Just Build The Damn Stadium!


We’ve already built partially taxpayer funded arenas/stadiums for the Wild, the Twins, the Gophers and now it’s the Vikings’ turn. The Vikings’ Metrodome lease is up after the 2011 season and they won’t renew it. The NFL has already made it quite clear that, unless the Vikings get a new stadium commitement soon, they’ll move the franchise out of Minnesota.

There’s no more road to kick the can down. It’s time to put up, shut up, and do the right thing, build the Vikings a new stadium. Are Minnesotans really willing to lose the crown jewel of Minnesota professional sports, the Vikings NFL franchise? I’m sure not. Remember the collective state angst when hockey left Minnesota in 1993? It took seven years and cost us a new arena to bring professional hockey back to Minnesota. Let’s not make that mistake again.

Vikings: Our turn for a new stadium

With an undefeated team, a megastar quarterback and a big game coming up Monday, the Vikings were back at the State Capitol on Thursday to spark interest in the one thing they do not have — a new stadium.

Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley again told legislators that the team would not renew its Metrodome lease, which expires after the 2011 season. Bagley also said that owner Zygi Wilf is increasingly battling pressure from other National Football League owners.

“They don’t ask how’s [star running back] Adrian Peterson doing,” Bagley said. “They ask him how is the stadium doing, because the NFL is subsidizing this market to the tune of $15 million to $20 million a year.”

The Vikings, who are seeking an estimated $700 million in a “public-private partnership,” have made their pitch to the Legislature on repeated occasions, to little effect.

Of course, even though we’ve done it for every other major sports team in Minnesota, no one likes to spend taxpayer money on stadiums for rich team owners, especially with today’s economy. Unfortunately, we have no other choice anymore, we either pony up for a new stadium this year or we lose our NFL franchise, it’s that simple.

Or is there another choice? Well, what do we have here? Why, it’s a man with a plan!

Will slots help Vikings get a new stadium?

Trying to jump-start interest in a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, a Republican legislator on Monday proposed a constitutional amendment to add slot machines to the state’s two horse-racing tracks and use the proceeds to build the stadium.

Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, said his latest plan was a “little bit of a twist” to a failed effort earlier this year for a constitutional amendment to create another casino in Minnesota and put the profits toward a stadium.

Hackbarth said his latest plan is different because “it’s not an expansion of gambling,” since Minnesota racing tracks already allow gambling in the form of card games.

“I don’t know what else we’re going to do if we don’t go to gaming,” said Hackbarth. He said legislative leaders were “kind of sticking their heads in the sand.” The Vikings’ lease expires in 2011 at the Metrodome, a venue that has been their home for more than a quarter century but which the team says is now outdated and a financial drag.

See also:
Vikings stadium issue is past due, says Lester Bagley
Pawlenty says Minnesota needs to keep Vikings
A New Vikings Stadium: Why It Isn’t Such a Horror Story
District 48A Rep. Tom Hackbarth announces Vikings stadium plan
Lawmaker Suggests Gambling Money For New Vikings NFL Stadium

So, let me see if I’ve got this straight. All we have to do is add slot machines to two existing horse tracks, that already have card game gambling, so we’re not opening any new casinos or expanding gambling to any new locations, and we can build a new Vikings stadium without costing the taxpayers any money?

What the [expletive deleted] are we waiting for? Oh yeah, I forgot, the politicians.

/I swear, if we lose our NFL franchise because the politicians can’t get their act together and get a Vikings stadium deal done, especially when a perfectly reasonable, no cost to taxpayers, solution is being served up to them on a silver platter, I’m going to be really, really pissed, along with the majority of Minnesotans

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