Published reports are saying the Minnesota Vikings have announced a deal with the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis that will keep the Vikings downtown at a new billion dollar facility. Though the deal needs legislative approval, this is a huge step in keeping the Vikings in Minnesota and more importantly in the NFC North Division.
The NFL certainly didn’t want the Vikings to move as had been rumored for so long … now it looks like the Vikings will be a part of the NFC’s most storied division for many years to come.
The Vikings will pay $427 million toward the cost of the new stadium, while the state will contribute $398 million and the City of Minneapolis will kick in $150 million with additional costs to be shared by the Vikings and the city.
The new domed stadium won’t be complete at least for a couple of years, probably even as many as three years. However, when the facility is completed, it will feature a retractable roof that will essentially bring outdoors football back to Minnesota – that’s a good thing.
The new facility will also place Minneapolis on the short list of venues for the Super Bowl. If Jerry Jones can get the Super Bowl at his billion dollar facility, the Vikings will surely have the inside track for one of the big dances in upcoming years.
Our hope is that Vikings fans embrace the new stadium and fill it. That seems to have been a problem in recent years, but part of that problem is the fact that the Vikings haven’t put a team on the field that’s been worth watching. So, in consort with building a new stadium, the Vikings must also start constructing a team that’s going to vie for playoff contention and a Super Bowl. That means that the current leaders on the field and in the front office need to get busy today, if not yesterday, with a plan of action that’s going to make the team competitive. The Vikings have been there before … they will get there again.
In a nutshell, this is also good news for the Green Bay Packers, the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. For decades, these teams with the Vikings have made up the Central Division and now the NFC North Division. None of those teams and certainly not the NFL would like to see that go away. Now with the Vikings agreement to stay, team officials in the North Division should be rejoicing.
Good news in Minnesota ironically means good news in Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago.