Basilica’s Pastor Prays: Vikes Stadium Stay Away

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The people who work and pray closest to where a new Vikings stadium might be built are saying: not in my backyard.

Mom-and-pop businesses and the Basilica of Saint Mary are only a couple hundred feet from the proposed Linden Avenue site.
It’s one of three places in Minneapolis where the stadium could go. The other two include the current Metrodome site, which Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is pushing, and the farmers market.

A 63,000-seat sports stadium with plenty of room for tailgating sounds good to some, but it also has some worried.

“We love the Vikings. We want them to stay in Minnesota,” said the Rev. John Bauer, Pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary. “We just don’t want them close to us.”

He’s traded preaching from the pulpit for preaching other ways, like on-air and online. He’ll be emailing a letter to parish households Tuesday, where he calls his basilica a “beacon in the skyline” and says a stadium so close is not comforting.

“The impact of the vibrations … we’re very concerned about how our buildings would handle that,” Bauer said.

He’s worried about parish parking during games and other stadium events; and he’s concerned that vibrations could cause stained glass to fall out of windows.

He also doesn’t want to say adios to the annual Basilica Block Party, which is held on a parking lot on the proposed site. Proceeds from that event go towards ongoing restoration, he said.

“I am concerned that the loss of this stage could in turn cause a loss of income for the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the basilica and its campus,” Bauer wrote.

Other businesses in the area near Linden Avenue and Interstate 394 just worry about surviving. The thought of a stadium there is frightening to the Theatrical Costume Company.

“It would be costly possibly to the point that some of us would have to close, just because it would be too costly for us to continue business in that way,” said Brian Berberich, the company’s owner.

He’s trying to rally political leaders to his side, so he’s sending them a letter indicating why he believes they should say yes to the Arden Hills site and no to the Linden site. The Vikings have publicly said for months that they favor building a stadium in Arden Hills.

Xcel energy would also be affected if the Linden site is chosen. Its 400 employees and Minneapolis fleet would be forced to move. But spokesperson Tom Hoen said Xcel “won’t stand in the way of progress.”

But it’s progress some are praying to stop.

“Let’s just say we’re storming heaven,” Bauer said. “We’re letting God know our concerns.”

  • pizzedoff

    Get it the hell out of Minneapolis.

    • TL the alligator

      yo Larr bone… should take your own advice however i dont believe your stupidity is curable, just do the best you can…………and i too agree, get it the hell out of Minnesota, THE MAJORITY of people are so sick of the Vikings that to see them leave would be a good day……let these greedy money grubbing deTesteble people leave, we DO NOT need them here nor their insistence on money grabbing at OUR TAX MONEY. THEY CAN AFFORD 100% to pay for this stadium on their own but they refuse……LET THEM LEAVE.

      • Mike

        TL – No, the majority wants them to stay, just not with public money. get your facts straight.

    • loosing dooshes the Viqueens are

      No – get that whole cr@p team the hell out of Minnesota!

      Get that Viqueens – we’re sick of your 30+ year streak of losses and immigrant behavior. Cleaning my toilet after a good Hershey squirt is all you munchkins are qualified for…

      • go back to europe

        immigrant behavior??? hahahahaha… you must be talking about how the whiteys came from europe, acted like it was theirs, and then killed off a bunch of people… yeah, you right…

  • Jon Lindquist

    maybe it is time to oust the mayor?

    • TL the alligator

      The time to oust the mayor has been at hand for a very long time, problem is the sheeple, they do nothing. Mayor Ryback is the absolute worst mayor this city has ever had and has done far more damage than good……it will be a good day when he is gone.

    • Jon Lindquist

      the only possible place that wouldn’t hurt businesses would be where the dome is, the other two will force people out that are already just trying to stay open

  • Carrie Nation

    That area of Minneapolis is not architecturally compatible with a stadium. A stadium in that location would be an eye sore when compared to apartments and homes near by. It needs to located around large commercial buildings or industrial areas.

  • Kevin

    Goodbye Mpls…hello California…dont let the door smack you in the arse….

  • Goodbye Vikings - it's been ... a waste.

    This is yet another sign that it’s time for the Vikings to leave Minnesota and suckle some other funding source for the next 51 years of mediocre football and law-breaking players.

  • Kevin

    I suck.

  • Chaseme

    People in the community of Arden Hills are saying the same things.

    • just sayin'

      So do I.

  • TC

    Maybe there is an opportunity here for people to attend church prior to or in conjunction with a game or event at the Stadium. That is if the Catholic Church would Welcome them in. Something that in my opinion they currently are not very good at doing! I believe the Church needs a little shaking up if you know what I mean. Hmmm….do we go to church or to a game. It appears pretty obvious what most peoples choice is these days. Priorities!! Opportunity!

  • Kevin

    I still suck.

  • Karl

    Football coaches and priests in the same area?

    Keep small boys away.

  • Ray

    So what about the Basilica Block Parties there? That’s a weekend of noise and vibrations to, right? Oh I forget, that raises money for their church. Money does talk.

    • Bud

      The block party doesn’t interfere with Sunday Mass.

      Football games would….in a big way.

  • Ace

    I am so naive that I thought we had not yet decided to build a stadium with public money. When did it become a done deal? I E mailed my representatives that I was against public funding. Everybody should do the same but I’m afraid they’ll do what THEY want and not what the public wants anyway.

  • markH

    Religion (besides being false and ridiculous) is extremely self-centered and narcissistic. We have to assume that not only is there a divine creator out there who cares about us and will intervene to prevent the construction of a stadium whilst allowing a child to die a slow and painful death from leukemia. To me it’s not only silly and self-centered, it’s also extremely immoral. Peace.

  • minnesota

    Didn’t everybody just decide “NO STADIUM” last year? Why is it still being talked about? Also, why don’t they just round the seats up from 63,000 to 65,000 or 70,000 while they are at it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jim Carlson

    30 years of failure$???? Make that 51 years. They have played 51 seasons and they have never won it all.


    “We love the Vikings. We want them to stay in Minnesota,” said the Rev. John Bauer, Pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary. “We just don’t want them close to us.”

    Don’t worry we are not close to you…rev. your only business is your church.


    • G

      GO VIKINGS! Go AWAY!!!

      Go to California … or better yet Hawaii … the further away the better.

  • | Vikings Territory

    […] The Basilica has been listed as a potential stadium site, but one pastor says “no”. […]

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