Reporting Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The city of Minneapolis laid out its plans Monday to keep the Minnesota Vikings in downtown Minneapolis.
The city’s mayor calls the plan the game changer.
“Our governor has called for a people’s stadium. We believe this is a people’s solution,” said Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak. “This is going to do for football what we think Camden Yard did for baseball.”
City leaders said they would pay for a state-of-the-art stadium, which will be built on the Metrodome’s land, using a sales tax, expanded restaurant and liquor taxes, and a $10 parking surcharge.
Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the plan, the Vikings didn’t see too excited. Moreover, Ramsey County told WCCO-TV that it was close to sealing its stadium deal with the Vikings.
Now that there seems to be two viable stadium plans on the table, fans are speaking out about where they think the stadium should go.
Vikings fans WCCO-TV spoke with talked pros and cons about both stadiums and also talked about what which one would give the most memorable Vikings experience.
“The good point about Arden Hills is you got a lot of room and a lot of development could be made in the area; the bad thing about Arden Hills is it is away from the majority of the population,” said Vikings fan Chris Mochinski.
Mochinski also said that he thinks that, in the end, the stadium should stay in Minneapolis.
Contrary to Mochinski, some fans say that the room available in Arden Hills (a possible 25,000 parking spaces) would make for prime tailgating real estate.
Also, Arden Hills may open up the franchise to more of the state.
Still, many fans would miss the infrastructure that could get them downtown, such as the light rail and buses.
In the end, most of the people WCCO-TV spoke with wanted the stadium to be in Minneapolis, but true purple and gold fans, like Eric Grauvilardell, say that as long as the Vikings stay in Minnesota they will come.
“I feel like fans are going to find the way to get to the game no matter where it is,” Grauvilardell said.