With the stadium issue FINALLY behind us (you youngsters out there get to experience this again in 2046. Have fun with that.) we asked in today's paper whether the new venue will result in a better product and more wins on the field.
The short answer is, well, not exactly. There are no guarantees that come with that $975 million price tag. But, remember, revenue gained from stadium suites and concessions is the only revenue that's not shared evenly in the NFL. So while there is a salary cap, the teams with the new stadiums do have a cash advantage to spend up to the maximum cap number.
Also, if it makes you feel any better, history pretty much guaranteed the Vikings would have left if they didn't get the new stadium.
Before the Vikings' stadium deal was approved on Thursday, 78.1 percent of the leagues 32 cities had, since 1995, either built new stadiums (21), significantly renovated old ones (three) or reached an agreement to build a new one. (In the print edition today, we (as in I) messed up by forgetting to put in the words "since 1995.")
So that was 25 cities making the commitment in the span of 17 years. And three of those cities -- Cleveland, Houston and St. Louis -- did so at a greater cost after having previously lost an NFL team.
Here's another nugget to consider: Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf's contribution to the cost of the stadium is $477 million. That's more than the entire costs of the stadiums built in Cincinnati in 2000 ($455 million), Denver in 2001 ($401 million), Pittsburgh in 2001 ($281 million), Detroit in 2002 ($430 million), Seattle in 2002 ($430 million), Tennessee in 2002 ($352 million), New England in 2002 ($325 million) and Arizona in 2006 ($455 million).