Yes, on December 17, 2009 AD, the last day before the month of Muharram of 1431 anno Hegirae, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission announced their pipe dream for a new stadium. (Happy new year! Can world peace now be far behind?)
Yes, read on, my children, to the spine-tingling battle and a the tale of two stadia: one with a governor who may have actually talked with Zygi Wilf (Shazam!), and the other one with custom environmental exemptions already signed by the Guvernator and backed by Ed Roski, the Daddy Warbucks of LA.
Which stadium to you think has the bright future, people? (Hint: "The sun will come out, tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar....")
(Oh, the Vikings? Do the words "I'll be back" or "Hasta la vista, baby" ring any bells for you?)
Sorry , Annie and Arnold. Oh yeah, now where was I?
Forget about fantasy football stadiums...
Back In the real world, Majestic Realty is working on a real NFL stadium. They not only have a design, they have real money, as well as already enacted legislation exempting the project from California environmental hurdles. They've bought off the complaints from the neighboring city of Walnut.
"Major Tom to ground control. Starting countdown. Engines on."
They have the land for it in City of Industry, a twenty-mile, hour's drive north of Anaheim.
Funny, it could be a coincidence that the seats in drawings of the new stadium look purple, couldn't it?.
If could also be a coincidence that the L. A. Lakers (formerly of Minnesota) wear purple and gold.
If could be the billionaire behind Ed Roski, who helped build the Staples Center a decade ago, just likes the color purple.
(Okay, it probably is a coincidence that Oprah is leaving her TV show and once appeared in "The Color Purple", but enough about Chicago.)
The times, they are a changin'.
Back in Minnesota, the "imaginary" stadium might somehow have 65000 seats, 7500 club seats, and 148 luxury seats, although Zygi Wilf is the only guy even hinting he has any money for a new stadium anywhere for the Vikings.
Sure, Minnesota has Prince and Dylan, but California is not lacking in celebrities. Out west, the new stadium will have 75,000 seats, 12,550 club seats, and 176 luxury suites.
(Roof, we don't need to show you no stinking retractible roof! Get real! This is Southern California. As for the wives' tales about there being no football fans out here, the truth is that over 100,000 people have written in trying to get season's tickets for an NFL team that is yet to be named. In case you have not heard, the median family income in Orange County, California, is over 70 grand per year, and its population is over two and a half million people.)
A team by any other name would smell as sweet. How about the California Terminators?
Californians can count. The NFL is in no position to expand. The Buffalo Bills have some thing going with Toronto. The Saints have holy protection and seem to be working it out. That leaves the Vikings left as the one with the most real stadium problem. You do the math: Let me see, as a Californian, do I want to move teams around my own state, like deck chairs on the Titanic, or do I want to steal teams from somewhere else, since NFL is not in the mood for expansion? Yep, I want more jobs out here, and I'm looking for unsuspecting suckers to pony up. Do I want the Rams back? Hell no. Give me a show with some real firepower.
Yes, Zygi doesn't need to attend meetings about some imaginary stadium built in some undetermined future century. He needs to attend meetings with any people capable of building a real stadium in short order, so his investors can start profiting from all the talent the Vikings have invested in the team. It is called "professional" football for a reason. The idea of being professional is to make money.
Now is the cheapest time to build a stadium, while construction workers and companies are dying for work. You cannot wait for the recession to end to build one. At best, the price of poker will go up on you. At worst, you won't have a horse left anymore to put in the new barn you build.
Minnesota didn't build a stadium when the state had so much money that Jesse decided to give it back. What makes anyone believe Minnesota is going to build a stadium?
So who is Zygi talking to these days? Is there some team of financially secure superheroes capable of saving Minnesota? Maybe they'll build one near the Mayo Clinic, so you can have surgery and watch touchdowns in recovery. Maybe they'll build the Laura Ingalls Wilder Stadium out of pipestone, somewhere out on US 14. Maybe there will be a sky city stadium, orbiting in the neutral zone above the Boundary Waters.
Nope. I don't think so.
Something tells me if no one invests in the future, there won't be one.
It's the golden rule: If you've got the gold, dude, you rule.