I haven’t been a Minnesota resident for quite some time now, so you will seldom hear me chime in on the Vikings stadium debate. I feel that it is an important issue in which Minnesotans will eventually have to decide how to spend their tax monies, and that non-residents should have little to no say in the matter particularly in such tough economic times.
I will say that I think sports are important to the economy, morale, and culture of society especially when the tradition is as long standing as that of the Vikings. I will also say that Jerry Jones should be sought out as a consultant on NFL stadium projects given his extreme success in the area.
On Monday, the Vikings were asked to give the league an update on their efforts and they will do so on Tuesday. According to Chip Scoggins at the Star Tribune the Vikings stadium issue is becoming increasingly important to the league. Roger Goodell chimed in on the subject on Moday:
“I think everybody wants the Vikings to be in Minnesota – the leadership in Minnesota and clearly the Vikings and the NFL. I’m hopeful they’re going to be able to sit down and have some productive dialogue about how to do that. We recognize the challenges that they’re going through in Minnesota and the priorities that they have, and I think we’re sensitive to that.
“But also the Gophers have a new stadium. The Twins have a new stadium. It’s obvious the Vikings need a new stadium. We recognize the governor recognizes the importance of that, and I think that there is beginning to be some discussions, which I think is helpful.”
Right now, the proposal is for a stadium costing nearly $1 billion. Some critics (including Governor Pawlenty) think that owner Zygi Wilf needs to pony-up a larger portion of that price tag before the State will consider negotiations.
Some State Legislatures have been thinking of an outside-the-box solution to this problem, and one even proposed that a casino in the Twin Cities could help pay for the stadium.
While no cut and dry answer seems readily available, many fans remain hopeful that the powers at be will find common ground and keep the Purple Pride where it belongs. After all, seeing the Vikings go elsewhere would be the ultimate victory for the Packers… and nobody wants that.