Scoggins: Turns out, $1 billion will buy quite a bit

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2013 - 7:06 AM
hide

Vikings owners Zygi Wilf, right, and brother Mark Wilf.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Vikings unveiled the design of their future home in a red-carpet presentation Monday night, and the yet-to-be-named stadium comes complete with bells and whistles and abundance of windows.

That was the minimum expectation, of course, because the stadium will cost just south of $1 billion. Anything with that price tag should come with a “wow” factor. The Vikings treated the occasion like a gala, inviting dignitaries, fans and media to the Guthrie Theater for a first glimpse of a structure that finally will became a reality after years of hard-fought battles at the State Capitol.

If Vikings owner Zygi Wilf had any sense of humor, he would have begun the presentation with video of the Metrodome roof collapsing under the weight of snow before cutting away to his new stadium. A before-after contrast always creates a dramatic effect.

In all seriousness, the new stadium is bright and open and includes many features that will improve Vikings gameday exponentially. Sightlines are better, and wider concourses won’t turn fans into human bumper cars anymore. Two high-definition video boards will enhance the experience, women will be able to use the restroom without missing an entire quarter and five 95-foot pivot windows allow in plenty of sunlight. Architects even connected the skyway system to the stadium.

Truthfully, I came to the event expecting to be disappointed that the stadium does not include a retractable roof, which sort of felt like putting a cassette tape player in a Ferrari. You’ve already spent a lot of money. Why not go all the way?

The Vikings say their budget doesn’t allow for an extra $25 million to $50 million to pay for a retractable roof. I questioned why a billionaire owner wouldn’t dig a little deeper and find a way to make it work, so that fans can enjoy our fall weather, even if the team only opened it a handful of games each season. Fans have been cooped up long enough for football games.

That said, the Vikings found a suitable compromise that will bring an outdoor feel and atmosphere to the stadium. The stadium is covered by a clear, transparent roof that lets in plenty of light — enough to cast shadows based on a video presentation. The large pivot doors open to the west, allowing views of the downtown skyline. Those two features will add ambience and light and give the stadium a unique quality.

Anything beats a Teflon ceiling and dumpy amenities, of course. The cost and funding mechanisms for this project still divide citizens and spark arguments over whether this is money well spent. But in simple football terms and entertainment value, a new football stadium is long overdue.

The Dome provided a loud, obnoxious home-field advantage, but everything about the place is antiquated and cumbersome. People pay big money these days for the entire gameday experience, and Vikings fans are getting shortchanged in that regard.

Having visited other NFL cities as a Vikings beat writer, I’ve witnessed the stark difference between the Dome and venues in other locales such as Green Bay, Arizona, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Houston, New England and Detroit, to name a few. Those communities take pride in their stadiums. Ours has become a punch line.

Football stadiums usually don’t inspire the same romantic attachment as baseball ballparks. Many baseball purists take pilgrimages to every major league stadium as part of their bucket list. You don’t hear that happening as much in football.

But this new stadium will enhance the overall fan experience, make the Vikings more financially competitive and give our community something to proud of, much like we obsess over Target Field’s splendor. The stadium also should bring our market into the discussion as potential hosts of a Super Bowl, Final Four and other major events.

Monday’s unveiling served as another milestone event in a long and sometimes painful process. We finally know what the Vikings stadium will look like. At first blush, the place seems opulent, like a $1 billion home should.

Now the question is, how are they going to pay for this?

 

Chip Scoggins • ascoggins@startribune.com

  • related content

  • With its transparent roof, the new Vikings stadium will give a unique look to downtown Minneapolis.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 2 FINAL
Washington 0
Pittsburgh 7 FINAL
Detroit 3
Miami 3 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Boston - WP: K. Couch 11 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Reavis 8
NY Yankees - LP: M. Tanaka 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: T. Milone 3
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Philadelphia 6 FINAL
Toronto 10
Chicago Cubs 15 FINAL
Texas 10
Cincinnati - WP: M. Lorenzen 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Chicago WSox 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Seattle 6 FINAL
Cleveland 8
Oakland - WP: J. Fuller 13 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: B. Loconsole 10
Texas 7 FINAL
Arizona 8
Houston 8 FINAL
Atlanta 5
Kansas City 4 FINAL
San Diego 1
Atlanta 95 FINAL
Detroit 105
Indiana 106 FINAL
Brooklyn 111
San Antonio 95 FINAL
Miami 81
Golden State 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 106
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 3
Carolina 2 FINAL
Washington 4
Florida 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Detroit 1
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
Toronto 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 5 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
UT Martin 66 FINAL
Evansville 79
Miami-Florida 60 FINAL
Temple 57
NJIT 61 FINAL
Northern Ariz 68
Stanford 67 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close