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October 24, 2006

Somebody stop me

• For those of you that have stayed with this blog since the Twins stadium was approved have probably noticed something: the lack of stadium related articles. True, just because the stadium was approved doesn't mean that their aren't important matters to consider. In fact, the people at New Ballpark, Inc. have begun to hold a series of public meetings to solicit suggestions and give the public updates about the progress of the stadium's construction. For updates on this process please visit http://www.twinsballpark.org/.

• And what about the impending "aftermath of doom" predicted by so many stadium opponents who want to "vote the bums out?" Being a resourceful person I decided to ask an expert at the Humphrey Institute here at the U about the possibility that "the people" will punish pro-stadium legisltators during the upcoming elections. In fact, I asked the author of a blog called Smart Politics which is hosted by the very system that hosts the Greet Machine. This is the response I received to my question:

In recent polling, the issue of new stadiums has not registered among the Top 7 most important issues facing the state of Minnesota -- so I don't think this will be a defining issue in the November elections. Given it is not a top concern, I would be suprised if the truly disgruntled shifted the election results here by more than a single percentage point on this issue.

Interesting, no? Hardly unexpected though. In other words, it will be a surprise if the mighty anti-stadium constituency has much of an impact at all come November. We'll see.

• Finally, to the main point of this rambling drivel. I read this little tidbit in the Pioneer Press today written by the always juicy Charley Walters:

Before long, the Vikings are expected to return to square one in their quest for a new stadium. There still is behind-the-scenes hustling to keep the Vikings in Minneapolis while Anoka County tries to keep its proposal alive in Blaine. But don't be surprised if a renovated Metrodome, despite the team's strong opposition to the idea, resurfaces for consideration.

Heh heh ... didn't I just write about this? Not a surprise at all. Whatever your feelings about a renovation of the Dome, the feasibility of the plan will definitely be looked into within the next year. I, for one, think the idea is great, but we'll see how much it costs now. Way back in 2000, the price tag was about $250 million, and Red complained the estimate was at least $100 million short. But if Soldier Field can be renovated, why not the Metrodome? And yes, I just compared the historic Soldier Field to the Metrodome. I apologize to anyone who was offended by that. Please accept this picture as payment for my transgression:


This is the only good picture of the proposed renovation I could find. So, here is my assignment for all of you (all 10 of you that still read this): does anyone have any other pictures of the proposed renovation of the Metrodome for the Vikings? I remember a bunch of them, but of course I didn't save any of them. Please let me know if you have any, or if you know where I can get some of them.

That's it for now.

Posted by snackeru at October 24, 2006 8:43 PM


This story has a small pic, can't seem to get the big version to come up.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 25, 2006 10:02 AM

Here's another:

Posted by: Jimmy at October 25, 2006 10:03 AM

That's all I could find, hope those articles help.

I never really liked the idea of a renovated dome when it was proposed before. I kind of think of it as buying a junk Ford Pinto from the salvage yard and trying to fix it up to be as good as a new Porsche. You might be able to make a decent car out of it, but in the end it's still a Pinto.

But now that they've been trying for so long to get a new stadium and really haven't made any progress, I think, as a fan, I'd be willing to settle for renovation. I'd much rather have a renovated dome in five years than trying for a new stadium for another ten years and probably not getting it.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 25, 2006 10:13 AM

Thanks for the links Jimmy! Great work. I have also written the MSFC asking them for any old presentations they have concerning a renovation. They said they'd look into it for me.

I'm right where you are with all of this. With the Twins and the Gophers getting new stadiums, I think people are not going to be really enthused about building another one for the Vikings. They might be the odd man out, so to speak. Although, who knows. In 10 years maybe they'll finally break the log jam like the Twins did. Renovation is an interesting option to think about right now though.

Posted by: Shane at October 25, 2006 3:00 PM

I'm not really going anywhere with this, but I just find it interesting. I've read several times about how Minnesota is a football state, and yet, now, it looks like the football team may be the only one that doesn't get a new stadium.

Posted by: Jeff A at October 27, 2006 11:59 AM

Jeff A what do you mean? The Minnesota Golden Gopher Football team will have their new stadium in just a couple of years :o)

Posted by: Freealonzo at October 27, 2006 2:27 PM

I know the MSFC used to have some documents posted on a Metrodome renovation, but they've completely changed their web site, and I couldn't find anything on a web archive search either.

The Vikings themselves also had a PowerPoint about their need for a new stadium, requirements, etc. (this was a couple years ago, before the Wilf/Blaine thing). They also included a page or two about how a renovation wouldn't work. I think their estimate have always assumed the Dome would have to be completely gutted, and the structure itself fundamentally changed (not just wider concourses, but also building it higher, etc.). That's why their estimates have always been closer to the cost for a new stadium. The MSFC estimates always assumed the Metrodome was already a workable football facility, which I happen to agree with.

The Vikes may not get 70,000 seats in there, and they may not have tracts of parking lots under their control, but I think with baseball out of the way, they could add suites and a club level, concourse space, take over the office space and the plaza, etc., for significantly less than the cost of building a whole new stadium (and most importantly, costing the public virtually nothing for new infrastructure).

Posted by: spycake at October 29, 2006 12:03 PM

Supposedly Wilf recently reiterated that renovating the Metrodome isn't an option, but tearing it down and building a new stadium in its place is.

Posted by: Jimmy at October 31, 2006 3:48 PM

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