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Reality Check: Do Winless Vikes Hurt Stadium Chances?

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota Vikings fans are reeling over Sunday’s second half collapse in the 26-23 overtime loss to the Detroit Lions. It puts the winless purple at the bottom of their division, and it couldn’t come at a worse time for a team that is pushing hard for a new stadium.

But a team’s losing record has little or no effect on whether it gets a publicly subsidized stadium.

The last time the Vikings went 0-3 was 2002, for example. It was Mike Tice’s first full year as coach.

The odds of a team with a 0-3 record making the playoffs — like this year’s Vikings — are very low.

It’s TRUE.

The Vikings playoff chances are about 1.2 percent, according to coolstandings.com, which runs a million NFL computer simulations.

But fortunately for the Vikings, a won-loss record on the football field won’t necessarily hurt their stadium drive at the Capitol.

IN FACT…

In the five years before getting new stadiums, modern NFL teams had an average winning record percentage below .500 — .487 to be exact.

That’s for stadiums built between 1992 and 2010, including news stadiums which opened last year for the New York Jets, New York Giants, and Dallas Cowboys.

That’s NOT THE WHOLE STORY.

The blog SmartPolitics goes back even further to the 1957 opening of New City Stadium in Green Bay, later named Lambeau Field.

The Packers had a five-year winning percentage of just .375.

Here’s what you NEED TO KNOW.

Over 60 years, most NFL teams with new stadiums were losers. Overall, new stadium teams had a winning percentage of just .474.

Put simply, of the 25 teams with new stadiums since 1957 — 11 teams had winning records; 14 did not.

The Minnesota Vikings 30-year lease at the Metrodome in Minneapolis runs out at the end of the 2011 season. The team is asking for publicly funding of a $1.1 billion facility.

The team says it will not renew the lease without the guarantee of a new stadium and it supports a new stadium on the site of a former army ammunition plant in suburban Arden Hills, Minn.

Gov. Mark Dayton has asked the Metropolitan Council to study the proposal and report back to him by Oct. 15.

Based on what the study says, Dayton said he is willing to call a special session of the Minnesota Legislature before Thanksgiving to consider a stadium plan.

To check the resources for this Reality Check, click on the links below.

Pro Football Reference: Mike Tice
NFL Playoff Odds
Wikipedia: History of the New York Giants
Wikipedia: New York Jets
Wikipedia: Dallas Cowboys
Wall Street Journal: A Grand Corral for Cowboys Fans
Stadiums Of Pro Football: Lambeau Field
SmartPolitics: Will a New Stadium Make the Minnesota Vikings a More Successful Franchise?
List of current National Football League stadiums
Minnesota Vikings: Stadium
Minnesota Vikings
Dayton: No ‘Plan B’ For Vikings Stadium

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