Minneapolis is asking for input to determine the design of the Commons, as the park by the stadium will be known. How hard it can be, really? A lawn, trees, a fountain and a big piece of whimsical sculpture, like an enormous mitten standing as a memorial to all the ones we lost. Done. Go gambol in the native grasses.
There's an online survey that asks folks what they want, but it doesn't pose a key question: Are you OK with roads running through the park? The honest options would have to be A) What? B) Hold on, roads? C) No no no. Because I don't think anyone wants roads. You run two streets through a park, you get three small parks.
Probably unavoidable, though, since tunnels would be impractical. Bridges would be nice. Person-sized slingshots to get you over the street would be fun. But who'll pay? The landscaping alone will cost $15 million, and that has to come from private sources.
Like donations from grateful Vikings players and executives! Well, possibly, although it's more likely to come from coins dropped by overhead herds of airborne pigs.
Here's the thing about Our New Park that always snags your sleeve: The Vikes have the right to the park 100 days a year. Let's say they have eight home games, where the park can be given over to revelers with blue lips howling WOOOOO for the TV cameras. That leaves 92 days.
It's possible they will hold summer events with banners proclaiming the Vikings logo, because, well, folks tend to forget about football in June. Vikings? Rings a bell. Purple dudes, right? But there's one troubling detail. There are residential units on the east side of the park. Don't tell me these people can't see sanctioned Vikings events without permission. Someone could take video of the events without the express permission of the League.
• Tall, fast-growing trees that prevent unapproved/unlicensed spectators. Preferably evergreens, for year-round protection
• Vikings-controlled window blinds that descend by remote control.
It's not fair to make the residents pay, though. The money should come out of general tax revenue.
After all, it's our park. Except when it isn't.