By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Downtown Minneapolis is packed with Twins fans on opening day as Minnesota, indeed the region, welcoming the second season of outdoor baseball at Target field. Just how hard it was to get Target Field financed is a bit of a blurry memory. It was tough — really tough. The low point came when it looked like the Twins were going to disappear as Major League Baseball was set to “contract” and lose a few teams.
The Vikings stadium bill has been introduced in the legislature amidst the economic hangover from the Great Recession. The proposal, which calls for user fees and a Vikings lottery game to fund the public portion of the stadium, is the best shot at getting a stadium that would keep the team here. For those who doubt the team would move, I suggest you check out the daily stream of news articles like this one coming out of LA, all of which include the Vikings as one of the teams likely to pick up and move west.
The biggest piece missing in the Vikings stadium proposal is the lack of a city or county partner willing to step up and share the cost and the eventual benefits of getting a stadium. Perhaps those leaders thinking their community might be a stadium site, should venture down to Target Field and check out the scene. The thousands of people visiting and spending their money, generating tax revenue, could be coming to their community in a few years if they had a Viking stadium. They might also want to remember that not one of the Hennepin County Commissioners that voted for a special sales tax for Target Field lost a reelection bid.