The Vikings haven't been too accustomed to winning this season. Monday was no exception. The Vikings, or their new stadium, lost one of the first watershed events being bid upon by stadium representatives, the 2017 BCS Championship Game.
Minneapolis lost out to Tampa to host the final of the NCAA's 2017 playoffs. Of all the events the new Vikings stadium can host, the BCS title game is arguably the least likely, so the decision seemed more like a slam dunk than a crossed-fingers hope. The title game not only brings in the national media, but, being realistic, brings a large contingent of a fan base from whatever SEC team is dominant that year. Let's see, where are fans from Alabama or Louisiana going to want to flock to in mid-January? Tampa or the Twin Cities? That's one to think over.
While it impressive that Minnesota was one of two finalists, especially considering that the stadium hasn't started construction much beyond ceremonial golden shovel photo ops and parking lot digging. Losing out to the places where oranges come from is no crime. Minnesotans shouldn't feel rejected because a championship game under a playoff system that is going to draw crazy hype doesn't want to come to a building yet to be constructed in an area known for the ugliest January weather this side of Siberia.
The reality is that the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority rolled the dice on getting a marquee event and got its hopes up when it got to the final two. But when it came to a multi-billion-dollar investment in college football's championship week, the choice was made to go the safe route. A wise decision when you consider the factors.
The Vikings are building a stadium that is going to be iconic. But, as with anything in life, you need to build a track record to get respected. One can only imagine what the selection committee was thinking. The video of the Metrodome roof collapse is the iconic image of that particular building. That's an image and a sound that is hard to shake. Minnesota will have to prove itself to get the sort of credibility those behind the scenes know is coming.
The key to getting the word out on Minneapolis as a cold-weather destination will be the Skyway system. One can only imagine that eventually there will be a handsome cab lane in the Skyway to get the well-heeled from Point A to Point B without experiencing the Minnesota Experience. That won't come easy. It will come with time.
As it pertains to landing the BCS Championship Game, the promise of an iconic showpiece isn't enough. A Super Bowl? That's another story. If the NFL is willing to invest in Minneapolis, the pressure will be on to give a first-class experience for those who choose not to endure Minnesota winters. When you come to think it, the term "Snowbird" is understood in Minnesota because even the locals say, "Oh, hell no!" to the first week of February in the state. Much like Indianapolis has become a destination for national conventions thanks to its positive post-Super Bowl buzz, Minneapolis will have to be patient.
Tuesday's BSC Championship Game decision was a no-brainer. Before events like the college title game, the Final Four or Wrestlemania will be in play to bring out-of-towners into town in February to April, they need to get someone to vouch for the venue. It will likely have to be a Super Bowl – for better of worse – that gets that accomplished.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
BCS rejects first bid in Vikings' new stadium
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