With the Gophers and Twins getting new stadiums in 2009 and 2010, the Vikings have been left out. As the team's lease with the Metrodome draws to an end, there is no secret that the team needs a new home. Why are people so negative against moving the Vikings into a new home?
Although the economic times for a new stadium isn't ideal, construction alone on a new stadium would create many jobs. The new project is projected to create around 13,500 jobs. Around 8,000 of those jobs will be created during the construction of the new stadium.
Knowing first hand, there is nothing better than having a long time job in the construction/trade business. With the economy the way it is, a lot of construction/trade workers are getting laid off due to lack of work. If nobody is building, construction companies aren't working. These 8,000 workers will have peace of mind that they'll have a long term project to get a paycheck from. This is going to be a big project taking up to four years to complete. These workers won't have to wake up wondering if today is the day they get laid off due to lack of projects.
To get a general idea on the employment figures, the Target Field project employed 3,100 construction workers while the TCF Bank Stadium plan used 2,200 construction workers. This goes to show that this proposed project will create more jobs then those two projects combined.
Along with those construction jobs, Vikings' Owner Zygi Wilf is planning on giving the entire Metrodome area a face lift. Wilf wants to privately invest hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild the Metrodome's surrounding area. You can expect office buildings, shops and restaurants. What do those three things mean? New or improved businesses which makes more jobs.
In the NFL, a new stadium means that there is a good chance of that city getting a chance to host the Super Bowl.
Look at what the NHL All-Star game did for the Xcel Energy Center and the city of St. Paul. It brought visitors from all over the World. Now imagine what the Super bowl would do? It would only help the state and the city of Minneapolis. With people flocking in from all over up to two weeks before the actual game is played, local establishments such as hotels and restaurants will receive an extreme boost in business.
So what exactly are the plans for a new stadium?
There have been many proposed plans for a new Vikings' stadium, the Vikings have settled on one in particular. The current plan is to use the current Metrodome site to build a new stadium. As of now, the entitled "Metrodome Next" project will give the Metrodome's current location a complete overhaul and construct a stadium complete with a retractable roof and a state-of-the-art design which is sure to include wider corridors and more restrooms.
During construction of a new stadium, it would be a safe bet that the Vikings would play at the new TCF Bank Stadium. It seems kind of ironic since the Vikings and Gophers have shared a home since 1982 and now after the Gopher's got their own stadium, the two teams may once again be reunited. It will only be temporary, however.
The "Metrodome Next" project is slated to cost around $954 million. Around $200 million of the total cost will go towards a retractable roof. Out of the $954 million, the Vikings are going to be paying around $250 million of the total cost. The rest of the $700 million would be paid via taxpayers and the state.
Even though $700 million seems like a lot, much like the 75% Hennepin County sales tax that is paying for the Twins' Target Field, it adds up to just $25 per resident per year which is like a dinner for two at a mid-scale restaurant. You can expect a very similar tax plan if the new Vikings' stadium gets the green light.
The rest of the funds required for the project are going towards the actual structure, parking, land, and projected inflation costs.
If it's going to cost an extra $200 million, does there really need to be a roof on the stadium?
Even though a retractable roof does not seem necessary, a roof would allow the stadium to be used year around. Concerts, basketball events, high-school related games, motor related events (supercross, monster truck rallies), and conventions could all take place when the Vikings are not using the stadium.
It's really no secret that Zygi Wilf wants a new stadium and would rather sell the team than sign a new lease with the Metrodome. While Zygi says he won't move the team, one could wonder; if Zygi does want to sell the team, will he care if the new owner wants to relocate out-state?
As of today, the Vikings' lease with the Metrodome will end in 2011. That means that after the 2011 NFL season, the Vikings will basically be free agents. Since the team won't have any home or be tied down, they will be free to move anywhere. Anywhere also includes Los Angeles or anywhere else not in the state of Minnesota.
The fact of the matter is that the Metrodome is on it's last legs and is no longer a suitable stadium. If you've been there for any type of event, you know what I'm talking about. Cramped corridors, lack of restrooms, cramped seating, and a lingering musty smell that mysteriously increases when there's an influx of Green Bay fans in the stadium. Interesting fact to say the least.
Let's get busy and get our Vikings a new stadium. Hopefully a successful 2009 will convince the state of Minnesota that the Vikings deserve a new stadium as well.
If you're in favor for the Vikings getting a new home, you can join "Minnesota Momentum" which is a coalition of Vikings fans and stadium supporters and is co-led by the legendary Bud Grant. You can join and spread the word at www.minnesotamomentum.com. You can also contact your local elected officials and tell them that you want to see the Vikings in a new home.