Here’s an interesting tidbit from the football stadium bill introduced to the Minnesota Legislature on Friday. According to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Vikings would have to agree in exchange for the new stadium to transfer the team’s name, logo, colors, history, playing records, and trophies to the state, if the team leaves at any point after the bill becomes law.
If the language makes it into the final bill and if the final bill is passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, the Vikings would essentially be tied to Minnesota forever.
Of course, if the team currently known as the Vikings ever leaves, the folks in Minnesota likely would have to wait for an expansion team or a relocated franchise before the 2-D horns could be dusted off and applied to a helmet again. But unlike the Lakers, a nickname that makes as much sense in L.A. as the Jazz does in Utah, the football franchise would not be permitted to take the identity of the team with it, if it moves.
That said, Kaszuba reports that the bill was met with “little fanfare” when it arrived on Friday, and that the philosophical debate regarding the use of public funds to pay for a football stadium remains, especially in light of ongoing budget issues. The fact that Republicans control both chambers of the Legislature means that the bill could languish. (That’s not political editorializing; it’s fact.)
And that’s fine if it happens, as long as the folks involved understand the very real risk of losing the franchise — and the team’s name, logo, colors, history, playing records, and trophies — if decisive action isn’t taken during the current legislative session.