Here we go again.
Yesterday, we mentioned that the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Ramsey County was the leading site for a new Vikings' stadium, and we've gotten to the point where the Vikings are saying (without saying) that they could potentially increase their contribution for a new stadium from one-third of the cost to forty percent of that cost. . .or possibly even more.
However, in that same article, it appears that. . .for some reason. . .the idea of building a stadium on the current Metrodome site is still in play.
City officials said some potential avenues were hurriedly being explored, including whether some of the city's special sales and hospitality taxes could be freed for a stadium. A local share of $300 million would cost the city about $20 million annually if the stadium were financed with 25-year tax-exempt bonds at 4.5 percent interest. That would drop to about $13 million if a cheaper stadium requiring a $200 million local share is built.
City Council President Barbara Johnson said she expects the city to make an offer next week. "We want to keep the Vikings in Minneapolis," she said.
With all due respect to Mrs. Johnson, if the city of Minneapolis was really serious about keeping the Vikings in town, then maybe they should have had their fecal matter collected the way the Ramsey County folks have.
The longer this continues, the more I keep getting flashbacks to the debacle that took place with Anoka County a few years ago. It's entirely possible that the Vikings could already be playing in a new stadium, as they had a pretty sweet deal worked out with Anoka County to build a stadium in the Blaine area, but they kept on flirting with the city of Minneapolis in an attempt to basically leverage the Anoka County site against it. In the end, Anoka County backed out, and the city of Minneapolis "suddenly" lost interest, leaving the Vikings with nothing.
The Ramsey County folks are serious. . .the Ramsey County folks are organized. . .the Ramsey County folks aren't scrambling to pull something out of their rear ends at the last minute. They've been in talks with the Vikings about this deal for months.
If Zygi loses another deal with a highly interested local partner because he still dreams of a stadium in a location that hasn't shown nearly enough enthusiasm for it at this point, it will be pretty tough to feel sorry for him, and even more disappointing for a fan base that deserves a new stadium almost as much as it deserves to see its team win a championship.