Stadium presentation gets sparse attendance

The Vikings are making their way around the state to promote the advantages of a new stadium. Their event Wednesday didn't garner much interest.

Anyone who knows Lester Bagley knows he's a crowd pleaser. But when the crowd is only about 15 people, it can be difficult.

Bagley headed up a presentation of the Vikings new stadium in Mankato Wednesday night. He was joined by Michele Kelm-Helgen in detailing the plans to make the new Vikings stadium a tourist attraction and a visually iconic focal point of the state.

The Vikings have begun the promotional tour of explaining the advantages to the new stadium. Bagley claimed Wednesday that even if someone never attends a Vikings game, chances are they will end up in the new stadium at some point. The event was held on the campus of Minnesota State University, the first such event held on a college campus. According to a report from the Mankato Free Press, "about 15 people attended the event at MSU.

In late July to mid-August, Mankato is a hotbed of activity as it concerns the Vikings. In early March? Not so much.


  • The free agency hot stove league has started cooking. Reports out of Boston have it that the Patriots may have a strong interest in both Everson Griffen and Jared Allen. In Miami, the Vikings are being linked to interest in Dolphins CB Nolan Carroll, since he played two seasons with Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards.

  • The NFL came down with a verdict on Brandon Browner, the free agent cornerback from the Seattle Seahawks. Browner was suspended the first four games of the 2014 season after being suspended indefinitely by the league last season for what has been reported as a positive marijuana test. The timing couldn't be worse for Browner, who, because he missed mandatory tests while playing in the CFL, is in the third stage of the league's drug and alcohol program. Any team offering Browner a contract will likely be hesitant to offer much in the way of up-front money because, as things currently stand, he is scheduled to miss the first four games of the season, and if he has another failed drug test he would be in line for a year-long suspension.

  • A rumor out of San Francisco is that, despite getting Michael Crabtree back healthy for next season and re-signing Anquan Boldin, the 49ers have an interest in Vikings free agent wide receiver Jerome Simpson.

  • The Vikings are expected to make a run at Matt Cassel before free agency opens, but, once it does, all bets are likely off.

  • The trial of 41-year old Mark Swanson of Lakeland, Minn., dubbed the "Purple Sombrero Guy" in the Green Bay media, got underway Wednesday. On Dec. 2, 2012, the Vikings played the Packers at Lambeau Field. Following the game, Swanson was arrested and charged with aggravated battery for a fight that broke out in sports bar in Ashwaubenon, Wisc., a suburb of Green Bay. Prosecutors claim Swanson, who became infamous for wearing a purple sombrero into a 'Sconny sports bar, coldcocked a 50-year old Packers fan as the man tried to serve as a peacemaker between two groups that were escalating hostilities toward one another. Swanson's defense attorney claimed that the son of the victim had been making threatening moves toward passing Vikings fans. Swanson, whose purple sombrero was accessorized with a purple and gold poncho, was having his poncho pulled just before he threw the punch, a sign of a self-defense action. The trial is expected to run through Friday.

    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.

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