Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is the Metrodome...

...soon to be called the Metrodoomed?

It could happen, as this report from the Star-Tribune notes that a new roof on the almost 30-year-old facility could cost between $12-15 million. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings, forced to play a "home" game in Detroit last Monday, will call the nearby TCF Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, "home" for this Monday's game against Chicago.

Of course, there has been a political battle in Minnesota for several years regarding whether the Vikings ought to get a new stadium. The collapse of the Metrodome's roof does not ensure a new stadium, with political leaders -- including the governor-elect -- saying that jobs are a higher priority. The team's lease runs out after next season, and the Vikings insist they will not sign an extension.

And don't forget that while the Vikings-Bears football game is generating the lion's share of the media attention, that is just one of many events that need to be moved or could be canceled because of the unsafe Metrodome. When will the Metrodome be ready to host its next event? Good luck figuring out that answer.

The politicians insisting that public funds for a new stadium are not forthcoming are not, and pardon the pun, playing political football; they have been saying the same thing and with solid public support for nearly a decade. They are not going to let this week's events influence their thinking.

Nor should they. But the Vikings also have options, and southern California has been a long-time discussed destination, should an agreement for a new stadium not be signed.

What intrigues me is what happens to the sturdy "nope, we're not giving public funds for a football stadium" argument when the plans for a move start coming together. We won't know the answer to that for a few months, but suffice to say there will be an answer.

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