The headline on the Star-Tribune's story is "Vikings Stadium Deal Has To Wait." This is not a repeat from 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010.
Oh, wait. . .yes it is.
John Holler from Viking Update put it best, quite frankly.
Much to the delight of the Minneapolis linen-napkin crowd, the Vikings stadium deal with Ramsey County is likely dead for this year. A special session (or, as Minnesotans know it, a pretty ordinary session) of the Legislature will be called next week. As it currently stands, no discussion of the stadium proposal will be part of the session. Those who made campaign promises in front of constituents in lawn chairs and in coffee shops will get their way. Those in power in the City of Minneapolis – both seen and unseen – will get their way. Those who called in markers from deals past to promote governmental cowardice will win.
Honestly, if you're Zygi Wilf right now, how do you not get on the phone with pretty much any other city that's looking for an NFL franchise? Whether it's Los Angeles or Toronto or London or whatever far-flung section of the globe actually has an interest in keeping a National Football League franchise, they certainly have to have more enthusiasm for it than the gutless schlubs that run the state of Minnesota.
It absolutely amazes me how little these politicians, while claiming to stand up for the little people, actually care about their constituents. I guess that, in a time when unemployment is a big issue in Minnesota, particularly in the construction industry, that the thousands upon thousands of construction jobs that a new Vikings' stadium would bring just don't matter.
In a time when the government of the state of Minnesota shuts down for two weeks so that they can see who blinks first about a budget so that the state can actually, you know, provide services and stuff, Minnesota politicians feel they can afford to lose the revenue that the Minnesota Vikings generate. . .everything from taxes on players salaries to taxes on the people that work for the team, work in the stadium, work in the bars and restaurants in the area, and so forth.
Minnesota doesn't have a border along the ocean, which makes me marvel at the fact that they've managed to import so many spineless, gutless jellyfish to run the place.
This was the time to get something done and now, apparently, that time has passed. At this point, Zygi Wilf's patience has got to be running thin. He hasn't been Red McCombs, who started threatening to move the team about fifteen minutes after he purchased them in the hopes of getting a new stadium. Wilf has simply gone about the business of football, and has gone to great lengths. . .and monetary losses, thanks to the Metrodome. . .to attempt to put a winning team on the field in Minnesota. There have been on-field successes, and there have been on-field failures, but the latter have not happened because Zygi Wilf wasn't willing to attempt to give the Vikings whatever they perceived they needed to get the job done.
Anti-stadium folks have pointed out that the home of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, was built with entirely private money, at a cost of $325 million. What they fail to mention is that was back in the year 2000. Things generally don't tend to get cheaper over the course of time. . .all you have to do to verify that is look at the prices of cars or houses or even a bottle of pop. The Vikings have been attempting to get a stadium deal done for a very long time now. Maybe, just maybe, had the state been able to unjam its collective head from its collective rear end ten years ago. . .or, heck, even five years ago. . .we could have an amazing new football stadium sitting in the Twin Cities for about half of what it will currently cost to build it.
But that's not what Minnesota's politicians want. They don't want what's best for Minnesota businesses or Minnesota taxpayers. . .they want what's best for Minnesota politicians. Anybody that's under a different impression is lying to themselves at best, and is flat-out delusional at worst.
By all accounts, Zygi Wilf is a great owner and a nice guy and everything. . .but he's also a businessman. As a businessman, his main focus is profitability, just like the focus of any businessman should be. But, apparently, his business is not one that the state of Minnesota gives a whit about. Honestly, it's just a matter of time before he acts accordingly. And unlike what happened when the Lakers and the North Stars skipped town, the National Football League will not be coming back to Minnesota if this team leaves. With 32 teams, the league is perfectly balanced, it would be perfectly aligned, and there would be no reason for the league to attempt to put a team back in a place that they would perceive doesn't have the enthusiasm for it.
This is awfully gloom-and-doomy after all of the enthusiasm and positive feelings we've tried to generate here. . .but seriously, this is simply pathetic. Vent accordingly in the comments section.
Oh, as an aside, I noticed a comment or two in Star-Tribune article poking fun at North Dakota. I'd just like to point out that North Dakota balances their budget every year (and sure as hell isn't $6 billion in debt), is one of three states in the entire country to have actually added jobs since the big economic downturn started, and hasn't seen unemployment above 5% in about three decades. But, yes, you high and mighty anti-stadium whine babies continue to poke fun. If the Vikings leave and Minnesota slowly dries up, you'll probably find yourselves living there eventually.