My dream for the new baseball stadium in Minneapolis was that the exterior would replicate the multi-colored bricks that served as the back wall for the grandstand at Metropolitan Stadium.
Dave St. Peter, the Twins president, broke the sad news to me that, while there would be nostalgic bows to Met Stadium at Target Field, there was a much-better idea for the exterior of the new yard.
I still would have preferred the gaudy assortment of bricks, but the Kasota stone turned out OK, I guess.
My dream for the Vikings new dome had nothing to do with the design. I could give a rat’s patooey.
This dream was that owner Zygi Wilf would be satisfied with hundreds of millions of dollars rolling in from the state, the city of Minneapolis, for naming rights and other sponsorships, as well as his magnificent 1/30th of the NFL’s billions, and do the right thing -- that being, to forego the demand for many more 10s of millions in “seat licenses’’ from the ticket buyers.
That was way too much to ask, of course, and The Zygmeister is going to haul in another $125 million from the public with the advance charge to season ticket-holders.
Oh, well. If you’re dumb enough to pay it rather than watch for free on a 60-inch TV screen, that’s on you, I guess.
My alternate dream was for the Taj Ma Zygi to honor its predecessor, the Metrodome, not with a bow to its structure (revolving doors?), but in a living, breathing fashion.
It was clear from the time Zygi flashed that evil grin as he shoveled dirt with Gov. Mark Dayton at the ground breaking that the stadium would open in the summer of 2016 with a concert or two.
Luke Bryan and his tight jeans are now scheduled for Aug. 19. My guess is the Vikings are trying to convince Prince to headline an earlier concert as the kickoff to the stadium.
Whatever the first concert, what I truly wanted was an appearance by Michael Paloma singing the “New York Blues.’’ Obviously, Michael wasn’t quite the huge name needed to serve as the main eventer, but a half-hour as a warmup act … the memory of the Metrodome deserved that, at least.
What fan of the Vikings from a decade ago can forget Paloma?
The ribbon board for advertising that zoomed beneath the second deck of the Dome was relatively new in 2004, when at the start of that Vikings season appeared ads for “Michael Paloma and the New York Blues.’’
All game long, Paloma was in the ad rotation on the ribbon board, and then there would be several audio clips where we could hear just a snippet of Michael’s unique brand of music.
In the press box, we would turn to one another and ask, “Who in the name of the Blues Brothers is Michael Paloma?’’ I would guess those noticing the ads in the stands were doing to the same.
On Dec. 14, 2004, I was moved to try to answer this question in print.
I had discovered a snippet from Atomic Vision, a website covering the L.A. music scene, revealing there were currently a couple of large billboards on Sunset Blvd. pushing “Michael Paloma and the New York Blues.’’
The reporter noted that there was no label affiliation mentioned and charged that the billboards had to be an “overgrown vanity project’’ for Paloma.
Further prowling of the Internet revealed that Paloma had been charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2002 for claiming in various press releases that Desert Winds Entertainment (a company he owned with Matthew Bardasian) had signed a $25 million contract with Warner Bros. television.
Michael was ordered to pay a total of more than $500,000 to reimburse ill-gotten gains and in fines.
Two years later, he was going round-and-round the Metrodome ribbon board as a legendary blues-man.
The legend was being discussed on Twin Cities sports radio last week, along with my desire to have him as part of the first concert at the new dome.
And then I received a link from a listener from a Hollywood media outlet dated April 13, 2008 and carrying the headline: “Mobster Sentenced to 10 Yrs in Federal Prison After Playing the Part of a Mobster in Film ‘Forget About It.’ ‘’
It seemed that Michael Paloma, a k a Michael Ralph Saquella, a k a Michael Blake, was involved in a scheme with the Bonanno crime family to bilk as many as 25,000 penny stock investors out of up to $50 million.
Michael pled guilty, received the 10-year sentence and was ordered to pay $7.8 million in restitution.
The Metrodome’s favorite blues-man would be 7+ years through a 10-year stretch by now. Even if he has gotten out early, it would seem unlikely that my dream of Michael Paloma appearing as part of a grand opening concert at the Taj Ma Zygi will go unfulfilled.
(Note: I did text a high-ranking Vikings official asking if he could recall how it came about that Michael Paloma was advertising during their games. I did not receive a response. I’m beginning to think there are people in the Vikings hierarchy who just don’t love me anymore.)