Common Good?

So, the state legislature, in one of its many ham-handed moves this year, has managed to kill a Vikings stadium bill that Republicans, Democrats, the legislature, Governor, city, the Vikings and even, to some degree, Hennepin county agreed to.


But is that a bad thing? No, not entirely. But now begin the threats.


Please think back to when we’ve seen this story before: the Twins, after having lost a round for a new ballpark in the legislature, whined and went to league meetings saying publicly they had no other options, and came out as one of two teams to be either contracted, or moved to North Carolina. But in stepped a judge who ruled that the team had to play out its lease in the Metrodome, putting a stop to the plan to eliminate the Twins and the Expos from Major League Baseball.


That was 2002. Eight years later, the team moved into its new home.


So the day after the state has failed to provide the Vikings with their own new stadium, the National Football League has come out and started its threats, saying that there are plenty of people, groups, and places who would love to own an NFL franchise and move it to their town. Yeah, like having a team like this is a privilege.


I’m sorry, a pro sports franchise does not measurably make life better for a city or a state. Regardless of what people promise, I can’t see how a stadium that isn’t even used for a total of one quarter of the days of the year can possibly have a huge economic impact. But there are fans–huge fans–who would be angry beyond words if their team were pushed out the town.


Pro sports are a business, but they wouldn’t be a business without their consumers–the fans. Even the Twins realized this and finally ended up paying just about half of the cost of their new ballpark. The best the Vikings have offered so far is about 35-40%. And that’s for a stadium that’s expected to cost around $1 billion.


Please, everyone, remember that this state, like may states, is running short on money, and those currently in control can’t figure out a good way to raise more money. So maybe prudence is a smart move at this point?


But so is creating jobs for two or three years to build something like a stadium.


I’m not going to side with anyone here, because everyone’s wrong. But whining and posturing makes it that much worse. Grow up, people…Life will go on without a bad football team. And like we did 10 years ago, we should stand up to a league that likes bullying its fans.


So shut up, reconsider the issues, and try again. But just shut up and stop the public yelling.


See you tomorrow.