McCombs Has Point About Stadium Woes

As the State Legislature argues the merits of new stadium for the Vikings, perhaps they should look at numbers other than simply cost figures.

Minnesotans don't want to pay for a new stadium for the Vikings. Because of this unwillingness, Red McCombs has hinted he might move the team somewhere that will.

While the Minnesota State Legislature debates whether to create a fund to support the construction of stadiums for the Vikings and Twins, one issue that has never come up is how many teams already have new stadiums in place.

By the start of the 2003 season, 17 teams will be in stadiums that are eight years old or less and two others -- New Orleans and Arizona -- have already received state approval to construct new stadiums.

The changes range from the construction of new facilities to massive overhauls like the one ongoing at Soldier Field. The reason? To create more revenue through luxury boxes, personal seat licenses and signage and naming rights.

As it stands now, only 11 stadiums are older than the Metrodome and of those, all but two are football-only facilities. The economic problems of the Metrodome are made even worse by having to share revenues with the Minnesota Twins and the new stadium proposal may be the only viable option.

VU is hearing McCombs is getting tired of the state's runaround and even more so when the state mobilized around losing the Twins, a team that can never achieve any long-term success because of the money disparity in baseball. In football, as Vikings fans know, a team can go from worst to first in one year and make the Super Bowl. It's time for Minnesotans to realize the benefit the Vikings bring to the state and get off square one to get a new stadium done before Minnesota faces the real possibility of losing both the Vikings and Twins.

* As reported yesterday, the Vikings were prepared to release kickoff specialist/punter Mitch Berger if they couldn't agree on a salary reduction to his $1 million-a-year contract. Talks broke down Friday and the Vikings made it official -- cutting Berger and potentially scrapping plans of bringing him back. VU will update this situation as it warrants.

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