Sid Hartman: Vikings Will Be Stuck In The Metrodome Until 2012
My friend Mike Hogan, who is involved in selling stocks and bonds, tries to do something every year for his clients as a public relations move.
This year, he chose to arrange a tour of Target Field for some 34 people. And he asked me to join the tour to talk a little Twins baseball to his customers.
While on the tour, I learned that last year the Twins gave some 2,200 tours of the ballpark, including some 40,000 fans at the cost of around $20 per person. On some days, the Twins can’t handle the requests for tours.
The Twins had about a dozen tours Saturday. It’s just one more reason why the construction of Target Field was such a good decision for everyone, not just the team, but also the county, the state and the general public.
I’m sure that at least some of those people who have gone on Target Field tours were adamantly against the Hennepin County sales tax to help fund the stadium, only to see their attitudes change once it was built.
The No. 1 question I got from most of those on hand for Saturday’s tour was not about the Twins but rather a Vikings stadium. By and large, they were people who were anxious about the Vikings’ future. If there was this much interest in the Twins stadium, can you imagine how many people would flock to the Vikings stadium?
However, despite the optimism of Gov. Mark Dayton, I question whether it will happen this year.
I can’t get the least bit excited about the Arden Hills site, a location on the abandoned Army Ammunition Plant. It’s a site that has so many infrastructure and soil problems that the cost will be prohibitive. There is one major benefit for the Vikings with the location in that the team would gain additional revenue from parking around the stadium, much more than it could at either the Metrodome or the Minneapolis Farmers Market.
Even though the Vikings owners won’t divulge their favorite site, I am convinced that it still is the Metrodome. No doubt the cost of building on the site of the Dome could be up to $200 million less than the other locations.
However, I am also convinced that if a stadium bill isn’t passed this year, the Vikings stadium will become a reality in 2012. My prediction is that the local business community — led by U.S. Bank President and CEO Richard Davis and others — will get really involved with Hennepin County, with a big campaign going to get a facility built on the Farmers Market site.
You put a Vikings stadium on the Farmers Market site and a casino at Block E and downtown Minneapolis would thrive like it never has before.
It would help, however, if Mayor R.T. Rybak and his city council members would put up a fight to keep the $9 million spent in their city every time the Vikings play a game.
MNVikingsBlog.com Analysis: This is very saddening news to hear from Sid. Watch the Vikings to push hard these next two week before the end of this years legislature session. I expect the Vikings to get real ugly if something doesn’t get approved. Last year they flat out said they will refuse to sign an extension to play in the dome without a stadium being in process of being built. This game could become very scary this upcoming year, the fans don’t deserve another Northstars or Lakers episode.