In nine years traveling with the Packers, there was no stadium louder than the Metrodome (and that darn horn every time the Vikings did something good). After a couple of years, I learned what seasoned visitors to the Metrodome knew: to wear earplugs when attending a game there.
Now the facility has collapsed this morning (here is the stunning video of the collapse) with uncertain near-term future ahead for it. In an unfortunate manner of doing so, it has pointed out to the legislative officials of Minnesota the need for addressing the Vikings’ facility issue.
The NFL and Vikings ownership – the present-day owners, the Wilfs, and the previous owner Red McCombs – have long been frustrated by the lack of attention received by the franchise on repeated attempts for public funding assistance to build a new stadium. The problem for them is not simply that funds have not been allocated to help the Vikings; it is those funds have been allocated to help other sports properties in Minneapolis.
The Twins received $392 million in a public subsidy in building their new outdoor stadium, Target Field; the University of Minnesota received public assistance (48% of the $288 million project funding) in building their new outdoor stadium, TCF Bank Stadium; the Vikings have received no such public assistance.
Now comes the collapse under the weight of a monster snowstorm. The Vikings have long been rumored to be a potential tenant in a new stadium in Los Angeles; those rumors will now pick up steam.
The Los Angeles issue is an interesting one. I have been hearing about the possibility/necessity of having a team in Los Angeles since when I started attending league meetings in 1999. In my opinion, Los Angeles is a more valuable property without a team than with a team, as existing teams having stadium issues can always point to the West and the second-largest market in the country sitting without an NFL tenant.
The Vikings certainly have had an eventful season. It is not exactly the script that was envisioned when then-coach Brad Childress sent three players to go fetch Brett Favre in August. Even Packer fans have to feel for what’s gone on there….I think.
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