When gawking at the opulence of the Vikings' new U.S. Bank Stadium, a conversation between two frugal and modest Minnesotans might go something like this:

Minnesotan 1: "Look at it. The scoreboards are huge. It's so nice."

Minnesotan 2: "I've never seen anything like it. It really is nice."

Minnesotan 1: "Of course it better be nice. They spent a billion dollars on it."

Minnesotan 2: "Can you even imagine?"

The actual price tag was $1.1 billion, but that doesn't buy what it used to. I say this only slightly tongue-in-cheek, since my mouth is still agape at the projected cost of the new stadium and related complex for the Rams and Chargers slated for Los Angeles: $5 billion.

That includes "office space for NFL Media, the parking lots surrounding the stadium, and the cost of the entire 300-acre parcel," per the Los Angeles Times. The stadium itself is creeping toward $3 billion.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. mrand@startribune.com