.


VE said...

Shouldn't they have to win the Superbowl to be given a new stadium?

Anonymous said...

Those stupid Vikings aren't good enough to deserve that much "cushyness", but if it's gonna happen, your idea sounds just grand. And I'm with VE above - THEY SHOULD have to win a damn Superbowl as well!!

Anonymous said...