Let’s review what we know: the Minnesota Vikings have been asking the city for a new stadium for a long time, with little success. They’re entering the last year of their lease (one of the NFL’s least team-beneficial even though the Vikings haven’t paid rent in nine years) in their current facility, which has just broken in a colossal manner. Lots of people with lots of money want to build the Vikings a new stadium in Los Angeles.
And then what?
Well, the San Diego Chargers are also being pursued by some of those L.A. entities, and the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills have been discussed as well. If L.A. can lure one of those teams, the Vikes are stuck with whatever Minneapolis will give them.
One of the most recent Minnesota proposals was for a 65,000-seat, sliding-roof stadium with downtown views. Vikings officials gave it a thumbs-down due to its $870 million price tag. A subsequent proposal was shot down 10-9 in a May, 2010 Minnesota State House vote, and the matter hasn’t been touched since.
Money’s not exactly flowing anywhere these days, and the Midwest has taken as hard a hit as any other region. I’ll stop pretending to know anything about Minnesota’s economy now, but there’s a reason this thing has dragged on for years.
With the very embarrassing and thank-God-nobody-was-in-it collapse of the existing stadium, something’s gotta give. But if another team makes the jump to L.A. and Minneapolis doesn’t strike a Qatar-sized natural gas reserve, we might see the Vikings playing in some sort of heavily reinforced Metrodome for years to come.