Minnesota state Rep. Paul Kohls is proposing the state sell the Metrodome to the Minnesota Vikings for $1.
In exchange, the Vikings would have to agree to stay in the state for 20 years or face a $5 million fine, which is a drop in the bucket for an NFL team.
This comes on the heels of Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty announcing there will be no funding for a stadium in this year’s budget proposal. The state is facing a $1.2 billion deficit.
The Vikings’ Metrodome lease expires in 2011, but the team has no plans to renew it.
Pawlenty has mentioned the possibility of a lottery to fund a new Vikings’ stadium, but it remains to be seen if any of these hair-brained schemes will amount to anything.
What we know is this. The Vikings play in a derelict stadium that doesn’t allow them to compete with the rest of the NFL in revenue – the Vikings annually receive one of largest portions of the NFL’s revenue-sharing pie, which is in jeopardy of being dissolved. The Wilfs, who own the Vikings, have been at odds with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which operates the Metrodome. The Wilfs have stated publicly that they don’t want to move the team, but will not continue to play in the Metrodome. The state of Minnesota cannot afford to support a new Vikings stadium.
It’s a perfect shitstorm if you’re a Minnesota politician or anyone associated with the Vikings.
So, you get ideas like selling the Metrodome to the Vikings for $1. The plan would disband the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, solving one problem for the team.
The main problem, however, remains. There’s no new stadium on the horizon for the Vikings.
But hey, it’s good news for the rest of the NFC North if the Vikings can no longer compete financially.