Up in Minnesota, the Vikings management is sounding the alarm again, suggesting that if they don’t get a new stadium soon, they’re going to leave. (The only real move they could make would be to LA, but they’re not going to be building a stadium anytime soon.)”I am concerned,” about the future, said Lester Bagley, the Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development. “There is growing concern within our ownership, there is no doubt, about where this is headed and the fact that every year, we get to the end of the session and there’s a different reason why (it didn’t get done).”
Bagley then went on to praise the Wilfs for their generous contribution to a new stadium, as though the Wilfs shouldn’t themselves have to pay for a new stadium for the team they own.
“What the Wilfs have offered — $400-plus million up front and $20 million a year (in Arden Hills) — is the third-largest private offer in NFL history,” Bagley said.
So if the Wilfs are so concerned about getting a new stadium, why don’t they build one with the $400 million they are already offering? Sure, it’s not going to be billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium or the New Meadowlands, but those stadiums hold the Dallas Cowboys and the two New York teams. Further, the Jets and Giants put forth all the money for the New Meadowlands, so why shouldn’t the Vikings?
A $400 million stadium would be more than adequate, of course, the problem is that it wouldn’t have the luxury seating that a billion-dollar stadium would, and of course, that’s what this is all about: getting the public to fork over stadium costs so ownership can reap luxury seating profits.
Moreover, the county of Arden Hills has already agreed to kick in $300 million for a new stadium there, so that’s $700 million the Vikings can work with. Do they really need an extra $300 million from the state, which is broke? Of course, not.
Vikings fans and Minnesota taxpayers should demand that the Vikings ownership to explain why a $400 million stadium or even a $700 million stadium won’t do.
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