Every once in a while, when searching for the latest news and notes about the Minnesota Vikings or just on Minnesota sports in general, you come across something that. . .well, that words really don't have the ability to accurately describe. But, as the guy that's run your very favorite Minnesota Vikings blog for nearly five years, it's my duty to go ahead and attempt to do so anyway.
So, that's what I'm going to do.
A couple of gentlemen named Bruce Wright and Frank Martin submitted something to the "Community Voices" section of the Minnesota Post. The title, in and of itself, is intriguing enough:
Why Industrial Fabric Makes Winning Sense For A New, Mobile Vikings Stadium
Well, I suppose if we're looking for. . .wait a minute. . .does that say "mobile Vikings stadium," or did I just copy-and-paste something incorrectly?
checks back at the original story
Why, yes. . .that's exactly what it says. "Mobile Vikings stadium."
Are they talking about moving the team to Alabama? Because I'm not sure I'd like that very much.
reads the article
Nope. . .they don't mean "Mo-BEEL," as in the city in Alabama. They mean "Mo-BILE," as defined by Webster's as "capable of moving or being moved readily."
Well, heck, I'm intrigued. Join me, won't you?
You know, from the headline alone, you might think that this was some crazy, mythical fantasy sort of talk. . .after all, as Allen Iverson might say, "we're talkin' 'bout fabrics". . .but Mr. Wright and Mr. Martin have, apparently, put a lot of thought into this. According to their article, there have been stadiums constructed for the Olympics and World Cup Soccer that have been constructed to a manner similar to the one that they're proposing. . .I'm not completely sure which stadiums those are, and if there's anyone out there with an architectural background that could shed some light on this, I would love to hear from you.
But there are a couple of things that. . .I don't know. . .it's kind of like seeing an infomercial at 3 o'clock in the morning for something that seems really awesome, and because you're up at 3 o'clock in the morning and don't truly have all your faculties about you, your mind says, "Man, I could really use one of those!" The article sounds like this could be a great idea, even though you and I know full well that there's absolutely zero chance of it happening. A couple of bones of contention, though. . .as far as the cost, here's what they have to say.
We have the Twins' baseball field, why not twin Vikings fields? It's estimated that a transportable Vikings stadium seating 40,000 might cost one-fifth that of a more permanent stadium, thereby allowing the Vikings to purchase two of these mobile kits so that while one was in use, the other could be setting up in the next county, thus providing that many more jobs; two crews in simultaneous employment for the season.
First off, to borrow a line from Jaws, "we're gonna need a bigger stadium." 40,000 seats isn't going to cut it. From everything I can see, the smallest stadium in the NFL in terms of seating capacity is Soldier Field. . .and even that seats 61,500. There was talk of issues playing at TCF Bank Stadium for an extended period of time, because it seats about 10,000 less than the Metrodome. . .can you imagine trying to shoehorn everybody into a place that seats 20,000 less? Yikes.
Finally, there's the part that sucked everyone into this article in the first place, the part about a "mobile Vikings stadium." Here's what they have to say about that.
Home games could be spread around the state where the largest subscribing fans are located. Ultimately, if the Vikings so desired, they could take their stadium with them so that away games could also be "home games." How many of those old-fashioned "non-mobile" stadiums ever do that?
Again, there's part of me that thinks this sounds completely insane. It doesn't take into account the number of season ticket holders you'd tick off or the logistics of attempting to move a building this size from one place to another in the middle of a Minnesota winter, with the snow clearing and the ground frozen solid and everything else.
And then there's part of me that thinks about Zygi Wilf at the press conference to announce the new, mobile Vikings' stadium, channeling his inner Howard Dean.
". . .and then we're gonna go to Moorhead! And then we're gonna go to Fergus Falls! And then we're gonna go to Duluth! To East Grand Forks! To Wayzata! To Willmar! And then we're gonna go all the way. . .TO THE SUPER BOWL! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!"
You know, reading a few of the comments from the article on the Minnesota Post site, some folks think this may be a hoax or something to not be taken terribly seriously. Quite frankly, if it's a hoax, I'll be happy to admit that I was taken in by it. With all the heavy political talk that's going to surround the Vikings' stadium process and the legions of morons that have been spewing "Los Angeles Vikings" jokes for what seems like an eternity, something like this is a welcome site, as far as I'm concerned.