Lileks: About that new Vikings stadium...

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 29, 2012 - 4:38 PM
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Winning architect HKS Inc. designed these preliminary schematics of a new Vikings stadium as part of its winning bid. Stadium officials stress a final design will probably look much different.

We have an architect for the Vikings stadium, and it's not the same team that did Target Field, the U stadium or the Wild arena. That was Populous from Kansas City, and apparently the idea of having a unified architectural vocabulary amongst our innumerable sports arenas just didn't thrill the committee.

But why didn't any local firms bid?

It's possible that local architects submitted proposals that had four seats and a sustainable playing field irrigated by water captured from rain runoff, and which were built entirely of recycled milk cartons. The field was 10 yards by 2, reflecting the national trend toward downsizing. When asked how it could possibly cost almost $1 billion, the architect said that included the cost of acquiring 100 square blocks, demolishing the houses, and planting natural prairie grasses, as well as the cost of the bison herd that would roam around the newly restored prairie.

NEXT, PLEASE!

So we got an outfit from Texas. Haven't seen any drawings yet, just the old artist's conceptions, which have something called the MINNESOTA SPORTS COMPLEX, as if it's going to be named after inbred shame over Super Bowl failure.

It also lacks something called The Place Where This Newspaper Is Made. The grave gray edifice of the Star Tribune building is nowhere in sight. It's like noticing one day that you've been Photoshopped out of all the family photos on the mantel. Something you want to tell me, dear?

The most interesting thing about the announcement: They're going to try to include a "retractable feature." They're not saying what it is, but it will retract. A roof? Not saying. A wall? That would be telling. A retractable playing field that opens up into a pit of fire, which really redefines the idea of "home field advantage"? Wink. Retractable staircases to prevent people from streaming out in the third quarter, muttering disgust? That would be telling.

Here's a suggestion: a retractable stadium. If the team doesn't win a Super Bowl in five years, the entire structure is retracted. It disassembles itself into something that can be sold to China, and everyone's taxes are refunded. Except for the amount it takes to buy the bison.

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858

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