Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Vikings are Staying!

All right, so here's the deal. For the Vikings to be successful, they need to increase revenue. In order to increase revenue, they need a new stadium. The real question is, does Minnesota need a new stadium? Decidedly not. There are many studies out that professional sports are a mere pimple on the buttcheek that is a local economy, so I won't get into that.
That said, professional sports do add to a certain unity in a city that adds to an overall sense of pride and increases the civic well being and quality of life for a community, so I think it's not an altogether bad thing for municipalities to help with the construction of stadiums or arenas. For a team's ownership to actively shun the infrastructure that has already been established in a city for the purpose of  bleeding your fans dry is not cool in any way, which is what Zygi Wilf wanted to do, and why I oppose his efforts.
Make no mistake about it. The Vikings need a stadium to be successful. What Zygi Wilf was asking for was a a license to develop property around the facility (he is a real estate developer by trade, after all) and make millions by charging for parking. None of this is to the benefit of the state as a whole or for the collective good of the city. At least by building in Minneapolis, where the Governor would like the stadium built, the infrastructure is uncompromised and an expensive extension isn't needed.  It would be a central gathering point, ultimately for the state and the city, rather than a moneymaker for one asshole from New Jersey.
These are all facts that have been rehashed before. The fact that the state and the Vikings are still talking should show that they have some leverage on the matter. If the Vikings (and probably more realistically the NFL) wanted to leave the Twin Cities, they would be gone by now. Why would you put up with the same crap for a decade, only to not get what you truly want in the end? The Vikings will stay in Minnesota for a very long time, because there are teams that don't want to lose the rivalry. The NFL's TV partners don't want to lose a large, isolated market like the Twin Cities, especially when smaller markets, like Jacksonville, or less isolated markets, like San Diego could leave. And the NFL doesn't want to lose the elephant in the room, always having Los Angeles as a threat for obstinate cities who don't want to build new stadiums.
What I'm trying to get at s, the NFL and the Vikings need the Twin Cties, and the state should recognize that.  There's a reason that the Vikings told the NFL they aren't leaving.



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