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February 09, 2012

My bedroom closet proposed as Vikings stadium site

It's official. The Minnesota Vikings stadium battle has crossed the line into farce:

State Sen. Roger Reinert is throwing a fourth-down Hail Mary pass with just seconds left on the clock today as he sends Gov. Mark Dayton a letter suggesting a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium be built in Duluth.
Reinert, DFL-Duluth, acknowledges his chances are about the same as the Vikings chances to win the Super Bowl anytime soon — between slim and none — but said the lack of consensus for any Twin Cities stadium site spurred his action.

There's no indication that Reinert is serious — he actually told the Duluth News Tribune, "If all this does is enhance Duluth as a prime [tourist] destination, then I’m fine with that," which seems about as likely as it getting a Vikings stadium — but still, this means that people are now approaching the Vikings stadium situation solely as a way to get their names in the paper. As if this weren't already enough evidence of that.

So, what the hell: I have a pretty big walk-in bedroom closet. I hereby offer to build a $1 billion NFL-ready stadium in it for the Vikings, funded via a public-private partnership. (Public and private partners yet to be determined.) It already comes with a roof, so that's taken care of, and thanks to expected advances in wormhole technology, it will be at least as accessible to Vikings fans from throughout Minnesota as Duluth is. This promises to be just the economic shot in the arm that Minnesota (and my closet) needed — especially if the state is willing to offer tax subsidies to become the site of the wormhole manufacturing facility.


Zygi pays or he can walk. It's that simple. Ask Zygi if he's only willing to pay $300 million, then that's how much the stadium is worth.

Posted by Roger C. on February 9, 2012 05:46 PM

All you need to do is get Zygi to pay $300 million, get 60,000 Vikings fans to buy $10,000 PSL's ($10,000 is below the going NFL rate for PSL's plus this stadium is for their use so let them pay for it) for $600 million and sell the naming rights for $200 million and there you go: $1.1 billion and no tax dollars. It seems so simple. Let's quit farting around and get this thing done.

Posted by W. Walsh on February 9, 2012 10:19 PM

Damndest thing... Duluth's actually not much further from the Twin Cities than Green Bay is from Milwaukee. Not that I'm saying it'd work, but if Green Bay and all the middle-of-nowhere colleges can pull it off, it's not wholly unreasonable to suggest Duluth.

Posted by Duluth on February 9, 2012 11:35 PM

W. Walsh: Don't forget that the NFL is willing to kick in $200 million. The Vikes would only have to raise about $400 million from PSLs.

Posted by Anon on February 9, 2012 11:37 PM

Minneapolitans have said that, without the Vikings, their city would be 'nothing but a cold Omaha.'

Maybe they can change that slogan to 'nothing but a warm Duluth.'

Posted by Dave Boz on February 10, 2012 12:17 AM


You are right, I forgot all about the NFL chipping in $200 million. That makes this deal even more of a no-brainer. 40,000 PSL's should not be out of the question and $10,000 is not that much if you spread out the payments over 10-15 years. There is no reason tax dollars should be involved with this stadium except for infrastructure improvements around the stadium and maybe some give-away on the site. I hope we stick to our guns and not give away the store like every other idiotic NFL city. I would rather my tax dollars go towards roads, schools and parks not billionaires.

Posted by W. Walsh on February 10, 2012 08:35 AM

"Minneapolitans have said that, without the Vikings, their city would be 'nothing but a cold Omaha."

Who Zygi Wilf?

That is just stupid because MSP is about the 15th biggest media market, has a tremendously better arts scene, and tremendously better education infrastructure, higher incomes, a major hub airport, some of the best educated populace in the world, and growth rates at the top of the midwest.

It is thriving if anything outside of Texas and the coasts can said to be thriving. The idea that without the Vikings it is just "Omaha" just shows that the people speaking don't know anything about Omaha or the Twin Cities.

It is cold and it is far away from many other parts of the country, those are pretty much all its downsides.

Posted by St. Paul Plutocrat on February 10, 2012 11:05 AM

You know, even though I'm a skeptic about stadiums, I actually kind of like the idea.

This is one of those few instances where the luring sales tax receipt argument would actually hold some water because I'm sure at least 95% of Vikings season ticket holders are coming from somewhere other St. Louis County. Unlike the phony/inflated projections stadium boosters make of out-of-state visitors that would be lost if the Vikings left, this WOULD result in a lot of weekend stays up there.

While tourism from the Twin Cities in Duluth is strong in the summer it drops dead in the winter. So the Porter Super Bowl postulate wouldn't necessarily apply here, since tourism is at its nadir during a good part of football season. Fall is incredible up there with the changing colors, though.

Another nice thing about Duluth is since it's about 150 miles from the Twin Cities, much of the main TV market is safe from NFL blackout rules.

Bring on the Duluth Kelleys!

Posted by Sasha on February 10, 2012 01:04 PM

"Cold Omaha" was coined by none other than Hubert Humphrey, while arguing for building the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome:

Posted by Neil deMause on February 10, 2012 04:10 PM

What's so bad about Omaha? Of course, it's not cold...

Posted by John Bladen on February 10, 2012 06:24 PM

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