Editorial: Vikings can't expect too muchThe Minnesota Vikings suffered another setback Sunday, dropping to 1-6 in what is promising to be a long — and losing — season for their fans. Nevertheless, even though the Vikes may currently be losers on the gridiron, it’s difficult for many to fathom losing them to, say, Los Angeles.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
The Minnesota Vikings suffered another setback Sunday, dropping to 1-6 in what is promising to be a long — and losing — season for their fans.
Nevertheless, even though the Vikes may currently be losers on the gridiron, it’s difficult for many to fathom losing them to, say, Los Angeles, which is a distinct possibility should a deal to build a new stadium not be reached in the not-so-distant future.
The team’s ownership has indicated a desire to stay, but it appears a little more flexibility on their part may be needed to do so.
Most notably, the team has made clear its preference for a new stadium site is Arden Hills, where construction would take place on a former Army ammunition dump in the Ramsey County suburb. The Vikings have proposed that $350 million of the total cost be paid via a half-cent sales tax increase in the county, while the state would contribute $300 million (from where, no one yet knows) and the team pay $407 million plus potential cost overruns.
There are several problems with this plan. Among them:
* Many voters in Ramsey County are strongly opposed to the proposed tax hike, and a petition drive is already being organized that would force a public referendum in the event the increase is imposed.
* Getting state legislators to agree on where to find $300 million given the state’s current budget woes may ultimately be as likely as the Vikings winning a division title this season.
* There are many who want to keep the team in Minneapolis, though Gov. Mark Dayton said last week in an Associated Press report: “The only site the Vikings are willing to consider, and to put four to five hundred million dollars into, is Arden Hills.”
Dayton has announced a special session to address the stadium matter. But, as House Majority Leader Matt Dean said simply last week, “The state’s hurting right now. People are really anxious about the economy and their jobs.”
The Vikings, in other words, can’t realistically expect everything they want from the state ... that is, if they’re truly serious about staying in Minnesota.