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WILF'S GETTING "FRUSTRATED" BY LACK OF NEW STADIUM

As the Vikings deal with a stadium that they’re struggling to sell out for Sunday’s playoff game, the first to be hosted at the Metrodome in eight years, ownership of the team faces an increasingly uphill climb in the quest to build a new stadium, for which the locals might or might not buy tickets to games.
Despite repeated assurances over the three years since Zygi Wilf bought the franchise from Red McCombs that Wilf won’t move the team, signs have emerged for the first time that the Vikings might go the way of the Lakers.
Per the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vikings vice president in charge of stadium development Lester Bagley says that the Wilfs are getting “frustrated” by the lack of progress toward the construction of a new stadium.
It’s reality check time,” Bagley said. “If we want an NFL franchise in this state, we have to resolve the stadium issue. Time is running out. If nothing gets done, then maybe the Wilfs throw in the towel.”
Uh.  Oh.
Folks in Minnesota don’t seem to respond well to pressure or ultimatums, even when being begged by Jared Allen.  
When the I-35 bridge collapsed in August 2007, we suspected at that moment that, if the Vikings were to land a new stadium, they would have to do it without public funds.  And that the Vikings would instead move to L.A. before building a stadium without free taxpayer money.
Since then, the economy has deteriorated, making public funding far less likely.  Especially in the upcoming legislative session.
“It certainly will not be a high priority,” Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller told the Star Tribune.  “We have a fiscal and job crisis in Minnesota.”
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher was more blunt.  “There is no chance,” she said.  “It’s a great idea if they would pay for it themselves.  But we are in uncharted economic waters.  We are in a crisis situation, and we have to focus on the financial and economic health of the state.”
To illustrate their point, Pogemiller and Kelliher “laughed out loud” regarding the prospect of public stadium financing in the current climate.
Wilf wants a $954 million stadium to be built in downtown Minneapolis, and he wants more than $635 million in public funding. 
“Why not? Bagley said.  “The Vikings are a public asset.  This is going to create an economic boost.”
The Vikings have tried to characterize the effort as a massive public works project, which will create 5,500 jobs and provide $500 million to local contractors.
But it’s not working.  And with the Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome in place for only three more seasons, 2012 could be year one of the “Los Angeles Vikings.”

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57 Responses to “WILF'S GETTING "FRUSTRATED" BY LACK OF NEW STADIUM”
  1. dbartdog says: Jan 3, 2009 10:13 AM

    Florio, are Ewe kidding?

  2. chip says: Jan 3, 2009 10:21 AM

    what is a Wilf?…
    these internet acronyms…

  3. tdk24 says: Jan 3, 2009 10:22 AM

    Only this nut job would talk about a new stadium in the wake of not being able to sell out a playoff game. Hey Wilf…WTFU!

  4. Mort says: Jan 3, 2009 10:34 AM

    Hey, can I get Minnesota to build me a house too? That’d be f–kiing sweeeet. I only want 650k for it. I’ll supply the TP, they just need to help out with the planning, construction, furnishing.. it’d be nice if they could throw in a years worth of utilities too, just to ease the transition period you know.

  5. screaming sheep says: Jan 3, 2009 10:35 AM

    You know the funny thing if they move is, all the junk Viking fans talk about the Packers. Guess who you would be watching every week on TV on your local station.

  6. Joe in Raleigh says: Jan 3, 2009 10:36 AM

    Good for Minnesota to standing up to this extortion. Public financing for stadiums is a losing investment for taxpayers.

  7. Woo says: Jan 3, 2009 10:37 AM

    Seriously? This is the worst time ever for an owner to try and put his foot on the neck of the state government. This will burn a lot of bridges in Minnesota. I love what Wilf has done for the Vikings, but acting like a baby in times like these will undo all of that. Its sad, but we are still paying off the Metrodome.
    It also pisses me off that the NFL wants the Minnesota to pay for a new stadium, but yet will black out the game if the stadium is not sold out. I find that very screwed up. I don’t think I would be too crushed if the Vikings left for Los Angeles.

  8. RobDawg says: Jan 3, 2009 10:37 AM

    Annnnnnnnnd cue Viking fan “You’re an idiot, Florio” commentary.
    In 3……2……1.
    Keep up the good work in ’09 Florio, you rock.

  9. jcw000 says: Jan 3, 2009 10:38 AM

    How is California going be any better at providing public financing for a stadium when the state will be facing a $42 billion budget deficit by June 2010?

  10. Pastabelly says: Jan 3, 2009 10:50 AM

    The Vikings VP Bagley is an idiot. The Vikings are not a public asset. If they were, there would be no threat of them moving to LA and they would be sharing revenues with the state. To the extent that the state benefits from income taxes from player salaries, corporate net income of the Vikings and sales taxes related to the Vikings, it has an interest in keeping the team in Minnesota. Something tells me that the value of all those goodies is less than the $635 million the Vikings are asking for. Pro sports and its franchises are in for a rude awakening in this economy. With the exeption of the NY Yankees (and they even are huge beneficiaries of taxpayers), teams are learning to deal with new economic realities. It’s even unlikely that the Vikings will get what LA might have given them at this time a year ago.

  11. cygnus x-1 says: Jan 3, 2009 10:51 AM

    that is just what l.a. needs another football team not to care about!why is it only network and nfl people seem to think the league can’t exist without an franchise there?I live in the midwest and I have never encountered anyone who wished there was a team in l.a.it would be funny to see them go to all that expense and drama to get a team then watch it move in 10 years because nobody cares out there!in case they have forgotten they had 2 teams they did not support so why do they deserve another 1?

  12. vikeman says: Jan 3, 2009 10:55 AM

    I’m a die hard Vikings fan but enough is enough. The Metrodome is a fire trap. It has exceeded its useful life. The Wilf’s have poured a ton of dough into this team and brought us a Division Championship and we show our love and support by not even selling out tomorrow’s game? Everyone wants a winner but, come on, how many years can we expect the Wilf’s to lose money on this team? At some point they need a stadium that makes economic sense. Go to the games, support the team and show them that we want and need the Vikings in Minnesota. If not, don’t gripe when they’re gone.

  13. Sundance says: Jan 3, 2009 10:55 AM

    The end of public financing for a private corporation
    should have ended long ago!!
    To each and every NFL team ownership……………
    You want public financing??? Give up majority share
    to the state you reside. 50.1% ownership to the people
    that pay your ride. Shades of Green Bay.
    Then you never, ever move, or threaten to do so.

  14. dbartdog says: Jan 3, 2009 10:56 AM

    A Wilf is a Ziggy…

  15. sportfan1234 says: Jan 3, 2009 10:59 AM

    Rob Dawg…I’m a Viking Fan.
    There is a VERY HIGH chance of the Vikings moving in 2012 because of exactly what Florio said.
    The State isn’t about to give in to a New Yorker who makes his money in Real Estate (as soon as a new stadium is built with Minnesota tax money he is going to sell the team to the highest bidder and walk away back to New York with a HUGE profit)
    We weren’t about to give a Texas Car Salesman singing “purple pride” the money for a new stadium either.
    At least we learned that a Car Salesman from Texas can hustle a Real Estate Pro from New York.
    Next thing we Minnesotans will learn the hard way is that a New York Real Estate Pro is able to hustle a rich man from L.A. (profession not yet determined) as the Rich Man from L.A. will buy the team from Wilf in 2012 and move the Vikings out West to join their old “brothers” the Lakers.
    THEN…we in Minnesota will determine that we really don’t want to be Packers fans and there aren’t any teams in N.Dakota, S.Dakota, Canada or Iowa to call our own so unless the Gophers are fighting for a national championship every year it will finally be time to dig into our wallets and build a new stadium to attract the next expansion team.
    Maybe we’ll then learn that the NFL is giving out expansion teams to London, Mexico City, Berlin etc and our Minnesota Pride will be all we have as we learn that even a new stadium won’t be getting us an expansion team.
    We like to learn the hard way….or from a non Viking fans perspective….finally!…there are much better ways to spend our tax money than on a sports team…..
    There are a lot more people in Minnesota who are not Viking Fans than are. Are all of us who are Viking fans willing to put up 60% of our paychecks in taxes to pay for a stadium so the people who aren’t fans don’t need to put up anything???? Sure I want the whole state to put up the money. I’m in the minority though. We are a loud minority but still we are a minority.
    No, Rob Dawg, I’m not saying Florio is an idiot (at least in this story). He is right on the money. I just hate to be reminded of it all the time. We said goodbye to the Lakers, we said goodbye to the North Stars and soon, very soon we will be saying goodbye to the Vikings.

  16. rollie111 says: Jan 3, 2009 11:08 AM

    I think its a mistake not building it.
    Wilf has done nothing but support Minnesota ,he has brought in good players he has gave money to local charities ,he helped back the Twins when they were tring to get their stadiam built.
    I have no problem raising taxes for this what can it really cost us ,not much when its spread out over many years.
    Half these post are from Packer fans who would love for the Vikes to leave
    Build a nice stadiam for the twin cities Wilf is right it will create jobs for years just as the Twins stadiam did.
    Quit your whinning and back the best thing in Minnestoa
    The Vikings
    Skol Vikes

  17. Bob_Nelson says: Jan 3, 2009 11:09 AM

    1) Why build a new stadium if you can’t fill the old one?
    2) Wilf is a New Yorker that spends less than 3 weeks in the state of Minnesota. Does that really give him political pull?
    3) This dumb sucker has just realized why Red McCombs sold him the NFL’s lowest valued team that loses money every year.
    4) No one is talking about the very high debt ratio the vikings have already and how that affects the team’s finances.
    5) This is the 2007 Turd Watch NFC Champs. You have the Williams who take the NFL to court to avoid suspensions for steroid masking agents. Fran Foley. Poison Pills. The head coach violating his oath and scalping league provided tickets and the Criminal Cruise happened during Wilf’s ownership stake in the team. This season’s cheapshot hits etc.
    WILF HAS NO POLITICAL PULL WITH THE NFL.
    6) What other franchise has done so much to offend its fanbase??
    7) Other owners have grown weary of having their revenue going to the vikings because they don’t take steps to earn a profit.
    My prediction is that Wilf will sell and the new owner will buy other if permitted by the league to move the franchise to someplace with more ticket buying fans and revenue like Las Vegas or Mexico City.
    Somebody has to take action to clean up the NFL’s worst franchise.

  18. DBQViking says: Jan 3, 2009 11:10 AM

    Horrible move if the Vikings have to leave Minnesota. They really do have great and loyal fans, but the bridge collapse, economy and money heading towards the Twins new stadium are turning this story ugly. Minnesota will greatly miss the Vikings if they have to head West.

  19. graunkem says: Jan 3, 2009 11:12 AM

    What’s the problem with funding it on your own, and keeping all the revenue to yourself? If the state won’t help, then the State shouldn’t get any of the revenues either. See how much crying they do after that.

  20. JuicyMelon says: Jan 3, 2009 11:15 AM

    Wilf has proven to me that at times he can be a moron. The citizens of Minnesota are not concerned about a stadium in times like this. As Florio pointed out, the bridge and the economy don’t put Vikings fans into a football frenzy and it’s about time Wilf figures it out.
    Plus, Didn’t LA have a few failed franchises back in the day. I know Minnesota is in bad economic shape, but and correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t California in bad shape as well? Plus, moving a franchise to LA would force the league to change no only their conference set-up and create a mess of problems…So I don’t see that happening.
    If the league and the Wilf’s are seriously considering moving the team…Go right ahead. Because the Wilf’s and the NFL can get the F out of Minnesota if they want.
    screaming sheep,
    I would get Sunday Ticket and become a huge Lions fan if it came down to that. There is no way that I would submit myself to watching the Packers every week…2 times a season is already enough.

  21. JimmySmith says: Jan 3, 2009 11:18 AM

    This should prove to be the ultimate revenge. Wilf wouldn’t back down and if this past week proves anything, it’s the Viking fan base does more talking than they do buying tickets.
    The soon to be LA Vikings in 2012 will leave the Mpls television market free to air the Packer games without fear of any black out rules. Finally, the nitwit Viking fans will see what a real NFL QB looks like and they wouldn’t be subjected to the strange humor of their humor-challenged head coach.
    Look at the bright side Viking fans, at least you have some red-neck multi million dollar hillbilly pleaded with you to buy tickets to sit in what is essentially, the world’s largest toilet bowl, the Metrodome.

  22. browns_town says: Jan 3, 2009 11:22 AM

    This might be about the worst poker face ever in stadium posturing. As mentioned already, California is facing a budget deficit 20%+ of their annual budget. Even before the economic crisis of the past year, they were running large deficits. So the Wilf’s think they’ll get a stadium there??? This is just another example of a group buying a team and looking to increase the team’s value through a publicly-financed stadium. Here’s hoping that the Wilf’s unimaginative attempt at a fat capital gain blows up in their face.

  23. bigfog says: Jan 3, 2009 11:25 AM

    Wilf is out of his mind. Country’s in a recession, and this guy is crying about wanting to have a new stadium built? What a nut. Win your playoff game, then maybe he can talk. Until then, just shut up.

  24. leatherneck_69 says: Jan 3, 2009 11:25 AM

    As a diehard Vikings fan that doesn’t live in Minnesota, I say use all public financing and keep the Vikes in God’s Country! Wait, that’s a dumb idea. This process of funding private stadiums with so much public money and then gouging the funders with ticket and concessions prices was a bad idea from the start. If the Vikings think they really need a new stadium and the taxpayers won’t give it to them, maybe they should step up and fund one themselves. If they decided to seek out free money from a completely bankrupt state instead, I guess I’d have a bunch of gameday clothes I couldn’t wear anymore and I’d have to become a Chiefs fan…Save me from that Ziggy!
    Oh yeah, the game will sell out in time. Go Vikes!

  25. Tenolein says: Jan 3, 2009 11:26 AM

    Woo says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 10:37 am
    “Seriously? This is the worst time ever for an owner to try and put his foot on the neck of the state government. This will burn a lot of bridges in Minnesota. I love what Wilf has done for the Vikings, but acting like a baby in times like these will undo all of that. Its sad, but we are still paying off the Metrodome.”
    First off.. Wilf has been on the state about getting a new stadium since he bought the team 3 freakin’ years ago. THREE! This isn’t a brand new thing the state is now facing. They knew about this. And stood by idly. And now, they’ll watch a potential CASH COW for them leave. (You are a fool to think that all the tax revenue the state government would garner from a new stadium/downtown east renovation wouldn’t be worth the initial investment.)
    Oh, and to say you are still paying off the Metrodump.. I mean dome.. is preposterous. The Metrodome was paid off BEFORE it was expected to. It’s been paid off for the last 15 or so years, man. But, you are still paying taxes on it, as the STATE kept the liquor tax that was imposed initially to pay off the Dome. Since the Dome has been paid off, the STATE decided to KEEP that tax. What the crap are they doing with that money now?

  26. sconnors says: Jan 3, 2009 11:28 AM

    Buffalo, New York here…. ffewwww!!!!
    Ralph can f–k with us all he wants now.
    We know were not going anywhere. $954 Million for a new NFL stadium and he can’t get $600 million…. wow. Should come to New York, $940 million in taxpayers dollars went to Big Stein for the infield dirt at Yankee Stadium. At least the Bills have that going for them.

  27. HarrisonHits says: Jan 3, 2009 11:29 AM

    LA fans, worst in the country. Their main concern is posing and being seen somewhere. Never really give a damn about what is actually going on.
    And do Wilf & company really think LA would pay for a stadium with the economy the way it is ? If so I wonder how long it them to build the fantasy world they live in.

  28. HarrisonHits says: Jan 3, 2009 11:34 AM

    “Everyone wants a winner but, come on, how many years can we expect the Wilf’s to lose money on this team? At some point they need a stadium that makes economic sense. ”
    I don’t believe any NFL is losing money. Vikes fans need to look at what the Krafts have done in Foxboro. They build their own stadium though they did get 50 million from the state to improve the local road system and highway access, which had been necessary for a long time anyway. Not only is it a beautiful stadium built for far less than some of the other recently built stadiums, but now they have built a whole retail complex / mall around it including a Patriots Hall Of Fame and large nightclub. If Wilf really wanted to create jobs and help the economy he would finance the new stadium himself and put in a complex similar to what they have done around Gilette Stadium.

  29. thebeerbaron says: Jan 3, 2009 11:35 AM

    Shouldnt the state of Min. keep their bridges from falling first..

  30. LiveNBreath Football says: Jan 3, 2009 11:44 AM

    You want a stadium and all the revenues from it — build it yourself Wilf.
    You want the state to build you a stadium, then agree to pay market value rent and let the state get all the revenue therefrom.
    If you aren’t willing to do either of these things, but expect the state to pay for your new plaything, while you get all the money from it, just STFU.

  31. twincitypakrbakr says: Jan 3, 2009 11:45 AM

    hahaha SKOL VIKINGS. Before I start, I will acknowledge the fact that yes, some of you are actual die-hard Vikings fans. Stop patting yourself on the back, because you can find those in every single professional sports city. The reality of the situation is as a base, Vikings fans are absolutely rotten. How many times in the last 2 seasons has a blackout been a strong possibility right up to where a corporation had to swoop in and save the day and buy remaining tickets? Can the economy be to blame for all of last seasons near blackouts, or was it because of the pathetic fan base? I choose the latter. And for anyone that is complaining about Zygi wanting a new stadium, when he can’t even get this one filled up… SHUT UP. The NFL is a business. He bought the team hoping to better his product by popping the baggy and getting a new stadium for the Vikings to play in. When he sees a team that on a weekly basis, struggles to sell enough to tickets to avoid a local blackout, why wouldn’t he cut his losses and sell the team to this billionaire developer in LA. Hell, from what I’ve seen and read, the stadium layout already has purple seats. I’m not old enough to get into the politics or money involved in moving the Lakers to LA, but I would bet this isn’t the same type of situation. Vikings fans are being slapped with the harsh reality of losing something that an obvious majority doesn’t support in first place. For those devout Vikings fans, I do feel bad. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would be like with the Packers not in Green Bay. On the other hand, paying even $300 for a playoff ticket over there would be considered a steal so I don’t sympathize with people not spending $80-$180 up here for a ticket for Sunday. If you haven’t already, and you consider yourself a real Vikings fan, go buy a ticket. It won’t bother me in the slightest if in 2012, when Minnesota has to change their license plates to say “The Land of 10,001 Lakes” to honor the tears shed after the big move.

  32. Bob_Nelson says: Jan 3, 2009 11:46 AM

    There are plenty of alternatives to Los Angeles:
    Mexico City
    Guadalupe
    Las Vegas
    2nd team in Chicago
    San Antonio/Austin/Central Texas
    There are many places with better NFL fans than Minnesota.

  33. Philtration says: Jan 3, 2009 11:47 AM

    The only alternative is NOT L.A. and the league needs to set its sites on other cities.
    Move the Vikings to Portland and put them in the NFC West.
    Move the Rams to the NFC North and you are done with it.
    The Vikings and Seahawks become instant rivals and St. Louis is closer to Chicago and Detroit than Minneapolis is anyway.
    I believe in tradition (unlike those ugly sell out uniforms the Vikings went to) and I always wanted the Bears, Packers, Vikings and Lions to stay together but if no one is going to support this team and they can’t get a stadium deal then to hell with them.
    NFC WEST
    Seattle
    Arizona
    San Francisco
    Portland
    NFC NORTH
    Chicago
    Green bay
    Detroit
    St. Louis

  34. jkorn1818 says: Jan 3, 2009 11:47 AM

    these are the only two options? minn and LA? two horrible cities. Both don’t deserve franchises, In la theyll sellout and wont show up and in Minn they dont sell out and dont show up. Someone on these posts mentioned a house for 650k in minn? why dont you just make a football stadium with that money then? what are mansions there? 300k? youre on the right track.

  35. Creeper says: Jan 3, 2009 11:50 AM

    I agree with the whole notion that public financing for a private playground is insane, even in good economic times. That said, why is it impossible for an arrangement to be made whereby these billionaires get their public money for their play houses, but said billionaire has to generate a return on the investment to the public treasury? Isn’t that capitalism? Otherwise, it’s just corporate socialism, and I think most Americans have had quite enough of that. I’d be fine with funding a stadium if it meant better roads, schools and other public programs in the future. Otherwise, any billionaire who wants free money can go piss up a frozen rope.

  36. joetheplumber says: Jan 3, 2009 11:57 AM

    I don’t really know the issues that led to this outcome, but it always seemed silly to me to build three new stadiums for the twins, gophers, and vikings. MN had these three teams sharing a crappy stadium, and rather than trying to build new arenas for all the teams within 2-3 years of each other some sort of compromise should have been reached.

  37. empty13 says: Jan 3, 2009 11:59 AM

    The soccer fans in LA will enjoy a new stadium u get built for them wilfie.
    Football, pro style, will not be #1 in LA. Soccer, and the mexico team at that.
    San antone is the place to move to. At least for the next ten years.
    Till it becomes LA-east.
    Stadiums should not be publicly funded. Time to stop socializing investments and losses if the profits are privatized.

  38. theWizardofBrahs says: Jan 3, 2009 12:02 PM

    as a vikings fan that lives in CT,i wish i had the means to make it out to the playoff game.to me it seems the in state fans are nothing but fair weather fans.the sports media has already called sundays game a loss,in reality philly is very beatable. i wouldnt be heartbroken if the vikes move,as long as they keep their name and colors.its too bad a move to Ct isnt plausable,we almost had the patriots at one point.uconns stadium is built for expansion,but unfortunately i feel there would be too much competition with the boston and new york markets…..and wait we couldnt even keep the whalers here,nevermind!

  39. filbertkiwi71 says: Jan 3, 2009 12:13 PM

    HarrisonHits says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 11:34 am
    “Everyone wants a winner but, come on, how many years can we expect the Wilf’s to lose money on this team? At some point they need a stadium that makes economic sense. ”
    I don’t believe any NFL is losing money. Vikes fans need to look at what the Krafts have done in Foxboro. They build their own stadium though they did get 50 million from the state to improve the local road system and highway access, which had been necessary for a long time anyway. Not only is it a beautiful stadium built for far less than some of the other recently built stadiums, but now they have built a whole retail complex / mall around it including a Patriots Hall Of Fame and large nightclub. If Wilf really wanted to create jobs and help the economy he would finance the new stadium himself and put in a complex similar to what they have done around Gilette Stadium.
    ================
    Hey Harrison Hits,
    Were the Patriots given the land to build the stadium on or did the Patriots pay for the land too?

  40. CaptainFantastik says: Jan 3, 2009 12:18 PM

    In this economy the Vikings shouldn’t even consider asking for public funding for a stadium……….especially to the tune of $635 million. And if they do, they should be ashamed. Some things are more important. They should just play where they’re at and weather this economic crisis, in the meantime showing that they can win consistently and that they deserve a new stadium. As it stands now, they are still a losing franchise until proven otherwise. 1 season in the playoffs doesn’t cut it. Zygi, shut up and play. If you can prove your team deserves a new home, then eventually you’ll get it.

  41. SaintsBucsPanthersSUKK says: Jan 3, 2009 12:29 PM

    There’s plenty of NFL football fans in L.A.. They’re fans of the Raiders, Chargers, 49er’s, Cowboys, Giants…..

  42. jimicos says: Jan 3, 2009 12:36 PM

    JuicyMelon says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 11:15 am
    I would get Sunday Ticket and become a huge Lions fan if it came down to that. There is no way that I would submit myself to watching the Packers every week…2 times a season is already enough.
    —————————–
    lol.. Because the Lions are definitely worth paying a few hundred dollars to watch.

  43. sgulasch says: Jan 3, 2009 12:39 PM

    The NFL would not allow the minnesota vikings to move before Jacksonville. Jacksonville probably has half of their inventory already boxed up ready to go.

  44. SpartaChris says: Jan 3, 2009 12:43 PM

    >>Woo says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 10:37 am
    It also pisses me off that the NFL wants the Minnesota to pay for a new stadium, but yet will black out the game if the stadium is not sold out. I find that very screwed up. I don’t think I would be too crushed if the Vikings left for Los Angeles.<<
    Yeah, there’s a reason why the game gets blacked out locally if it doesn’t sell out. It’s because every team needs to be financially self sufficient. If there was no danger of a local television blackout, the only teams that would generate actual revenues would be teams with LOYAL fan bases like the Bears, Steelers, Cowboys and the Packers. Teams that sell out every game regardless of how good the team is. Everyone else would simply stay home, because as folks have already said, they’d rather watch the game at home on their HDTV than spend the money for tickets to a playoff game, parking, beers, etc.
    So there’s a good reason why the league forces the local blackout. It’s so the league won’t have to foot the bill for the 25 teams in the league that won’t continue to sell out week after week.

  45. SpartaChris says: Jan 3, 2009 12:56 PM

    >>JuicyMelon says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 11:15 am
    Plus, Didn’t LA have a few failed franchises back in the day. I know Minnesota is in bad economic shape, but and correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t California in bad shape as well? Plus, moving a franchise to LA would force the league to change no only their conference set-up and create a mess of problems…So I don’t see that happening.<<
    I was young when the Rams and Raiders played here in LA so I don’t know all of the details behind their moves, but if I had to take a guess, I think that was where the problem was- Two pro football teams in one city is a lot to handle. One team would probably do fine, but two teams is pushing things a bit, especially when there’s a third team about 2 hours south.
    And yes, CA is in bad shape, but IIRC the new stadium is being paid for with private funds.
    As for adjusting conferences, it wouldn’t be that hard. The Vikes would be NFC West and the Rams would be NFC North. Problem solved, no complications.

  46. Tyme2Ryde says: Jan 3, 2009 1:10 PM

    What’s very interesting is that up until last year there was a “stadium fund” available through the NFL league office, where any owner who wanted to build a new staduim would get $250 million directly from the NFL itself. This is how Bob Kraft, Dan Snyder and Paul Allan built THEIR OWN stadiums for the Pats, Skins and Seahawks. If the Wilfs wanted to do that they could have done it the first year they owned the team. They could have moved swiftly, decisively, and built that stadium in Anoka they were talking about. For some reason, the attitute changed and Zygi all of a sudden wanted public money. The timing couldn’t be worse- the bridge, the economy, now the stadium fund is gone. The real reason the NFL won’t kick in for stadiums anymore is that Goodell wants to expand the NFL globally, and this is part of the cycle of change needed to justify moving a team overseas. As a lifelong Vikes fan, I’d rather see them move to Mexico City or Amsterdam than move out to LA.

  47. jimicos says: Jan 3, 2009 1:26 PM

    How long does it take to build a stadium? 1-2 years? If the Minnesota legislature would like the keep the Vikings, they need to get their asses in gear. And if Wilf would like the keep the team in Minnesota he should re-up the Vikings’ contract with the MetroDome (for a short period) soon, just as a show of goodwill.
    The timing is horrible for Wilf, though. It’s shaping up to be a perfect storm with the bridge collapse and now the economy. It’s entirely possible that they’ll be able to talk about public financing right around the time that Wilf is exploring other options.
    But this story is not going to help Wilf’s case. If he legitimately wants to keep the Vikings in Minnesota and get public financing for a stadium, he needs to play nice now. He should know this is not the time to ask for money. But I don’t know if Zygi planned this release or not. Could be that this Bagley character has gotten himself in the doghouse.

  48. bandit says: Jan 3, 2009 1:30 PM

    screaming sheep says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 10:35 am
    You know the funny thing if they move is, all the junk Viking fans talk about the Packers. Guess who you would be watching every week on TV on your local station.
    THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, dummy.

  49. JaredAllen69 says: Jan 3, 2009 1:50 PM

    JimmySmith says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 11:18 am
    This should prove to be the ultimate revenge. Wilf wouldn’t back down and if this past week proves anything, it’s the Viking fan base does more talking than they do buying tickets.
    The soon to be LA Vikings in 2012 will leave the Mpls television market free to air the Packer games without fear of any black out rules. Finally, the nitwit Viking fans will see what a real NFL QB looks like and they wouldn’t be subjected to the strange humor of their humor-challenged head coach.
    Look at the bright side Viking fans, at least you have some red-neck multi million dollar hillbilly pleaded with you to buy tickets to sit in what is essentially, the world’s largest toilet bowl, the Metrodome.
    LOL at you Jimmy Smith. Red Neck Hillbilly? Toilet Bowl? As a Green Gay FudgePackQueer fan, you are the epitomy of both. Chances are if the Vikings move, there will either be no games on in this market, or we will get the best games, which means no Packqueer games since your team sucks ass.

  50. JaredAllen69 says: Jan 3, 2009 1:54 PM

    Some of you turds with your alternate cities yeah right, the economy is so great in other cities. LOL, you toilet water drinking Green Gay FudgePAckQueer fans don’t have a clue. Especially you Bob Nelson.

  51. Bjorno says: Jan 3, 2009 2:01 PM

    I am sure Wilf knows full well that now is a bad time to pull for a new stadium. He is not an idiot.
    Since he is raising a stink right now, it can only mean one of three things.
    1. He is just planting the seed for the future, hoping that the Vikes will beat the Eagles and at least make a Super Bowl run in ’09 believable for the general public.
    2. He is raising a stink now, knowing full well that the state will not approve public financing of the stadium and when he gets denied he will start the “I tried to keep them here, but it just was not fiscally feasible.
    3. He honestly believes that though the public will be spending $635m to get $500m in work for the community is something that we will actually consider.
    I he might actually be leaning towards option three. The problem is people see those numbers and automatically calculate a $135m difference between the numbers.
    And for those who say “why give them a new stadium if they can’t even fill the one they have?”… We have filled the stadium for the last 112 consecutive games, and people are getting tired of the poor design of the stadium.
    Anyone who has actually been to the Metrodome recently, knows that the stadium is one of the worst in the league and I for one do not like pissing in a trough next to 40 drunk dudes.

  52. JaredAllen69 says: Jan 3, 2009 2:10 PM

    Portland, LOL at you Philtration. Oregon is in horrible shape. They are the wingnuts who are upset that they don’t make enough money from the gas tax and want to tax everyone on how much they drive per year. Yeah, like they will really support an NFL team. LOL.

  53. Herschel Walkers says: Jan 3, 2009 3:03 PM

    Vikes fan, would hate to see them go.
    But if they go to L.A. can they take the T-Wolves with them? Please?

  54. jkorn1818 says: Jan 3, 2009 3:51 PM

    Move them to Toronto, theyll sell out

  55. a Cheerleader says: Jan 3, 2009 4:20 PM

    I’ve been thinking for years that they’d be leaving Minnesota, even before the bridge collapsed. The fans there just don’t support the team enough.
    The team will move, the NFL is happy to have a moneymaker in LA, and that’s that.

  56. xgbx says: Jan 3, 2009 4:26 PM

    MILFs Getting Frustrated…? Go on.
    Wait. What?

  57. Kurmudge says: Jan 4, 2009 7:08 PM

    This debate isn’t reflecting a lot of fact or reality.
    Let’s get a few things straight here so that we are speaking of this in context.
    1) The Vikings and several other teams have always had problems selling out early playoff games. Until 1982, they played in a stadium that held only 49,000 people, and it was a challenge then (not only because it was outside in December and January in Minnesota). I saw my first Vikings game as a kid in 1970 when the team was coming off a Super Bowl appearance, and had had a 12-2 regular season record and were the hottest thing in town- no pro basketball, so-so baseball team, etc., but there were a lot of tickets available even though ALL home games, period, were blacked out.
    Why? Because there is no time to plan the game in your schedule. You know about it, at best, one week before it is played, unless you go 14-2 and clinch both the division and home field a mo nth early, in which case, of course, you aren’t playing on Wild Card Weekend. Unless your season ticket holders pick up most tickets, you rely on impulse and walk-up sales for one week to get the thing sold out. Second, it is a bad time of year- in the Midwest, we tend to have lives, and do things besides go to games during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Third, the ticket prices are higher, and set by the NFL on one national standard, according to how much things ought to cost in New York, where the NFL’s offices are.
    Finally, even with all of the above issues, certain markets can almost always sell out; New York, because the metropolitan area is 19 million people, can yield enough people at the last minute without pre-existing schedule conflicts and enough ready cash to fill up a 70,000 seat stadium in a week. The Twin Cities metro area is about 3 million, and the stadium holds 63,000 seats; the ratios are more challenging. Thus, the Twin Cities have 48 people in the immediate area who are potential customers for each seat in the stadium, while in NY, there are 270 potential buyers for each seat. The odds simply favor the large areas on short notice- this is a bit like trying to fill a theater with “rush seats” just before the show; even Broadway has some empty seats, and Minneapolis would have more. Or, in Dallas or Green Bay, where the metro areas are smaller, the specific football team is the major local religion, so the population ratios are less of an issue.
    2) But, regarding stadiums. Somehow, because certain metropolitan areas have allowed themselves to be held hostage by greedy owners during the heyday of professional sports, when even the NBA and pro hockey expanded all over the place, charging premium prices for franchises, there is a mindset that if you don’t spend a billion dollars donating a new stadium to the owners they will leave. There are two issues here: first, times have changed, and second, the NFL has other issues at present where prudence suggests that a little bit of caution is in order.
    First, the norm for professional athletics is that there are some struggling franchises, and franchise moves all over, or simply franchise dissolutions, because of historic economic realities. There are not enough dollars out there, nor enough high value TV markets interested in spending the kind of money needed, to provide the money that NFL owners are accustomed to receiving. Out of the top 26 TV markets, only Portland at #22 does not already have a team less than 100 miles away (Minneapolis-St. Paul is TV market #15, and the Anaheim section of the LA standard metro statistical area is about 80 miles from San Diego). This is an issue with current owners- they can veto new entrants into their geographic area, for example, Al Davis is not about to approve a move of a team into #20 TV market Sacramento, 80 miles away from Oakland.
    People trying to work up a panic over the Vikings’ 2012 lease expiration always bring up Los Angeles, which is a large TV market lacking a team. However, the metropolitan governments in that area are neither presently wealthy nor inclined to put out the kind of money being demanded, and despite the brave words of some developer promoters, they will not be any more able to do this kind of deal without help than is Zygi Wilf. When the argument is over how many jobs will disappear nationwide when GM goes bankrupt and the state of California is on the verge of going bankrupt, you are to going to see a lot of people lined up to throw a few hundred million at the Wilfs to buy the team, then spend a billion on a new stadium. There are not a bunch of real choices of places right now to move teams, with the Rams already up for sale with no serious takers only a decade or so after their last move, especially given the area’s historic relative indifference to pro football. The satellite feeds and the internet now make it unnecessary to live in the same town as the team you follow.
    It is true that the NFL has thus far been largely unaffected by the franchise instabilities of other sports- but if they allow themselves to get into another round of musical chairs after the last set of moves involving Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Cleveland, they will set themselves up for deserved problems with Congress. Arlen Specter was ready to take them on even before the national financial issues set in. Now would they want to get too much stadium blackmail publicity at a time when the NFLPA agreement is also up for negotiation?
    A local area is asked to put up hundreds of millions of dollars for stadiums- why? Because it is, in most places, a money-losing, non-cost-effective decision to build a stadium for a football team, the resulting cash flows won’t pay back the cost. And every such deal demands that the stadium revenues go to the team- otherwise there is no point in having the thing built. The taxpayers usually would be better off if they just wrote a nice annual check to the team owner for $40 million or so, and he stayed in the old stadium.
    People always tend to forget that the NFL lives as well as it does because it has a unique anti-trust exemption not enjoyed by other professional sports. Remove that, as many in Congress would gladly do, and it is “start over” time for a once great league that has gotten too greedy and full of itself.

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