November 2, 2006
More questions than answers
So, we've all heard by now that Zygi is looking hard at Minneapolis for his new stadium. This will either be on the land that the Metrodome sits on, or on land around the Metrodome. I've always thought that it could also mean a renovated Metrodome, but I'm not a complete idiot ... that is a long shot at best. Also it would seem with all of Zygi's comments about a stadium in Minneapolis that there will be no stadium in Anoka County. I know Zygi probably plans on bringing something to the legislature during the next session concerning Anoka County, but at this point that would just be a huge waste of time. The legislature is not going to support all this wishy-washy behavior on his part. If Zygi really wanted to build a stadium in Anoka County then he should have kept his mouth shut about Minneapolis. And if he tries to float a plan this year that focuses on Minneapolis ... well it just won't go anywhere. The legislature wants something rock solid, and Zygi is on the proverbial house made of sand. There are just too many questions.
- What does he want to build? A stadium with or without a roof? Right now Zygi is saying he wants a roofless stadium, to take advantage of Minnesota winters. Well, I don't care where he builds it, if it is roofless he is going to be building it without much public assistance. So, because of that, I consider this roofless "posturing" on Zygi's part to ultimately be another reason nothing will happen this year.
- Where is this needed public money going to come from? Zygi is again claiming that he will need governmental assistance. The public is already footing bill for a new Gopher's stadium, and Hennepin County has already stated that building a new Vikings stadium will not be a county government priority. So, again, where will this public money come from? Is there any left for a new Vikings stadium?
- If Zygi definitively decides to build an open air stadium, how much will it cost? Consider that by building in Minneapolis Zygi won't need much of any road improvements (like Anoka County did with 35W). Would it be enough public assistance for Zygi to just get the Metrodome land for free? Probably not, but I seriously wonder if that isn't part of the plan.
- And how real is the "move to LA" threat that Red McCombs wielded so effectively? I would argue that this threat is nothing more than a scary joke. Zygi has yet to play this card, but it is only a matter of time. Consider, though, that in the fraternity of NFL owners, Zygi is the newest of the newcomers. Consider also that the LA market is hugely profitable, especially if LA builds a new stadium or renovates the Rose Bowl. Do you really think this old boys club is going to give Zygi, the new kid on the block, the LA market? Not on your life. Zygi is wise not to talk about this.
So, what is Zygi going to do? What should he do? Sooner rather than later he will (he should) throw the towel in regarding Anoka County. He has already shot himself in the foot there. He should then propose a plan where the city of Minneapolis either gives him or sells him the Metrodome for a $1, and then he should immediately propose a plan where he begins construction on a new, open air stadium for the Vikings in 2011. He should propose to pay for the stadium himself, with the state/county picking up the costs of infrastructure. By 2011 the Vikings can play home games at TCF Bank Stadium. All in all, with the idea that he can get the Metrodome land for almost nothing, he should be able to build an open air stadium for between $300-350 million. Since his contribution to the Anoka County plan was going to be around $280 million, I would think something like $330 million would be doable.
Now this is all being written by a guy that is pretty ignorant of what it takes to build an NFL stadium these days. However, again, if Zygi wants an open-air stadium, he is going to have to build it himself. If you've got any other insights, please feel free to share.
Posted by snackeru at November 2, 2006 9:29 AM
Build the Vikings stadium in Minneapolis, Anoka, Lakeville, or Bemidji; I don't care. Renovate the Dome, demolish the Dome, or build a new stadium; I don't care. It doesn't matter to me where it is located or if it is renovated or brand new. Just get it done and keep the Vikings in Minnesota. I know you have told me that I have nothing to fear as the NFL would give Zygi the LA market, but I am still worried. Let's get it done!
Curt in Grand Forks
Posted by: Curt Hanson at November 2, 2006 10:21 AM
Shane......it's so nice to see you back! Pretty soon I will be back to checking your blog 17 times a day........instead of 2 times!
Posted by: MOJO at November 3, 2006 3:31 PM
I disagree with your statement Shane.
You are a complete idiot ;)
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at November 4, 2006 10:46 AM