People Need To Realize That Los Angeles Is In Play

We know that the Minnesota Vikings are in the final year of their lease with the Metrodome. We also know that the Vikings have said that they won't play in the Metrodome after this season unless a new stadium is being put together and the Metrodome is a temporary home to use while they wait for their new one to be completed.

Sadly, we also know that the Vikings are one of the teams that are being heavily targeted by a couple of different interests from Los Angeles to move the NFL back to that city for just those reasons.

One of the projects is headed up by real estate mogul Ed Roski, who wants to build a stadium in the City of Industry. In his original offer, Roski wanted to trade the opportunity to build on his land. . .a parcel that encompasses nearly one rectangular mile. . .for a 25% ownership stake in whatever team moves there. Well, according to an AP article that was picked up by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Roski has now dropped that demand, and would turn over the 600-acre site to whichever team relocated there. The team would then finance the stadium that Roski has proposed, and sell him a share of the franchise (with no path to controlling ownership) at the going market rate.

According to the folks at Pro Football Talk, this sets up an interesting contrast between the two Los Angeles proposals, Roski's proposal and one by AEG.

Roski’s revised offer creates two dramatically different business models for the two proposed L.A. stadiums.  The downtown facility that AEG wants to build would be financed and owned by AEG; the football team would be a tenant.  The Grand Crossing project would give land to the NFL team at no cost, with the NFL team responsible for paying for the structure — but also pocketing all revenue flowing from its use.

Fundamental differences also exist in the non-game experiences that the stadiums would create.  The AEG project, already named Farmers Field, would be a swanky, multi-use building in the heart of the L.A. Live complex.  The stadium at Grand Crossing has enough adjacent parking areas to permit traditional day-long tailgating parties, which could be one of the extra perks needed to persuade fans (and families) to choose to watch games in person and not via their HDTVs.

There are too many people out there that don't seem to realize that the possibility of the Minnesota Vikings moving grows larger every day that the government of the state of Minnesota sits around with their collective thumbs jammed in their collective rear ends, throwing up roadblocks to perfectly feasible plans and complaining about how much the whole thing is going to cost and how much debt the state of Minnesota is in.

Here's the thing. . .if the Minnesota Vikings leave the state, guess what? The state is still going to be in a ton of debt, and they won't have the tax revenue of thousands of construction jobs coming in, they won't have the potential to host a Super Bowl or other major events in the near future (because nobody is ever going to use the Metrodome for that sort of thing again). In addition, if the Vikings leave, you will probably never see an NFL team in the state of Minnesota again. . .why would you? The league is perfectly balanced with 32 teams, so they're not expanding, and if another team wants to move and expresses interest in Minneapolis, you know what's going to happen?

Either that team is going to end up not coming to Minnesota, or you are going to have to build them a new stadium at a significantly greater cost than you would have to pay for one now. And then you don't know what kind of team you're going to get. After all, teams generally don't move when they're successful. . .the Colts were pretty terrible when they moved from Baltimore, the Browns were pretty bad when they left Cleveland, and the Rams and Raiders were nothing special when they took off from Los Angeles.

Seriously, people need to stop screwing around with this. Something needs to get done, and it needs to get done sooner rather than later. There are five home games left in the Minnesota Vikings' Metrodome lease, and after that they're free agents. . .and, like any free agent, they can simply sit back and wait for the best deal to come along, and it doesn't make one damn bit of difference where that deal comes from.

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