WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Last week, after a long sought after fight by the Minnesota Vikings to get a new stadium, a deal finally came to fruition, or so it would seem. First the house passed their version of the stadium bill with a somewhat bipartisan support. Then it was sent to conference committee where both the house and senate pored over the details, and the senate gave itís final nod. With both houses approval it went to the Governor who was to sign the bill on Monday. The only thing left to do is for the Minneapolis City Council to sign off on it. This could throw a fly in the ointment because it is not certain that proponents have enough votes to pass it.
Somehow it seems the legislature and governor have put the cart before the horse!
What happens if the Minneapolis City Council votes against it? I guess it is somewhat certain that they will not do that. But what if they did vote against it? Then what? Is there a plan B or what? Of course if that were to happen those council persons voting against it would probably receive death threats. There are some really rabid fans out there.
Assuming everything goes as planned, Minnesota will have five state of the art venues to play kids games in, with possibly five mediocre teams playing in them.
But we will have two major league cites, and a reason for east and west coast fans to stop here in fly over land. Now if we could just get a NASCAR race track ó we would have it all!
Not everyone is happy with the stadium deal, right wing nut Phil Krinke thinks it was a really bad deal. He doesnít believe the public should assist billionaire owners to build a new stadium.
In some ways I have to agree with him, in a lot of ways it is a bad deal mostly for outstate Minnesotans. This, and all the rest of the sports venues in the metro, suck out millions of dollars from struggling small towns in rural Minnesota. The money we spend on attending various sporting events in the metro will not spawn a single dollar for rural Minnesota. Unfortunately that is just the way it is. I guess we all have to pay for things we donít necessarily agree with. But perhaps the overall benefit for the entire state might just warrant the expenditure.
I do think the new stadium will create a lot of construction jobs which are sorely needed in that industry. I really canít see much of an increase in permanent jobs though. It also might revitalize the area around the metro dome, and it is rumored that Sid Hartman will probably do OK by it.
Of course the devil is in the details, who gets the revenue from the 300 other events that will take place in the new stadium?
I am not so sure that electronic pull tabs will actually meet their funding expectations. Also is there a plan B if that does not pan out? I only hope that you and I are not the plan B.
Have a great week and do good!
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