February 15, 2005
What did I expect?
I don't know what I actually expected, but I was optimistic. Maybe, just maybe, some new ownership for the Vikings would jump start their failed stadium drive and give our fine state legislature a reason to finally act on this sticky issue. Ha! We are no closer now to a stadium than we were last week, and sadly Minnesota is closer to 3rd Dakota status than ever. I had the same hope that Dave St. Peter has when he made this comment:
St. Peter said the sale of the Vikings might actually help the Twins' drive, "Nothing was going to happen with the franchise in flux," he said. "In some ways, this may help to break the logjam and allow the debate to continue."
But my heart just about quits beating when I read stuff like this from Senator Dick Day:
"It's not going to help anything," said Senate Minority Leader Dick Day, referring to the announced sale of the team by Red McCombs to Fowler, an Arizona businessman. "So we changed San Antonio for Phoenix? I feel very bad that Taylor didn't get it."
Day, a Republican from Owatonna, said Fowler's purchase would do little to quash a threat that the Vikings could be moved from Minnesota. "All it did was move it closer to L.A.," he said.
Sigh. Pawlenty, Sviggum, Johnson, all of them have already come out and said that the stadium debate is still a long ways off. Again, I don't know why I should be surprised, but I thought that maybe the would take this new and exciting development and turn it into something positive. And here is what absolutely kills me. Dean Johnson, Senate Majority Leader, was vocally exicted about the possibility of Glen Taylor owning the team. He said stuff like "Taylor's word is golden" and he made it sound like the legislature could work with Taylor towards a new stadium. And now concerning the possibility of the state paying for 1/3 of a stadium in Anoka County he says, "The state doesn't have a third. We don't have a tenth," Johnson said. "We're broke." So the state wouldn't have been broke for Taylor? This kind of two-faced ignorance is getting very tiring.
I sincerely hope Fowler is planning to privately finance the bulk of his own stadium. In fact, it is becoming more and more clear that this is the only way a stadium will ever be built in Minnesota for either the Twins or the Vikings. Both the Twins and the Vikings had better be willing to put up at least half, if not more, of their own money to get this done. Until we see that happen, I just don't see any hope of ever getting out of this mess.
Check out the Trackback link for an entry by Mr. Cheer or Die that is a little more optimistic.
Sorry for the brevity. I gotta go for now.
Posted by snackeru at February 15, 2005 9:00 AM | Stadiums
We're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Fowler may be the best chance to get a stadium built with private money, but Taylor is the best bet for a stadium with either private or public money. Fowler's ownership is far from a done deal; his net worth has been reported as somewhere from 200-400 million; the NFL requires that principle owners have to have cash to buy out their partners in they want out. If I follow this correctly, Fowler is going to come in well under that. Of course, with Taylor being so unwilling to up his offer, perhaps it won't matter if the Fowler deal falls through.
Curt in Grand Forks (who is not looking forward to 2011)
Posted by: Curt Hanson at February 15, 2005 9:09 AM
I didn't know that the NFL requires that the principle owner have the cash to buy out the other partners. That is interesting. From what we've heard then, Fowler should not be approved. Although, I think Fowler is worth a lot more than we know. Welcome to the Fowler era and the countdown to 2011.
Posted by: Shane at February 15, 2005 12:19 PM
The Twins are no closer to a new ballpark.
I am listening to "the Current", I'm digging a song and I have no idea who is singing. Finally, something I enjoy for my tax money. If only I could put a Twin's ballpark in this catagory.
Posted by: Jim in St. Paul at February 15, 2005 1:22 PM
Shane, you are such a downer lately. Cheer up! You know what the Python boys say: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 15, 2005 1:50 PM