As the latest effort to build a new pro football stadium in Minnesota gets rolling, the path looks to be long, winding, and steep.
Per Kevin Duchschere and Bob Van Sternberg of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the bill landed “with a thud” at the Capitol on Friday.
Though the detailed article can be confusing to anyone who hasn’t been following every twist and turn of the process, it seems that the problems are as follows: (1) the powers-that-be in the Minnesota Legislature are reluctant to fork over public money and/or raise taxes at the time of a budget crunch; (2) the three local entities that are in contention for hosting the new venue are firmly resisting an apparent attempt to leverage them against each other; and (3) the Vikings don’t like the first draft of the bill.
“It’s not the final bill, and there are some issues that would impact the team’s competitiveness that we think need to find a better solution, but there’s time to do that,” said official Vikings stadium wrangler Lester Bagley. (Ted Mondale, chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, responded with a mini-zinger: “There are some things the Vikings won’t like, but I think if they were too happy we wouldn’t be doing our job.”)
The only positive reaction came from Governor Mark Dayton, who called it a “good start.”
“It’s up to the Legislature to move this forward,” Dayton said, “but I am ready to work with them to create a ‘people’s stadium.'”
In other words, “Folks, when this all blows up and the Vikings move to Los Angeles, it won’t be my fault.”
And if those folks in Minnesota don’t start taking this seriously soon, that’s precisely what will happen. Fortunately for everyone with their fingerprints on the forthcoming clusterfudge, there will be plenty of others to blame.