Yesterday Ramsey County and the Minnesota Vikings announced a plan that they like each others idea of building a new stadium out in Arden Hills. You ever been to Arden Hills? I promise you 75% of people who have spent their entire life in the Twin Cities had no idea where Arden Hills was until this week. Same with Orono, Lilydale, and Scandia. Regardless, there's a pretty solid chance that's where your new favorite, underachieving team will be stationed at. And why?
Because clearly the Vikings think Minneapolis is too gay. Wait, did I say gay? I meant TOO FUN!That's actually not true at all and completely unfounded, but I did want to find an excuse to post that Daily Show video that I hope showed up. Minneapolis is the gayest city? I mean, sure, I believe that, but wow. San Francisco, what happened?
The real issue here is the genuine, realistic, stupid potential that a professional football team that struggles to win significant games throughout their history (Super Bowls?), has tricked themselves into thinking their new stadium is going to continuously attract Super Bowls, Final Fours, and truck rallies, and bring millions of dollars and development to an area of the metro that no one has bothered to touch, visit, or establish as even a periphery suburb of the cities in the history of time. Seems kind of odd, doesn't it?
Don't get me wrong. I get an architect boner as small as the next guy over the idea of new stadiums, shiny buildings, and wasting a billion dollars. The idea of bulldozers tearing shit up is always appealing. But this idea to put a new Vikings stadium in the north east metro (and keep their training facilities in Eden Prairie, mind you!) is stupid, and here's why from a recent MinnPost article:
The Arden Hills site is a perfect 1970s-era solution. It's roomy and relatively remote. With no close neighbors, the team could call its own shots. The layout would probably place the stadium at the center of a large parking lot with ample tailgating opportunities for fans and parking revenues for the team. It's unlikely that the site would attract much use except for the 10 or so NFL games played there each year. Hwys. 35W and 10 would need a new set of interchanges to handle the occasional burst of traffic. Fans would continue to depend on driving to get to the site; there would be no other option.
Recycling the Metrodome location is a better fit for the trends of the next half-century. The site leverages infrastructure investments already made, including two light rail lines, a connection to commuter rail, the state's two busiest freeways, thousands of parking spots, a grid of streets for easy traffic dispersal, a network of hotels and restaurants, and a tie-in to convention facilities.
By they way, I could care less about tailgating so that selling point does absolutely nothing for me.
Long term, the Arden Hills site is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. The trend all around the world isn't all of a sudden reverting back to suburban life; everything is pushing STILL towards urbanity. The cost of living, gas prices, housing costs, utilities and more are all driving people to the cities even MORE than has happened throughout our lives, not further away. People want to take advantage of biking, public transportation, a large variety of options, and social living. And that's old people too! Just take a look at the Guthrie area on a Sunday. Fucking old people everywhere!
On top of this, the middle class is disappearing completely. In ten years there aren't going to be enough people in the Twin Cities who can afford $65 per tickets (those will raise in costs too with a new stadium, by the way), $40 parking, $50 gas tank, $50 in concessions, and then entertaining their stupid kids at the entertainment complex Zygi has built "for the fans." That's bullshit. Going to games is fucking boring anyway. When you watch at home at least you get to check the AFC game when the Vikings start losing. Or masturbate. Or honestly ANYthing other than the team in purple get shit on. Also, in ten years the majority of the population is going to be Hispanic anyway, and they all like soccer, so unless Zygi is getting an MLS team to play in his stadium too it's going to look like an I Am Legend scene.
I guess I don't really care. I'm not going to games either way. Yes, I'd rather have the team local just in case someone gives me free tickets, so no, I don't want to just see them move to LA. I also think the psychological aspect of having a professional football team in a city is largely immeasurable, but significant. I also just think not putting a new stadium in a metropolitan area easily accesible by people and already supported by infrastructure now and for the next 40 years is a dumb idea for anyway. I'd rather have the new stadium in Minneapolis still, anywhere in Minneapolis, but I'd still watch the team if they played anywhere in the state. Except for Montevideo. That town freaks the shit out of me.
In conclusion, just build the stadium on the Metrodome site and let the gayest city in America SHINE, baby!