Los Angeles is ready to save the Vikings’ goose by having it lay its golden eggs in L.A., saying “Y’all come” to one of four sites and get a new stadium.
Thus, when National Public Radio’s (NPR) Los Angeles affiliate, KCRW, aired, on April 2, 2012, “Which Way L.A.,” regarding Los Angeles gaining an NFL team, we thought they had been reading our columns. The KCRW program, driven by events we reported last week — the purchase of the L.A. Dodgers for $2.15 billion — explains how the stadium debate could cause the Vikings to move to Los Angeles.
L.A. offers four sites: downtown convention center site; Dodger Stadium land near downtown; south of L.A., Industry, CA; and the perennial near-downtown L.A. Coliseum. LA is offering land for a development partnership, whether mixed use, commercial, residential, condo, etc.
Minnesota has denied six sites (Anoka, Arden Hills, the Farmer’s Market sports corridor, Linden Ave., Basilica, Metrodome), and offers little for a development partnership.
For years we have made the case for how to keep the Vikings in Minnesota:
1. Campaigning to Save the Vikings (January 26, 2005, November 9, 2011, March 14, 2007, April 4, 2012, December 11, 2011).
2. Pleading with Minnesota influentials to say it’s not true that the Vikings have to leave (January 26, 2005).
3. Listing how to finance a new stadium without raising new taxes. The results so far: Minnesota is starving the goose that lays the NFL Minnesota golden eggs, denying financing, forcing the Vikings to have to consider leaving (January 26, 2005, April 13, 2011, May 25, 2011 March 14, 2012).
4. Calling for the equal opportunity employment compliance on the proposed Vikings stadium (February 15 and April 4, 2012).
We can save the Vikings for Minnesota with a stadium complex plan. The Vikings, investors in L.A., and Minnesota influentials, planners and legislators all know this (October 11, 2011).
The participation of former NBA great Irwin “Magic” Johnson as a partner in the group purchasing the L.A. Dodgers, pending approval by MLB owners, indicates time is running out for Minnesota decision-makers.
The KCRW report mirrors what we have reported for years. Voters will make clear to Minnesota’s political institutions that there is no cover, only slipping on their own banana peel if Vikings leave.
Three key facts from KCRW report:
1. The NFL’s favored spot in L.A. is alongside Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine, near downtown.
2. The trigger: “an NFL team standing up and saying ‘we cannot get it done in our current city and we have to move,’ and that will be the boulder that starts the avalanche.”
3. The NFL and its owners will offer no resistance to teams who declare they “cannot get it done” in their current locations. Candidate teams are Jacksonville, Buffalo, St. Louis, and Minnesota.
The supposed package that would provide the Minnesota Vikings with the necessary stadium dollars — $975 million — is set. The Vikings are prepared to invest about $470 million. A new stadium will spring up if Minnesota does likewise. The Wilf group has been extremely patient, but a key signal is that no lease, short- or long-term, has been signed.
Will the Vikings give up 2012 season ticket payments in exchange for tickets sold at “home” games played away at other NFL stadiums whose teams are “away” on Vikings “home” weeks?
Aligned now are the NFL, L.A., and teams seeking new stadiums. Where is the alignment of Minnesota movers and shakers in the political leadership and big corporations? Will this stalemate lead to saying goodbye to the Vikings?
The NFL has not denied the KCRW report that, in principle, NFL owners will offer no resistance to owners who declare they cannot get it done.
Some legislators and some on the governor’s staff are saying if it can’t get done in 2012 it will be done in 2013. Do you think that with the attractive offers of four top-notch sites in L.A. the Vikings would be here for 2013? Aren’t the beat writers concerned for their jobs if the Vikings move?
Columns referenced above are archived at www.theminneapolisstory.com/tocarchives.htm.
hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm, and hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “Black Focus V” on Sundays, 3-3:30 pm and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his solution papers for community planning and development, “web log,” and archives at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.