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SOLUTION FOUND IN VIKINGS' STADIUM IMPASSE?

The Minnesota Vikings have been trying to get a new stadium in the Twin Cities area for a long time, at least a decade.  Eventually, they’ll quit trying.
So with Governor Tim Pawlenty recently making it clear to owner Zygi Wilf that the project isn’t in line with the state’s current priorities and Ed Roski continuing to move forward with that “if they come, I will build it” venue in the Los Angeles area, things haven’t been looking good for an ongoing marriage between the 48-year-old franchise and the only home it’s ever known.
But maybe a breakthrough is on the horizon.  Representative Tom Hackbarth, a Republican, is proposing a plan that would using revenues from a Twin Cities casino to fund the stadium.
The measure, requiring a Constitutional amendment, would be put to a public vote in 2010, and the Vikings would be required to sign a 30-year lease in the new facility.
Let’s let the voters decide,” Hackbarth said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  “I think this is a perfect solution.”
Unfortunately, Hackbarth floated a similar idea five years ago, and it went nowhere.
Making matters worse, the Vikings have yet to embrace the concept.
“We’re not advocating for a gaming situation,” Vikings exec Lester Bagley said.  “[But] if that’s what the state leaders want to use, then let’s sit down.  At least someone is thinking creatively.”
The person thinking most creatively — and aggressively — is Ed Roski.  And while we’ve heard that the NFL isn’t genuinely interested in Roski’s plan due in large part to the fact that there isn’t another viable plan against which each can be leveraged, the fact remains that the Vikings are committed to the Metrodome for only three more seasons.
So whether it’s Los Angeles or San Antonio or Mexico City or London or somewhere else, the Vikings could be moving on and moving out in the not-too-distant future if folks in Minnesota don’t adjust their priorities, pronto.

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50 Responses to “SOLUTION FOUND IN VIKINGS' STADIUM IMPASSE?”
  1. aj says: Mar 6, 2009 7:41 AM

    I doubt if Czar Goodell would be thrilled with the idea of gambling proceeds being used so directly to fund a stadium – even though gambling is indirectly a huge part of the game.

  2. GreenAndGold says: Mar 6, 2009 7:43 AM

    As a Packers fan who hates the Vikings, I hope they don’t move.

  3. dragynj says: Mar 6, 2009 7:44 AM

    I’ve said this before on here, as a long time Vikings fan I’ve already let this team go. Whether it was intentional or not hiring Brad Childress was the best thing the Wilfs could have done to errode the support away for this team to get them moved. Only 2 options I can see are 1) Start a Fan Based initiative to raise money for a stadium then petition the State of Minnesota to help or 2) Begin the process to secure the naming rights if/when the Vikings move out of Minnesota ala Cleveland Browns.

  4. filbertkiwi71 says: Mar 6, 2009 7:52 AM

    Given the history of the Vikings in Minnesota and the history of the Chargers in San Diego, if either team moves on Goodell’s watch, then Goodell doesn’t look good at all. Add that to the possible end of the salary cap and possible player lockout, and that makes Goodell look even worse.
    Goodell could possibly end up being the worst commissioner in all of pro sports.

  5. JimmyLions says: Mar 6, 2009 7:55 AM

    I’d rule out Mexico City until Mexico as a whole becomes a lot safer. For the past year, all the news we’ve heard in Los Angeles (about what’s happening south of the border) has been very bad.

  6. bigfog says: Mar 6, 2009 8:00 AM

    “Adjust their priorities” ? Do you realize that the state of Minnesota is in the midst of a massive budget deficit? As in, budget cuts are so bad, Minnesota’s Supreme Court is facing a total shutdown if some cuts to the judicial process are made?
    Adjust their priorities – I think people are a bit more concerned about survival at this point Florio, and it should be the Vikings who “adjust their priorities” to that.

  7. oa316ts says: Mar 6, 2009 8:09 AM

    So in a league that where owners are not technically supposed to have any interests in gaming of any kind (if I am not mistaken, such as the Rooney’s), it would somehow be ok to at least finance the stadium through gaming?? I love how this world works. Hopefully you can bet on the games at the facility funding the stadium, because that would be some ultimate irony. Awesome…

  8. munchkin says: Mar 6, 2009 8:10 AM

    Why is it the Minnesotans will support a past-it’s-prime past-time sport and build a new baseball stadium but won’t pony up for new digs for the Vikings? The Twins were a nice story when Kirby Puckett and the Union Gap reigned supreme but those days are long gone. They can’t afford to keep their best players and while they are generally competitive they don’t have the cash to compete with the (often foolish) big guns.
    That being said, I hope Ziggy is willing to invest his fair share in whatever he hopes to get in regards to a new stadium.

  9. esquared says: Mar 6, 2009 8:16 AM

    I am disappointed that you mentioned “moving on and moving out” with out linking it to the mp3.

  10. sanford says: Mar 6, 2009 8:17 AM

    at least someone is thinking creatively ??? hey Brainless Bagley(odd thats the same nickname as the coach)if lil Zygi would get CREATIVE and fund at least half ,and preferrably two thirds , maybe someone would pay attention….a billionaire looking for basically a free stadium, GO AWAY !!…what’s that you say , times are tough and you don’t want to up your ante Zygi , well now you know the situation we(the people of MN)are in and how we feel…what a dipwad(also another nickname of the coach)….seems theres common theme in the VIKINGS TRIANGLE OF DOOFUSES

  11. Sundance says: Mar 6, 2009 8:22 AM

    “….. if folks in Minnesota don’t adjust their priorities, pronto.”
    If public funding for a multi-millionaires business is
    your “priority”, then I would suggest that you and
    the rest of the country is in need of adjusting their
    own “priorities”.
    You want public financing??? Then give 50.1% ownership
    of the team to the state. Pretty simple…….

  12. sanford says: Mar 6, 2009 8:23 AM

    come on, “adjust our PRIORITIES”…..of everything in life I do not think NFL football is a priority in ones life ….UNLESS you’re one of the overpayed players in the NFL …. without football most of them would not succeed in life …they have the brains of a sack of hammers

  13. Ralph GreNader says: Mar 6, 2009 8:24 AM

    Nobody cares about this team. Honestly. They could stand to find a new home like the Oilers did. At least then they can suck in a new stadium and sweet new uniforms.

  14. 390STEVE says: Mar 6, 2009 8:35 AM

    good bye. the vikings could not even sell out a playoff game why in this tough times would be even consider building a new stadium on tax payers dollars.
    Like i said if the market is not there then do not allow our goverment to BAIL OUT FOOTBALL.
    BUILD YOUR OWN F@#KIN STADIUM

  15. kmart0319 says: Mar 6, 2009 8:41 AM

    The State of MN has a 5 BILLION dollar deficit, projected to increase to 7 bil due to the morons in gov’t and the people need to “Adjust their priorities pronto” to build the Vikings a new home?

  16. akdackadack says: Mar 6, 2009 8:46 AM

    First, I think our first priority would be to get out of the state deficit that is in the billions.
    Second, good luck getting the tribes on the same page. The biggest obstacle this is going to run is a profit-sharing argument with the tribes. The tribes can’t ever agree on a joint Minneapolis/St. Paul casino. That’s what killed the MOA casino. The tribes to the north feel like they are getting shafted by the existing metro casinos and the metro tribes argue for a majority chunk (or even a spot at the table) of the pie since their business from TC gamblers is being depleted. (Links below)
    http://www.casinocitytimes.com/news/article.cfm?contentID=148445
    http://rlnn.com/ArtMar05/PawlentyTribesRolling.html

  17. akdackadack says: Mar 6, 2009 8:54 AM

    Zygi blew it in Blaine (or maybe it was Spain?). He had a $820 Million stadium complex (complete with a hospital, condos, and shopping center) handed to him and he whittled it away by pining for a downtown stadium deal. So forgive us (the people that actually live in Minnesota) if we don’t shed a tear for the Vikings and their stadium woes. I guess we’re the ones that have our priorities screwed up.
    http://wcco.com/topstories/Vikings.stadium.Anoka.2.363045.html

  18. JimmySee says: Mar 6, 2009 9:07 AM

    Why can’t the Vikings lease use of the Gopher’s football stadium. It is open air like a football stadium should be. In the current recession/depression, the state has better, more important priorities than building a sports palace for the super rich that is used 8 days a year.

  19. zygi milf says: Mar 6, 2009 9:08 AM

    akdackadack says:
    March 6th, 2009 at 8:46 am
    “First, I think our first priority would be to get out of the state deficit that is in the billions.
    Second, good luck getting the tribes on the same page. The biggest obstacle this is going to run is a profit-sharing argument with the tribes. The tribes can’t ever agree on a joint Minneapolis/St. Paul casino. That’s what killed the MOA casino. The tribes to the north feel like they are getting shafted by the existing metro casinos and the metro tribes argue for a majority chunk (or even a spot at the table) of the pie since their business from TC gamblers is being depleted.”
    ******
    Why not let us vote on it? Then, if it passes, let the gamblers decide whether they want to support the tribes or the team.
    The “bleeding hearts” can support the tribes, and the rest of us can go to the state-run casino.
    I get so tired of the Indian monopoly on casinos, and they pay NOTHING back to the state. In fact, one tribe in the SW metro area rakes in millions of dollars each year, but do they even help their own living in absolute poverty in Minneapolis? NO – they don’t. Why? Because they aren’t from the same tribe.

  20. puckett fan says: Mar 6, 2009 9:22 AM

    I don’t want to hear all you hypocrites crying when the vikings leave, when downtown becomes a ghost town, the vikes bring a lot of jobs with them, brings the whole town/state together every year, to me they are priceless, Make the stadium happen! It will pay for itself!

  21. finsbooyah says: Mar 6, 2009 9:25 AM

    If they move to London or Mexico City there should be an uprising to remove Goodell

  22. rottz says: Mar 6, 2009 9:27 AM

    Let them move.. Mn doesnt care about football. Its all about Hockey, Hunting, and fishing –oh yeah and drinking(No wonder Jared wanted to move up here!)

  23. LeRoy36 says: Mar 6, 2009 9:27 AM

    This is pretty poor timing – asking residents of MN, many of whom are loosing jobs and homes – to finance a multi-million dollar stadium. Why not ask the overpaid players to take a reduction in pay to finance their playing facility.

  24. packerssuck says: Mar 6, 2009 9:36 AM

    I am surprised you would make such a foolish statement as “adjust their priorities” in these economic times. My wife and I are fortunate enough to be okay financially, but some of our closest friends are not. I would welcome a reply as to whether you believe that a new stadium, when one already exists, should truly be a priority of the tax payers in Minnesota.

  25. MaineMan says: Mar 6, 2009 9:41 AM

    London? Then why not Oslo? They have some great leftover Olympic facilities and the team wouldn’t even have to change its name. Of course, the players would have to become accustomed to the warmer temperatures.

  26. masstershake says: Mar 6, 2009 9:43 AM

    what happens to all the money the vikes bring in via taxes and such if they leave? where will we make up the lost revenue? the way i see it, if were in such a deficit how can we afford to lose money were bringing in via the vikings. Wouldn’t building a stadium also help bring extra money in via all the people that would be put to work?

  27. blastfurniss says: Mar 6, 2009 9:49 AM

    If the Vikings want a new stadium, let Wilf pay for it himself. The state has made it pretty clear that financing a stadium for the Vikings is a low priority and given the current economic climate, who can blame them? It would suck if the Vikings left town but they haven’t been the same since the moved indoors anyway.

  28. PurpleJeebus says: Mar 6, 2009 10:06 AM

    To you dumbasses who keep saying “This team can’t even sell out their playoff game”, they DID sell out their playoff game. Quit revising history.
    Game was sold out, the Metrodump was packed. I was there.

  29. empty13 says: Mar 6, 2009 10:13 AM

    the indians are the “tribe” that gets rich off of gambling either…
    the vikings should switch divisions with the rams and become the san antonio vaqueros, or vaqs (vox) for short. a new team for vox to root for!
    then the chargers could move to LA and become the churros.
    yes mexico is patently unsafe. and it is trying hard to move north. imho soccer is the most popular sport in LA now, and the USA soccer team is not the most popular soccer team in LA.
    the military has put out travel advisories for meexixcoi caond the border area.

  30. akdackadack says: Mar 6, 2009 10:15 AM

    “Why not let us vote on it? Then, if it passes, let the gamblers decide whether they want to support the tribes or the team.
    The ‘bleeding hearts’ can support the tribes, and the rest of us can go to the state-run casino.
    I get so tired of the Indian monopoly on casinos, and they pay NOTHING back to the state. In fact, one tribe in the SW metro area rakes in millions of dollars each year, but do they even help their own living in absolute poverty in Minneapolis? NO – they don’t. Why? Because they aren’t from the same tribe.”
    ******
    I think you meant to say southeast metro; Prairie Island, to be exact.
    For the record, I would love to have a casino in the central metro, but there are too many factors in play to make it as simple as you apparently want it to be. I think you are severely underestimating the power and influence the tribes have bought (on both sides of aisle). If you think you can leave the tribes out of this, you’re fooling yourself; forget about “bleeding hearts,” T-Paw is in their back pocket too.
    If they want this to succeed, they will have to get the tribes on board (like it or not). They will have split the pot between the state, the tribes, and the stadium. The estimate for the MOA casino (that T-Paw was pushing for) was a $200 million licensing fee and ~$115 million to the state annually (after paying the tribes and operational costs). If that’s accurate, a $900 million stadium would take about fifteen years to pay off (at ~$57 million a year).

  31. dragynj says: Mar 6, 2009 10:17 AM

    to the Vikings fans that live in Minnesota (for full disclosure I do not, I’m in ND) think a little “Big Picture” here. The State (or whatever city/county the stadium is located it) does have an obligation to front some of the finaning. The Government receives a pretty good ROI on these deals versus other social programs that just hand out money to people. . . Like I said before, I’m already over this team, I’ve let them go. Now, my 2 games/year habit will be spent in Denver. Other than the in-laws I will never have a reason to visit MN again.

  32. SoCal Bengal says: Mar 6, 2009 10:39 AM

    This is B.S. I’m already a Bengal fan. If the Vikings come to town, how am I going to deal with two bad teams?

  33. ssbucs says: Mar 6, 2009 11:02 AM

    Here is a crazy idea. How about using some stimulus money. This would create construction jobs in Minnesota for at least a couple of years, and companies providing the materials would benefit as well. Sound like a Win-Win-Win situation. Wouldn’t it be better used for this then putting it towards something stupid like determining if it is better for the environment for cow pastures to be seeded with Kentucky Blue Grass, or St Augustine?

  34. JuicyMelon says: Mar 6, 2009 11:49 AM

    I am glad that there is a panel of experts on this topic on PFT. How about this, Pawlenty and Wilf sit down and hash out a plan. Then they see if it could work. If not, they try again. Have they done anything that could be called a sitdown plan? I don’t think they have even talked about it.

  35. JimmySee says: Mar 6, 2009 12:21 PM

    With all due respect, there are bigger and more pressing issues on the governor’s plate than sitting down with a billionaire to get sweet talked into committing taxpayer dollars to a stadium. I have great admiration for Minnesota for taking the Los Angeles position — not one public dollar for a stadium.

  36. cliffclav says: Mar 6, 2009 12:47 PM

    Does not help having a coach who is trying to drive away as much public support as possible…………

  37. Someone says: Mar 6, 2009 1:45 PM

    I’ve always thought all they need to do is throw in some slot machines for revenue. It’s not like Vegas. No gambling on sport outcomes. If they build a casino right on the property for card games and other things, make a deal with the Reservation that has Grand Casino. They don’t make nearly as much as Mystic Lake.

  38. marcduke says: Mar 6, 2009 2:08 PM

    Never going to happen – it makes too much sense, which is the polar opposite of how things are done around here.
    But hey, we’ve got a fantastic light rail system being built, against the public’s will, that no one uses….I hate the way this town/state is run….

  39. SpartaChris says: Mar 6, 2009 2:12 PM

    Here’s the story, and why the city or state should help build a new stadium-
    According to a recent study done by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the Vikings currently generate $18Million in tax revenue. A new stadium would generate an estimated $32Million in just tax revenue.
    The construction of the new Metrodome would supply approximately 13,400 jobs. More than half the cost of building a new stadium (Approximately $577Million) would go towards salaries.
    Direct spending upon completion of the new Metrodome is estimated at $145Million annually. This includes spending by fans, visiting teams and the Vikings in connection with operations of the stadium.
    http://www.msfc.com/images/dynImages/Summary%20of%20Metrodome%20Next%20Economic%20Impacts.pdf
    So basically, you stand to lose quite a bit by not building a new stadium. Sure, bitch all you want about “tax breaks for the wealthy” and make the argument that “He’s rich, so he should pay for it out of his own pocket.” Then look at the fact that you’ll permanently lose over 13,000 jobs and $32Million in tax revenue just from the stadium. Not to mention the additional tax revenues associated with the stadium- Things like hotels, restaurants, car rentals…
    It’s a win-win all the way around. You’ll be able to help your struggling economy by employing thousands of workers and pumping millions of dollars into the system. Or you can hurt it more by removing those jobs and that tax revenue altogether.

  40. JimmySmith says: Mar 6, 2009 3:50 PM

    “Let’s let the voters decide,” Hackbarth said,
    Are you F… kidding me? The same voters that elected a Pro Wrestler to the Governor’s office and try to steal an election to put Al Franken in as a sitting senator? These have got to be the dumbest voters in the entire US and you are asking them to decide the stadium issue?
    If you have ever wondered how a dumb bastard like Brad Childress could hold down a head coaching gig in the NFL, then consider this.
    A one eye man is king in the land of the blind.

  41. flyingvien says: Mar 6, 2009 4:06 PM

    Good to see I’m not the only one offended by the adjusting priorities line.

  42. JimmySee says: Mar 6, 2009 5:05 PM

    JimmySmith — take a cold shower. The next senator will be the guy who got the most votes. But the voters of Minnesota have more sense than to spend on a stadium — rather than schools, roads, hospitals, police, fire services, and bridges.
    I agree with a comment above — let the players pay for their stadium.

  43. sanford says: Mar 7, 2009 8:05 AM

    spartachris….of course they are gonna say that…”this little study we did”……..they want to brainwash you get a new stadium …they think SOME people will be dumb enough to believe that crap(seems like they got you)….so from 8 days(games)a year they say they will make $145 million….how did they come up with that number ???….what would make that any different from how it is now ??….they sell out all 8 games so the crowd size will be the same…and from my study I actually think it would be much less , wonder if the word RECESSION means anything to them…. funny how there was a report on tv the other night about the new Twins stadium being built and that it created about 700 jobs….there’s a long way to go to the 13,400 jobs they claim they will create

  44. JimmySee says: Mar 7, 2009 9:47 AM

    The Twins, at least, use the stadium for 81 home dates a year! Not eight!

  45. SpartaChris says: Mar 7, 2009 10:26 AM

    @Sanford-
    For the record, I hate the Vikings. I could care less if they stay or go.
    Keep in mind that those are only estimates. Educational guesses at best. They’re saying that at least 8,000 tradespeople would need to be hired. Here’s a report from a local NBC affiliate saying the same thing: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=540310&catid=2
    The remainder of the estimated jobs created would likely be through other industries. For example, new roads needed, retail facilities, restaurants, etc.
    And the estimated $145Million per year in spending would be from things like fans traveling, hotel rooms, car rentals, restaurants and various other retail, not to mention ticket prices, concessions, parking, etc.
    I have no idea what the new proposed stadium would look like so those are merely guesses. The point is you can spend the money to help create jobs and funnel money directly into the economy and make a 30-40 year investment in tax revenues once the thing is built, or you can lose what you have now and any and all potential earnings later.
    Go ahead and oppose any notion of using tax money to build the stadium. Just don’t bitch when the Vikings move someplace else.

  46. sanford says: Mar 7, 2009 2:36 PM

    the $145 million a year in spending would/should be no different than now…they sell out all their games….everything you stated about the spending should be the same as it is now currently…they can’t fool me with that SLY little talk…. or because there is a new stadium some guy will buy a jersy because of that…they buy them now….and I could care less if they leave….the billionaire can pony up his own money and leave us alone as we don’t need to pay more taxes for his stadium

  47. SpartaChris says: Mar 7, 2009 3:45 PM

    >>sanford says:
    March 7th, 2009 at 2:36 pm
    the $145 million a year in spending would/should be no different than now…they sell out all their games….everything you stated about the spending should be the same as it is now currently…they can’t fool me with that SLY little talk…. or because there is a new stadium some guy will buy a jersy because of that…they buy them now….and I could care less if they leave….the billionaire can pony up his own money and leave us alone as we don’t need to pay more taxes for his stadium<<
    I love the “Let the Billionaire pony up his own money.” Jealous much? It’s just like the story of the person looking for help baking bread. No one wants to help get the ingredients or preparation or cooking, but everyone is all to willing to have a piece.
    Depending on what they build as part of the new stadium, spending directly related to the new stadium would increase. For example, Patriot Place at Gillette Stadium has all kinds of shopping, dining and entertainment venues. A lot of spending would come from something like that.
    Truth be told, I don’t know what the plans are for “Metrodome Next.” And frankly, I don’t care; I’ve already given the Vikes way too much of my attention as it is, so I’m not going to look it up. But the fact remains- If the city is willing to lose a decent stream of tax revenues and the jobs that are associate with it, fine. But if they want all of the perks associated with having a professional football team, they ought to be ready and willing to help with some of the costs.

  48. Someone says: Mar 7, 2009 4:11 PM

    For anyone saying Wilf should build his own Stadium I’d agree if he got all of the revenue instead of the State. The State could tax him like any normal business though.
    As for only 8 games a year. The Stadium is being built with a retractable roof for all sorts of venues. And again, Wilf should get his chunk of that revenue too if he built it.
    Lastly, if we’re building light rail it would be nice for it to have a destination…

  49. SpartaChris says: Mar 7, 2009 4:42 PM

    One other note- The idea that “We can’t afford it when people are losing their jobs and the economy is in shambles.” How do you think the economy is going to recover? Is it going to recover quicker by doing nothing, living in fear and not spending any money, or will it recover quicker by investing the money to put people to work?
    Right now it seems like a new stadium is nothing more than a luxury item. While that may be true, at this time it’s a bit more than that. It’s a multi-year employment project whose economic benefit has far more potential to benefit the local economy than simply keeping the existing stadium for a couple more years and allowing the team to move. So keep it, don’t keep it, it’s no skin off my nose. Frankly, I hope they wind up moving to LA, but stay in the division just so I can see the Packers once a year.

  50. runinouttalife says: Mar 9, 2009 6:37 AM

    I kinda like the metrodome…how about just rip the top off make a hot air balloon (to send chilly away in) out of it and bam new stadium

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