bill-swift - May 12, 2012
The most despicable thing that the billionaire/multi-millonaire owner of a pro sports franchise can do is threaten to leave (or leave) town. Doing so simply because the city/state refuses to spend hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars to build a new stadium so that the owner can make more money at each home game is—well—for lack of a strong enough adjective to express my displeasure, it is plain wrong.
For a time it looked as if the Minnesota Vikings faithful were going to lose their franchise. The bill approving the financing for a new stadium was dead in the water.
Without money from the tax payers-- you know, those folks that spend tons of money to go watch these games while wearing $200 replica jerseys and drinking $8 12 ounce domestic beers as they thumb through the $15 program (that is mostly ads)—the stadium would not be built.
No stadium would likely mean the Minnesota Vikings would be searching for a new home.
If that didn't make fans nervous enough, AEG released a new video on Farmers Field, the NFL stadium it has been talking about building in downtown Los Angeles. The stadium is state of the art and smack dab in the middle of the largest NFL market. Can you smell the boat loads of money to be made (if you happen to own an NFL team)?
As luck would have it, the bill got reworked and reintroduced into the legislative process. Zygi Wilf agreed to meet the state and City of Minneapolis half way on one of the last road blocks, a $100 million difference in the proposed cost split (the team is paying $477 million, the state $348 million, and the city $150 million).
With that agreement made, the Minnesota State Senate finally felt like it had a bill it could pass, and one that Governor MarkDayton promises he will sign. The team will play at TCF Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, while the new stadium is under construction.
Go ahead and celebrate Vikings fans. You deserve it.
(Want to see where they might have played if the bill was not passed?)
Article by Travis Pulver
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