Yesterday, Vikings President Ziggy (I know, but that's a funner spelling) Wilf pitched his idea for a $1.5 billion sports and entertainment complex which happens to include a new Vikings stadium complete with a retractable roof. The "Northern Lights" is his proposed name for said complex, which is about as exciting as getting one's daily caffeine intake by eschewing coffee and taking Excedrin. But that's not the problem. Nor is the fact that the team is asking for up to $700 million of the funds in public funding for the new development. That's a problem for me, but not as much as this:
He wants to build in Blaine.
People from Austin have a different association with "Blaine" than most people: to us, Blaine is the wise-ass history teacher with a penchant for making racially insensitive remarks, sexism, and threatening to put his students in the "buck." (Oh, and he had cute daughters, too.) To every other Minnesotan, though, Blaine is a outer-ring suburb, further north than Coon Rapids, 25 miles north of the Metrodome. And-- to many-- waaaaay too far to go for a football game.
Why Blaine? That's where Wilf has found the least oppposition to raising taxes to help support the effort. But I can't imagine that moving the home of the Vikings that far north *won't* have an impact on attendance, at least to some degree. In my mind, you want to locate your franchise as centrally as possible in order to attract the most fans; Minneapolis makes perfect sense. However, Hennepin county voters have put the ki-bosh on raising taxes for stadiums in the past. So, no go.
Speaking of no go, that's certainly my plans regarding future Vikings games if the stadium is built in Blaine. You?
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