SBD/Issue 21/Facilities & Venues

Vikings Grow Restless For Stadium; Twins Prep For Target Field

Vikings President Says Team Must Get
Moving Toward New Stadium Deal Soon
The Vikings are "getting restless after watching the state help" the Univ. of Minnesota build TCF Bank Stadium and the Twins build Target Field, according to Peter King of SI.com. Vikings President Mark Wilf said, "After this season, we've got only 20 games left in the Metrodome on our lease. We're here at the bottom of the (revenue-producing) teams in football, and we've got to get moving toward a deal for a new stadium soon." A Vikings source said, "We're clearly headed for a crisis in Minnesota if our leadership sits back and does nothing." King notes it is "too early to start using Los Angeles as a stalking horse, but the L.A. stadium issue will be resolved in the next two weeks, and there's no question prospective L.A. owner Ed Roski will go aggressively after each of the league's wavering franchises, perhaps as soon as after this season" (SI.com, 10/12). In Minneapolis, Nick Coleman noted Forbes last month estimated that the Vikings are worth $835M, a 40% "rise since the Wilf family bought the team" for $600M in '05. It is "tough to put on the poor mouth when your business is appreciating almost" $60M a year, but Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf has "gone door-to-door pleading for a handout." With the Vikings 5-0 and fans "still ga-ga over the minimiracle of a Twins' postseason appearance, good judgment has taken a hike and Minnesota has taken leave of its senses" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/11).

GREAT OUTDOORS: With the Twins' new outdoor ballpark, Target Field, opening next season, team President Dave St. Peter said that the club  "monitored weather conditions and would have had no postponements if they had played outdoors in 2009." Twins Sports Inc. President Jerry Bell said that to put a roof on Target Field "would have added" $125M to a $550M project. The Twins, who have contributed $180M to building the ballpark, "have no plans to add a roof." Bell: "I don't think we'd have as nice a park. You can't put that roof in a closet" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/12). St. Peter: "When you get to October, the weather changes, and frankly, that's going to be one of our advantages. Hopefully, we'll have guys accustomed to playing in chilly weather from time to time. That will be one of the realities of Target Field" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/12). Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: "It's cold out there, that's what it's going to be like (next year). That is going to be our ballpark, no waiting for anybody else to play a game so we can play, no having to quit our game early to get them in, none of that. It's going to be Minnesota Twins baseball" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/12).

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