Opinion Corner: Stadium will be a boonThe Minneapolis City Council is scheduled to vote on the new Vikings stadium on May 24. When they do, it is extremely likely that they will maintain their previous positive stance (7-6 for), and vote in favor of the stadium proposal.
By: Caey Johnson, The Jamestown Sun
The Minneapolis City Council is scheduled to vote on the new Vikings stadium on May 24. When they do, it is extremely likely that they will maintain their previous positive stance (7-6 for), and vote in favor of the stadium proposal.
Assuming that vote is just a formality (which hopefully isn’t being overly presumptuous), a bright and exciting future awaits Minnesota sports fans. To the state’s stadium supporters, the ever-present cloud of gloom and fear that resulted from the team’s potential exodus from the state has finally passed. That negativity has since been replaced by an unshakable positivity and optimism because, in addition to the Vikings getting a state-of-the-art new stadium, the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis are getting a facility that will attract numerous other opportunities.
The Wilfs have already publicly stated that they would love to be in the bidding to host the Super Bowl in 2017. Few cold-weather cities have hosted the Super Bowl, but it was played at the Metrodome in 1992 and, more recently, at Ford Field in Detroit (2006) and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (2012).
Given that reviews about this year’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis were greatly positive, it follows that Minneapolis might also be able to make a strong case for the game to be played in the city’s brand new stadium in 2017. And who knows, by then, maybe the Vikings will actually be able to contend for a championship. Had it been sooner than 2017, I wouldn’t have given them a chance, but five years has to be long enough to become relevant again, right?
The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Final Four is another extremely sought after event that Minneapolis now has the potential to bring back to the city. The Metrodome housed the Final Four in 1992 and 2001, and there’s no reason that the new stadium shouldn’t be a perfect place to host another Final Four shortly after its completion.
Just imagine the excitement that would be generated when Dicky V walks into the coliseum that is the new Target Stad … I mean the new Vikings stadium. Come on, could it get any better than Luther Vandross singing “One Shining Moment” with the final highlights coming from a game played within Minnesota’s new stadium?
This would be a prime opportunity for me to joke about the Gophers men’s team making it to the Final Four when it’s hypothetically held at this new stadium, but that’s an even easier target than the Vikings and, frankly, just plain mean.
I can also envision seeing huge concerts being played at this new stadium. Imagine the atmosphere at a concert with 60,000 fans. Although there are few acts that could probably fill a stadium that big, the ones that could would be incredible, like Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, for example. I don’t want to throw out too many other names for fear of alienating anyone and their musical taste, but I think you get the idea.
We must also remember that, as part of the Vikings stadium bill, the Wilfs have sole rights to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to Minneapolis for the next five years. I know that to many that seems like an irrelevant piece of fine print that won’t amount to anything. However, the MLS is growing, and although only a couple of the league’s teams were profitable as of 2010, the league is believed to be gaining popularity.
It currently has 19 teams and continues to seek expansion opportunities. If a little market research shows a strong enough soccer interest in the Twin Cities, it isn’t unreasonable to think that the Wilfs could attempt to bring a team to Minneapolis. Smaller markets than Minneapolis have teams, such as Kansas City and Columbus. Now, I know that no one is mistaking the sport, or its popularity in the U.S., for American football, but I think that many would find it to be an exciting addition to the city’s professional sports teams.
I’m not going to try to guess how much profit will be earned from these endeavors. However, one can be assured that Minneapolis and Minnesota, as a whole, will greatly benefit from these incredible new opportunities from both a financial and cultural standpoint. Not only will the Vikings have a new home, but Minnesota will have a fantastic, new cultural landmark that will open doors for additional revenue generating opportunities for bars/restaurants, hotels, retailers, etc.
The financial benefits are the reason why cities and states help build new stadiums, and as a whole, the numerous benefits provided by the stadium will become a tremendous source of pride and joy for Minnesota and its sports fans.
Johnson is a 2007 graduate of Jamestown High School. He lives and works in the Twin Cities. Read his blog at www.http://caseyjohnson.wordpress.com/