38 thoughts on “Vikings Stadium and Target Field Value Propositions Differ

  1. PM says:

    Yeah, and the Vikes also suffer because they are the last ones left in the Dome–without them, the dome truly becomes a white elephant, to be demolished with lots of negative PR about why it was flawed from the beginning.

    I think that is the reason for the efforts to “remodel” the dome to fit the Vikes needs–no one wants an unused facility like the Dome just sitting there empty. If the Vikes are smart, they will realize that, and figure out a way to use that site in their plans.

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Sure, that all makes too much sense. But if the price of admission to the NFL is a new stadium and these stadiums are predominanlly funded with considerable tax-payer assistance, we either play by those rules, regardless of the cost/benefit analysis, or go home don’t we?

      1. PM says:

        Yeah, i think that is the choice we have.

        Do we want to put our bonding $$$ into things like the Mn Zoo and the Como Zoo and MNSCU and prisons for sex offenders and the U (including its new program for escorts) or do we want it to go to the Vikings?

        Those are the types of choices we are facing.

      2. Joe Loveland says:

        Dennis, you’re right. This is one of the toughest issues for me. The sports fanatic in me loves the idea of stadia subsidies to keep teams and the policy wonk in me hates the idea. Those are two powerful forces in my pea brain, and so I am tortured.

      3. Momkat says:

        I’m not a sports fan but have been to the dome for both baseball and football games. Before the Gophers and Twins left, the dome was the only self-supporting stadium in the country and was able to offer it’s use to other groups, Girl Scouts, high school baseball, rollerblading, etc., at reasonable rates. I’ll be astonished if we taxpayers build a stadium for 8 Viking games.

      4. Joe Loveland says:

        Good point Momkat.

        Metrodomes website tells me “The Metrodome is used about 300 days every year. Of those event days, fewer than 100 feature professional or major college sports” and “From November through April, 50,000 in-line skaters come indoors and cruise along the Metrodome’s concourses.”

        I wonder if Mall of America Field at Metrodome Next would be willing and able to be this open to the general public beyond the 8 regular home games. I know that at least some of those events are baseball games — it’s used by high schools and colleges all night long this time of year — which couldn’t be played in the new football stadium.

    2. Joe Loveland says:

      Right, beyond cost-benefit reasons, the Vikings biggest barrier is probably stadium fatigue. It’s darn tough being the last billionaire in line during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

  2. Dennis Lang says:

    Personally, I’ll be surprised if we don’t find a way. Hard to imagine this franchise leaving, but clearly the owners would be justified pulling out if offered a new stadium somewhere else. The Met is grossly substandard in the extravagantly expensive neighborhood of the NFL. This sport has become too popular, in the words of a former player, an “opiate”. The Vikings would be a brutal habit to break–as long as they’re competitve anyway.

  3. Mrs. Fay says:

    I recall a recent (and still ongoing, barely) controversy involving some park called “Fenway” in Boston….it’s too old, dilapdated, dated and small…let’s bulid a new one, a better one…That ended up OK.. so far….
    By the way anyone have tix to the Opener against the Red Sox?
    Oh, and see…NE Patriots re: Sullivan Stadium, now that was a gross place!

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Ah, Mrs Fay–Fenway IS baseball. Way too iconic to ever replace. I think Wrigley Field may be the only other remaining original of such great historic character. Target Field here will be the modern rendition of that tradition, preserving the inner-city spirit that has been integral to the heritage of the game. But the Twins NEED a closer or all our expectations will end up a pile of goo.

  4. A retractable-roof Vikings stadium will be used for a variety of events that Target Field cannot.

    NFL teams also have stronger private stadium funding tools at their disposal.

    A Vikings stadium deal that good for the Vikings and good for Minnesota is possible, but the deal that’s on the table is a “sweetheart” deal that needs to be fixed this year or they’ll be the L.A. Vikings in 2012.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      A couple questions, Tony:

      1) Don’t the Vikings owners still prefer roofless (I think that was one of the primary issues that killed the Anoka County partnership)? If so, wouldn’t a roofless, baseball-less facility be of much less utility to the community than the swiss army knife-like Metrodome?

      2) Which parts of the current offer are “sweetheart” in your estimation? I ask out of curiousity, not out of skepticism.

  5. Minnesotan says:

    I still don’t see where the Vikes have that much leverage. There are 7-8 teams that may potentially be relocated to LA. That’s 25% of the league.

    We’re not the only city in the cross-hairs. If we were, I’d be much more worried. Considering Vikes should be a contending team for a few more years, I think they are much less likely to get shipped to LA compared to some of the other teams that haven’t been good for a few years and are basically an afterthought on the average NFL fans radar.

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      “Seven or eight” teams seems a little excessive. I’m aware of Jacksonville and Buffalo being somewhat antsy, what others? I’m certain the NFL regards it as a privilege for any community to be the proud possessor of one of only thirty-two franchises–and in a sense it is.

      PS: Interestingly, there may be an exception other than LA., but all citiies having lost a franchise invariably acted to fill the void: ie. Cleveland, Baltimore, St. Louis, Houston etc..

    2. Joe Loveland says:

      Agree, Minnesotan. It doesn’t look like we’re at the top of the LA ownership group’s list:

      The company behind a plan to lure the NFL back to Los Angeles said Tuesday the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills are the first teams it will try to relocate.

      They also include the San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders.

      But he said the Jaguars and the Bills are at the top of the list because they play in small markets that tamp down their earning potential and because they have little hope of building larger venues in their home regions.

      ‘Jacksonville and Buffalo are two teams in very, very small markets,’ he said. ‘They are teams that have either outdated stadiums or are having trouble filling their stadiums or both.'”

  6. Joe:

    Zygi has accepted the fact that a retractable-roof Vikings stadium should be built, he just doesn’t want to pay for the $200 million+ added cost of the retractable-roof. He’s offered to contribute one third the cost of a roofless stadium or about $216 million, which is a woefully low contribution.

    Add in the value of the Metrodome site and the proposed infrastructure improvements and it’s a $1 billion+ project.

    Zygi’s basically offering a 20% private / 80% public funding formula.

    The Cowboys stadium is funded by 70% from private sources and 30% from public sources.

    The 49ers stadium deal that will be vote on in Santa Clara on June 8 is for an 88% private / 12% public funding formula.

    It’s a sweetheart deal because Zygi’s only offering to contribute 20% of the project’s cost and he can use stadium revenues like naming-rights, seat licenses, user fees, etc. to fund his portion.

    ….and a domed or retractable-roof stadium made little sense in Blaine. A cheaper open-air stadium would have made perfect sense there.

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Wow, are other new stadiums similarly funded with such a significant percentage private capital? This makes Zygi look like a piker (despite his investment in players).

  7. Ed Roske, Jr. eventually wants two NFL teams playing in the privately funded stadium he’s planning to build…. much like the Jets & Giants sharing a stadium.

    You can rule out the Rams going back to LA, someone just bought the franchise and plans to keep them in St. Louis.

    I think the Vikings are very much in the running for a move to LA… Forbes has been predicting Zygi will unload the team if he doesn’t get a stadium soon….

    Poor Zygi… he paid $600 million for the franchise and can sell them for at least $900 million and laugh all the way to the bank singing “Don’t Cry for Me, Minnesota” with a $300 million profit windfall.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Tony, it’s great to have you here. I don’t know a lot about NFL owner dynamics. But I don’t understand why the NFL would want to move the Vikings — a storied franchise in a decent sized regional market selling out even when only achieving mediocrity on the field — instead of hopeless franchise like Jacksonville.

  8. Joe:

    It’s more about team revenues than about the on-field performance.

    The league is not pleased about the Vikings not carrying their weight financially. They’re currently (at least up until this year) receiving $15 – $20 million in league revenue sharing and the lack of “Club” seats means they’re not helping to pay off G-3 stadium funding loans.

    I doubt the league would object to the Vikings relocating to LA if a new stadium deal isn’t reached soon.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Tony, I understand it’s not about team performance. My point: The fact that this team is selling out in both good years and bad shows that it’s a very proven market for the NFL.

      Yes, the Metrodome doesn’t generate the revenues the NFL wants to see. But which community would the NFL abandon first: 1) a community with strong longstanding demand for NFL tickets or 2) a community with a longstanding disinterest in NFL tickets?

      I understand that the NFL badly wants a better revenue-generating stadium in Minnesota, and would eventually leave Minnesota if, after they have first shut down weaker markets like Jacksonville and Buffalo, Minnesota still isn’t paying their ransom. But why would the Vikings be on the top of their list of markets to abandon, before a Jacksonville or Buffalo?

    2. Minnesotan says:

      I agree the league cares more about revenue than performance. However, I think there would be less hand-wringing by fans & the media over a team like Jacksonville – with no real history to speak of, being moved compared to a team like the Vikes.

      As far as I understand it, the biggest problem with the Dome isn’t necessarily the lack of luxury suites – it’s that the Vikes don’t get the revenue from parking and concession sales. The stadium itself is decent for football.

      I just wonder how many NFL teams need to leave LA before they quit trying to bring teams there.

      1. There’s no NFL team in LA because there’s no NFL style stadium there yet. Ed Roski’s about to fix that with an $800 million privately funded stadium.

        The Rams and Raiders either played in baseball stadiums or collegiate stadiums with no private suite or “Club” seats. They left because of the lack of revenue generating stadiums.

        There’s 15 million people within a one hour drive of the proposed stadium site in the City of Industry, CA. More than enough to support 2 NFL franchises.

        Buffalo is already testing the Toronto market. What’s to stop Jacksonville, Buffalo, and the Vikings all moving to Toronto and LA?

  9. Minnesotan says:

    According to Wikipedia – which I realize isn’t always the most reliable source – the problem wasn’t a lack of private or club suites. “There were problems with the filling all of the 90,000-plus seats in the Coliseum to avoid a television blackout in the Los Angeles area.”

    LA has two major college sports programs (USC & UCLA), two professional baseball teams, two NBA teams. Plus California has 3 NFL teams to choose from.

    It’s not an NFL town, no matter how much the league wants it to be.

    1. The Coliseum has no “Club” seats and no private suites.

      The new Cowboys stadium has 15,000 “Club” seats at $340/game and 350 private suites at $100,000 to $500,000 per year, all 20 year leases.

      Do the math…

      1. Minnesotan says:

        You can have all the club and private suites you want. If there’s no demand for them, what good is it?

        And look at what happened with the new Yankees Stadium this year. They built such a shrine that in order to cover the costs they had to charge so much that half the seats behind home plate sat empty – at a brand new stadium in New York or all places.

      2. PM says:

        Tony:

        I think that you made the most important point–the real money is in owning and then selling a franchise. Has there ever been a case where someone has sold at a loss?

      3. I doubt any NFL has ever been sold for a loss.

        80% of Red McCombs $500 million+ profit “windfall” after 7 years of team ownership came from the appreciated value of the franchise.

        Zygi’s on track to match Red’s profit.

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