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Behind the Packers Looms a Much Larger Enemy

While the media, fans, et al are fixated on tonight’s Vikings v Packers game, the real threat to Vikings fans isn’t wearing green and sporting a hat made of cheese. The true enemy will be on TV tonight along with both teams, but won’t be the center of attention, other than the new naming rights to the field within.

When the Metrodome was first constructed it was a modern marvel of sports palaces, a place the frozen fans could finally warm their hands and feet while rooting for their team to defeat any and all comers. But, the inexorable march of time has beaten down the Metrodome so badly that it’s now considered a relic of a bygone era. One-step better than the Roman Coliseum, in terms of sports venues.

In the days before the Metrodome, having an outdated facility simply meant the fans would have a less than desired experience while watching Fran Tarkenton and the gang dismember an opponent. Now, the impending doom of such a thing is far more deadly to the Vikings faithful.

While the local media is touting the Mall of America Field naming rights as some glorious achievement, those who run the stadium initiative in Los Angeles are wringing their hands in anticipation, waiting to steal yet another Minnesota Sports Team.

(Notice the colors in the stands? I'm sure this wasn't done by accident.)

But, they won’t even have to steal the Vikings, because we’re going to give them to LA, lock, stock and barrel.

How are we going to do that, you say? By complaining that we shouldn’t pay for a new stadium.

I heard a female DJ on the radio the other day, exclaiming that if women should have to pay an equal share of taxes on a new Vikings stadium, then men should shoulder the financial burden for a new shopping mall the ladies could enjoy on Sunday afternoons. The only problem with that is there’s never been a shopping mall that had the sheer financial impact on a metropolitan area that a Superbowl does.

The cost shouldered by the local taxpayers will be repaid once the ‘Bowl comes to town, and if we build it, the game will come. Just look at Phoenix, where the Superbowl brought a whopping $305.8 million boost to Arizona's economy in less than one month. Imagine what else it’s done in far higher ticket sales, larger crowds at local restaurants, more tourism in local hotels, bigger sales in local gas stations, convenience stores, etc. And the buck doesn’t stop there, as the ‘Bowl will return to Glendale again and again.

It takes money to make money and while keeping the Vikings here in the Metrodome is good for the local economy, losing them will be devastating, especially when you factor in the lost revenue a Superbowl will bring.

Now, if we can pull off the ultimate prize and host the ‘Bowl, as the Vikings represent the NFC, it’ll be all the sweeter. That’s up to Chilly and the gang, but the stadium is up to us.

- Mike Bullock

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