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The Delusional Hills of Arden

October 13, 2011 11:53 AM

Desolate. Dirty. Mysterious. Expensive. Unlikely.

Ah, Arden Hills. Where to begin?

I've generally stayed away from talking too much about the Vikings and their fantasy facility (and fantasy competence on the field too, for that matter), but it got interesting for baseball fans this week when a new idea for stadium development and management appeared on the scene. I'll get to the MEC (Minnesota Entertainment Commission) proposal in a bit. It's a very intriguing idea.

But first, we need to check in and see if Zygi's northern tailgaiting dreamland has developed any chance of actually being built.

The short answer is "no". And the long answer is "hell no".

Before I dig into this, I just want to make sure everyone (especially any radio referrals out there) understands that I am NOT, in any way, anti-stadium. Quite the contrary. The Vikings are due a new facility (Deserve? No. Need? No. Overdue? No. Due? Yes.) Beyond that, the public has a vested interest in getting it built sooner rather than later. If we've learned anything about building stadiums it's that A) we always do it, and B) we always wrangle and delay it long enough to increase the cost substantially. (The MEC would solve this. More to come on just how.)

So, just build it. And hurry up.

We could talk for days about the irrationality of building stadiums. It most definitely is irrational to spend a billion on 10 games a year (and only slightly less irrational to spend half a billion on 81 games). I wish that we did not want these big, expensive toys. I wish that we found more happiness in different pursuits. But, as a society, as a whole, collectively, football makes us happy -- God help us -- and we are willing to pay for that little bit of Sunday afternoon happiness -- even if no one anywhere will ever come right out and admit it to you or me or a pollster or a legislator or even themselves.

Important: You may not be willing to pay, but we as a whole are. How do I know? Because we've done it over and over and over. Because the NFL is a $9 billion industry (that's an average of $30 per year from every single person in these here United States).

Also, I want to make it clear that I am NOT inherently against putting a new stadium in Arden Hills. It would not be my first choice, but I'm confident that it could work. Hell, anything can work if you can get the funding to build it.

But let's be clear about one thing. It's not hard to understand why that tract in Arden Hills would be Zygi's first choice. It's a ton of vacant land, at the intersection of two major interstates, which somebody else would buy and clean up for him and yet which he would control completely. It's a developer's wet dream.

If the stadium were built there, Zygi would be able to extract money from the fan base to his heart's content. Lots of money. For every little thing. Forever. $100 for a tailgating spot on game day? Count on it. $400 for a room at his hotel? Without a doubt. Just bear that in mind if you ever feel the urge to drool over the current proposal.

But don't worry. It's not going to happen. If you've followed the stadium saga even a little bit, it's also quite easy to spot why this plan has been dead in the water from day one. And there are a whole lot of reasons:


1. We've already spent a ton of money on infrastructure elsewhere which would have to be duplicated out there. (Legislators hate that.)

2. For a public facility, the Arden Hills deal would give way too much power to a private entity. (Legislators hate that.)

3. The tax burden being proposed is massively greater than was used to build Target Field. (Legislators hate that.)

4. Many key decision-makers are quietly against it -- some not so quietly. (Legislators are very sensitive to that.)

5. The business community gets nothing out of it, and loathes the plan, mostly silently for now. (Legislators live and die by this one.)

6. It flies in the face of decades of urban planning. (Legislators try to avoid that.)

7. Tailgating aside, there is no compelling reason to choose that location over any other. (Legislators see that.)

8. There is no political path to getting it done. (The final blow.)

But, just for good measure, yesterday we added one, via special report...

9. The unknowns on the site and its path to development are pretty darn scary. (Legislators hate that.)


I'm going to repeat myself now, just because some people will read that list and nothing else: I am not personally against either the stadium or the Arden Hills site. I am a stadium supporter. But I just think this current plan has no possible way of ever becoming reality, so every moment spent on it is a waste of time and money.

Some of these reasons are self-explanatory. But let me hit a couple in greater detail.

In terms of infrastructure, everybody likes to leverage what they already have. We've already spent a couple of billion dollars on transit into the downtowns. We've spent hundreds of millions on parking facilities. We've spent more money than can be counted on creating and maintaining sufficient freeway access to the downtowns.

These are all investments which would be leveraged by siting any new stadium in one of the downtowns. And here I'm not suggesting either Minneapolis or St. Paul specifically, but rather the need to build where the infrastructure has already been paid for rather than paying for it all again somewhere else. Going to any suburb is going to have a very high hurdle with the governmental bodies who have already invested a lot of money in preparing the downtowns for just this type of project.

CONCLUSION: This deal will not happen because legislators will think it squanders previous investments.

I terms of the deal itself, Zygi's hand got tipped when an early site plan showed a potential convention center next to the stadium in Arden Hills. But even setting that aside, the proposal gives Zygi essentially total control. He can and would build hotels, restaurants, shopping, and who knows what else. He would set all the prices, and have a complete monopoly on most aspects of a fan's gameday experience. All of this would benefit him exclusively and not the public in any financial way, while also competing with and potentially taking business from similar facilities nearby on non-game days.

The biggest problem with this is that the Governor has mandated that whatever gets built be a "people's stadium." This plan is about as far from that as you could get. It's very much a one-person stadium.

It's actually pretty hard to imagine why any governmental body (at least one without delusional stars in their eyes) would make such a deal. It would be an affront to the citizens, and an unprecedented multi-billion dollar giveaway. And it would lock the Vikings out of the reach of most citizens for the foreseeable future. Make no mistake, all publicly-funded sports facilities are giveaways to a certain extent. But this deal is orders of magnitude beyond anything else we've ever seen, and Zygi knows it. Why else would he keep casually upping the amount he's willing to pay?

CONCLUSION: This deal will not happen because, for the Governor, it's not a "people's stadium" and for the Legislature, it gives too much away to a private developer.

You don't hear much about the sales tax beyond a (favorable) comparison to the tax which is funding Target Field. But these are very different taxes, when looked at apples-to-apples.

First there is the percentage rate:

0.15% in Hennepin County, versus
0.50% in Ramsey County.

This gets glossed over with language like "half a cent tax," which some people will think is pretty close to what they did in Hennepin. But when you do the math, Ramsey would be collecting more than three times as much on each transaction. In dollars:

$.03 on a $20 purchase in Hennepin, versus
$.10 on a $20 purchase in Ramsey.

You can argue that a dime still isn't that much, but you can't argue that it isn't a big difference. It is.

Another fudge comes in the specific dollar amount given to the project. Ramsey is committing to $350 million which, not coincidentally, is exactly the same amount that Hennepin committed to Target Field. But Hennepin County has over twice the population of Ramsey:

$350M split among 1.15M residents = $304 per Hennepin resident
$350M split among 0.50M residents = $700 per Ramsey resident

Hennepin also has a whole lot more people coming and going and buying things there (an economy roughly four times the size of Ramsey's), which dilutes the per capita contribution even further.

It's also helpful to look at the sales tax in real purchases (2007 numbers):

Hennepin: $19,646 retail sales per capita, or $29.46 per person in stadium tax per year
Ramsey: $12,328 retail sales per capita, or $61.64 per person in stadium tax per year

Shoppers in Ramsey buy much less, and will pay much more! Yikes!

And, if that weren't enough, Ramsey also has a significantly larger percentage of its population living in poverty (16.4%, 2009) than Hennepin (11.9%). These are the people hit the hardest by sales taxes.

My point is, the proposed Ramsey County sales tax may sound comparable to the Hennepin one which funded Target Field, but it is not. It is very substantially higher. And this is necessary because Ramsey is substantially smaller and poorer than Hennepin in every measure.

CONCLUSION: This deal will not happen because the tax burden will be widely considered unreasonable.

Within the Legislature, decisions are all about politics. In fact, politics almost always overrides any other consideration, even fiscal. As such, it's not a surprise that certain legislators will hate this plan on its merits, while others will oppose it just because they need to in order to keep their jobs. But as we saw with Target Field, it is possible to get everything lined up so that the politicians who really need to oppose it can do so, while it also passes.

The question becomes whether anyone in government has the will or ability to navigate that path for Arden Hills, or whether it exists at all. In this case, someone would need to break out the machete and hack through the densest forest seen in a long time.

Tea Partiers, as we are all painfully aware, are rabidly against taxes, and they currently hold sway over pretty much everything. I could go on and on about how insane this is, but let's just say that it totally dooms a Ramsey County tax which no one could love anyway. If the TPs don't kill it outright, the Repub leaders will just fall back on requiring a referendum, which would effectively kill it. And that's all before the discussion even opens on the state contribution, which would face an almost identical hurdle -- unless enough people agree that the plan is mutually beneficial. That can't happen for Arden Hills, but might for somewhere else.

The Dems, meanwhile, historically oppose these things on instinct. (Don't judge. I agree with their instinct, but side with practicality on this issue.) But this time, urban legislators can also oppose it because the urban core gets ignored. Legislators from the south and west will hate it because it's too far away by highly-congested freeway.

If there were to be a path to passing this plan, the coalition would be made up of northern suburb or outstate, non-TP Repubs, plus moderate northern suburbans of either party. Good luck with that.

CONCLUSION: This deal will not happen because there is no political path to passage.

And even if you could find such a thing, signals from the business leaders would work hard against it. It's not always possible to define just who the "business leaders" are, but they're all people who recognize when dollars are being misspent. They were no doubt the first to recognize the swindle Zygi was attempting, and the first to realize the advantages of clustering the sports facilities in order to leverage public money already spent.

Looking toward the Farmer's Market site from the balcony of the 573 Club at TF

In other words, business leaders see the fiscal insanity associated with the Ramsey plan and have no political considerations to cloud their decision-making. (Oh, wouldn't it be great if legislators could have even one moment of such clarity. So many problems could actually get solved... But I digress.)

Here's the important point: Quietly, over the past six months or so, the Farmer's Market site has become the glaringly obvious choice for the stadium. The consensus is so strong that Arden Hills has been completely dropped from the discussion materials I've read, under the presumption that the proposal will collapse well before the next session begins in January. Those still arguing publicly for the Metrodome site have privately acknowledged (or huffily refused to acknowledge) that it cannot match the Farmer's Market in a number of significant considerations. (If you're curious, here are just some of the reasons.)

This coalescence of opinion parallels a similar convergence in early 2005 around the Rapid Park site (where Target Field now stands).

There are a lot of reasons for this, but rather than detailing them here and now, I just want to point out that the Twins were among the last stakeholders to accept the site where they ultimately ended up. In fact, at one point the Twins leaders emphatically stated that they would never stoop to building their new ballpark in some ditch out by the railroad tracks.

The Vikings project, regardless of site, will face (and ultimately overcome) some political hurdles. But the Minneapolis site avoids some of the key ones because Hennepin County can step in with a much larger economy, and a proven track record for getting such a project done.

I'm not as confident as I once was that 2012 will be the year, but since the Farmer's Market easily avoids most of the negatives which doom Arden Hills, and is decades more forward-looking than the Metrodome site, I'm still confident that it will be the final destination. (Personally, my first choice would be the HERC site. But that facility isn't going anywhere anytime soon. My second would be Mary's Place, but folks I've talked to say that they'd rather not disturb her -- and not out of fear, but respect for what she does. FM would be my third choice, but its strengths are substantial. Redeveloping the land near the Basilica is desirable, but its relationship to the freeways which surround it, and therefore the downtown core, is problematic.)

CONCLUSION: This deal will not happen because a different option has gained wide favor.

Multiple sites competing? Multiple cities and counties bickering and accusing each other? Multiple financing plans, all with gaps? Angry public meetings? Demands for a referendum? Haven't we been here before? Isn't there a better way?

I'll talk about the MEC (and its potential impact on baseball) next time. Meanwhile, here's a sneak peak from last Friday night's Almanac.

Comments


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Why are you hating on the Vikings, man? The Metrodome sucks. They NEED a new stadium, dude. Tailgating will be so cool.

(Just wanted to get that out of the way.)

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 11:56 AM by Rick 1

Good synopsis Rick (and yes, I read the whole thing).
I agree 110% about what you said about previous investments: IMO notably the Hiawatha and Northstar lines. I had even heard somewhere that Wilf could and would easily charge $50-$60 to park. How can he do that? Well, there aren't any other options, are there? No light rail, no commuter rail...therefore you HAVE to drive there. Coincidence? I think not.

MNDOT is spending the better part of the next two years unweaving the Hwy 10/694 interchange, which will run right alongside the new Arden Hills stadium.

I'm not sure where the NFL stands on the whole thing either. From what I know, the NFL isn't exactly hip to suburban sites especially when it comes to the Super Bowl. Not that they haven't done it (Pontiac MI had it in 1982, Glendale has had one, and will again in 2015). And, after last year's stint at Cowboys Stadium I can see why they don't like suburban sites.

And, as far as I know, cleanup at the Arden Hills site will cost a fortune. Going to the Farmer's Market site for a minute, can you imagine the marketing value of having THREE major sports venues that close together? No major city in the US can boast that.

But, for many of the reasons you've cited, you covered it pretty well "this deal will not happen."

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 12:21 PM by luke Highlight this comment 2

Good post Rick. I think well thought out, and very objective. I know you hate the Vikings and having a new stadium, but still a good article.

Not to sidetrack this post, but would like someone to shoot holes in this concept: Have the NFL take 1 of the 9 billion of PROFIT (which is after expenses) and set it aside in a Stadium fund. At that rate, they could basically build a new stadium every year. They could find a way to recoup their investment I'm sure.

Rotate it around to all of the clubs over time so everyone gets a fair shake.

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 3

I can't imagine why the NFL would do that when they can keep that money for themselves and extract the equivalent from governments.

It's all very screwed up.

And actually, I know you were kidding, but I wish I could say that I either hate or love the Vikings. Right now I'm kind of indifferent toward them. They seem adrift.

As much as I hate to say it, there was something so much more electric about the franchise under Red McCombs. Maybe it was that look that he had of being just about ready to keel over dead of a heart attack at any minute. So much more immediate and riveting than Wilf's cool, mustachioed look.

The franchise seems to amplify its owner's personality.

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 12:50 PM by Rick 4

Zygi's getting hot, but that Opat is cool as a cucumber.

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 12:54 PM by Rick 5

Good article, Rick. You touch on this underlying problem, but I think it worth emphasizing: Paying 2/3 of the cost with public funding of a $1B+ development SOLELY to keep the Vikings' 10-game seasons here would be insanity. Part of Dayton's "public stadium" requirement is a facility that would be used and avaliable for other events throughout the year that would benefit more than Zygi and his loyal followers (of which there are about 12 remaining, by last unofficial count). It's very difficult to see how a stidum built in the outback of Arden Hills would meet that basic goal. It certainly wouldn't happen quickly, and would only ultimately occur by robbing Peter to pay Paul. That is, building a separate convention-like complex that would compete with and steal from Minneapolis and, to a lesser extent, St. Paul.

On the other hand, I can see where Ramsey County is coming from. You're right about the harsher fiscal impact on Ramsey Co residents that the AH funding proposal would have. However, depending on how they handle addtional development (TIF districts?), the county could be in line for a substantial boost in property tax receipts down the road. From the Metrodome to the MoA to Target Field, Hennepin County has benefitted more from subsidized developments than has Ramsey, which, other than public buildings, has only really got the X over the past couple of decades. They probably want a bigger piece of the pie.

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 12:58 PM by BR Highlight this comment 6

I can't imagine the nightmare that would ensue if the Vikings and Twins play at the same time right next door to each other. I get three e-mails and a text message from the Twins when they are on the opposite side of downtown. I honestly don't think it has been too bad when they have played on the same day. But drop another 60,000 people on the same end of town sounds like a disaster.

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM by PNB19 Highlight this comment 7

Yeah, that is true PNB19. Imagine that scenario on a Sunday afternoon in mid-October: Twins play afternoon playoff game at TF, Lynx play afternoon/early evening playoff game at TC, Vikings play noon game at Farmers Market Stadium. That's a bit too much.

Truth be told, I don't even know if the Truman Sports Complex in KC has ever had to deal with that (Royals and Chiefs playing on the same day across from each other). They probably have...

But imagine all the business the new Hubert's location would get that night. WOW. Traffic and parking would be a nightmare.

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM by luke Highlight this comment 8

Very good article Rick! The facts and numbers don't lie...it is what it is and its a terrible proposal for the people of Ramsey County.
Not to mention the NFL is pulling in $9 billion of revenue this year and that will only continue to climb.

And we can say all we want about these "other events" but this stadium is essentially being built for those 8-12 Vikings events each year.

It would be much better in Minneapolis at the farmer's market site where you have the hotels, bars/restaurants, parking, transit, and other infrastructure already in place.

The stadium will not happen in Arden Hills and I still think to this day that it will be built in Minneapolis at the Farmers Market site.

The Vikings are just kidding themselves and making themselves look foolish with the selling point of the "fan experience" and "tailgating" in Arden Hills...how about those other 355 days of the year?

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 9

I guess this raises an interesting point that transcends public-financed stadium building: do we submit to and cooperate with a "screwed up" system or do we try to change it?

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 5:35 PM by Elston Gunn Highlight this comment 10

Well, Delmon has now hit more home runs in 9+ playoff games this year than he hit in 84 games with the Twins.

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 5:46 PM by terry Highlight this comment 11

What I find amazing is the Arden Hills sight will almost assuredly end up costing more to build than the monstrosity that is Cowboys Stadium. We're talking a minimum or $1.1 BILLION (total cost was about $1.15B in Dallas) for a stadium with 3/4 the capacity and no plans for the worlds biggest flat screen, or some other ridiculous gimmick.

The state (who cares what the Vikes want if they aren't willing to pay the 70% or so Jerry Jones put into his place)should be focusing on building the next Ford Field. The final cost of Ford Field (granted 10 years ago so add some inflation) was only $430 million, about what the current day cost of Target Field. Not only did they build a cost effective facility, they built one that was nice enough to bring a Super Bowl to Detroit. Not even posh and tony Auburn Hills, or Pontiac, but honest to goodness gritty ass downtown Detroit.

Why can't we do the same thing in a city that isn't half burnt to the ground? If the motor city can find a solution why can't we?

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 9:31 PM by jp Highlight this comment 12

I think the Arden Hills site will require extensive clean-up. That in itself can account for the price rivaling that of JerryWorld. All Jerry had to contend with on his site was block upon block of small, working class, tract homes that had to be condemned and demolished. I wonder if having a longer ideal construction season might play in there somewhere also.

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 13

If I were to bet, I'd bet on the side of B.L. (You know who I'm talking about, Rick.)

TTH

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 12:13 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 14

Bruce Levine...

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 12:47 AM by Max Highlight this comment 15

OMG jp, I almost wet my pants I laughed so hard.
If we had built TF for $430 million, we would have built a tremendous ballpark for a steal of a price. MY GOD!

Actually, TF was built for about $545 million, give or take a couple million dollars. That of course, includes all the other stuff - infrastructure, site acquisition and what not. But still WAY above your figure of $430 mil.

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 07:48 AM by luke Highlight this comment 16

Very well said, Rick. I'm reasonably confident that you and I differ quite starkly politically, but I think the case you've made here makes so much sense that it ought to transcend political differences (imagine that). I have not expected to see so much logic around the FM site, but I'm pretty sold. I'm a Ramsey County resident, and aside from the ridiculous additional tax burden the practical benefits of the FM site blow Arden Hills away. Thanks!

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 09:20 AM by FMelius Highlight this comment 17

We're all one in choral music!

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 09:38 AM by Rick 18

Agreed!

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 10:06 AM by PaulJ (aka gone buggy) Highlight this comment 19

;)

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 1:37 PM by FMelius Highlight this comment 20

I know I am somewhat biased as I grew up in an East metro suburb, and now live and work in St. Paul, but St. Paul is missing a huge opportunity here by not going after this stadium. It is almost as big of a missed opportunity as the Twins stadium was.

St. Paul should propose a stadium, roofed or retractable, along with a Saints ballpark and a larger convention center for the Lowertown flats. It would require the moving of some railroad tracks, and the removal of a bridge (Kellogg) that does not carry much traffic, but there is a mass amount of parking and access to 3 major free-ways, plus the new light-rail will run near it.

They let Zigy control the stadium, but leave the convention center city owned and when a convention uses both spaces share the revenue, and then start competing with Minneapolis for business.

This would be a boon for business and drawn in more revenue to make the Ramsey County Tax worth it.

St. Paul needs to stop being the submissive little sister to Minneapolis and start going out and attracting business, but thats getting a little off topic.

That site would offer a nice river-side view, much like Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinati.

Combined with the new Saints stadium in the Summer and the Wild in the winter, it would invigorate downtown St. Paul and spur development, which is the point of civil building projects.

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 1:51 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 21

Duffman:
I agree that St. Paul has ended up short on most of these developments, but why would the state want to fund an economic feud between the 2 twin cities? As suggested in the Almanac piece that Rick links to, having two potential convention sites would cause each city to undercut the other in bidding on business (as Xcel v Target Center allegedly does now). How does that help the state's economy? Minnesota would be bringing in LESS.

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 1:58 PM by BR Highlight this comment 22

Yes they do compete, and that does mean a bit less money for the State, but at this point it is already City vs City. As you mentioned St. Paul has been left on the short end, except for Xcel, and as Kramer mentioned Minneapolis is looking to the state to renovate Target Center because of it's own restrictions on spending city money on sports stadiums.

I think the point I was trying to make, which I failed to address is wouldn't it be better for Minnesota to have another government owned convention center, rather than to have Zigy Wilf privately own a publicly subsidized convention center in Arden Hills that could easily undercut Minneapolis?

I find no problem with St. Paul and Minneapolis competing against each other. Minneapolis has long had the advantage of drawing in businesses that contribute to the tax rolls, while St. Paul has not. The state should not be favoring one city over the other, which at this point it clearly does. But again that is delving in to politics, which would be off topic.

Plus there could be a compromise, the STP convention center would not need to be big enought to compete with MCC, but just big enough to be able to host shows that need smaller rooms in addition to the stadium floor. Even then, the most important part would be to bring people in to the city, to spend moeny in the city, and to stay in the cities hotel rooms.

Like I said I'm biased, I want St. Paul to do well with business, so my property taxes and fees do not keep going up as fast as they have under the current mayor. If that means my sales tax goes up .5%, that's better than 6% on property taxes.

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 23

Will be happy to deliver the plate of crow to this blogger when the Viking stadium opens in Arden Hills and he's proven wrong! I'm now against Target Field! Tear it down and move back into the Dome!

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 7:31 PM by Dr. Michael Savage Highlight this comment 24

Vikings football in Arden Hills baby! 4 years can't come soon enough!!

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 7:37 PM by FoSheezy (aka Dr. Michael Savage) Highlight this comment 25

Vikings are coming to Arden Hills! F**K MINNEAPOLIS and their clustered downtown with lack of tailgating, Sh!tty traffic! and most of all, F**k this blog!! I use to read this blog when the land dispute where Target Field was going was gaining much attention, but that dispute like this latest entry will have the same effect: NOTHING on the stadium that's going up on their destined (Arden Hills) site!

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 7:41 PM by Ramsey Co. Purple (aka Dr. Michael Savage) Highlight this comment 26

Three names; one bonehead.

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 7:48 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 27

You've been targeted by Rude-Chat morons again, Rick. It's amazing what these idiots will do with the smallest of prompts.

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 7:56 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 28

lol Winona.

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 9:07 PM by luke Highlight this comment 29

Ha! That's pretty funny. Perhaps it's Tony Bennett or Lester Bagley.

Let me know if anyone discovers where the "call to arms" came from.

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 9:31 PM by Rick 30

I almost forgot that I have logs! Here it is:

http://rubechat.kfan.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=169873

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 10:01 PM by Rick 31

Finance and Commerce covers the same issue. (Be sure to read between the lines.)

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 10:49 PM by Rick 32

Does it say something about football, and Vikings fans in general, that they're more concerned about the ability to tailgate than any other factor of any proposed Vikings stadium?

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 10:52 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 33

Wow now I know why I never come here anymore. Your pure hate for the Vikings and a new stadium sickens me, yet the mighty Twins needed one and got one, then its OK.

"The Vikings are due a new facility (Deserve? No. Need? No. Overdue? No. Due? Yes.)"

The Vikings DESERVE a new stadium. They are by far the most popular team in the area, way more so than the Twins. 75% of all TV's are tuned into the Vikings each Sunday.

It most definitely is irrational to spend a billion on 10 games a year

You do realize the new stadium will be used for much more than the Vikings right? It will probably host a Final Four every 4 years, it will host a Super Bowl, maybe a college bowl game, conventions, concerts, and everything else the dome currently holds. To say its only for 10 games is totally not true.

Also, I want to make it clear that I am NOT inherently against putting a new stadium in Arden Hills. It would not be my first choice

Why not? Arden Hills is a great location for a stadium. It has lots of tailgating room for the fans, its out of the busy cramped area of downtown. This is a fans dream to have it in Arden Hills. A football stadium in downtown is a horrible option in my opinion, see Kansas City for example.

Forever. $100 for a tailgating spot on game day? Count on it. $400 for a room at his hotel? Without a doubt. Just bear that in mind if you ever feel the urge to drool over the current proposal.

In Kansas City they charge $27 per car, I'd assume it would be something similar to that, probably a little more, but nowhere near the $100 you think it will be just to park a car.

Many key decision-makers are quietly against it -- some not so quietly. (Legislators are very sensitive to that.)

As were many for the Twins Stadium, yet when push came to shove, it passed.

You make some valid points, but your pure hatred towards this subject skews your thinking. If this was the Twins, you would write an article about how great this would be...

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 08:33 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 34

LOL! Good one F_T_K. Look closely at the crowd shots Fox likes to show during the games. I think those bear you out.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 09:35 AM by terry Highlight this comment 35

I think that the only way to misunderstand this article is willfully. But if that's how it's going to be, OK.

"pure hate for the Vikings and a new stadium"

Not sure where you get this when I said repeatedly and even in bold letters that it's just not the case. (In a comment, I admit that the current regime has me feeling less-than-enthused about the current incarnation, but I've felt that way about the Twins at many points during my 40-odd years of fandom.)

"The Vikings DESERVE a new stadium."

The word "deserve" implies that they've done something special to earn it. That's hard to see. They have merely grown tired of and hobbled by the stadium which was built for them. Mere popularity does not make them "deserving".

The word "need" implies the impossibility of using what they have. It implies that they have no suitable place to play their games. The Metrodome is still very serviceable. It even has a new roof and turf and has been retrofitted with some fancy, revenue-producing event suites. It is also, in the words of Jerry Bell, "economically obsolete" for the Vikings, just as it was for the Twins, but that's a very different thing. (The Twins, who were playing in a facility not designed for their sport, genuinely had a "need".) Yes, it's semantics, but I'm old school in that I believe words matter.

It is reasonable to expect a facility to last for 30 years. The Vikings signed just such a lease and it's still in effect. Thus, they are not "overdue" but merely "due". Still, to me, the urgency is the same. The Metrodome is bad for the Vikes, and needs to be replaced.

How does that make me either a Vikings-hater or a stadium-hater? In fact, it makes me a realistic Vikings- and stadium-supporter.

"the new stadium will be used for much more than the Vikings"

I wish that I could accept this as a reason to spend the money, but I can't. Any other uses for the facility would be ancillary at best. Yes, they might happen, but we do not need a billion-dollar facility for them, and would never build one if not for the 10 Vikings games each year.

It's time to call a spade a spade. There was a time when you needed to make all of those other arguments to "justify" the expense. But they've all been debunked -- and more importantly, they don't matter. I made the one argument that matters: We love football, and are willing to pay to keep it. That's the only honest justification, and it's enough! Everything else is gravy.

"Arden Hills is a great location for a stadium."

I didn't deny this. In fact, I didn't make any arguments in this article for or against any site (other than stating how I'd rank them, plus a thumbnail assessment). This article was meant only to say that Arden Hills can't meet the tests it needs to make in order to get approval. The FM site is the only one that people are talking about that I think can meet those tests.

That does not mean that I think it would be the best site (I listed two that I prefer over it). And you know what, I think I even said that the Arden Hills site could work!

If you want to have that discussion, I'm willing and prepared. But this article was about the problems with getting approval for the Arden Hills site, and not about its merits.

At most, I gave a sketch of why fans might want to object:

"In Kansas City they charge...I'd assume...something similar...probably a little more"

Zygi would be crazy to charge less than the market will bear. With a monopoly (there would quite literally be no alternative to parking in his lots at a stadium in Arden Hills), fans should be very cautious about making assumptions. Minneapolis is a long way from Kansas City.

"If this was the Twins, you would write an article about how great this would be..."

Long ago, I argued in favor of the land next to the MOA for a Twins stadium. I still think it could have been beautiful, and I still get nostalgic when I think about those days at Met Stadium.

But I've learned a few things in the intervening years. One of those is how to assess what is possible and what is not. Another is how to separate the fantasy from the reality. Another is how to see things through the various stakeholders' eyes. Another is how to separate nostalgia from cold hard reality. Another is how to gauge how the fan perspective is and is not included in the debate. Another is which arguments are meaningful and useful, and which make things worse.

This article was not about what I want to happen. It was about what I think will happen.

I could be wrong. If I have to eat this article one day, I will eat it.

"your pure hatred towards this subject"

Harsh words. Inaccurate characterization. Misinterpretation. But I put my opinion and analysis out there, so I suppose I have it coming. I take no offense.

But let me tell you this: I have been told by people directly involved in the process that this post, since it was published the other day, has been out there helping to solve the Vikings stadium problem, whether you want to accept that or not.

It may not come out exactly the way you want, but the primary goal for everybody (me included!) is to keep the Vikings here and competitive. This article has already had a positive effect in that regard among those who will make the tough decisions.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM by Rick 36

The word "need" implies the impossibility of using what they have. It implies that they have no suitable place to play their games.

OK then if that is how you feel, then the Twins didn't 'NEED' a new stadium either, because the games could have still been played in the Metrodome. I agree the Twins needed a new stadium, and Target Field is great, but situation for the Vikings isn't much different at this point.

The Stadium will be used for much more than the Vikings. Is the Metrodome not hosting other events other than the Vikings? The events have gotten less because the facility is so horrible. It has hosted a Super Bowl, It has hosted 2 Final Fours, and the new stadium will host all of those events and more.

I think if Zygi is willing to put forward close to $500 million, which would take care of the $39 million gap in funding, the extra clean up costs, and the cost for building delay, I think this bill will pass.

Plus I read comments and most 'baseball' fans here think that Vikings fans are idiots. Think all we want to do is tailgate, and that is all we care about. Well football is much different than baseball. I happen to love both, but tailgating is a huge huge huge part of the gameday experience.

Waking up early Sunday morning, getting to the parking lots with friends and or family, having some drinks, grilling some great food and shooting the breeze is all part of the experience.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 37

Alright - let's put this into perspective: I used to be one of those guys who saw the new stadium as fodder for those ancillary events, i.e. the Super Bowl, Final Four and what not.

"Is the Metrodome not hosting other events other than the Vikings?" Um, not exactly. The last Super Bowl we had here was 1992, when the Dome was a mere TEN YEARS OLD. Has it been back since? No.

Last Final Four? 2001. Has it been back since? No. The NCAA only gives the Dome a look now for the first/second round regionals. And that's a distant look IMO.

So, OK - we build a new palace. What will that get us? One Super Bowl? And I highly doubt that the NCAA will make a deal with Minneapolis to have the Final Four here every five years like they did with Indy and their new palace.

Oh, and hey, Detroit has themselves a relatively new stadium. One Super Bowl (2006). I don't see it going back anytime soon. One Final Four (2009). Final Fours have now been distributed thru the year 2016 - no Detroit. A couple billion dollars for 10 games, and a big TV event every ten years or so, not worth it.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 11:41 AM by luke Highlight this comment 38

I would agree that the Twins did not NEED a new stadium, they wanted one, and many of the fans wanted them to have it. They could have continued playing there. I know the roof collapsed, but I bet they could have figured out a way to get it fixed faster if the Twins still played there, such as not sitting around two weeks before moving on what they where going to do. Being that the did not need the stadium again until August, they sat around until they knew insurance was going to pay for it.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 39

Keep up the good work Rick. I prefer objective, fact-based analysis over emotional, hyperbole and profanity-laced shouting. You have provided the former and others this morning have provided the latter.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 12:58 PM by terry Highlight this comment 40

It's laughable to compare the Twins situation at the Dome to the Vikings. The Vikes are playing in a stadium that was built specifically for them and their sport. The Twins were playing in a stadium built for a different team and sport with their own sport awkwardly shoehorned in (the proverbial "playing baseball in the corner of a football field").

The Twins did very much need a new facility in a way that the Vikings don't.

But all of that actually misses my deeper point, albeit only implied until now.

Using words like "need" in connection with the Vikings and their current quest is not a very good idea. It invites opponents to point out the new roof, new turf, and other recent modernizations. It invites opponents to craft strategies which counter the whole concept of "need", which isn't very hard.

That type of language in stadium debates is old. It has been tried, and has caused countless delays as opponents also recite the long list of more important "needs" (which truly are more important, albeit considerably less exciting to solve).

Saying that a new facility is "due", on the other hand, highlights that the lifespan of the current facility has passed, that the economics of the sport dictate a new facility at least every 30 years, and also that the Vikings have watched patiently as first the Gophers and then the Twins got their new facilities.

Saying that the Vikings are "due" a new facility helps the cause. Saying that they "need" a new facility hurts the cause.

Which would you rather do?

The biggest obstacle that the Vikings have now is themselves. They have not figured out either how to make their case, or how to make progress on their goal when there appear to be openings. That there isn't organized opposition to the whole idea of a new stadium is something of a minor miracle.

But make no mistake: If this gets screwed up because they insist on a geographic location which has no chance of getting approval, they will only have themselves to blame.

The geography has to be treated kind of like color when you're shopping for a new car. Yeah, red may be your first choice, but you might not be able to get the deal you want on a red car. You might have to settle for purple, which is also very cool.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 1:29 PM by Rick 41

But, why can't the Vikings take a page from the NO Saints. I know, renovating the Dome has come and gone a couple times over the years and been shot down by Vikings front office brass.

Given the economic lifespan of 30 years you spoke of, the Superdome was due for replacement about ten years ago (and especially after Katrina - whereby a new stadium was considered). But, the Saints have sunk a lot of bucks into renovating the Superdome.

Sure it's the same frame outside (new paneling though), but inside, it looks inherently different: club levels, new seats, realigned lower bowl, relocated pressbox, wider concourses. Looking at the place now, you'd never know the rain dripped and the sun shone through a gaping hole in it a mere six years ago. And the renovation actually increased seating capacity a great deal.

It's like a whole new stadium (and also will host the Final Four in 2012 and SB XLVII).

Cost? $320 million (according to Wikipedia).

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 2:03 PM by luke Highlight this comment 42

A new roof and turf doesn't turn the Metrodome from a turd to a palace. The building itself sucks. The horribly narrow concourses, the ugly cement that is everywhere, the terrible sound, the lack of parking, the extra small video boards, i could go on and on...

This is all just from a fans standpoint. People act like just because the dome got a new roof and turf that it no longer sucks. That is the furthest thing from the truth.

The Vikings have done everything asked of them by Gov. Dayton and lawmakers. They were told to wait their turn as the Gophers and Twins needed new stadiums 1st. The Vikings patiently stood by and watched them get their new stadiums. Then when the time came Gov. Dayton told the Vikings to go out and find a local partner, which they did in Ramsey County. He then told them to put up more money, which they have already agreed to.

When does the rest fall on the governors shoulders? The Vikings found a local partner, they put up more money, now its the states turn to make the rest happen, and id be willing to bet the Vikings will put up even more money if they have to.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 2:11 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 43

Vike it's not the governor, it's the legislature. It's on their shoulders now, as it should be.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 44

No, the Governor has to get the lawmakers together, get the votes, then call a special session...ball is in his court now

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 3:07 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 45

Jc- Its on the governor to get a plan together and get the legislature on board, then up to him to call the special session.

Rick, you stated "I believe words matter" now NEED is a strong word, and by definition did not apply to the Twins situation, their PR people wanted people to believe they NEEDED it, but truly they survived 28 years there, they just WANTED a new stadium to garner new revenue. Just because they shared a stadium, it is not a need.

This the same as the Vikings, who rank near the bottom on revune in the NFL, if not the bottom. That being said, they are still making money, and WANT a new stadium, just like the Twins, they do not NEED a stadium.

Also, don't get me wrong, I wanted the Twins to get a new stadium, and I want the Vikings to get one as well, but to say either needed it is false and misleading.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 3:13 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 46

Duffman, I can agree with your statements, however I believe it is a NEED at this point. If we want the Vikings to stay in Minnesota we need to build them a stadium.

Do you think the Vikings stay here long term without a new stadium? They might not move after this season or next season, but they will leave in the near future without a new stadium.

I believe Zygi Wilf is the best owner any Minnesota sports team has ever had. He is a passionate fan, he spends money to win, and is willing to put up a huge chunk of money to get a new stadium.

Zygi has also never threatened to move the team like Carl Pohlad did, remember Donald Beaver in North Carolina? Remember when he offered the Twins up for contraction?

Wilf has waited his turn and the time is now. Waiting creates 2 problems. Either the cost of the stadium continues to rise, or the team is gone, and there is no team to build a stadium for. Also lets not even get into the cost if the team moves and an expansion team is awarded here.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 3:35 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 47

Once again, using the word "need" hurts the Vikings' chances here. That's all.

Using the LA threat also hurts their chances.

Insisting on Arden Hills hurts their chances.

Don't think like a fan. Think like a decision-maker.

And don't dare blame the Dome because, flawed as it is, it looks better right now than it has in a decade. You and I know it sucks, but that fact, as well as your and my opinions, don't matter.

You don't play the cards, you play the players.

And Zygi may be your dream team owner, but he appears to have learned less than nothing from what the Twins and Gophers went through. (Check that: He did learn to underplay the threat of relocation. He's wisely decided to leave that to the NFL. I still believe that when it's a tactic, you hear about it all the time. But when it's the real plan, you won't hear a word until it happens.)

The roadway to a new Vikings stadium is there for anyone willing to consult a map.

Blaming the Governor (or any politician) for any part of this is like blaming the sun for coming up in the morning. It misses the entire point.

I've now written 4,000 words trying to illuminate this to anyone who wants to understand it and craft a workable solution. That's all you get for free. I'm moving on.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 4:01 PM by Rick 48

What more do you want of Zygi though is what I ask. They told him to wait his turn until the Gophers and Twins get a new stadium, he did. They told him to find a local partner, he did and now they are complaining about the local partner. They told him to pick a location, he did and now they don't like the location.

They told him to him to come up with a way to pay for it, he did with $407 million, they say we need more, and while your at it, we need a $175 million in road upgrades, oh wait thats too much, i guess we only need $101 million now.

Who is trying, and who is passing the buck?

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 4:14 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 49

If you asked me 1,000,000 times where I'd want a new Vikings stadium, I'd tell you 1,000,000 times in downtown Minneapolis. I have Vikings season tickets. Currently, for a 12:00 kickoff, I leave my place at 10:45 and am sitting in my seat, beer and hotdog in hand, by 11:30. That simply wouldn't be possible at an Adren Hills stadium and the loss of my current convenience would be greatly missed. Tailgating means nothing to me and I can't see doing it more than once per year or every other year at best.

The problem is Minneapolis (namely Rybak and the city council) seem to want the stadium to fall into its lap minus any legitimate effort on its part or meaningful engagement with the Vikings to make it happen. Simply willing it to happen won't garner results and the failure to take any proper action, combined with the Vikings interest elsewhere, has kept any Minneapolis proposal from gaining momentum.

As for the cost, honestly, I couldn't possibly care less. Our tax money is utilized and often flat out wasted on a local, state, and federal level every second of every day on things we collectively could barely comprehend. A Vikings stadium represents use of that money on something I can see, touch, experience, and enjoy. Legislators clearly may see things differently, but moans about stadium costs and tax burdens from the Capitol don't and won't move me in the slightest given the circumstances.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 4:35 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 50

I am also a Vikings season ticket holder, but I live in Southwestern Minnesota. I make the 3 hours drive one way each home game, and I definitely want it in Arden Hills.

I love tailgating, I do it every game, and Kansas City is simply amazing, and I can only dream we have something similar to that here someday. It's outside the city, it has lots of room, and its not a clusterf**k getting to, around, and from it.

I do agree that Minneapolis just wants a stadium to fall into their lap without putting any effort into it and then reap all the benefits from it when its built. Target Field is prime example of that.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 4:41 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 51

"Without putting any effort into it"??

Did I miss some sort of alternate reality where Minneapolis and Hennepin County did a LOT of work to make Target Field happen?

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 8:18 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 52

(meant to say "Didn't do a LOT of work"... dang cold I'm fighting has my brain discombobulated.)

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 8:19 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 53

Hennepin County did a ton of work to get Target Field. To be honest, I always thought Minneapolis was more of a passenger than a driver on that one, however, like the one guy in a group project who tries hard to make it look he's contributing without actually adding anything tangible and then claiming the A others worked harder for as his own.

As far a Vikings stadium is concerned, Hennepin County has done nothing although it's been honest and open about its intentions from the get go. As for Minneapolis, like James Brown sang, "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin'". It would be wrong to say the city hasn't brought anything to the table, but it's always felt half assed and incomplete in comparison what's required to actually get things done.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 9:23 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 54

Hennepin County, yes. But Minneapolis? Well, it's complicated.

Remember that Minneapolis has this charter amendment that says they can't spend more than $10 million on any sports facility. This effectively takes them out of a sweepstakes like the one going on now with the Vikings. (Here you can't blame the mayor or any elected official. It was voters who did this back in the 90s in an attempt to thwart the construction of a Twins stadium. It, ah, didn't work.)

Ironically, the amendment spares the city the expenses, but they can still reap the profits. That's exactly what has happened with TF. The reality is that, other than getting out of the way (enough, at least), they didn't really do that much to make TF happen. But they get a whole lot of revenue out of it, mainly in parking fees.

Hearing Rybak talk about the Vikings is actually kind of sad. He can't do anything but make proposals, and most people realize that they are just ideas with nothing of substance (i.e. money) behind them. He has the best interest of the city at heart, no doubt, but the weak-mayor design of city government basically renders him impotent on these big issues. (And there are, um, other reasons why he might feel the urge to advocate for keeping the Vikings on land very close to the Star Tribune buildings....)

In other words, if it appears to you that Minneapolis isn't putting any real effort into landing the Vikings, you're right. But it's not because they don't want to or are just lazy or hapless or looking for a free ride. Their hands are tied a couple of different ways.

Following an issue like stadium development could be the best civics lesson anyone could ever get. But you have to pay attention.

For example, when somebody says, "Go find a local partner," it's code. First, it's kind of like the Wizard saying, "Bring me the broom of the wicked witch of the West." It's part stalling tactic, and I'm sure the assumption was that it would be an impossible task. And second, everyone knows there is a very limited number of potential local partners (possibly only one) available. It's tantamount to saying, "Go talk to Opat."

And when someone says, "Go and pick out a site," there is an implied "that we all can live with" attached to it. Nobody actually meant, "We'll agree to whatever you decide."

And, contrary to what is alleged to happen on one side of the aisle, it is generally not possible to go out and tell legislators how to vote. Putting coalitions together in the current environment is especially difficult -- and it's Zygi's responsibility, not the legislative leadership or the Governor.

If you recall, Shane Nackerud -- an interested bystander -- was the first to count the votes, and the first to realize that there was just barely enough support to pass the Twins deal. He gave the info to some connected people, who gave the info to the leaders in government and the team. Only then did the wheels get to turning, and that was the trigger for Hennepin to step in (they were ready all along for just the right moment). If you remember, the .15% sales tax wasn't on anybody's radar as a funding source until just a short time before the bill passed.

Sitting around and saying "the Governor needs to do this or that" doesn't have much reality behind it.

So, if you want to discuss the issue at the level of "Arden Hills is so cool and the government is so lame" you might as well do it over a few beers at your local tavern. You can probably convince the bartender, but unless he's a legislator, you won't have changed anything.

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 9:58 PM by Rick 55

I wish Beta was still around to tell us how much Wisconsin sports teams suck....

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 11:23 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 56

Rick, click my name for a better DT Vikings stadium option (as created by me, inspired by a recent ST article.) I can't find the article that mentioned this location, but I think it's a superior one to the FM site. Also gives the field an east-west shift, and view of DT through it's open endzone, rather than the noon sun.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 12:40 AM by jcm-baseball Highlight this comment 57

Found the article..

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 12:44 AM by jcm-baseball Highlight this comment 58

Are you suggesting they tear down Lee's Liquor Lounge?! Home of the famous Jingle-Stick? Have you no decency, sir?

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 01:01 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 59

Vike-

Zygi Wilf is the best MN sports owner ever? I don't think so. He bought this team for one reason, he wants a stadium, which will increase the value of the team and he can develope the land around it. This would his team's value by at least 50%. Guess why he bought, or was going to buy (I don't recall if it fell through or not) a lot of the Star Tribune land around the dome.

Wilf spends money on the team because he is forced to. The NFL has a salary floor of $112.5 million, and a salary cap of $128 million, spending an extra $16 million isn't exactly breaking to the bank to win. Of that $95 million comes from the NFL's TV contracts.

The Vikings do not NEED a new stadium, they say they will move to LA, which I doubt will happen for because of something you mentioned. Why would the NFL have a team move when they can just expand? There are many more billionaires in LA that can afford to buy an expansion team than here in MN. Plus even without that, the Chargers and the Raiders(Now that Al the vampire is dead) are rumored to thinking of relocating to LA, which leaves Zygi and the Vikings stuck in MN. While I want the Vikings to get a new stadium, I would want it a lot more if Zygi wasn't the owner. Too bad they can't organize a deal similar to the St. Paul Twins stadium deal where if they were to get a stadium the team would be sold to someone else.

I would prefer Arden Hills over Minneapolis, especially that Farmers Market site, as that would be a logistical nightmare. If it had to be in Minneapolis, a renovated dome or complete tear down, would be the best site.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 04:33 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 60

The Gang of Ten sold the Vikings to Red McCombs for, if I recall correctly, $250 Million. In just a handful of years, Red sold the Vikings to Wilf for a reported $600 Million. Meanwhile, the Metrodome slipped to number 31 in the rankings of NFL stadiums in terms of revenue generation. The Vikings’ value continues to climb (currently, Forbes has them valued at about $796 Million) in spite of the economic shortcomings of the Metrodome. I suppose one could argue that if the salary cap, as a percentage of average NFL revenue, continues to rise and Vikings revenues stagnate thanks to their under-performing facility, at some point in time the team would no longer be able to compete for high-caliber talent. But with every team, save a small handful, in nearly-new facilities, that average might only climb as fast as league-wide ticket prices can increase.
But until that day arrives, the Vikings will probably remain profitable, just not obscenely profitable.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 06:45 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 61

Yes I believe he is a great owner. Red McCombs bought this team for one reason, and one reason only, to turn a profit. He bought the Vikings, then 7 years later turned around and sold it.

Zygi Wilf is a football fan, he is from Jersey and has been a huge Giants fan most of his life. Yes he is a business man, and of course he wants to make money, but he is also a huge football fan.

You say he spends money because he has to? Yes there is a floor, but he doesn't have to keep the star players. Paul Brown in Cincinnati is known for being a cheap owner, just in it for profit, doesn't care about winning. Zygi has OK'd huge contracts with Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, Chad Greenway, Adrian Peterson, etc...

Zygi gets a bad rap here because he isn't 'one of us'. Any downtown stadium plan i see has the same problem every downtown plan is going to have...lack of space.

How can you jam a stadium with a much larger footprint than the dome, and still have parking, still have room for people to hang out and move around the stadium, and still have room to get in and out of the parking lots. They will all be a nightmare before and after games.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 06:58 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 62

Vikeologist is about a pair of purple footie pajamas away from being our own Carl Gerbschmidt.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 09:29 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 63

Maybe he doesn't remember trying to get out of that huge Met Stadium parking lot after Vikes games. Lots of room doesn't necessarily translate into ease of egress.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 09:36 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 64

with 35 running up there, I think it will be a breeze getting in and out of the arden hills site.

I guess its only ok to be a Twins homer on this board.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 09:55 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 65

494 ran right past the Met, but that didn't prevent egress from that parking lot from being a horrendous traffic jam.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 09:58 AM by terry Highlight this comment 66

35W a breeze through downtown?

Yep, it was. Back in the 60s.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 10:18 AM by Rick 67

jcm,

I mentioned the site north of the Basilica in the post.

It's not exactly terrible, but it isn't very good. It would be much more disconnected from the rest of downtown by virtue of the freeway configuration. (Building plazas over freeways is intensely complicated and very expensive.)

And I have a hunch that the very powerful Basilica folks (who have never forgotten how their former leadership punted on the location of I-94) would not look very kindly on such a proposal if it actually got serious.

I've heard it whispered that there is one landowner in that area (not Xcel) who wanted to get the site onto people's radar, but it doesn't stand much of a chance.

Going back to my personal list of preferred sites, I'm starting to wonder if anyone has had a conversation with Mary about what would be her dream location. I'm guessing that it wouldn't be where she is now, especially if she were sandwiched between two very large professional sports facilities...

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 10:32 AM by Rick 68

I guess its only ok to be a Twins homer on this board.

I like how Vikeologist keeps playing the 'oh, poor me, begin picked on by these Twins fans' card.

The Metrodome is a passable football facility, (and was a lousy baseball facility). Would I like to see a real stadium here in the Twin Cities? Sure! I've lived here almost my entire life (except for a few years away when I was in the military), I'm proud of my home town, I want what's best for this area.

But, I don't want to have nearly a billion dollars spent on something if it's not the best it can be.

Ziygi wants the Arden Hills site because he's a real-estate developer, salivating over one of the largest undeveloped areas in the metro area. He knows that if he does his job right, he'll make ginormous profits... He doesn't want what's best for the Vikings, or for the Twin Cities, or for Minnesota --- he wants what's best for Zygi.

Well, some of us want what's best for Minnesota, and the Vikings, and the Twin Cities --- and if Zygi does ok, then that's a bonus. (And I think we want them in that order, too.)

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 11:17 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 69

Apparently, you cannot possibly be a Vikings fan and also skeptical about the chosen land of Arden Hills.

That's bullshit.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 11:26 AM by Rick 70

TTH - comments 56 and 63, right on the money...lol.
Yep, Wisconsin has had a great sports year in 2011.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM by luke Highlight this comment 71

jcm - that stadium pic was sort of a cross between Reliant Stadium and Whatever-it-called-now Field in Seattle, yes?

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 12:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 72

I didn't say you couldn't be a Vikings fan and not be skeptical, what I'm saying is the majority of Vikings fans prefer the Arden Hills site over any other. That proves that Zygi isn't putting it somewhere where no one wants it to be. Majority of fans want it to be there.

Yes the Arden Hills site has its negatives, but every site does. If you wait around for the perfect site, the team will be gone.

Like i have said many times, IMO, Zygi will put up the extra money to make this happen.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 73

majority of Vikings fans prefer the Arden Hills site

Even if this happened to be true (which it's not -- take another look at that KFAN thread if you want a little reality check), it doesn't mean squat.

In other words: Nobody cares. It's irrelevant. It has no pull. It's worthless information. It means nothing. It has no sway.

How many different ways can I say this?

You seem to think that the sheer force of will of Vikings fans will make Arden Hills turn from a frog into a prince. And that probably explains why even asking a question about it seems threatening to you.

Sheesh. If you want the world to think better of Vikings fans, you're going to need to up your game a little bit.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 12:28 PM by Rick 74

I think a majority of fans prefer any site that will keep the team in Minnesota, period.

I have been a Vikings season ticket holder for 10 years and I do not like the Arden Hills proposal. I don't like the location, I don't like the fact that fans will essentially be "forced" to park in the stadium lots and pay a premium for parking, regardless of your desire for tailgating. It will simply be a monopoly by the Vikings since they will essentially own and control everything.

I could care less about the tailgating, especially in November and December.

The fact is, a stadium for the Vikings will be built, and it will be built in Minneapolis. It will be a fixed roof just like Ford Field in downtown Detroit.

You are hearing more and more about the big business leaders working on plans behind the scenes for a stadium to be built in Minneapolis.

The Vikings are simply denying this because they will eventually use the two proposals as leverage against one another and they want the Minneapolis proposal to better the Arden Hills proposal.

It just seems the Arden Hills plan was put together very quickly and not thought out very well. How can you honestly say the Arden Hills proposal is a good plan for the people of Minnesota and the residents of Ramsey County? It's not, plain and simple.

And how many Final Fours, Super Bowls and big events/conventions do you really think this new stadium will bring in???

Sure, you will more than likely get one Super Bowl, but to think you will get a Final Four every four years??? That is preposterous when you are competing with other markets such as Phoenix, New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Tampa, Indianapolis and so on.

We all want the Vikings to stay in Minnesota, but we also need to be realistic and look at the facts and the numbers...as Rick laid out very well in his post.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 75

I agree Mike, especially about the Final Fours. The NCAA has only ten sites they pick from when it comes to the Men's Final Four: Detroit, Indy, Minneapolis (very low on the list), Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio (low on the list), Atlanta, New Orleans and St Louis (low on the list).

The NCAA now likes its Final Four stadiums to seat AT LEAST 70,000 - and the NCAA now brings its own telescopic seating to extend the lower seating bowl to come as close to the court (now placed at the 50-yard line) as they can. Basically an arena feel in a 70,000 seat stadium.

And, with Indianapolis, through a new deal with the NCAA, hosting the Final Four every five years, that would diminish our chances of getting one - even with a new stadium, that much more - with big monsters in Dallas, Phoenix and New Orleans in the mix.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 1:59 PM by luke Highlight this comment 76

I think it will bring in a lot of events. Final Fours and regional rounds of the NCAA, at least one Super Bowl, maybe 2. Dallas is already had one, Arizona has had a Super Bowl already and another one coming up in 2015 I believe.

Don't get me wrong, I want the Vikings to stay here no matter where it is built, I just totally prefer the Arden Hills site for pure size of the land.

I keep going back to Kansas City, but I use it because I think it works, and the people there really love it. Both Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadium are outside of downtown. There are huge parking lots all around the stadiums.

I guess I can understand your point of view if you don't like tailgating, but tailgating greatly suffers in downtown areas. I guess we can agree to disagree on this entire subject, but I really hope this gets done somewhere, somehow, and SOON!

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 2:42 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 77

After having spent the past 15 years in the Dome at Vikings games surrounded by tailgaters, I’d prefer them getting a stadium built atop the IDS Tower if it would limit the number of obnoxious drunks at games. After all those years buying season tickets in the same location, there were too many visits from the cops in our area to justify continuation. The 3:15 kick-offs were especially bad, as the tailgaters had a good 4 hours of drinking under their belts by then. Agree to dry parking lots, and I’ll be on-board with the whole tailgating argument.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 3:21 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 78

So all tailgaters are drunks and obnoxious? just because some tailgaters get out of hand, doesn't mean we all do.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 3:39 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 79

I remember the crowds at those 3:15 games; I was a STH for 30+ years. Winona Mike is absolutely correct. And the Monday Night games? They were the worst; they really broke out the paint thinner for those!

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 3:58 PM by terry Highlight this comment 80

KC is a nice setup - sort of.
And I love KC, but I think a big problem with KC, as would be a problem with an Arden Hills stadium: the Truman Sports Complex is literally in the middle of nowhere.

The huge parking lot is the only reasonable form of development anywhere near there. Downtown KC is what, 20 minutes from there? You have some access from the interstates (I-70 passes on one side, and I believe you can also get to the stadiums from I-435 albeit a little out of the way).

Kauffman will play host to the MLB All Stars this year - we'll see if there's any complaints from the fans in regards to proximity of the stadium to hotels and other events (as were some of the complaints from SB XLV goers in Dallas this year). Certainly, it'll be a picturesque game and a nice setting for the Home Run Derby, but I'm not sold on the practicality of that particular location in regards to other development.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 3:58 PM by luke Highlight this comment 81

Did I say they were all drunks? No. But there certainly were enough to sour the game day experience for me. Terry's right about Monday night games. We onced watched 15 cops stream up an aisle to restore order one night when the Bears were in town. It's a shame that beer has to be such an integral part of some fans' game day experiences.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 82

Responding to a comment from F_T_K, the Metrodome is absolutely not a passable football stadium in any aspect except sightlines which are definitely good. However, the cramped concourses, too few restrooms (especially for women), poor entrance gates, poor exterior circulation (particularly on the plaza side), terrible scoreboards, hopelessly bad video boards, inaudible soundsystem, lousy concessions with too few points of sale, outmoded luxury boxes that lack their own concourse, outdated press box, and poor facilities for the teams themselves render it a lost cause. Regardless of the merits or demerits of the various proposed stadium locations and designs, the Metrodome is every bit the lost cause for the Vikings that it was for the Twins.

Switching gears, I went with the family to the Farmers Market this morning and wondered where it would be relocated if a stadium took that piece of land. Has such a thing even come up at this point?

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 83

Nick Punto in the World Series...?!? How about that.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 7:26 PM by Rick 84

lol Rick. Yeah, no kidding.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 9:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 85

It leads one to wonder just who was holding whom back.

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 11:03 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 86

I think in terms of the Arden Hills site they need to start cleaning it up first that way they can determine how bad it really is and if anything can even be built there in the first place.

It could end up being So contaminated that it would be hard to build anything there.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 12:21 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 87

Would Arden Hills contaminate the Vikings, or would it be the other way around?

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 12:29 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 88

They sure turned Soldier Field into a Super Fund site Sunday night.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 01:13 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 89

It does sort of make you wonder which clean-up will take longer and cost more money.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 01:20 AM by Rick 90

I'm waiting for Vikeologist to make an appearance this morning and tell us all how the Vikings "deserve" a billion dollar stadium.

I mean, that's only a billion dollars per win, right?

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 08:00 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 91

In all due respect, its easy to rip the Vikings right now when they are one of the worst teams in the league but everyone was on the bandwagon when they were rolling along in 1998 and 2009...

Minnesota sports fans are some of the biggest bandwagon fans around.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 10:09 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 92

Not that it really matters all that much, but it certainly is easier to loosen a billion dollars from people's wallets when the team is winning...

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 10:22 AM by Rick 93

Seems to me that in the list of "requirements" that Vikeologist claims the team has adhered to, he misses one of the biggest - Dayton's insistence that this be a "people's stadium." what does that mean? It means more than just including a roof, so that the facility can be used year 'round. It means, as Rick suggests, building it in a place to take advantage of the infrastructure that already exists. It is highly unlikely that Zygi could use a new AH stadium as a the focal point for shifting the commercial focus of the Twin Cities northward. If we're being forward-thinking about this, then transit HAS to be considered. How will people get to the facility, not just on 10 Vikings gamedays, but throughout the year? And by people, I don't just mean Twin Citians, I mean out-of-staters here on business, or for a weekend-long event. They don't want to have to rent a car at the airport and drive to nowhere to stay and play. They're going to want to have easy access to everything else the cities have to offer - plays, restaurants, lakes, etc. AH simply does not offer that, and never will.

The stadium needs to be near highways AND transit (i.e. light rail). It needs to have parking lots and hotels nearby. It should be easy to reach from the airport. It needs to be connected to these other amenities in a way that AH won't be.

Why? Because that's the only way to justify $1/2B+ in public spending on the project. Too many people don't care about football, or give it a very low priority. They need to be sold on the multiple uses of such a development, and the value it will add in other ways.

TF addressed most of these questions, while also serving a primary tennant who intended to use the facility 80+ times/year. when Zygi comes up with a proposal that hits on as many cylinders fas TF, things will move forward. Like Rick, I don't see the AH option as capable of meeting those expectations.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 10:40 AM by BR Highlight this comment 94

As a casual fan of football, I like the Vikings and especially when they are rolling, but I have no problems with the team getting a new stadium. However, I am very skeptical about building a stadium to where someone can potentially operate a monopolistic operation.

If the Arden Hills site was built, I can see Zygi's proprietaries built close to the stadium with parking lots surrounding, and the common business person having to acquire some land at a premium price to build a small business plan that would appear to be out of the way.

If you look at Kansas City, as someone referred to above, there is nothing but a gas station or two about 2 blocks away and a couple restaurants and hotels across the bridge. That will be the small businesses in the Arden Hills plan. Imagine KC if they actually had a developer that developed the crap out of the land to where Arrowhead and Kauffman are located. I bet the small businesses that are around the area would not thrive at all.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 11:02 AM by tk Highlight this comment 95

Also, speaking of a SuperBowl and Final Four, etc. How does that have a great impact on the local economy? Yes, it brings in money for those events, but looking at academia and the cost-benefit analysis, one could argue it is not all that great.

Projected revenues from these events are always high, but when the final numbers are in, the actual economical impact is usually 1/10th to 1/5th of the actual projections.

On top of that, who is benefiting? Some will argue that the stimulus is not having a major impact on the country (spending millions on roads and infrastructure), how do those same people argue that this "stimulus" will?

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM by tk Highlight this comment 96

I did my part to help get Target Field done! I know not all Twins fans are Viking fans.. Some are pathetic Packer fans! I wish I never referenced this site when doing my part to get TF! We need a Football Stadium Magic site! It's obvious Rick Prescott is a Packer fan, don't get me started on that douche Luke! I hope it happens in Arden Hills, and when it does I hope Rick Prescott, who I wasted a lot of time reading when the TF land dispute was going on, STAYS THE HELL AWAY from the Arden Hills Stadium! YOU WILL NOT BE WELCOMED THERE YOU UNGRATEFUL SOB! Far as I'm concerned, you're not welcomed at MOA field!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 1:16 PM by Greet Machine Highlight this comment 97

^wow...

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 1:36 PM by tk Highlight this comment 98

Well TK with out delving too far in to politics, The Stimulus that was passed by Pres. Obama was not an actual stimulus bill as much as it was an omnibus spending bill, further funding government programs, with some building projects thorwn in. The roads and infrastructure part was only about $49 billion of the $787 billion was allotted to roads, and who knows how much money was spent on the self-serving signs stating that some road projects were paid for by the act. The actual buildings built by the act centered on government buildings, not private ones where a business would actually generate revenue, rather than spend it.

If this stadium is done right, i.e. not cramed into the Farmers Market, where other businesses can be developed, not only would jobs be created in the building of the stadium and those other buildings, but then it would provide many long term jobs at those businesses that occupy the other businesses.

Also thanks for admitting you are a fair-weather Vikings fan, as many of the people on this board have shown to be fair weather Twins fans, but don't admit it so freely.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 1:49 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 99

Oops, after $787 billion it was supposed to say "of which only $27 billion was allotted to roads"

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 1:59 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 100

The Vikings fanatics who have posted the last few days have not painted a very flattering picture of themselves. And no, I am NOT a Packers fan; I've followed and cheered for the Vikings their entire existence. But some of the hysterical shreiking posted the last 3 or 4 days on these pages is just embarassing.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 2:25 PM by terry Highlight this comment 101

Agreed, Terry. Of course, that's a basic problem with "fantatics." They rarely comprehend that most others do not share their fanaticism.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 2:43 PM by BR Highlight this comment 102

Oops - meant "fanatics." My typing's not so good...

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 2:44 PM by BR Highlight this comment 103

I'm out of the office right now, but I'll fix that idiotic misrepresentation above when I get back.

And I agree that at least one Vikings fan is working hard to keep their reputation from improving.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 2:47 PM by Rick 104

We call Rick Prescott out on his HYPOCRISY, and we're "fanatics"! We have EVERY RIGHT to be pissed at Rick! We stepped up for Target Field!! He's being a douchebag on the Arden Hills sight!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 2:50 PM by Greet Machine Imposter Highlight this comment 105

Build it in Arden Hills, and keep Rick Prescott OUT!!!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 2:56 PM by Greet Machine Imposter Highlight this comment 106

Love how Rick Prescott is lecturing us on how to be good Viking fans, because being snobby Twin fans in an ivory tower and telling us how stupid we are for wanting tailgating back is is really true class... NOT!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:03 PM by Greet Machine Imposter Highlight this comment 107

Snobby Twins fans, I love it! After reading this pathetic excuse of a blog entry, it couldn't be an more true!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:05 PM by Dr. Michael Savage (aka Greet Machine) Highlight this comment 108

No, you're not a fanatic for alleging that Rick's hypocritical. you're a fanatic because:

1. You seem to think that the only legitimate issues worth discussing are the issues that the team wishes to discuss.
2. You seem to think that (a) you know what the "majority" of Vikings fans think (despite the lack of any statistically significant surveying on the topic), and (b) what Vikings fans think is all that really matters.
3. You also seem to think that making your points IN CAPITAL LETTERS WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS GRANTS YOU THE HIGH GROUND IN THE DISCUSSSION!!!!!!!!!!!

I suppose you deserve some credit for not using bold face type and larger font type, so, well, there: due credit for not going completely overboard. And thanks for your posts. They've been invaluable.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:06 PM by BR Highlight this comment 109

Duffman, to clarify my comments above, there have been stimulus past by a couple Presidents, I was not referring to one specifically.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:14 PM by tk Highlight this comment 110

The Farmers Market site is my preferred location. In my opinion it is superior in many facets. This was my opinion way before this blog entry. What I find funny, is that the only benefit that fans state for the Arden Hills state is tailgaiting.

I would love to hear from Arden Hill supporters on their thoughts on why and how the Arden Hills site is better and why it should deserve millions of dollars in public funding.

Rick I have very much appreciated your post and hope you will continue to write more. I'm sorry that you have had to deal with some very rude and immature postings.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:22 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 111

From minnpost.com, Stadium proposal: Two wrongs don't make a right. Click my name for the article.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:25 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 112

I've decided not to edit a thing. The idiot outed himself (with the help of my software).

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM by Rick 113

Jeff, it's not in crowded Minneapolis, baseball is for downtown, football is suburban! It sucks already that it has to have a roof? Way make it even suckier by taking away the tailgating!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM by Greet Machine Imposter Highlight this comment 114

Again, the only reason given for Arden Hills is because of tailgating. Am I missing something here? Yes I understand there is more parking spots available in Arden Hills for tailgating, but is there really that high of a demand for 20,000 spots.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:37 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 115

I'm going to try to put a fine point on the issue. I think most people would agree, that, notwithstanding the possibility of missing a good urban development opportunity, building the stadium in Arden Hills would be just fine, provided one thing: Zygi pays the full freight. If he wants a compelte monopoly because he'll be able to be sole development king, ruler of the entire site, then fine. Go for it. Just don't expect the state to pony up $00M to pave the way for you. Kraft paid for essentially all of the Patriots stadium in Foxboro. The Giants did the same in S.F. If Zygi and his followers want tailgating uber alles, they can have it. They just gotta pay for it. Want public money? Then the public's interest - the complete public, not just the team and its most rabid fans - must be accounted for.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:39 PM by BR Highlight this comment 116

Dangit. Keyboard strikes again. "$00M" was supposed to read "$400M+"...

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM by BR Highlight this comment 117

LOUD NOISES! CAPITAL LETTERS! VIKINGS STADIUM!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 3:42 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 118

Hmm. Certain elements of that MinnPost article have a very familiar ring to them...

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 4:00 PM by Rick 119

For the record I am a relatively new Vikings fan and still pretty fairweather. I am a diehard Huskers fan and more of a fan of the college game.

My stance on the stadium is aligned with Rick's. The Vikings dont "need" a stadium or "deserve" one but I think they are "due" and should get one. Also, If its built it should have more access options than simply by car so Zygi can clean our clocks on parking too. Tailgating is not a good reason for a new stadium. Sure, cool addition to the gameday experience but many Vikings fans I hear from it's almost a top priority. I have a hard time believing that new business in around an Arden Hills Stadium/Zygi development can survive what appears to be an effort to monopolize the region. I am liking BRs reasoning, Greet Machine is clearly a Panthers fan for no other better reasoning than the ones used in calling Rick a Packers fan and for the record, this is what I picture everytime I see a Dr. Michael Savage post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtespeLin2c

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 4:01 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 120

Oops, I forgot to make it a link. So for those of you too lazy today to copy and paste or too old to figure it out, click my name. I am assuming Greet Machine needed help with this one.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 121

Jared......SIMPLY PRICELESS!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 4:08 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 122

I'm not following the ZygiVille train of thought going on here. Are you guys claiming that all the businesses built on the 260-acre site are going to be owned and operated by Zygi Wilf himself? Or would it be more like a typical real estate development site where Zygi would improve/develop the land and sell and/or lease out parcels to other investors/developers?

If Zygi were not the main real estate developer, who then should it be? Some other private property development company, the county, the state?

I would spin it more as a positive than a negative if Zygi has more skin in the game rather than less. He will have a vested interest in ensuring the entire project is successful.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 4:16 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 123

The way the deal is structured now, Zygi will have exclusive right to development on that very large parcel of land (much larger than is actually needed for a stadium). He would be getting that control at a bargain basement price, and there will be no outside developers or businesses unless he sanctions them.

More skin in the game? Not really because it essentially creates a monopolistic zone, which means less skin in the game. He will have -- quite literally -- no competition to his parking lots, and extremely remote (geographically) competition in hotels and restaurants. This is typical of stadiums, of course, but generally not on this scale.

The Twins have a monopolistic zone within the gates of Target Field, but there's lots of market pressure determining hotel and restaurant prices, and even parking, beyond those gates.

In ZygiLand, every aspect would be under his control.

One wonders if Zygi would even take the deal if it were modified just a little bit:

1. Only enough land for the stadium footprint and admin building.

2. Ramsey operating the parking lots and collecting all the revenue to buy down the sales tax.

3. Additional land nearby offered at market rates to any developer who wants to bid.

Kind of hard to imagine, eh?

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 4:31 PM by Rick 124

Exclusive right to develop is pretty much normal for a real estate developer isn't it? That doesn't necessarily equate to a monopoly does it? The Mall of America after all is on a 116-arce site and owned by one entity (Triple Five Group), but I wouldn't call it a monopoly. And even those guys can't get PhaseII going.

I find it hard to believe Zygi would own and operate all the businesses on the entire site. Zygi Gas n Go, Zygi Hot Wings, Zygi McDonald's, Zygi Resort, Zygi Bowling, Zygi Grocery, Zigy .... I suspect the way it would end up is Zygi would own and operate a few of the anchor business like the Stadium, training facilities, Hall of Fame, and maybe a single restaurant/hotel. Everything else would be owned/operated by other entities.

If he did own/operate everything, that would be a huge huge financial risk, even if the land was given to him.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 125

It's time for a Viking's Stadium magic blog, this blog was fine to read during the pre-construction and contstruction of Target Field, but now, the Viking fan bashing, pinning MN fan against MN fan that Rick likes to do because he's a Green,Gold and Cheese bleedin' Packer backer if I ever did see one, it's time for a real Viking fan to step up and start such a blog. May'be the real Greet Machine can do it, he hasn't blogged his on hisown blog since St. Patrick's day. Had I known Rick would be such a turncoat, I would've said screw Target Field, the Vikings are the more popular team in town anyways! Hundreds of Millions of dollars for a ballpark, and cheapskate Jim Pohlad won't even fire that big fat incompetent moron Billy Smith, who can't make a decent offseason move if he knew what one was! Gardy sucks too! "Let's try only to make the the playoffs then die in the first round of the post season" With Gardy! His overrated ass neeeds to go too! Don't get me started on Ullger and Vavra!! Incompetent morons who can't coach their way out of a nutsack! ..And Nishi, what a geinius call by that fat moron Billy Smith...... Joe Mauer can't go an enitre season without his mangina getting injured, I could go on!!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 5:06 PM by Skol Purple (aka Greet Machine) Highlight this comment 126

Let it be known, don't mess with the horns, or you get one pissed off Norseman!!!!

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 5:10 PM by skol purple (aka Greet Machine) Highlight this comment 127

Seriously, Jared - that was a great video...lol.
I'm still laughing.
My favorite one was "testify in church".

tk - I'd have to agree, the cost benefit of a Super Bowl or Final Four is pretty minimal. IMO, at best, we'd probably break even: the money made for those few days would pay Mpls. back for all the money the city has to sink into putting on and promoting the event.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 5:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 128

How much land around the Metrodome does Zygi already own? I thought I heard somewhere that he had purchased several "parcels".

It would be nice to somehow save the 'dome, as part of a larger development in that area. The 'dome gets used something like 300 times a year, for everything from trade shows to kickball leagues - it would be a darn shame to tear it down when it's still being used.

Build a bigger, fancier tailgate lot/stadium just north of the dome, and keep the dome as a secondary facility that the public can still use and enjoy even when there isn't a Vikings game being played.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 5:15 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 129

The point is that, if he wanted, Zygi could own it all. And the only way that he doesn't own it all is if he (and he alone) decides to let someone else own it -- for which he would surely extract some sort of remuneration.

The MOA isn't a very good analogy because there are so many other businesses clustered around it. The only thing which will be anywhere near the Arden Hills site is a lonely trailer park and the Army training grounds (which apparently will remain, at least according to the site drawings being circulated).

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 5:49 PM by Rick 130

I think that Zygi had options on land around the Dome but declined them back in the day. As far as I know, he does not actually own anything near there.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 5:55 PM by Rick 131

"kickball leagues"? Wow, there's a mega financial return-on-investment for a new Vikings stadium. They'll have the new place paid off in no time.

Is the Star Tribune property still up for sale? I know it was considered as part of an earlier plan on the Metrodome site. They were going to have a huge transit hub there and stuff.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 132

I"m not against a Vikings stadium, but Arden Hills isn't the right answer. Building a stadium just to "get it done" isn't the right answer either.

Rick's put a lot of thought into his blog entry, and the result is - gasp - a series of salient points. If you're a true fan of the Vikings, as some blog entrants claim to be, then you'd support the voicing of all arguments with the goal of finding the best location and plan.

Otherwise, you're just a blowhard who gets a hard-on by hitting the word "Post."

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 7:53 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 133

"Building a stadium just to "get it done" isn't the right answer either."

We tried that already and ended up with the Metrodome, which was obsolete the day it opened.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 9:11 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 134

You have to admit, TTH, as soon as someone on Rube-Chat posts "Bomb the site," they do just as they're told. They follow orders well.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 9:14 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 135

Except that, so far, it's just the one guy, and he's the same guy who called for the "bombing"!

Most of the people who responded at his original thread tried to help him understand the point.

All in all, pretty pathetic.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 9:22 PM by Rick 136

I can only speak for myself, but a major reason why Vikings fans are getting so firmly behind Arden Hills is because they see no alternative. Arden Hills would be monumentally inconvenient to me in comparison to a downtown Minneapolis location in every respect. Right now I go from home to my seat with food in hand within 45 minutes and after the game ends, I’m easily home watching the late game and Redzone before the second quarter ends. Arden Hills would mean leaving substantially early and getting home significantly later with heavy traffic in both directions. Yet, I’d take that over the Vikes going to Los Angeles and that’s the issue.

If the legislature says no dice, what happens then? Would the Vikes commit to staying at the Dome for 2012 or even 2013 while they work things out on Minneapolis or some other location? This isn’t the Twins to North Carolina. The Vikings have a legitimate alternative in Los Angeles and it’s widely accepted that a team will end up there soon. Would the Wilfs gamble on the LA alternative still being there in 2013 or 2014 if they stay put to try another shot or will they park at the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum for a few years while Farmers Field and/or the Roski project come together? The Raiders (twice), Colts, Cardinals, Rams, Browns, and Oilers all relocated, so the Vikings loading up the trucks hardly seems beyond the realm of possibility.

So in the absence of any current alternative, Vikings fans get behind Arden Hills with all their fiber. The cost may balloon. The location may be all wrong. Some may not like giving the Wilfs all that land (I honestly couldn’t care less as long as the team stays, government at all levels has made far worse deals). Maybe the design will be a winner and maybe not although it can’t be worse than the Dome. Can it? I think there are plenty of Vikings fans who simultaneously want Arden Hills to happen so the team will stay and want Minneapolis or some other alternative to emerge. I do. It’s just that saying “no” to Arden Hills without having that alternative in stone feels too much like kissing the team good bye. Arden Hills isn’t perfect, but it’s better than Los Angeles.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 10:24 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 137

I have enjoyed this site because - with a lapse or two (as the preacher said in "Norma Rae") - it has been intelligent discussion. That is why I have found the rude, childish, face-painted nonsense of the last few days offensive. Hang in there Rick.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 10:24 PM by terry Highlight this comment 138

Rick I am not sure how well read you are on other non-MN facilities and the trials and tribulations they endured to existence but if you are in the know, maybe they would be good to comment on to support or negate your theory?

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 10:25 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 139

It's a good point, Jorge. It does appear that at least some Vikings fans seem to be viewing the issue as a cage match between Arden Hills and Los Angeles.

I don't see it that way at all, and I have come to realize that such a point of view actually makes things much, much worse.

The reality is that it is a cage match between a new Vikings stadium now (which will be in Minnesota, but not in Arden Hills) and no new stadium in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.

Is this too subtle for the average Vikings fan? I don't think so (though I'm worried about those who have crawled out of the shallow end of the gene pool).

Given all the rhetoric I heard today, let me give this one more go...

First, no one really knows what type of a threat LA represents and that unknown is probably stoking some fears. I get it.

You can make arguments both ways, but the conventional wisdom is that there's very real risk and no guarantee of success in LA. Further, it represents a much more useful threat to encourage stadium upgrades elsewhere than an actual option for any particular franchise.

But who knows?

All I'm trying to do here is help people understand that if Zygi goes all-in on Arden Hills, he will lose. And that will leave him with only two unpleasant options:

A. Make a very risky move to LA; or

B. Suffer with the Dome for years while waiting for another opportunity to arise here.

(Need I remind everyone here that a failed special session set the Twins back by five years?)

Based on the approach we have seen Zygi take in the past (which is to say that he tends to take a very cautious and patient real estate developer approach), it's actually a little difficult to imagine him taking option A under those circumstances. And being stuck with option B really sucks for him and all the fans.

So, what to do?

If you're reading the tea leaves, you will see that the Minneapolis sites which have been floated will not have the same level of opposition as will Arden Hills in the Legislature. In fact, while these sites may not have as many tailgating spaces (they could all have at least some), they build on a financial and developmental model which has already proven both successful and politically palatable.

It's not exactly the same as Target Field, and the conditions in the Legislature are certainly different now than they were then, but there is still a distinct sense that the right deal can get enough votes while protecting those politicians who need, for one reason or another, to vote against it.

All you need is enough votes. You don't need them all.

That means that a wise Vikings owner would put away the Arden Hills ultimatums, and simply ask the question, "How can we get this done here in Minnesota?" That's what we all want after all.

It means admitting that nothing can be railroaded through these days. The experience he had with Ramsey County (they asked, "What do you want?" and then gave him everything) will not be repeated at the Capitol.

So it's time to actually work with the people who will be making this decision. That's right: This decision belongs to the Legislature and not to Zygi, the Ramsey County guys, the fans, the Governor, or even Adrian Peterson. And it's when you ask yourself what the Legislature is going to accept that you realize AH doesn't stand a Donovan McNabb pass's chance of success (oh, wait, he actually completed a couple last night, my bad).

Moreover, a little bit of historical reading wouldn't hurt anyone at Winter Park. The lesson which can be gleaned from both the Gophers' and the Twins' stadium experiences is that you have to play nice with the Capitol or you will continue to play wherever it is you are currently playing.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 11:50 PM by Rick 140

Hey Rick, where is your seat at Target Field, I wanna know where to send that plate of crow to you next year when they already break ground in Arden Hills!

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 12:37 AM by skol purple (aka Dr. Michael Savage) Highlight this comment 141

Poor Terry! You don't dare go against your reign leader!!! I was a Rick tool once too! I harrassed legislators non-stop in May of 2006 to get Target Field done, never really cared about the Gophers new stadium, screw them, Vikings were way more important! I was happy to find out the stadium nightmare for the Twins was finally over! Now Rick has to be all anti-stadium, he probably wants a deal where the Pack comes to Target Field to play 2 home games a year, just like they did with old County Stadium until the early 1990s, who would need the Vikings in MN then? Rick is a hypocrite! Plain and simple!

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 12:44 AM by skol purple (aka Dr. Michael Savage) Highlight this comment 142

hey, savage:

what the FUCK is wrong with you? do you want the vikings in minnesota or not?

a deal is in the works right now and shitheads like you are going to fuck it up. is that what you want?

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 01:03 AM by skol purple (aka Dr. Michael Savage) Highlight this comment 143

Looks like a special session will happen sometime before Thanksgiving (click link) I'd be shocked if the following isn't exactly what we'll be seeing over the next 5 weeks:

Week 1...Vikings insist AH or nothing.
Week 2...1st official statements from Vikes saying something along the lines of we'll do whatever it takes to stay in MN
Week 3...MPLS officially unveils Farmers Market plan
Week 4...AH plan is brushed aside as Vikes endorse MPLS
Week 5...Financing based on continuation of Convention Center bonds (now fully paid off) for x amount of years satisfies the capitol enough to pass the bill and get shovels in the ground by next spring.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 01:17 AM by jp Highlight this comment 144

That sounds like a progression that everybody could live with, jp.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 01:25 AM by Rick 145

The LA Farmers Field stadium plan isn't finalized yet. Aren't there still financing and other other details that need to be sorted out? To what degree can the Vikings use the threat of moving to LA when decisions still need to be made regarding their stadium plans? And yes I do understand their planning process is much, much further along than in Minnesota.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 05:43 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 146

No one wants to commit to LA until they see concrete stadium progress, like say, poured concrete. The LA entities looking to build either stadium plan are waiting for one or two teams to commit to moviing to LA before beginning construction.

Zygi's better off staying put for now.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 05:57 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 147

Well said JP...I agree.

I just say the state should mandate the Vikings change their uniforms back to the classic look if they are to pass any sort of stadium deal that requires state financing :) That modern look they unveiled in 2006 is hideous and does not belong in the NFC North.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 10:37 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 148

Are the convention center bonds/tax state-issued? Or would they run into the sports facility ordinance limited to $10M?

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 12:38 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 149

Great article Rick. Excellent analysis as always. Just stopping by to say it pains me to see the good name of the Greet Machine besmirched on these fine pages. Whoever you are, please stop.

While I am not as pessimistic concerning the Arden Hills site, I would be stunned to see this thing pass any time soon, including during a November special session. I doubt we will ever even get to that point. The plan isn't solid, the funding sources are not complete, as Rick points out there are too many questions about the Arden Hills site, and the votes probably aren't there anyway ... in other words this is far from over (no matter how much I wish it was).

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 12:56 PM by Shane Highlight this comment 150

LA isn't really a threat. Ed Roski has recently changed his deal to say that the team owner will be responsible for all financing risks and the operation of the facility. Wilf isn't that liquid.

The AEG groups wants majority ownership which means Wilf would no longer be an owner and I doubt he would have any rights to development in L.A.

Between MPLS, Arden Hills, and the great threat of L.A. there is a pretty good poker game going on right now. Indeed as Dayton says it's time to turn up your cards.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM by moda Highlight this comment 151

People have complained that the dome was obsolete the minute it opened. Craming the new stadium into the Farmers Market would be the dome 2.0, with just a little bigger footprint. The infrastructure is lacking to support a football stadium. Hell, it is lacking to support the Twins Stadium. That has been one the things I did not like, and still dont like about Target field, is the location. Its cramed into a too small of site, and away from any quick exit out of downtown. The same would be true of the Farmer's market site.

From a purely stadium point of view, not a monetary, or hatred or resentment of Zygi point of view, Arden Hills is the best location to have the best stadium and football experience. Now monateraly it is an unknown, as is the Farmer's Market. It seems that most people on this board are against Arden Hills because it gives Zigy control over a lot of land. No one on this board seemed to care about these things when it came to the Twins stadium, when it was built they wanted the best stadium possible, but are worried about cost and other things with the Vikings stadium.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 3:03 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 152

Nice plug from Jason DeRusha today Rick. Congrats!

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 3:27 PM by Max Highlight this comment 153

Duff try parking on the 5th Street side (by gates 3 and 6) of TF if your looking for a quick exit. Tons of meters, and a couple of ramps over there and it takes about 3 minutes to get to either 94 or 55, or 10 min to 35W via Washington.

I personally love that TF is shoehorned into such a small space but am well aware of the disadvantages so I can understand your trepidation. From what I've read the FM site would include about 35-40 acres of land, about 4 times that of TF. How is that not enough space to support a football stadium? I'm assuming when you say AH provides the best football experience your referring to tailgating. How many people consider this an essential game day experience? 25%? 50%? I'm guessing it's not the majority. FM should be able to provide a 5000-7500 space lot for all your tailgating pleasure. Put 4 people in every car for each of those spots and you've got 20k to 30k folks showing up early to toss the pigskin, grill, drink and enjoy a lovely December morning. Those who show up for the game and leave use the 9000 spots in the ABC and surrounding ramps, and everybody else uses the multi-billion dollar investment that Minneapolis has made into public transportation. Everybody wins.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 3:46 PM by jp Highlight this comment 154

Why does every Viking fan (and I'm a massive Viking fan) miss the point when discussing the issue on every board? As fans that want to keep the team the very last thing that we should be doing is feeding the "It's Arden Hills or nothing" mantra.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 3:57 PM by moda Highlight this comment 155

Is there any reason why people couldn't tailgate in the A-B-C ramps? Sell them a special pass that allows them to use two spots, put the suv in one and the grill and chairs in the other. Done and done.

Yea, I know - "it's not the same" without open skies overhead. Be sure to enjoy those open skies before you go into your several hundred million dollar enclosed stadium. ;-)

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 156

F_T_K, it is all about liability issues that the City/State doesn't want to take on.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 4:08 PM by FD Highlight this comment 157

Duff,

In your statement, "It seems that most people on this board are against Arden Hills because it gives Zigy control over a lot of land. No one on this board seemed to care about these things when it came to the Twins stadium, when it was built they wanted the best stadium possible, but are worried about cost and other things with the Vikings stadium. "

To my knowledge the Twins do not control any land outside of the friendly confines within. It is my understand that Hennepin County also has a stake in the land outside the gates.

I have not see Pohlad's Pub, Pohlad's Hotel, Pohlad's Pole Dancing, anywhere near TF and if they did, it would be land controlled by a neutral proprietor at fair market and not controlled by someone with a sole stake in the project that is drawing the crowds.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 5:02 PM by tk Highlight this comment 158

tk - The Pohlad's real estate development arm (United Properties) owns the Ford Center directly across from TF on 5'th street. They were also at one time in negotiations to buy the Shapco building also on 5'th street.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 5:59 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 159

For clarity, the Pohlads paid market price for Ford Center (nee Centre) long after the location of TF had been fixed. It was not part of the deal in any way.

The option on Shapco is a 2011 development.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 7:23 PM by Rick 160

The AEG groups wants majority ownership which means Wilf would no longer be an owner and I doubt he would have any rights to development in L.A.

This incorrect.

AEG, while it would take majority ownership if it became available, has actually stated that it wants a minority interest in Farmers Field's tenant. The issue is that it wants its minority share to come at below market value, something the NFL and the other owners won't go for. That said, it's not a deal breaker in the sense that the demand likely could be traded for something else. AEG wants its share because most of the revenues would go to the NFL team, similar to how it deals with the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings at Staples Center.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 10:09 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 161

edit to above...

I meant to open with "This is incorrect" instead of dropping the verb and coming off like Tarzan as a result.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 10:37 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 162

Oh thanks for that Jorge. I had just read an article stating differently but it may be out of date. But i believe you are right because I heard Barriero stating today that the AEG group would be playing the role of landlord and the team would be tenants which apparently is not what the Vikings are after either. Not sure how that differs from Arden Hills but that's what they were talking about.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 11:04 PM by moda Highlight this comment 163

I'm still not buying the argument that control = exuberant prices.

Ok, maybe for the 10-12 Vikings games you could and would raise them. But that even happened at the Dome, parking costs were always much higher for a Vikings game than a Twins game for example.

But you can't run year round businesses like parking lots, bars, restaurants, and hotels on only 10-12 days worth of business. The other 350+ days you need to be able to operate at a competitive level with other similar venues.

Any act/event coming to the Twin Cities area is going to shop around for the best facility/features/location price combination they can find. If I was bringing a convention or trade show to the Twin Cities I surely would do this. And I would expect a price discount for the Arden Hills location. I surely wouldn't take my event there if my attendee's had to pay $100 to park and $400 for a hotel room.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of the AH site. I would rather see a Vikings stadium either downtown Minneapolis/St Paul or my personal preferred location, somewhere in Bloomington near the airport.

Zygi may very well have a monopoly on game day, but he would need to be competitive the other 350+ days of the year.

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 11:11 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 164

Dave,

I absolutely agree. I am only speaking of game days (which is all that will matter to Vikings fans anyway).

At the Dome, parking prices in the surrounding surface lots go up for Vikings games, but the upper limit of what they can charge is determined by a free market. There are lots of lots to choose from, including the free Park-n-Ride lots, and this keeps downward pressure on those prices.

In a monopolistic situation like Arden Hills would be, there is nothing keeping downward pressure on parking prices. Zygi would keep raising his price until he gets some pushback from the customers. Eventually, he would get to a point of equilibrium, where he is maximizing his profits (the lot would likely not be 100% full at that point because if it's full, then he's not charging enough).

I pulled $100 out of the air, but you can bet that whatever it ended up being, it would be substantially higher than the prices at those lots near the Metrodome.

All of the same things apply to any other amenities he might create -- on game days. And again, that's all that matters to the Vikings fans because who the hell wants to tailgate on non-game days?

In the scheduling of other non-football events, downward pressure on prices would certainly come from competing venues -- unless, that is, there is no other venue in the market which could host the event.

With a new 70,000-seat state-of-the-art, fixed-roof stadium available, do you think a major concert tour would even seek a bid from the U? The Metrodome? I think they are much more likely to seek a cut of whatever exorbitant prices are going to be charged at all of the other amenities in the compound.

Frankly, there's no way that any facility so isolated can turn out well for the consumer. The only way to protect the fans is to make sure there is competition nearby on game days.

Personally, I'm already resigned to the likelihood that I'll never set foot inside a new Vikings stadium for an actual Vikings game. But I sure would like to think that I might be able to afford to see a concert or something else there sometime. (Maybe Twinsfest?)

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 12:07 AM by Rick 165

Rick, Twinsfest in the North Metro, you got to be kidding, "worst idea ever!..."

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 12:13 AM by tk Highlight this comment 166

North metro?? No, no, no. I'm talking about when it's just up the street from TF.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 12:20 AM by Rick 167

No, no, no Rick. You mean somewhere near here

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 12:56 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 168

Ah, you've got my heart on that map, Dave. I always thought a stadium would complement the MOA nicely...

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 01:03 AM by Rick 169

Rick, I hear what you mean! I was just kidding, but where are all the people who were complaining when TwinsFest all the way across town in Blaine, 5-10 minutes away from there would be the Vikings stadium :)

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 01:10 AM by TK Highlight this comment 170

JP- you forgot the 10 minute walk to get to those meters, and then forgot to add traffic on washington, or hennepin if you are talking about east 94. Second, I was not talking about tailgating. I was talking about the gameday experience in general. Right now Viking games do not even compare to that of a low tier SEC college game day experience, it is truely sad.

Also, why are you comparing TF to a Vikings stadium, I only did because people on this board wanted the best stadium for their favorite team and sport, I was one of them.

My point was that why should the Vikings fans not want the best for their stadium? And why are some people so against that?

Yes the Farmers market site would be 5 times the size of Target Field, but only 12 Acres bigger than the Metrodome site. Thats not including the Kirby Puckett Plaza or the Light Rail Plaza.

So the site is only a little bigger, and we are assuming the stadium would not take up any more room than the dome does on its footprint, which I doubt. You can compare it to Ford Field which takes up only 26 acres, but a stadium like Lucas Oil, takes up 41 acres. Just the Stadium and parking at Arden Hills would be 260 arces. Retail would add another 170.

Since the dome parking lot is already only used for buses and vips, which would only increase with a new stadium, I don't know where you are getting 5500-7000 new parking spaces. Or the figure that Minneapolis has spent any money on public transportation. Public transportation is by the Met Council, funded by the state and the federal government.

TK, once again your caught up on the extra land. I'm talking about the stadium. I thought I made that clear when I stated "From a purely stadium point of view", but I guess not. Speaking of the extra land, yes Zygi will own it, but it, the Tax payer money, will be going towards the Stadium. Techincally the county will buy all the land, but then Zygi will have to spend his own money to buy and develope the land not used for parking or the Stadium.

Whether you like or not, right now, Arden Hills is by far the best stadium site.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 03:21 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 171

Duffman,

The same exact stadium could be built on any of the sites which have been floated. They all have enough room. Thus, the gameday experience inside the stadium cannot be cited as a reason to favor one location over another.

But as has been said over and over, the one thing Arden Hills may have going for it is more room for tailgating. If that is essential to your definition of "gameday experience" then you may include it as a reason to favor AH.

All of the other factors which differentiate between the sites are about ingress and egress and/or financial. How you get there is certainly part of the overall "gameday experience", but the game is the thing, right?

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 09:22 AM by Rick 172

One drawback of the stadium-in-the-middle-of-a-giant-parking-lot scenario is that it limits parking options, i.e. whoever controls the giant parking lot has a monopoly and can charge whatever the traffic will bear. The lot was pretty much the only option at the Met. For games at TF I have many options: park at Ft. Snelling and take the LRT, meters on city streets northeast of the ballpark, inexpensive lots downtown and a longer walk; more expensive lots and ramps downtown and a shorter walk; etc. If you give someone a monopoly on parking, it is like giving a monopoly on food and beverage service (think $7 beers).

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 09:30 AM by terry Highlight this comment 173

When discussing how an Arden Hills stadium would give the Wilfs and the Vikings a "monopoly" on parking, it's worth noting that the majority of NFL teams play at stadiums surrounded by a substantial amount of lots on the facility's grounds, 17 of 32 presently. There are 2 other teams that have a fair amount of onsite parking that mixes with offsite parking nearby. Only 13 teams have situations such as the Metrodome in which onsite parking is insiginficantly small to non existent. Whatever one thinks of the practice of a team controlling the parking situation, it's not only far from unprecedented, but is actually the norm. For what it's worth, when comparing the two proposed Los Angeles locations, there would be little to no parking revenues from Farmers Field while the City of Industry project would feature onsite parking for 25,000 vehicles.

On a personal note, paying $40 plus to park at an Arden Hills stadium wouldn't be a joyful experience, but concern over the Wilfs and the team pocketing all that money minus any real competition is pretty low on my list of objections to the location. The inconvenient (for me) location is the real sticking point.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 2:01 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 174

I haven't thought much about the public/private ratio of the proposed financing for Arden Hills, but Ed Kohler of thedeets.com has, and it's great stuff.

In short, what the Vikings are asking for in AH is a strikingly large public contribution, larger than anything which has gone before, on what would be the third most expensive facility in NFL history:


Posted on October 19, 2011 at 2:07 PM by Rick 175

The actual dollar expense of the stadium is partly a byproduct of its location. However, it's also a byproduct of waiting until the end of the NFL's stadium building period that has gone on since the 1990s. Had the project been undertaken sooner, the cost would have been lower. The Vikings certainly shot themselves in the foot numerous times during this process, but it's also clear that various levels of government wanted to avoid the issue, as if somehow the public would get out of having to make any contribution to a Vikings stadium despite overwhelming evidence that not only would a contribution be required to keep the team in Minnesota, but would almost certainly constitute a majority of the funding.

I also think that it's worth looking at things not on a dollars spent basis, but rather on a percentage of cost basis. Of the 20 stadiums listed, 13 appear to have been built with higher percentages of public money than what the Vikes have requested.

Is there any reason why certain stadiums were excluded? The missing stadiums of recent vintage are Atlanta (77% public, 23% private), Philadelphia (36% public, 64% private), Carolina (23% public, 77% private), Jacksonville (85% public, 15% private), St. Louis (96% public, 4% private), and New Orleans (refurb) (100% public).

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 3:34 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 176

"do you think a major concert tour would even seek a bid from the U? The Metrodome?" The problem is, stadium tours are pretty much a thing of the past. There are a few bands out there that still do them: U2, Kenny Chesney (whoever the hell that is), Rolling Stones (should they decide to tour again)...but, they've pretty much died out.

Stadium tours were a thing of the 80s and 90s, but they're not as common anymore.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 4:08 PM by luke Highlight this comment 177

The first real push for a stadium was back in 1998 by Red McCombs.

At that point the Metrodome was only 16 years old. Barely halfway through the Vikings lease and it's life expectancy.

To replace a stadium at that point would have been pure ridiculousness. It would have set very bad precedent.

Aside from that however, Red went about getting a stadium in the absolute worst way. When the Blaine deal did come about Red was ready to sell.

Enter Zygi Wilf. Now although the army corps of engineers had some problems with the site in Blaine I'm pretty sure it could have been worked out. But still that wasn't the issue that sunk Blaine. The deal that sunk it was Zygi started talking to Minneapolis.

That is pretty interesting that he started talking to Minneapolis. Anyway Blaine and Zygi broke up. For years all we heard about was downtown and the winter garden concept and we saw plenty of pretty pictures of it. At one point zygi wold actually attempt to buy the Star Tribune properties. Only to back out citing credit market problems.

The problem was there was no plan to back up the neat pictures. Even in the year that the Twins got their ballpark, the Vikings still weren't ready to put anything in front of the legislature.

Of course the following year the bridge fell down and with it took the possibility of any stadium for the vikings getting done.

When the Vikings came sniffing around again for a stadium the state told them to find a local partner. Henn Co for whatever reason wasn't able to partner with Zygi. At least not then. They were on the hook for Target Field already and the economy was going in the crapper.

So Zygi finds a partner in Ramsey county. But there are a lot of problems. A possible petition to send the whole thing back to referendum. Meanwhile henn Co has been doing some work and believes that they can offer a suitable deal. Only now Zygi says he can't work it in Minneapolis... Imagine that after all that time him trying to sell downtown. And now it won't work.

What a crock.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM by moda Highlight this comment 178

Since I have not cleared my "cookies" I have surpassed my 20 article allotment for the Star Tribune this month, I have posted an article from the sctimes in St. Cloud, HEADLINE: Dayton: "I'll push Arden Hills stadium site"

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 4:29 PM by TK Highlight this comment 179

My impression, and its only that, is that the Wilfs and the Vikings believe that since Arden Hills is further along, they need to see it through and working with Minneapolis on the side, at least publicly, would undermine that effort and leave them stadiumless. Namely, I think they worry that they can somehow squeeze Arden Hills through and working with Minneapolis, which might not work out anyway, would give legislators a reason to vote no and their Ramsey County partners a reason to not give it the hard sell. Again, only my gut take on this.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 4:30 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 180

I think you are dead on Jorge!

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 4:32 PM by moda Highlight this comment 181

I think there's something to that, Jorge. Timing is everything, and Zygi did sort of get himself in a box.

Worst case for him right now might be a failed special session. But if that happens, he'll only have himself to blame.

I've been pondering Dayton's motives, and the politics are very intriguing. This whole push might have more to do with next fall's election than the Vikings...

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 4:44 PM by Rick 182

I think Dayton is driving in three different lanes that at time intersect. Lane one is Vikings fans.

For all the public opposition to publicly funding the stadium, the Vikings are still the most popular team in the state and there will be hell to pay if they leave town, especially for those who might get marked as obstructionists and therefore responsible. Put those fans in lane one.

Lane two is the DFL's labor hardcore base. The unions want this stadium to get guys to work and to remove guys from the unutilized labor pool so the workers not at the stadium would have an easier time getting work and at better pay.

Lane three is a larger group of general Minnesotans that will marvel over a shiny, new stadium. The completed and newly opened Target Field created an intense outpouring of good feeling, even from the "no money for billionaires crowd" and plenty of that spilled towards the politicians that made it possible, especially Opat. If this gets done, Dayton wants it to be his stadium from a political point of view and to reap the benefits from that love, in or out of the political world. That, in effect, puts Dayton in a fourth lane.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 5:07 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 183

Question: has there been any rumor or anything about where the source(s) of funding for a Minneapolis stadium? Is Hennepin County going to do another sales tax?

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 9:01 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 184

spycake - no, no. My plan is to turn the dilapidated Block E into a towering hotel/casino. Privately owned and operated, thank you.
How's this sound: Grand Casino MINNEAPOLIS?
64 floors: 32 for the hotel 32 for the casino.
It's gonna be taller than the IDS building. Oh what the hell, I'll turn the IDS into a casino too: Treasure Island Part Deux.

Gov. Dayton talks about a racino? Pish tosh - my idea's better.

At any rate, gambling money will be used to fund any stadium in Minneapolis.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 9:07 PM by luke Highlight this comment 185

There was talk of a "pedestrian tax," where those who work downtown would be issued pedometers, and then taxed a percentage of annual steps taken.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 11:12 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 186

I don't explicitly disagree with any of Jorge's reasoning, but it's not at all what I'm thinking.

This might be worthy of a new post, but I don't really want to turn too far from ballparks to political analysis.

Still, I started wondering over the past couple of days just why the Governor would be the one beating the "they might move" drum at every opportunity. It seems like every time he gets in front of a microphone it comes up. And he basically dared the NFL to come to his office and make such a threat (and they obliged).

But it doesn't make sense. It weakens his hand, and that of anyone who might be negotiating with the team.

Then I remembered that everything in government is about politics -- even above money -- and it all fell into place. Perhaps I am the last person in Minnesota to figure this out, but here goes.

As we all know, the Ramsey proposal relies on a very large and unattractive sales tax increase. The Legislature is controlled by Repubs who just turned down Dayton's populist "tax the rich" maneuvers during the shutdown. At that time, they made very clear their belief that there is absolutely nothing important enough to justify tax increases.

So, any Repub legislator who votes for this deal (or any stadium deal which involves raising taxes) can be easily branded a hypocrite: "Oh, you won't raise taxes on millionaires, but you'll raise a regressive sales tax on the poor to support pro football!" It's the perfect fuel for their opponents next fall.

If, on the other hand, no deal gets passed, Vikings fans will be looking for someone to hold accountable, and Dayton can easily point to the fact that it was Republicans who blocked it: "Well, we tried, but the Republicans don't think the Vikings are important enough to our state. You'll have to take it up with them."

The reason for pounding on the possible move, therefore, is to heighten the sense of urgency, and increase the drama associated with the issue. The more drama, the more likely that everyone will have to go on-the-record about the issue, and that's all he needs. A special session now represents the perfect opportunity.

You can also easily see why he wouldn't care what site we're talking about. No matter where, it will require Republicans to vote to raise taxes (or at the very least not block such increases, which is pretty much the same thing).

If a stadium gets approved, he's both the savior of the Vikings and the architect of a potential rebound for the DFL in the election.

And if the Vikings later leave for LA, he's got the perfect political cover: "I was for the deal, but the Republicans killed it."

It's a DFL political strategist's dream issue!

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 11:24 PM by Rick 187

That analysis makes a ton of sense. Regardless of what happens, I hope the Vikings aren't ultimately sacrificed to Los Angeles in the name of either side trying to make some sort of point that will ultimately be lost in history if the team goes.

Out in LA, it's somewhat ironic that Farmers Field in downtown looks far more likely to be the stadium that ultimately gets built because the City of Industry stadium mirrors the Arden Hills proposal the Wilfs and Vikings have hitched their wagon to. Both sites are rather unattractive suburban plots that would afford a team ample parking space and development rights of the land around the stadium. In both cases funding is up in the air, especially in LA.

Site promoter Ed Roski at one time wanted to buy a team, relocate it, and privately fund the stadium, a desire largely dismissed as a pipe dream. Later he altered his plan to getting a minority share of a team in exchange for the land on which the team would build. Presumably Roski retained some development rights. Now he's down to saying he'd buy a piece of an NFL team at market value and then turn over the land, including development rights, to the team which would have to finance things on its own. I think Roski is desperate because AEG and Farmers Field are much further along. Ironically he partnered with AEG to build Staples Center.

The main issue with Farmers Field is the NFL doesn't like the lease deal AEG is pitching to potential teams which includes AEG getting a below market value share of the team and effective control of the building which would make it the landlord of the tenant team, creaming off a share of the revenues and then paying off the team which would still take the lion's share. The actual proposed rent could be tough as well, but AEG has its site, has city support, is getting some legislative help from Sacramento, if not funding, but still has its financing apparently in order.

Some team is going to take the offer eventually be it the Vikes (lease up after 2011), Chargers (can escape lease from 2012 until 2020 expiration, no new stadium in offing), Rams (can escape lease in 2014, city put itself in harm's way with a REALLY dumb lease), Raiders (lease expires after 2013, death of Al Davis death puts things in flux) or Bills (Bufflao and Toronto leases expire after 2012, Rogers Centre is not a long term NFL stadium, Ralph Wilson is 92 and has no succession plan, his heirs are selling and have never lived in Buffalo so their lives won't be turned upside down if they sell to outsiders). Forget about the Jaguars moving, however. Their lease runs through 2029 is next to impossible to escape.

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 11:58 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 188

I have tried to stay out of politics on this, but since Rick brought it up:

I am 28, but as a life long republican, and current resident of Ramsey County, I would say I have no problem paying this extra tax for a stadium, just as I have no problem spending my money in Hennepin County to support the Twins Stadium. My reasoning behind this is that it, the stadium, is something that will be used by the community to enjoy, plus it, and the retail development, will generate jobs and in turn tax revenue. Although I do personally believe they could de-fund a few programs to pay for this with out a sales tax increase, which I would approve.

“At that time, they made very clear their belief that there is absolutely nothing important enough to justify tax increases.” I don’t know or believe this is true. Since there is a clearly defined reason, which I support, for this tax, I can support it. I was against Dayton's "tax the rich" mantra because he wanted to do so in order to expand government for unneeded programs and create further government waste. Can anyone explain exactly what was to be funded by Dayton increasing taxes on the rich? Yes he wanted to fund K-12 education, but what does that mean? What specifically was to be funded? More teachers? More school supplies? Another level of administrators? No one, not even Mark Dayton knew, it was just dumping money it to K-12 education at the behest of one of his biggest supporters, Education Minnesota, I.e. the teacher‘s union.

"Oh, you won't raise taxes on millionaires, but you'll raise a regressive sales tax on the poor to support pro football!" This statement truly shows why I can never be a democrat. A sales tax is not regressive, just as an income tax is not progressive. This is a political ploy that attaches a negative, or positive, connotation to words in order to sway the less educated into supporting it. That thing is regressive, that must be bad, or it’s progressive it must be good, because progress is good.

Whether you see the Vikings stadium as a waste is up to you, I personally do not. Although I would see it as a waste if it were put in Minneapolis. There is no land to developed there, meaning no jobs to create, other than those at the stadium, which should be neutral since the Metrodome would be closing.

I personally like when government uses taxpayer money for the betterment of the people. Target Field, Vikings Stadium, freeways, Yes. Underperforming and not self-supporting Hiawatha and soon to be Central Corridor trains and bike lanes that are used 6 months of the year not so much. I would consider supporting those if they actually reduced congestion instead of contributing to it.

My only hope is that they do not attach a stupid library and arts amendment to this like they did to the Twins Stadium. If the tax collected out paces the yearly payments on the debt, the extra money should be used to pay down the debt, so that the extra sales tax can be eliminated as soon as possible. There is no need to fund some hippie artist who wants to sculpt a Easter island head out of 500 pounds of cow shit.

Rick we have still not seen your reasoning for preferring the Farmer’s Market site. That link you posted, do we know who funded that “the corridor” design study? Until we know, I look at that study as biased as it clearly is towards the Farmer‘s market site. Plus why are you so dead set on having the stadium in Minneapolis?

Also that chart you posted is misleading. A couple of things, one it does not factor in inflation of cost. And more importantly, except for that Vikings Stadium, it does not to appear to factor in infrastructure costs into the costs of the other stadiums. For example, the Giants/Jets stadium was 100% privately financed, but that failed to account for the additional $300 million in infrastructure New Jersey committed to the area around the stadium. Take the infrastructure costs out of the Viking Stadium, and the cost of the stadium is more inline with the Colts, and the public financing percentage is much less than the Colts. You should really consider the sources before posting things while trying to seem objective. Clearly the guy who’s site you poached that from is not objective.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 04:15 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 189

Not sure if they speak just for themselves or if they reflect a consensus of legislative Republicans, but there is a very anti-stadium op-ed piece by several GOP legislators in this morning's Strib. It can be summed up by the song Groucho Marx sings in "Horse Feathers" - "Whatever it is, I'm Against It".

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 07:41 AM by terry Highlight this comment 190

So, anyone watch that baseball game last night? I was away from the tv, but flipped on the radio shortly after the game ended. The talkie people made it sound like it was a pretty good ballgame.

Go Cards!

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 08:30 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 191

I saw parts of the game as I had meetings late last night. It was all about pitching in the late innings.

Interesting statistic during the game on A. Rhodes, pitched in 900 innings prior to his first World Series appearance. Second only to John Franco (940) all time.

Also likely Rhodes will get have a chance for a ring no matter if his current team is on the winning end of things. My guess is he wants to win it out right and guarantee himself a ring, rather than hoping the Rangers give him one for pitching with them this season, as it is my understanding that it is up to management to decide those that may have been a part of the team and played in at least one game with the club, but are not on the active roster.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 11:18 AM by tk Highlight this comment 192

Why not put a new Vikings stadium where the Grandstand is on the State Fairgrounds, that way the Minnesota State Fair could CHEAT like the Texas State Fair does and include the attendance of at least a couple of football games in their total state fair attendance figures.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 1:49 PM by trebor651 Highlight this comment 193

Duffman,

The battle over the state budget was more to do with how pay for the current commitments/services provided rather than expanding those services. So the battle was mostly over what services to cut and/or how to generate more revenue in order to balance the budget.

They ended up balancing the budget by cutting some services (mostly in health and human services programs) and by borrowing money against future tobacco settlement revenues.

Here's a summary of the budget that was passed.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 2:46 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 194

I'm not really interested in debating the ideas behind these positions. But the strategies being used are very interesting because they will probably determine whether there will be a new stadium this time around, and where it might be.

That Strib piece was completely predictable and means that the lines are being drawn pretty much as expected.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 3:01 PM by Rick 195

The State Fair grounds are too isolated from direct freeway access to be viable. The parking is too limited. To get a viable stadium on the Grandstand land, the fair would have to chew up additional real estate that likely couldn't be spared. There's also the matter of the Wilfs and Vikings being unable to build bars, hotels, shops and other revenue generators as would be the case in Arden Hills or even downtown.

Regarding Texas vs Oklahoma playing on the grounds of the State Fair of Texas at the Cotton Bowl, it's an anachronism that survives in large part out of tradition and the expansion of the stadium's capacity. There are some major logistics and transportation issues with the location that people tolerate due to it being a once per year event, but wouldn't on a regular basis. I think the game will eventually end up in the burbs at Cowboys Stadium.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 3:16 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 196

Duff you sound like a very reasonable well spoken conservative, and it's clear you're willing to listen to both sides of a story. The problem with the Tea Party conservatives and their movement is they are neither reasonable, nor will they listen to any argument that has a the words "raise" and "taxes" anywhere near each other.

1/2 a cent to make millions happy by saving an institution? NO NEW TAXES!
Increase on cigarette/liquor taxes to save terminal patients? LET EM DIE!

Dayton is positioning himself to look like it's not his fault if the Vikings and that's his right as a politician. The reason I keep coming back to either of the Minneapolis sights is I firmly believe that it'll be easier to convince enough of the rational non Tea Party politicos to get the funding to work. Arden Hills isn't the popular political option, and with the state legislator as contentious as it is you need a sight that appeals to the middle ground of the argument.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM by jp Highlight this comment 197

"not his fault if the Vikings and"

leave, go, depart, or any other word should be after Vikings....my bad

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 6:20 PM by jp Highlight this comment 198

If you're looking for a good place to eat in downtown Minneapolis, forget Hubert's - might I suggest The Ugly Mug on N 3rd St and N 1st Ave. Awesome bar. And Juicy Lucy's you'd die for.

Clicky for the website. Trust me, it's a great atmosphere in that place. I guess it's fairly new.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 8:08 PM by luke Highlight this comment 199

Not sure how much credence to put into this, as there have been several of these thrown out on the Web previously, but possible leak of Marlins' new logo?

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 10:15 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 200

Yikes! Let's hope that's not the real deal.

John Marty has been strangely quiet throughout the entire Vikings stadium saga so far. He's broken his slience at last with predictable obstructionism. He and another legislator want to offer the Metrodome to the Vikngs for $1 so the Vikes can keep playing there in a renovated stadium or build a new one on the site. Of course the chances of the Vikings accepting that offer are exactly 0%. Why do people like Marty insist on making grandstand moves like this? It plays to a certain segment of the peanut gallery, but makes it very difficult to take him seriously on matters far beyond this one. Oh well, at least the guy is consistent in his stadium obstruction.

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 10:59 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 201

Hmm, I was just wishful thinking when I mentioned a Vikings stadium near MOA. But looks like there has been some rudimentary thought put into it. See more details here: The Buzz

I wonder if there are some other, more professional, MOA/stadium proposals around?

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 12:03 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 202

I must have messed that link up it's: www.vikingbuzz.com

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 12:07 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 203

TTH- That marlins logo (minus the color) is featured on the seating within the stadium. I saw a construction update photo showing one of the chairs.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 12:23 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 204

I think bloomington is strictly against any new stadium going up out there.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 09:57 AM by moda Highlight this comment 205

The "sell-the-dome-for-a-dollar" idea has been around for several years now and doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Politicos at the extremes of the spectrum will predict doom and gloom if a stadium is built (just as they did when the debate over TF was ongoing). The left will predict the closure of public schools and nursing homes; the right will scream "Taxes, and tigers and bears, oh my" and predict all our businesses will move to the Dakotas. That brings to mind the mantra of the Dome's most ardent defenders who always said we HAD to have a dome for that guy from the Dakotas who could come here knowing there would be a game. Guess the six and a half million people who've gone to TF the last two years didn't get that memo.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM by terry Highlight this comment 206

Off subject from the Vikings stadium, but a friend of mine who is very well connected has heard that the Twins will be announcing in the next few weeks that they will be bringing trees back to the Target Field batter's eye for 2012.

Has anyone else heard anything in relation to a possible return of the trees? I hope it's true...all we can do is wait and see if the Twins do announce anything.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 207

@Mike - The Twins grounds crew has been tweeting about them over the past week or so. Nothing saying they are for sure though. Raised some suspicions with me but I reserve them until I see them in the park next season.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 2:55 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 208

But if the trees are put back, it will so terribly hurt the Twins' hitting. I mean look at the offensive numbers the Twins put up in '11 after the trees were removed ... uh, never mind.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM by terry Highlight this comment 209

Isn’t the state’s portion supposed to come from a dedicated tax on football tickets, player salaries, memorabilia sales, and other football-related economic activity? How does that translate into school closings?

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 5:47 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 210

Exactly. Stadium opponents - like the TF opponents before them - suggest that the state is simply going to write a check out of general funds. That has not been part of any viable plan either for TF or for the proposed Vikings stadium.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 6:05 PM by terry Highlight this comment 211

TTH - my thinking is that if the Marlins are permanently affixing that logo on the aisle seats, as Jared notes, it's probably going to end up being the logo. It's an ugly logo (the color makes it even worse), but so is the high school gymnasium (with a ball field in it) the Marlins are going to play in next year.

Personally, if I had a choice between the current logo and that new one (looks like it should be the corporate logo for a yacht club or marina, quite frankly), I'd stick with the old one.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 6:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 212

Tree return = no Cuddyer?

And I dig the new Marlins logo.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 9:25 PM by Rick 213

Money could always be better spent, according to some, on education instead of those things they see as frivolous. But educational spending never reaches that point where there’s enough money collected to get the job done to everyone’s satisfaction. Collect an extra $300 Million and use it to fund schools instead of a football stadium? Fine, but it won’t be very long before the cry goes out for more education spending. And later, still more. And the beat goes on.
But spend that $300 Million on a wisely designed and executed football stadium and that $300 Million will reap benefits for both hard-core and casual football fans alike for probably four decades to come. It will serve to maintain one of the state’s most visible and recognizable trademarks, and allow people to continue to love them, hate them, laugh at them, and cheer for them for another few generations. In those terms, using $300 Million to help build a stadium may be one of the longest-lasting investments the state could make.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 214

I'm not so sure about the Marlins' logo. Kinda looks like peace pipe smoke emanating from one of two teepees.

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 10:19 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 215

Ooooooo, put me in the "hate it" column for that Marlins logo.

I wish they had put TCF Bank stadium on the state fair grandstand site. That could have worked in scale, I think, and made the Gopher gameday experience much more fun. But, what's done is done there. A Vikings stadium on that site would just be too dominant I think.

I personally don't care where they put it, but I will say it is a waste of infrastructure not to consider the farmers market site. You can say all you want about the light rail (and I love taking it to ballgames), but one thing that really sold the TF site was the ABC ramps.

I will also say that this metro area does NOT need additional convention space. We've pretty much built everything twice already, and neither St. Paul or Minneapolis is in great shape in the convention business (Mpls. Convention Center just laid off half its workforce?). If new convention space is sold as part of this, you can just read that as "further weaken the two downtowns".

Posted on October 22, 2011 at 06:20 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 216

We DON'T need more convention space?

Uh, yeah we do. This town is the most boring convention town in the entire United States. NOTHING comes here - why? Because we're too damn whimpy. And no, no, NO, the Republican National Convention from a couple years back doesn't really count. We're "not in great shape" because our convention facilities suck dirt.

Take a look at Indianapolis or Saint Louis or Kansas City and their convention facilities. Minneapolis is NOTHING compared to those three, which is why they get all the excitement and we get the leftovers. Indy and Saint Louis did it right, actually. The dome in Saint Louis is attached to the city's convention center. The RCA Dome in Indy was attached to theirs as well - until of course it was demolished and replaced with the Lucas Oil Stadium across the street.

And, Kansas City has always proven itself as a great convention town. I've been to several conventions in KC in my day, and KC is a great convention destination. If you've ever been to the KC Convention Center, it would blow your mind. The place is huge.

Yes, we need more convention space.

Posted on October 22, 2011 at 08:27 AM by luke Highlight this comment 217

Albert Pujols. Wow.

Can't say much more than that.

Posted on October 22, 2011 at 11:04 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 218

The Vikings are trying to prove they DESERVE that new stadium.
They're currently winning against the undefeated Packers.

Posted on October 23, 2011 at 4:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 219

Guess the proof wasn't in the pudding.
Packers 33 Vikings 17. Not quite the fourth quarter.
Now this is the game I expected to see all weekend long.

Posted on October 23, 2011 at 5:40 PM by luke Highlight this comment 220

Are you talking about this god-awful thing?

Posted on October 23, 2011 at 11:24 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 221

The Marlins also annouced a new poolside bar in left field that will feature live DJs and dancers during the ballgames and will be open 365 days a year.

The owner makes a dig at Target Field in the article...
"You can't do this in most cities, but in Miami you can, so why not take advantage of where we are?" Samson said. "We don't need fireplaces. We need an entertainment venue, and that's what we have."

Also they are being very optimistic...
"We're going to the be the hottest venue, not only in the ballpark, but in the city," said The Clevelander general manager Mike Palma.

Ownership doesn't seem to have much faith in the organization either...
"You have to win on the field, but that's not enough. You've got to have a great ballpark, but that's enough. So we've got to do both," Samson said. "Like I've said, our honeymoon is going to be five innings long. And the new ballpark has everything for everybody, but you have to combine that with winning on the field."

Click my name for the full article.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 222

I was looking at my pics from the open house last year and noticed that the trees in center were planted in two rows, one offset from the other. I remember when the trees were removed Cuddyer comments included he had issues with the depth perception. I wonder if they planted the trees in a single row it would be less of an issue. There would only be the one row of trees and the wall instead of two rows of trees and then a wall. The players certianly can't claim they were an issue last season,and there are plenty of examples of vegetation in a batters eye, Coors Field has trees, Citizens has ivy, PNC has the Shrubs.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 10:52 AM by PNB19 Highlight this comment 223

DJ's and dancers during the ballgame? Sounds tacky to me.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 11:15 AM by terry Highlight this comment 224

Jeff, that's blasphemy...

"You have to win on the field, but that's not enough. You've got to have a great ballpark, but that's enough. So we've got to do both," Samson said. "Like I've said, our honeymoon is going to be five innings long. And the new ballpark has everything for everybody, but you have to combine that with winning on the field."

Any owner should know that the team on the field doesn't matter, why invest in that! The only thing that is important is that people go out to the ballpark.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 11:25 AM by tk Highlight this comment 225

Rick ---

I somehow managed to lose your e-mail - refresh my memory and I will send a great sketch of the old Met.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 226

"live DJs and dancers"

I realize that the words "nude" and "topless" are not included there, but one or the other sounds sort of implied, doesn't it?

I've often thought that go-go cages would look great right next to the fireplaces in the Legends Club. And a stripper pole is pretty much the only thing missing from Hrbek's. (I think Kent would approve.)

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 12:29 PM by Rick 227

I think he was making a crack at the weak firepit on the Budweiser Roof Deck.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 228

Hmm, maybe they could add lap dances up there. That would warm things up.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 1:02 PM by Rick 229

Mayor Rybak/council getting into the stadium game, click name for link.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 1:38 PM by tk Highlight this comment 230

The Minneapolis plans have the feel of too little, too late. This proposal would have been better timed well before the Vikings got so far behind Arden Hills that the team doesn't seem to want to consider other options. And by better timed, I also mean not coming up with a renegade proposal on the eve of the Vikings announcing their engagement to Arden Hills as happened several months ago. However, if (when?) Arden Hills goes down, this perhaps forms the roots of the inevitable panic proposal in early 2012 that could save the day.

Apart from money raised by the city and the Vikings' contribution, would this plan involve state money as well? The article made no mention of the state kicking in funds, but I assume that's accepted as a must.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 2:48 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 231

Yes, Duffman. Jesus, what the hell is that thing? Looks like it should be at the entrance to the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

Jeff - I don't think he was making a dig at TF in that fireplace statement. I agree with Duff, he was probably referring to the Bud Deck and the fire pit, but I don't think he made a crack at TF (at least not an ill-mannered one).

A fireplace in the new Airplane Hangar might not be a bad idea. Spray some lighter fluid in there, douse it in gasoline and light the match. Burn the damn place down and start from scratch and build a real ballpark.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 5:02 PM by luke Highlight this comment 232

It should.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 6:20 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 233

The Twins' website is talking about putting deposits down "for 2012 season tickets". No mention of the "on deck circle". Maybe I'm reading more into it than is intended, but it looks like they are saying if you put a deposit down now, you will get tickets in 2012. Make of it what you will.

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 9:50 PM by terry Highlight this comment 234

Terry, I have seen the On-Deck Circle stuff each time I have gone to the website. Maybe it was down for a period of time tonight? Click name and it is again posted.

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 01:23 AM by TK Highlight this comment 235

At least the off-season starts off with one smart move. If they attempt to bring Nathan back for anything over $4 million for a 1 yr deal ($6m when you include his buy out), it would be too expensive.

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 236

I think they'll need to do better than that with Nathan. Reasonable minds can disagree, but they know what they have with him. 2 years, $12-14M. That's Bobby Jenks money. They're no longer a "small market" team, and they need 2-3 quality arms. Might as well keep someone you have some confidence in. Of course, if someone wants to give the 37 yo a 3 year deal, or go to $10M per yr, then you say goodbye. Given the large supply of "closers" out there, he's not likely to see that kind of offer.

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 10:56 AM by BR Highlight this comment 237

Joe Nathan gone for now who might be next and who might the twins go after now. It could be an interesting off season me thinks.

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 11:06 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 238

Cardinals have scored 6 runs total in the four World Series games Nick Punto has played in. He didn't play in game 3 and they scored 16 runs. Coincidence or did Punto bring some of that Twins magic to the Cardinals lineup?

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 11:58 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 239

The Twins may have confidence in Nathan, I don't.

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 11:59 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 240

I believe Nate still has some mustard in that arm - and certainly the desire. It's all a matter of what condiments cost.

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 241

As long as the don't overpay for Nathan (no more than 2 years or $5-6 million annually)I'd say keep him. I can't say the same about Mr. Cuddyer. It's time to let him go b/c in the best case scenario he'd be a slightly above average hitter and a below average fielder for the next 3-4 years. The Twins only depth in the minors is in the outfield and Plouff has the versatility to fill the jack of all trades roll being vacated by Cuddy.

It's time to stop trying to milk another division winner out of this group and figure out what we have with these young players. Invest the Cuddy money into a really good defensive SS (Clint Barmes would be an affordable option) and a fairly young hard thrower for the rotation (Edwin Jackson would work).

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM by jp Highlight this comment 242

Fancy that - if the Twins had actually been a good team this year, and if they had actually made it past the LCS and the LDS to the WS, and if the AL had won the ASG thereby winning HFA for the WS this year, thereby we'd be playing at TF - we'd actually be playing tonight rather than suffering through a postponement like they are in STL tonight.

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 9:39 PM by luke Highlight this comment 243

wtf?

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 4:29 PM by bulldog Highlight this comment 244

Bulldog, I'll spell it out for you in layman's terms...
I was saying that if the Twins had made it to the WS (and the AL had HFA for the WS), we would have played last night's game because it was a beautiful October night for baseball here in the TC's. STL on the other hand had a rainout.

Fancy that, Minneapolis had nicer weather than STL. Go figure.

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 5:16 PM by luke Highlight this comment 245

Here's a very interesting article at ESPN.com. The synopsis is no NFL team will be in Los Angeles in 2012.

This is because the deadline for a team to request relocation is February 15, 2012. By that point the environmental impact study for Farmers Field in downtown LA won't yet be complete. It's not scheduled for publication until June of 2012. After publication, legal challenges to the findings can be made. The stadium can't be built until that study is out and all challenges have been properly addresed. So no team is going to LA until they know for certain that Farmers Field can actually happen.

Meanwhile no team is taking the City of Industry offer due to it calling for selling a piece of the team to current land owner Ed Roski in exchange for the right construct a self financed stadium and other developments on that land (the writer's point being if a team wanted to build a stadium on its own without public dollars, it could that without relocating).

The writer adds that the NFL wants Farmers Field to get further along and then play it and City of Industry against one another, but neither project has reached critical mass. The league won't go for a team taking the City of Industry offer in early 2012 when Farmers Field hasn't progressed to the point that it can be used as firm, not hypothetical, leverage to at least get a team a better deal out in the burbs.

It'll be interesting to see if things turn out as the writer has suggested in the article.

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 5:35 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 246

Does anyone have more information on the site plan for the Linden Avenue site. I remember hearing several weeks ago about people seeing a site plan for this site, but it wasn't available to the public at that time.

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 9:08 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 247

WOW.

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 11:46 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 248

Indeed!

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 11:50 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 249

Been a long time since I saw a game that good.

Posted on October 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM by Rick 250

'91?

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 07:38 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 251

I love baseball. Even more so after a game like last night!

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 08:27 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 252

For those unfortunates who did not watch last night's game and have a sense that the hype machine is possibly stuck on 'overdo,' I have linked Jayson Stark's excellent comments on the evening's proceedings, including this gem:

"...they played in a baseball game that reminded all of them why they play, why we watch and why sports can be such a powerful force in all of our lives -- because the term 'baseball game' doesn't begin to do justice to this remarkable life experience."

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 08:29 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 253

Last night's game was great drama, but boy, it was pretty far from a "great" game. It's kind of hard to watch MLBers drop a pop-up - and the Cardinals dropped TWO, on their way to making 3 errors in an elimination game. I also sort of hate seeing a team rewarded when one of its star players begs out because of a bruised finger. Sheesh. Or when its genius manager leaves his team with no remaining bats on the bench in the 9th, with the pitcher scheduled to bat 3rd. (Of course, that was just one of about a half dozen truly mind-boggling managerial meltdowns committed by both Wash and LaRussa. I mean, the 96-year-old, soft-tossing Darren Oliver to close it all out? Seriously??? Was anyone thinking more than 5 seconds ahead in this game?).

As spectacular as it was, the only difference between the way these two teams actually played and the Twins version of hardball circa August 2011 was that a few of the hits landed beyond the fences.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 09:05 AM by BR Highlight this comment 254

BR - I think it was an epic game due to the drama in the last few innings but definitely have a hard time putting the entire package of game 6 among the all time greats WS games because of that sloppy play.

Playing in an NL park the pitcher spot in the lineup is going to come into play in a game like that. You only have so many bats on the bench and if you think a certain hitter gives you a better chance to win NOW you have to run with it. Once Feliz was out of the game I knew it wasn't over because there is nothing but shakiness in the TX bullpen after that.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 255

Yeah, I wince when I hear it immediately dubbed "greatest WS game ever." And I absolutely detested the plagiaristic butchering of the elder Buck's "see ya tomorrow night" call. But mix in the Cards' 10.5 game comeback, finding their way into the postseason on the last day, then the way they kept coming back last night, forcing 3 Rangers' blown saves... you just have to agree with Lance Berkman:

"Really and truly, this was an ugly game for about six or seven innings," said the relentlessly honest Berkman. "But then it got beautiful, right at the end."

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 256

The Berkman quote nails it. This postseason, beginning with the final day of the regular season (and the late season rise of the Cardinals and Rays), has been stunning for the drama, never say die, unexpected results and some personal performances.

Buck using his dad's call of the '91 series to end last night was a poor choice. It was not Jack Buck tribute night (a better tribute to his dad would have been "Go Crazy Folks" but I suppose an "unbiased" announcer couldn't do that one) it was an epic end to a game that forced a WS game 7. Years from now when people are watching the greatest WS home runs ever they will see the Puckett '91 and Freese '11 and wonder why in the world the same call is being used for both.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 11:56 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 257

It looks like Ryan Lefebvre is the leading candidate to replace John Gordon as the radio voice of the Twins...

I like the pick! Someone who can hopefully stay here for many years and become an identity to Twins' broadcasts just like Herb Carneal and John Gordon did for so many years.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 258

There would be a nice symmetry if Lefebvre got the job. He worked with Herb Carneal and Gordon and his dad hit the liner in game 2 of the '65 series on which Bob Allison made his great catch. Ya gotta love history if you're a baseball fan.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM by terry Highlight this comment 259

That truly was a great game last night. Go Cardinals!

I'll be ok with the choice of Lefebvre as the new radio guy, but how about Roy Smalley or Ron Coomer? Move one of them to the radio booth?

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 4:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 260

Does anyone know if Bob Kurtz, and someone remind who the other voice was that filled in this year, are in consideration? I thought they were both doing an extended audition, but apparently not?

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 4:44 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 261

JC-Re: announcers, Ted Robinson was the other fill-in voice this season. Because he does international sports (tennis, olympics), it could be tough for him to fit in a full-time baseball gig.

As for Joe Buck's use of Jack's line, my first reaction was that there should be only one use of it--'91. However, as I thought about it, I'm ok with it now. It was his dad's line, it was in an extra-inning possible elimination moment in game 6. The similarities make it acceptable. (His delivery of said line, however, was rather flat. So I'll still dock him style points.)

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 5:28 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 262

Thanks fiesta.

I thought Kurtz was actually pretty good, and I seem to remember Rick posting the same. He made a late appearance, and didn't do as many games as Robinson, but I did like what I heard.

Fortunately it sounds as if there is little to no chance Gladden is "promoted" on this replacement, which I feared.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 5:42 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 263

Twenty years and one day later, that call was a tribute to his dad. A great moment added to another great moment.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM by Rick 264

I did like Kurtz a lot. He made the games come alive for me again on radio.

Funny that his name doesn't seem to be on anybody's list. Maybe his schedule is too thick, or maybe he's just too old. That Strib article made it sound like they want to hire someone who can hold the jobs for a decade or more.

I don't remember the guy they are talking about. Sounds like he was around for the nadir of Twins baseball, and I was following the team mostly by way of the standings in the paper at that point.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 8:11 PM by Rick 265

The one thing you don't want to do is put an old fart up in the box (like Kurtz) who will only be there for a few years, at best.

Perhaps they should promote Adam Abrams from the PA mic up to the pressbox. Abrams already has radio experience (KOOL 108, back in the day), and he's a fairly young chap. IMHO, Abrams is not a PA guy. Yes, I know he calls the shots at the X for Wild games, too.

PA guys are supposed to have loud, commanding voices. Abrams doesn't have that IMO. Some of you may remember Bob Reid, who used to do alot of the HS hockey tournaments (not sure if he still does). Now THERE was a PA guy.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 9:20 PM by luke Highlight this comment 266

I remember Lefebvre's time here. Nice, clean delivery. I also remember Jim Powell filling in when Herb C. had heart surgery. He went on to be Uecker's partner in Milwaukee and has now moved on toa #1 radio post elsewhere. Wish they had kept him on. Is it too much to ask for clear play by play?

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 10:10 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 267

You can argue the Rangers really lost the Series last night. No road team has won Game 7 since the Pirates in 1979. No mistake though, the Cards earned their win.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 10:24 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 268

Congrats Cardinals, Nick Punto, Kyle Loshe --- and our own FD, for winning the 2011 Playoff Challenge.

What a Series!

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM by Rick 269

LNP getting a ring. What a country.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 10:34 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 270

Riding the Cardinals all the way! Never in doubt haha.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 10:47 PM by FD Highlight this comment 271

Congrats to Mark McGwire for getting to Freese and Craigs' lockers with enough time left in the season to set up this amazing run.

"Andro see you tomorrow night!"

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 10:48 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 272

I still think its sad that the ALL STAR GAME, an exhibition game played in July, determines home field advantage in the World Series.

Congrats to the Cardinals! They were the hottest team down the stretch and they took advantage of the opportunity given to them when the Atlanta Braves failed to clinch the Wild Card.

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 11:08 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 273

The same occurred to me, Mike. This series would have been unfathomably different if the team with the better regular season record (the Rangers) had been given home field advantage (the only fair way to do it).

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 11:34 PM by Rick 274

"Fair" and "TV revenue" are at loggerheads.

Posted on October 29, 2011 at 04:12 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 275

Since both teams play few, if any common opponents, comparing regular season won-lost records is an apples-to-oranges situation. Best overall record, winner of the All Star Game, rotating annual schedule, coin toss; it's all the same.

Posted on October 29, 2011 at 06:46 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 276

Jorge - couldn't have said it better myself. It truly was an entertaining Fall Classic to watch. And the best part is, once again, the Damn Yankees weren't in it.

Mike - once again, couldn't have said it better myself. Of course, the only reason they came up with that scam is because of the stupid tie in the 2002 ASG. Using the WS HFA thing assured that the ASG wouldn't end up in a tie again. They need to go back to the alternating schedule for the WS, the way it used to be.

Posted on October 29, 2011 at 10:04 AM by luke Highlight this comment 277

Should be whichever league has the better record in inter-league play.

Posted on October 29, 2011 at 2:16 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 278

I'll agree with that. That sounds like a good idea.

Posted on October 29, 2011 at 3:38 PM by luke Highlight this comment 279

Holy shit - could this be the turnaround for Minnesota sports?
Lynx win WNBA Championship
Gophers beat Iowa (albeit by one point) this afternoon

Do I smell a Minnesota sports comeback brewing for 2012, or is that just my imagination playing wild tricks on me?

Posted on October 29, 2011 at 5:53 PM by luke Highlight this comment 280

Its a good thing the World Series wasn't in New York this season in that outdoor stadium, ya know, because it is so cold and snowy there all the time. heck they got 5inches there today so far and its only October..OCTOBER!

Posted on October 29, 2011 at 9:38 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 281

After the references earlier this week to Jack Buck's famous call in game 6 of the '91 series, I was reminded that he was also at the microphone for one of the less pleasant Minnesota sports memories. He called the Super Bowl for CBS TV when the 2 touchdown favorite Vikings were beaten by KC in January, 1970. OUCH! That one still hurts.

Posted on October 30, 2011 at 1:39 PM by terry Highlight this comment 282

While Super Bowl IV was the first of IV Super Bowl embarrassments for the Purple, I remember that Super Bowl as having some of the most valuable ticket stubs. Why? Because most of them were torn down the middle and not on the perforation. Thus, there were lots of ruined stubs that day.

Posted on October 30, 2011 at 2:38 PM by luke Highlight this comment 283

the Twins will do the same bs they always do in the offseason. Nothing.

They won't, because the owner/s already said they are cutting payroll because they want to make more $.

it's almost to the point where I wish TF had never been built.

I'd love to see attendence drop below 20K a game next year. and below 5K a game in '13.

Posted on October 30, 2011 at 5:13 PM by mj Highlight this comment 284

Rick, is there some way you can black out the portion where he said that he almost wishes TF had never been built?

It's like sacrilege to the last, what, almost five years of your life you've given to this site?

Posted on October 30, 2011 at 6:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 285

Received a "thank you" for renewing season tickets from the Twins this weekend. It included a $10 gift card towards the purchase of an item at Sports Authority.

It's great being a Twins season ticket holder....

Posted on October 30, 2011 at 6:57 PM by tk Highlight this comment 286

Let me guess, the "Thank You" had a gist similar to the following: "Dear Twins Fan, thank you for renewing your season tickets for the 2012 season. We didn't give you much to cheer about in 2011, but as they say 'wait 'til next year.'
The success of our team is due in large part to fans like yourself who stick with the team through the bad years. Fans who spend thousands of dollars to sit and watch loss after loss, night after night.
2012 will be different, and you've secured your spot to watch your Minnesota Twins as they try to regain the Central Division Championship.
For your loyalty, here's a $10 gift card to apply towards the fraction of a purchase at Sports Authority.
See you next season. Love, the Minnesota Twins"

Something like that?

Posted on October 30, 2011 at 9:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 287

That $10 Sports Authority offer is really a coupon, not a gift card. $10 off a $50 purchase, and does not include clearance items. In other words, the same promotion SA runs every few weeks.

The least they could do with this cross-marketing stuff is make it Twins-centric. So, $10 off a $25 or more purchase of Twins-themed merchandise. That would be worth making a trip to the store (maybe), and would encourage people to buy Twins stuff at a time when they probably wouldn't otherwise.

But what do I know...

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 08:37 AM by BR Highlight this comment 288

Now I am not defending the Twins, but why are people bithcing about stuff that is GIVEN to you for being a season ticket holder? I know I am paying a certain (discounted) amount for tickets to the game, not for the perks the Twins are going to give me with the tickets.

Granted I have not been a season ticket holder long, so I do not know if the perks associated with the tickets have declined from what they once were.

If I would to ask for one season ticket perk, it would be to have a regualar concession stand in the Metro Club, (sorry I don't care how good it is, I'm not paying $26/p for a buffet) with discounted prices on food and drink. I know that is a pipedream but it would be a lot nicer that some of the stuff they hand out now, or that people on here have bitched about that Twins have handed out in the past.

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 289

In answer --- my problem is with what they have taken away, items that were "standard" perks that many STH came to appreciate - such as ST bobbleheads and the media guides.

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 1:06 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 290

I am not "bitching" in the sense of being upset, I just think it is funny the way they try and spin their perks. Next week, it will be 25% off a single item purchased online from their clearance rack.

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 1:29 PM by tk Highlight this comment 291

BR, it does not say anywhere on the "Instant Cash Card" that it must be on a purchase greater than $50, but that is not to say that is something one would learn when going there.

Also, not one to judge a picture, but I wonder why they have all of the women in the office photo all in the very front, 5 women in front of 23 men. I probably wouldn't have noticed the male dominance if they would have mixed the crowd. It reminds me of my football days when we were all pictured behind the cheerleaders.

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 1:35 PM by tk Highlight this comment 292

Any of you guys enter into the STH relocation process today? The cutoff is Wednesday I think. I know people didn't really have much luck last time but I could see renewals decline this year. I'm looking to stay in the Field Terrace but just want to move closer to homeplate. Not really holding my breath.

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 3:39 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 293

PatMeares, I didn't enter today, but did a month or so back. Tough to really tell what's going to happen. I thought I would try my luck.

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 3:43 PM by tk Highlight this comment 294

The Mets are making some big changes to Citi Field.
Click name for link

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 4:10 PM by Dust Highlight this comment 295

It's generally not wise to emulate the Mets, but they may be onto something here. The executive summary:

Old: 335-371-384-408-415-378-330
New: 335-358-385-408-398-375-330

They are also switching to an 8-foot fence all the way around (eliminating a 16-foot wall in left).

This part also caught my eye:

As for the impact on pitchers...pitching coach Dan Warthen...has asserted that Citi Field's formerly spacious dimensions perhaps prompted Mets pitchers to be more careless and not execute quality pitches because they figured the ballpark's size would keep the ball in play.

OK, that's sort of wishful analysis, but it made me wonder about the psychology of pitching in a pitcher's park. Since that's what TF has become known as, could our pitchers be similarly careless? They do, after all, seem to have taken "pitch to contact" to its most ridiculous extreme.

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 4:34 PM by Rick 296

If you want to take a look inside the Sun Country Hangar, aka the new Marlins "ballpark" clicky.

The worst part of the video was the inclusion of organ music about halfway through. And this is not baseball organ music. This is hockey arena organ music.

Posted on October 31, 2011 at 5:02 PM by luke Highlight this comment 297

That $10 Sports Authority offer is really a coupon, not a gift card. $10 off a $50 purchase, and does not include clearance items. In other words, the same promotion SA runs every few weeks.

BR - you are wrong on this. It is essentially a $10 gift card, good towards the purchase of pretty much anything in the store (I know clearance merchandise is excluded but not sure of any other items). I got the one from my ST group last year and have seen this years as well. If you pick out something for $10, you would get it for free (paying the applicable sales tax and your contribution to Target Field of course).

I don't know if the Twins are footing the bill for it or if Sports Authority does it as a promotion to get people in the door but it was not expected and is a decent "bonus."

Dufmann - I agree it would be nice to have a more affordable option in the Met Club instead of something that many ST holders will never use other than to get out of the cold or extreme heat.

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 08:23 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 298

Huh. I could have misread mine, although I'm pretty sure it said $10 off a $50 purchase. Could they have sent out different promos to different STHs, depending on the value of their STs (mine are cheap seats, 20 game package)???

I do think the Twins are going to have some marketing issues going forward. For example, my son has outgrown his Mauer jersey, so I've been contemplating getting him a new one. He has mentioned that he doesn't really want/need a new Mauer jersey. So the question arises, if not Joe, then, uh, who? Whose jersey will people be buying for XMas this year?? Cuddy, Nathan, Kubel, Thome - relatively popular in the past - all could be gone. Morneau? Span? Their seasons fizzled and their injuries create a cloudy future. The honeymoons for Nishy and even Valencia appear to be over.

This was a bad team, currently with a ton of question marks, and they're going to take a hit in lots of ways, big and small. IMO, they should be thinking outside the box in all kinds of ways, from the Twins caravan to Twinsfest to ticket sales to player acquisition.

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 2:01 PM by BR Highlight this comment 299

BR, I believe Rauch jerseys are in strong supply. You could probably still pick one up cheap at one of the team shops.

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 4:02 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 300

You could always go with Punto (and just use a marker to replace the Twins logo with a Cardinals one).

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 4:12 PM by Rick 301

Punto should be the centerpoint for the Twins rebuilding plan. Bring him back and have him taunt the M&M boys with his ring. I figure it either inspires them to greatness or whips them into tip-top shape, chasing Punto down and beating him senseless. Video it all, DVD it, sell it at TF.

This is the kind of outside-the-box thinking I'm proposing.

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 4:22 PM by BR Highlight this comment 302

BR, never was a big Punto fan due to his inability to hit in clutch situations, but that has all been forgotten with the stellar abilities of our catching core this year. I would be all about bringing him back and having him flaunt the ring.

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 4:52 PM by tk Highlight this comment 303

Let's build the team around Punto, Butera and other players who will sign for the league minimum!

Let's fill the seats, and cheer even if they lose every game!

(but count me out... I'm sick of watching that bullshit.)

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 6:41 PM by mj Highlight this comment 304

"Ballpark Magic" -- It's really hard to say that TF is worthy being bestowed the title of best ballpark in MLB when the gleam fades, new pennants aren't being raised, and lots of "fans" start wearing evergreen or wood-grained patterned shirts to the game. I think if you're truly going to rate a ballpark it has to be irrelevant as to how the team is playing. The best ballparks evoke an emotion or feeling when you walk through their gates no matter what the team's standing happens to be in the morning sports pages.

What feeling do you get when you walked through the gates this fall?

Part of that notion includes the passage of time, and maybe it's too soon for TF to be ranked. But the feeling I get walking through TF is much different than when I have strolled through Wrigley or Oriole Park or Kauffman or Coors. Don't get me wrong, TF is a good, sound ballpark. But why do I get the feeling that when I get to the end of whatever line I happen to be standing in that a young woman will be taking my money wearing a red shirt, khakis and handing me a coupon for 50 cents off of Orbitz gum? That's not baseball. That's retail. And I want my experience to hold more substance than basically being a branding opportunity.

TTH

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 7:42 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 305

Rick - it looks like your Arden Hills post became reality today.

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 9:05 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 306

Yes, some of the finishing choices have already started to wear thin. The overall mall-ness is much higher than I anticipated as it went up, and it's certainly difficult to see past the Relentless Red (hate it, hate it, hate it).

Also, I remain dismayed that they didn't solve the early-inning/late-inning concession problem. At every part of the game there's some group of stands with long lines while adjacent windows are abandoned. (How high must the margins be on the pizza? Those windows are NEVER busy. It must take only a handful of sales for those to break even.)

And -- I can't believe I'm going to say this -- the concourses are too small. They are always crowded and have too many choke points. (And for crying out loud get those cars away from the bullpen railing!)

So, let's hear from everybody else. Magic or madness?

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 9:06 PM by Rick 307

This post was read by a whole lot of decision-makers close to the issue...

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 9:07 PM by Rick 308

After two years, I can say Target Field has been overrated. Probably due to the fact that many Twins fans have NEVER experienced outdoor baseball prior to Target Field opening. I still put Kauffman Stadium, Safeco Field, Oriole Park and PNC Park ahead of Target Field. I am not including Fenway and Wrigley as those are two unique ballparks in their own generation and I am not including AT&T Park as I have never been to a game there yet.

--Concourses still very crowded and congested with no flow of traffic
--poor signage throughout the ballpark, especially section numbers and restrooms
--restrooms were designed very poorly and can be very hard to find if you don't know where they are...lots of long lines at the men's restrooms. Lot of confused people going in the exit door and exiting the enter door. Overall, poor designs and layouts for the men's rooms. Not sure about the women's restrooms, but I must assume they experience similar problems.
--way too many "portable" concessions/carts in an already congested concourse, especially along the first base side of the stadium
--too much advertising/promotions and not enough organ music, in particular during pre-game when they are prepping the field. I was at Dodger Stadium three years ago and they played a lot of organ music...a very nice touch to the game experience as it makes you go back in time. I am not a fan of this "Music Man Dan" and his top-40 pop music at Target Field. I want more organ music, but again, I am a traditionalist so that explains my desire for organ music.
--More balance amongst the concession stands...as Rick has already mentioned, we don't need so many pizza stands and ice cream stands when the lines are always long at the Hennepin Grill and Mill City Grill stands. Add more items to these concession stands so they are not so exclusive. I think they could sell the Minne-apple Pie in more than one stand beside the State Fair stand in centerfield? I also should not have to walk half-way around the ballpark for chicken tenders. Those are just a couple of examples of poor product placement in regards to concession offerings.

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 309

For me walking up the plaza and looking into the ballpark and knowing I will get to spend the next few hours at the ballpark watching a game will always get me pumped up and excited. I would have to say that Target Field is magic. Maybe it's not perfect in every way, but I sure am glad that for the rest of my life I can go to a real ballpark, and enjoy outdoor baseball like I used to at the old Met.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 09:02 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 310

TF encourages fans to move around and view the field from throughout the ballpark - the complete antithesis of the Uglydome - and that contributes to the congestion in the concourses. I don't like the congestion, but I wouldn't trade the freedom of movement to eliminate it. However, some of the carts might be more strategically placed to avoid choke points.

And how about plexiglass instead of solid railings to avoid obstructed views. They have that in LC seats; how about providing that same amenity for the proletariat?

I agree with the poster who recommends more organ music. Organ music is background music which allows for easy, i.e. not shouted, conversation. The commercials and Top 40 stuff are all so much louder that conversation - if it occurs at all - is shouted.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 09:47 AM by terry Highlight this comment 311

Every ballpark has its warts - some more prominent than others. I went to two games at Kauffman this summer and really liked some aspects of it: the OF "Experience" is very good, especially the Royals museum and the bar area from which you can drink, see the game and keep an eye on kids taking swings in the cage, etc. The fountains remain remarkable. But the upper deck concrete is crumbling and the seats had no cupholders. The main concourse takes a weird, poorly signed turn around the press box/club area. And like many parks, it's difficult to know which stands sell what food items. (Why don't parks install interactive kiosks that can tell you, e.g., where to buy tacos or BBQ? I can tell you that asking human beings at TF such questions is hit-and-miss at best.) The concourses weren't crowded at KC, but then the park was only about 60% full - for weekend games.

If you're at the point where the color of the signage is what's bugging you, you're probably in a good place overall. I think TF needs a kids-oriented outlet somewhere - more than a bronze glove and a few video games. They probably screwed up with the Captain Morgan's area, which caters to a smaller demographic (that's already well-served in other areas) than a Tot lot would have. They coudl also put a few more features in the upper deck, to encourage those fans to stay up there and off the main concourse during the game.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 09:49 AM by BR Highlight this comment 312

I don't know what TF needs, it just needs it.

Also, when did the Twins release their updates last year, I am looking forward to seeing what 2012 is bringing.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 10:42 AM by tk Highlight this comment 313

It's a ballpark, people. And a pretty good one! Some folks on this site are like Jerry Seinfeld's character on his TV show - he always found some fatal flaw in every woman he dated, even though they were all otherwise very attractive.

We've been conditioned to over-hype the ballpark experience by all the recently-built ballparks. Do you think our fathers got this worked up about the amenities of Met Stadium, or the lack thereof? No, they ordered a Hamm's and watched the dang game. We're drinking the MLB Kool-Aid here by expecting some sort of sublime experience.

That said, a couple of comments related to the above: Yes the concourses have been crowded. Why? because (have you noticed?) lots and lots of people have been going to ball games! I was not the only one who noticed that the more sparsely-populated September games this year were actually quite good experiences because of the lack of big crowds every game. Once attendance gets to more normal levels over the next few years the concourse issues will go away.

I totally agree on the number and the loudness of the many advertisements and other noisy interruptions. I could use a lot more organ music, too.

And I refuse to get too worked up about the concessions except: way to many bad beers and way too few stations selling Summit. But even that has its upside, it gives me a chance to stretch my legs as I wander halfway around the stadium for a beer.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 10:44 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 314

Rick, you are right on about the long line/short line issue. It makes absolutely no sense from a management perspective. They are leaving money on the table #1, and making people wait for no reason #2.

The lack of any automated system for doing orders from the register to the "kitchen" is another major opportunity being left on the table. The teller takes the order, takes your money, makes change, and then wobbles over to the beer machine or kitchen to order your pizza in the LC, and other variations on this throughout the park. Get dedicated order people, and dedicated fillers, and you double the money going through the line.

The solution to the line issue is changing digital signs, and overhead signs that make it clear what you can get where. There are so many things that could be improved so easily with concessions it's ridiculous.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 11:47 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 315

So Speaker of the House Zellers says he does not favor a special session for a Vikings stadium, but yet, they just pissed away FIVE MONTHS trying to resolve the budget deficit during the regular session? And ironically, they needed a SPECIAL SESSION to resolve the budget and end the state shutdown....

How about man up and take on this issue for a change rather than play political hardball and ignore the issue.

Through good economic times and bad economic times, the Vikings have patiently waited their turn for 10 years. Every year we hear the "not until the budget is resolved" or "we have more important and urgent needs to take care of first"...

If these legislators actually did the jobs they are elected to do, than there would be plenty of time for all issues to be looked at during the regular session.

I can't say I am going to vote for any incumbents in 2012. Minnesota politics are a joke and a state government shutdown is more than enough reason for me to vote for new people in 2012.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 11:53 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 316

Legislators doing the job they were elected to do? Are you serious?

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 12:32 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 317

1) Ryan Lefebvre not coming to Twins Radio. Or the Twins AAA voice, either. Who's left? Only names I've heard are Kris A. and the Brewers' Cory Provus. Hmmm.

2) I'm with Tom D. Just the thought of going there for a few hours--even at the end of this past September--is good for me. Will there be lines? Of course. Will food be overpriced? Of course. Improvements? Of course! It's a fine motto to seek continuous improvement in all things. (Deli mustard, for instance, would be a fine addition, especially near the Kramarczuk stands.) Like others here, I'll be eager to learn what on and off the field will be improved. The fun of the Hot Stove League, right?

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 1:22 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 318

Some of these concerns are ones I wrote immediately after the 2010 season, but were not addressed by the Twins this year. A few of them are new.

All in all, I think Target Field is a great ballpark, but it's not perfect and the Twins ought to not rest on their laurels.
Looking strictly at the ballpark itself, there are a few wrinkles I'd like to see smoothed out in 2011. None of these are fatal flaws and may not be a big deal to the Twins organization or other fans, but they all struck me as things that could be improved upon.

- The concession lines on the lower deck between the bases often extended so far out into the concourse that they blocked traffic. The Twins could alleviate this by using stanchions to direct the lines out of traffic and keep things flowing.

- On that tangent, the Twins would better serve themselves and the fans at many concession stands by using a single snaking line that automatically sends the person at the head of the line to the first open register. It would be more efficient and would keep lines from spilling into traffic.

- Some of the specialty concession stands, namely the Viola and Berenguer themed Italian and Latino kiosks, seemed underused. The Twins could solve this in one of three ways. 1.) Improve the fare at those stands to encourage more customers. 2.) Increase the product mix at those stands to include traditional baseball fare and thus lighten the load on overtaxed stands already offering those products. 3.) Eliminate the specialty nature of those stands and rebrand them as general concession stands, but still with a few specialty items. When you have a Hennepin Grill stand featuring lines 10 people long and a Senor Smokes stand with concession workers standing around due to a lack of business, it's time to make some sort of change.

- The crush by the escalators inside the Carew gate still needs to be addressed in some way. I'm not sure how. The crowd of people moving in conflicting directions and the resulting traffic jam causes some real safety issues at worst and at best is mighty inconvenient.

- On that note, it seems like so many fans enter via the Puckett and Carew gates that it in part leads to the crush mentioned above. I'm not sure how you do this without seeming heavy handed, but it might be wise to strongly encourage fans to walk around the perimeter of the park to enter via gates that put them closest to their seats instead of entering the first gate they encounter and then having to make a more time consuming journey through congested concourses.

- More mounted TVs on and around the Captain Morgan Deck. That area seems like it was far more popular than anticipated. There's always a big crowd, but the field is hard to see unless you're right at the rail, so give folks a few more TVs to keep an eye on.

- Unless I missed it, the concourse that serves the middle and upper tiers of the left field grandstand lacks a souvenir stand. You have to travel down to the New Era shop on the main level in the left field corner for such things. Although it's not a very long journey, it's still inconvenient, especially for families with small kids. A temporary stand, as opposed to a walk in shop, would be helpful and probably increase the per capita take on souvenirs.

- Make sure the roving vendors hike up to the 300 level more often. It seems like too often they're content to pop down to the 200 level seats or just park in the upper concourse instead of walking up another flight to take care of fans in the upper most seating deck.

- Put the 1987 and 1991 World Series Championship trophies on display in an area visible to all fans. It always irked me that the Twins kept them in their lobby at the Dome, but at least anyone who wanted to could come take a look and a photo. Now they're hidden away in the Champions Club where only a select few get to see them unless they take the guided tour during a non game time. Let everyone have a look in a more public space.

- One problem that can't be easily solved is the constant heavy traffic in the concourses, especially on the first level. Their open nature tends to encourage a lot of "State Fair" type roaming in which people aren't even really going anywhere and instead just tool around for the fun of it. Some of that will wear off as the park ages and some of the more obvious sight seeing subsides. Plenty of people are still making their first trip or first few trips to the park and want to take it in. As sellouts and near sellouts subside, that too will open up space. For a game at which most fans sit and actually watch the game, I think the concourses are wide enough. Over the past few years we've seen that not everyone wants to sit through nine innings, however.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 1:22 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 319

"If these legislators actually did the jobs they are elected to do..."

Seems to me that's exactly what they're doing. They get hired basically to identify issues and then wrangle with each other about them. What comes out of that process, hopefully, is something good for the people who hired them.

But the definition of "something good" will differ from voter to voter. No matter what you do, someone will kiss you and someone will curse you.

Frankly, I don't know why anyone would ever want to be hired for such a job. Sounds like mostly pure misery.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM by Rick 320

I agree with wanting the general public to be able to see the WS trophies, but I think the official position is that the general public has an opportunity to see them once each year during TwinsFest, and if that's not often enough, well then, that's all the more incentive to shell out the Benjamins to sit in the Champion's Club. I'd imagine the lines are shorter there too. (I'm just speculating on that, the income-detection alarm would go off if I even got near the entrance to the champions club, whereever it is).

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 2:15 PM by Hiawathaland-fan (aka gone buggy) Highlight this comment 321

I think the legislators like to have it both ways. Sometimes things happen or don't because "it's the will of the people" yet other times things happen or don't regardless pf public opinion because "we're here to make tough decisions". If the message and reasoning were more consistent, it would be much easier to take.

I also think the Vikings are still feeling residual effects of the Twins' botched 1997-98 stadium effort with the Pohlad family's infamous monetary contribution that was actually a loan. That inexplicable gaffe, both in conception and execution, did more to delay a new Twins stadium than any other single thing during the long debate.

If my memory is correct, fall out from that situation led to the Minneapolis referendum that capped the city's contribution to future stadium construction (or was that Target Center). In any case, for all of their own blunders, I do honestly think the Vikings are paying in part for the sins of others.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 2:52 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 322

The best (most customer friendly) way to dissuade people from congregating in certian areas is to provide attractions elsewhere. People will stroll around the main concourse between first and third because it's close to the infield action and there are better and different concessions available there. So if you want to lighten the load on that part of the park, put interesting/uniq

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 3:16 PM by BR Highlight this comment 323

Weird. Must have hit send/enter... to continue from above:

Put interesting/unique food and attractions in other areas. For example, if you had the World Series trophies on the 300 level, there'd be a lot of traffic up there! (I know, that example's not gonna happen, but you get the idea.)

Same would be true for the entrance gates. Put something fun in the open area near Gate 14 and you might pull some people away from the main gates (29 and 34).

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 3:21 PM by BR Highlight this comment 324

The WS trophies are NOT to be viewed by the general public. We get our chance once each year during Twins Fest, when the holy relics are brought out for public viewing. The remainder of the time they are to remain sealed in the inner sanctum of the Champions Club, as an exclusive benefit for those who attend games there (not me).

Also, I still think those cushy champions club seats look stupid.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 3:56 PM by gone buggy Highlight this comment 325

DSP being interviewed by Reusse on 1500 ---

--- he expects "85%" ST renewal ultimateley
--- if the "on deck" folks do as they signed up to do there will not be any issue with selling out STs
--- the Twins do not take STH for granted
--- he is surprised at all the clamor about the batter's eye trees

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 4:15 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 326

And --- I think the Twins should either make the WS trophies (and other memorabilia as well) accessable to ALL fans attending games or they should quit with the "Your Minnesota Twins" nonsense.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 327

Hmm. 85% seems kinda crappy, although I admit that I'm ignorant regarding past history for the Twins and other data from the rest of the league. But if they have 20,000 full-season equivalent STHs, and they lose 15%, that's 3,000 FSE. If the 3,000 people allegedly waiting in the On Deeck Circle are of similar make-up, then DSP would be right. The math just works out.

But if they only get an 80% renewal, and/or some of the ODC folks opt out, then those concourses could be more accessible than ever!

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 4:31 PM by BR Highlight this comment 328

To those complaining the Target Field is too crowded: have you ever been to Camden, Safeco, or Kauffman when they were crowded? It's been awhile. Don't get me wrong -- I might prefer other parks too, but I've never been to another park when it was genuinely packed, so it's hard to draw conclusions on that factor. There just aren't many MLB stadiums that have been as consistently full as Target Field the last two years.

Also, to those complaining that the "aura" of Target Field is gone now that the team sucks: I suspect this affects home-team fans in just about every city, and attendance figures seem to bear this out. It certainly doesn't look like many people get excited in Baltimore to go to Camden Yards these days. Those same folks might love a respite at Target Field, though.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 4:52 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 329

Regarding the renewal rate, click on my name for a link to an article about renewals for the 2011 Chicago Cubs season. Some interesting numbers thrown around, but Cubs followers were seeing a 90% renewal rate for the Cubs as a disaster. Comparing Cubs vs. Twins fan bases is a little apples-to-oranges but I thought this was interesting.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 330

Bright side!

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 5:01 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 331

"DSP being interviewed by Reusse on 1500 --- he is surprised at all the clamor about the batter's eye trees"

Wasn't the original clamor from Twins players? The public "clamor" is just stating how silly the Twins hitter's complaints were.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 332

Listening to the Dave St Peter interview. Some tidbits:

- The Sanford Health sign came down today.
- "We're always looking for ways to improve the batter's eye..so maybe there will be trees out there this spring."
- "Hopeful" to get back to the season ticket cap of 25,000.
- "Lots of focus on relocation" Champions club, legends, dugout box always renew. The "pick and shovel work" is renewing the 20 and 40 game plans where it sounds like the softness is.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 5:16 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 333

Looking for ways to improve the batters eye, ay there captain?

So, now what? I know, they're gonna put something like that piece of animatronic shit they're putting out in center field at the Hangar in Miami? What a f*cking joke DSP is. Seriously. So instead of the trees causing shadows, we can shine bright lights in batters' faces.

God, no ballpark in America changes its batter's eye more than TF.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 9:11 PM by luke Highlight this comment 334

" --- always renew --- "

Those areas are where the corporate / business write-off type of STH customers are found (and the usual speculators) - how often do you see the same guy in the same seat? The 20 game STH (and 40 to a somewhat lesser extent) are much more likely to be people who actually go to the games themselves.

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 11:22 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 335

Ben:

You're right, to an extent, although I have many friends who have tickets in the box seats, either through their own groups or through their small businesses. They will certainly use the tix for business purposes, but they are also fans who go, often with family or friends, to a large (5+) number of games per year. So there's a mix in there.

But the larger point you're touching on IS troubling. What are the Twins doing to try to keep "average" fans as STHs? Step back further - what is the team doing to keep its fans overall?

The Red Sox are just completing a 10-year remodelling plan for Fenway that's been marketed to the hilt. Sure, they've spent tons on the team and been competitive throughout that time period, but that's been a hand-in-glove process. They also had a business vision that recognized that status quo could lead to stagnation.

I don't get the sense that the Twins are very savvy on the business-side. Adding some granite facing and extra wooden louvres won't bring in new fans. They should be working more on creatively building the brand and improving the gameday experience. Where's the Twins museum? Where are the stay-and-play packages? Where's the entertainment on the plaza (in-season and out-of-season)? (I'm not even getting into Rick's TV-coverage rants, which are also valid.)

These guys seem to think they can roll out the Twins caravan every off season and that'll keep everything moving right along. I don't want to see the team spiral for the next 5+ years and attendance plummet to 20,000/game. It's happened elsewhere. This organization isn't immune from the same problems occuring here...

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM by BR Highlight this comment 336

Cory Provus is the new radio guy. Worked for the Brewers. I'm not familiar with him

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 11:16 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 337

Cory Provus -- your new Minnesota Twins radio play-by-play man

I got an email from the Twins last week saying I had missed the first two deadlines for 2012 STH renewals and that if I want to keep my seniority, I could simply downgrade to the field view package for $220 for 20 games. They are also selling the "Future All Star Game" ticket priority...

So obviously, they are still trying to get some 20 game and 40 game plan holders to renew. If this was 2009 or 2010, they would have said, sorry, too late and moved on to those waiting in line.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 11:16 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 338

When the Twins started sliding in the mid 1990s and needed to step up their marketing while improving the overall fan experience, they actually resisted. The Twins saw the Saints doing all sorts of gimmicky stuff while heavily emphasizing the fan experience (some might say at the expense of the game, but that's a discussion for another day) and felt doing similar things was beneath the club. They were major league baseball. All they had to do was put out a team and open the doors. Their fans didn't want mascots, contests, and goofy promotions. It wasn't until the bottom fell out in the late 1990s that the Twins finally changed their tune and got much more in step with taking care of the fans and making their brand seem fun and exciting. That movement culminated in Target Field.

Now, partly due to the bad season unsettling things, we're seeing that the team has fallen back into old habits. The team seems to figure Target Field will carry them for the next decade plus and they don't need to be quite so aggressive. To me the ultimate example of the Twins missing the boat was the aftermath of the ticket on sale day fiasco. The team's nonchalant attitude to something that really upset their fans was just insulting. To this day I'm not sure anyone over there really understands what a PR black eye the Twins took that day. A nice park will only carry things so far if the team isn't any good and shrugging off errors without learning lessons from them won't help either.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 339

Looking at some of the comments/reviews of Cory Provus in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel...it sounds like he is a very solid play-by-play man and they are going to miss him in Milwaukee.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 340

One thing pretty much for certain is that Cory Provus was the candidate willing to work for the lowest compensation.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 341

Ben, what gives you that inclination? Doesn't he work for 1500ESPN?

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 2:00 PM by tk Highlight this comment 342

TK ---

He worked for the Brewers.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 2:18 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 343

Ben,
I know he worked for the Brewers, so that is your reasoning on why he was willing to work for the lowest compensation?

I was wondering where you had the inclination that he was willing to work for the lowest salary.

My reference to 1500 was that he would be working for ESPN and not the Twins.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 3:49 PM by tk Highlight this comment 344

The Twins took their radio broadcast in-house when they moved from 830 to 1500. Provus will become an employee of the Minnesota Twins.

(And I thought Ben was taking a shot at the Twins -- suggesting that they just hired whoever was cheapest. There is precedent for such a move.)

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 4:01 PM by Rick 345

Looks like Rick handled that one for me. Maybe the new guy is working for bobbleheads - and don't laugh, it HAS happened. And --- this has nothing to do with the qualifications or abilities of the new guy just that, like Rick says, there is precedent.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 4:17 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 346

Thanks for the info.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 4:34 PM by tk Highlight this comment 347

Click my name for a video of Provus co-hosting a Q&A at the Cubs convention a couple years ago. He sounds like he'd be a good play-by-play guy. Fast forward to about 7:12 in the video, Provus asks a question to the panel about the game day experience.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 5:20 PM by luke Highlight this comment 348

Notably the game day experience at Wrigley Field, not in general.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 5:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 349

They couldnt find a local radio guy or someone who has a twins connection to do the announcing. Kind of dissappoing.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 350

DSP "expects 85% ST renewal ultimately"?

well... the deadline was almost 6 weeks ago.

I guess he's still holding out hope... because I'm still being hassled to renew. (called again this week)

how about telling as of right now, how many have renewed?

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 6:06 PM by mj Highlight this comment 351

SERIOUSLY, you're sour because the Twins didn't hire a local announcer? Are you the same guy who was torked off because the sod came from Colorado? How about HIRE THE BEST GUY??

I am SO SICK of the myopia of so many Minnesotans. And this is from a Minnesotan. I can understand why we're flyover country when so many of us act like every morning somebody p!ssed in our Cheerios. The world doesn't end at the St. Croix River, folks.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 352

No kidding TTH. In that respect, Gordon wasn't a local either when the Twins hired him in 1987.

He was born in Detroit, and prior to coming here, he was play-by-play man for the Damn Yankees. BTW, does anyone know John Gordon's REAL last name??

BTW, Leroy, you know Kevin Harlan used to do play-by-play for T-Wolves games before he went national. Harlan is from Kansas City and was also play-by-play for the Chiefs at that time. That's one bitch of a commute if you ask me.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 9:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 353

The new radio guy sounds pretty smooth! I heard some of his stuff calling brewer games. Does not sound 33. Thank god Attebury did not get it. I hear his voice and I want to vommit! I did not renew my 20 game pack for this year. Was a nice 2 yr run. I look forward to getting some $50 seats for $5.00 around the 2nd inning from the scalpers this coming year. Looks like a buyers market next year also!

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 354

New plans for the Farmers Market site released. I'm bummed because they are modeling it after Lucas Oil in Indianapolis which I think is the least creative, ugliest stadium throughout sports (maybe Chase Field in AZ is worse). Click link for KSTPs story and pictures.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 10:33 AM by jp Highlight this comment 355

The plans in question are just a rendering of what the site could look like and used the Lucas Oil Stadium design as a placeholder of sorts. City Council President Barbara Johnson admitted she hadn't seen the plans before yesterday, but was happy to see activity and initiative. No one responsible for the renderings has any authority to select a design. If that site is ultimately selected, and we're a long way from any kind of stadium approval right now, the stadium will very likely resemble Lucas Oil Stadium as little as many of the early renderings of potential Twins Stadiums in the late 1990s and early 2000s wound up resembling Target Field.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 10:55 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 356

I don't know jp. Let's look at the positives of each site:

Farmer's Market:
- Plenty of already available parking
- light rail already in place
- an existing mass of entertainment, hotel and dining options
- adds to the inertia of downtown renovation and improvements
- does not stamp out the current farmer's market

Arden Hills:
- tailgating
- scenic views of Big Ten Pub and adjoining trailer park
- Your PSL sits atop contaminated soil.

Well, I guess it's closer than I thought.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 10:56 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 357

The Channel 5 renderings are by the landowners group -- not the Vikings, or the city, or the state, or Bruce Lambrecht's group. Not sure why this wasn't mentioned in that story. Weird.

As such, they add fuel to the fire for the site, but do not in any way represent what will be built. They simply show, and this is important, that a new farmer's market could peacefully coexist with a stadium. In reality, the overlap between the two functions might be a relatively short period of time in the fall.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 11:12 AM by Rick 358

I forgot the most important part: This is proof that the landowners are willing to participate in the project. That means that if the deal gets done right, they could avoid any rancorous, time-consuming and expensive eminent domain actions.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM by Rick 359

TTH I've always been pro FM anti AH. I'm just against the generic field house look that is shown in those specific renderings, and hope they don't use the big brick box model when the real design comes out.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 12:07 PM by jp Highlight this comment 360

News reports say that of the 34 acres in play, including and adjoining the Farmers Market, 19 of 34 are either owned by or are committed to the developer pushing the site. The city of Minneapolis owns an additional 8 acres of the proposed site, putting 27 of 34 acres in control of elements supporting the location as a potential home for the Vikings. I don't know who has the remaining 7 acres and whether it's one land owner or several. How construction would financed and how any kind of concensus will be reached is another matter. Then of course there's the Vikings, still clinging to Arden Hills at the expense of all other options.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 12:13 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 361

I personally like the Ford Field look...its modern but also has some old school feel to it with the stadium built to include part of the warehouse. I also enjoy the large windows that allow the natural light in so you still get the feel of a day game or night game as far as lighting is concerned.

I think Indianapolis could have done much better with their design. But perhaps, the retractable roof requirement limits your ability to get creative with your overall design. Retractable roofs are worthless for football if you ask for my opinion. In fact, they are worthless in baseball too unless you are in Phoenix, Houston, or Miami.

The renderings are nothing....we saw the same stuff with TCF Bank Stadium and Target Field.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 2:22 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 362

No worries. I was just using sarca...never mind.

I don't care how the stadium looks as long as there are evergreens lining the end zone -- unless that distracts Ponder if he's looking to go deep...don't want it to negatively affect scoring.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 3:01 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 363

With the Land owners presenting their own "plan" for the site, it seems to like this is going to be a re-hash of what happened with Target Field's site. The landowners are all for the site until, the county/city/state approves a stadium for that site, then they will jack up the price. One more reason this is the worst of the 4 sites proposed.

I have noticed many on this board are against tailgating. Until I went to the Vikings game two weeks ago, I was sort of in the middle on tailgating. Didn't care one way or the other. Then I realized that tailgating is an integral part of a football game. If you go to a NFL (or college) and do not go tailgating, you are missing half of the experience. I think this is lost on most of the people here because most here are primarily baseball fans.

This leads to a fundamental difference between baseball fans and football fans. In baseball, most show up and go to a game, if they show up early they would usually go and watch batting practice. Also baseball is a game where a fan needs to pay attention, when something happens they cheer. Unless you Steve Bartman, fans really do not have an effect on a the game.

Now take football, some fans get to their lot a day or two before a game, then slowly more people come in and fill in the lot. It becomes one big party where friends can hang out and even people who are not friends are welcome, as long as you root for same team. Football fans are supposed to come to the game excited, be loud, obnoxious, and this does have an effect on the game. It can cause the other team to change its tactics, use it's timeouts and so forth.

This is not to say one is better than the other, they are just very different, just as the games are.

Has anyone actually thought about what will happen when the Twins and Vikings play on the same day? Parking down there is already lacking for the Twins, then throw another 70,000 people on top of that? What a cluster.

The fact is, even if you take Arden Hills off of the list, this site is still bad. Limited access to the freeway, limited access to LRT, limited to zero parking spaces for tailgating, and limited other parking as well.

This location would be like the Metrodome location redone, except worse, and no improvements.

One last note, we would be luck to have a stadium designed like Lucas Oil, instead of the spaceship looking one that is proposed.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 3:02 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 364

Mike,

Lucas Oil Field looks a lit more like a warehouse than Ford Field does, but on a grand scale. It's windows are huge and flood the entire stadium with natural light, even with the roof closed.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 3:07 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 365

Not against tailgating. I'm against poor decision-making.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 3:11 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 366

Duffman,

There's a lot there which has to be set straight.

1. Can't think of the last time I saw an anti-tailgating post here. Most people acknowledge that it's a big deal for some fans, not for others. (There are long-time visitors here who regularly tailgate heartily before Twins games over at the current Farmers Market.)

2. In the post-game interview on the field after World Series Game Seven, I think it was Lance Berkman who talked about how the crowds and their support/noise had been a big part of their late run. I've heard other Cardinals players say it in interviews as well.

3. The most that the Twins and Vikings could ever play at home on the same day (playoffs excepted) is four times per year. This year, it only happened twice. Hardly an issue.

4. According to a study by the "corridor" guys (www.corridormn.com), 53% of parking spaces near the Farmers Market site have direct freeway access, compared to only 10% at the Metrodome. (Their PDF has been updated since the one I linked above. Be sure to take a look. It's an amazing collection of info.)

5. The FM site will have direct access to all four LRT lines and Northstar. The Metrodome, only two LRT lines.

6. Every single one of the concept drawings I've ever seen for the FM site shows tailgating lots. How much more obvious could it be?

7. There is already more parking near the FM site than the Metrodome. None would have to be built, though some probably would.

You can hate it all you want, but FM is BY FAR the most logical place to build. It isn't even close.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 3:22 PM by Rick 367

Hey Rick, there is a powerball drawing tomorrow right? Your crystal ball over there seems to be batting over .400 right now. Wanna shoot me over some numbers for the Powerball?

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 4:21 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 368

As for what the stadium might look like, we'll be at the mercy of the taste of Vikings management -- not a very comforting thought, I'm afraid. If you look at the portfolio of Zygi's real estate holdings, you'll see a whole lot of strip malls, and nothing much requiring actual architecture.

Doesn't mean that he can't do it, of course, but there's a vast gulf between doing it and doing it right.

Most of the concept drawings we've seen (and all of the good ones) have been done by people other than the Vikings. The only ones they've actually commissioned recently are the ones in the AH packet (yawn) and this one found in their promo video (which, by the way, you can't get to from the navigation menu on their site because some web developer misspelled 'stadium' in the link):


(Why not just call it "Generic Potential Vikings Stadium Project"?)

Of course none of these are really meant to show what a facility might actually look like, but given that they are meant to get people pumped up about the project, the collective Vikings brain trust imagination seems to be lacking that certain dreaminess that you tend to see in such things.

Frankly, there's not much imagination going on in anything we've seen so far, with the exception of today's release by the FM landowners.

As an aside, here's another oddity from that video. It's supposed to be a generic shot of digging meant to represent the jobs that a Vikings stadium would generate. But I couldn't help but notice that the sample digging is taking place on the Farmers Market site!


So, if I were to counsel the Vikings brain trust on their design principles (not that they've asked), I would give them a list sort of like this:

1. Make it look like a football field.
2. Forget the retractable roof, but don't forget the sun.
3. Consider siting at the downtown corner of the land.
4. Be sure to distinguish the car side from pedestrian side.
5. Don't trust Populous blindly. They are only as good as their collaborators.
6. Allow ample non-parking outdoor space.
7. Don't be too serious. Don't be goofy. Don't be tacky.
8. Make it reflect who the franchise is (which may require deciding who you are as a franchise first).

I'll probably elaborate on these another time.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 4:41 PM by Rick 369

Not sure why people around here are ripping on the look of Lucas Oil Stadium. I like it, and its different than many of the other new stadiums out there.

It doesnt look like a beached whale (like Cowboys Stadium). It doesn't look like a tuna can (like UofPhoenix Stadium), it doesn't look like a whatchamacallit (like Allianz Stadium in New Jersey) and it doesn't look like something the dog barfed up (like the Metrodome, Oakland Coliseum, Alltel Stadium, etc.)The main reason it looks like that is to pay homage to some of the old brick fieldhouses from back in the day.

And Lucas Oil Stadium (incidentally, nicknamed "The Luke" by the locals. Just thought I'd point that out), was designed with both basketball and football in mind. Lucas Oil Stadium looks great for basketball, and of course, being that that is the case, hence the fieldhouse look.

And Mike, I also like the Ford Field look. It works well with its surroundings, and something with that kind of look might work well here...

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 5:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 370

I thought the point of the AH site was so the could eventually move their practice facility and have it at the same site as the stadium. But if thats not part of the mix then the FM site would work. The olny probelem with taigaiting downtown is that theres probably some restrictions possibly. Not sure since have never even thought of trying it.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 5:20 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 371

The latest odd twist in the stadium drama came today from the MSFC. Ted Mondale said when the Dome collapsed last year and prevented the Vikings from completing a full season there, it meant that the lease was extended by a year, effectively tying the Vikes to the Dome for the 2012 season. The Vikes were less than amused by this move, as you can imagine. The MSFC clearly made this move to buy everyone some time, but it's not going to help things at the Capitol because it gives the legislature yet another reason/excuse to put off the issue nor will it help with the Vikings who somewhere between annoyed and angry.

In any case, Farmers Field isn't a lock and won’t be in time for the Vikes to move for 2012 with knowledge that it’ll be built. I don't think the Wilfs want to privately finance 100% of the stadium in City of Industry while surrendering a piece of the team, something that’s the case with both proposals, (market value in CoI, below market value at FF), even in exchange for ancillary development rights. So they were likely to play at the Metrodome minus a renewed lease in 2012 anyway and probably will even if they go to court to fight this move by the MSFC, should it have any legs.

http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/133252703.html

http://stmedia.startribune.com/documents/1979+Football+Use+Agreement.pdf

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 5:32 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 372

Just tossing a question to the BallparkMagic 'regulars':

IF the Viking's stadium gets built on (one of) the Farmer's Market sites, would you prefer a 'look and feel' like Target Field (limestone, glass, etc.) or would you prefer something much different?

Me, I think I'd go for the 'much different' look, just for the contrast between the two facilities.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 5:40 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 373

Oh for Christ's sake...the lease gets extended? I agree with you Jorge, they did it to buy time. Which further makes me think that the Dome collapse somehow was an inside job. I know what happened, Ted Mondale sat his fat ass in the center of the Teflon about a week before the snowstorm, thus compromising the structural integrity of the roof. Then, the snow fell, and the roof collapsed. It was an inside job...that explains so much...lol.

F_T_K, I wouldn't go for a "much different look". If they're gonna do it right, it's gotta mix in with its surroundings IMO. I think that's what makes TF such a nice fit right where it's at. It's not too flashy, but at the same time, it's not painstakingly dull either. It looks and fits in nicely with its surroundings.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 6:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 374

Thome to Phillies. Guess pinch hitting in Philadelphia is more enticing than DH'ing at TF.

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 8:02 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 375

Thome to the Phillies???

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

LMFWAO on that one....

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 9:14 PM by luke Highlight this comment 376

Maybe the Twins didn't make him an offer. Or did they?

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 10:08 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 377

I guess we will go point by point on this Rick.

1. It is not that there are negative posts about tailgating, but there are many posts that dismiss tailgating as nonessential, Like I mentioned in the previous post, to enjoy a football game the way it should be, tailgating is essential, it becomes an all day event.

2. Bullshit. Pure and utter Bullshit. The fans MAY help some baseball players with their adrenalin, but fans in baseball do not have any direct affect upon the game. They cheer when their teams hitter is up, they cheer when their teams pitcher is up, it’s a non factor. An opposing hitter or pitcher is not going to miss a sign because the crowd is loud. That was Lance Berkman kissing his fan’s asses. Nothing wrong with that but realize it for what it is.

3. While in terms of a Twins schedule, 4 games is not much, but that is 40% of the Vikings schedule. I would consider that a major point. Even 20% is unacceptable.

4. Just seeing the names on the front page of that “study” is enough to cast doubt upon the whole presentation. That being said, their own map of parking accounts for 14,600 parking stalls within 5 blocks. With only 50 being on site. (In the parking analysis maps) Also only 6,600 stalls being surface parking being scattered over a 5 block circle, this is simply not enough, unless every one car pools in groups of 5. Also 5 blocks doesn’t sound like much until you realize it’s a ½ a mile away. Not exactly convenient. I would also dispute their idea of direct freeway access. That plan has the option of 3 freeways, 94 east, 94 west and 394 west. That should be fun cramming 65000 people out of there. They are also comparing it to a Metrodome maps with some of the oddest parking ramps chosen. I mean who parks at the Lemington ramp? I don’t even get the point they are attempting to make with the skyway maps, they are not much different. Later maps claim 1600 parking stalls, but even with an addition 12 acres, I don’t see it. They are not including the bus and group parking that the Metrodome parking ramp is used for, there goes 1/3 of that total.

5. 4 LRT lines? Right now there is one, the 2nd is on the way and the other 2 are years, if not decades off. Hopefully they are never built, as LRT is a waste of government (Tax Payers) money. We should not be attempting to locate a stadium on the presumption that some future trains will be built. Also unless they expanded the LRT line, the nearest station is ¼ mile away, not exactly direct access.

6. See end of Point 4.

7. There MAY an extra 2000 spaces than near the dome, but all 14,600 spaces are spread out over a mile radius, unacceptable for a professional sports stadium.

Rick, logically the farmers market is a horrible choice to put any sort of stadium, much less a NFL stadium. It offers very little, if no advantage over the current dismal situation that is the Metrodome site.

Frankly it seems you have been duped into basing most of your “logic” off of the corridormn.com, for lack of a better word, propaganda presentation. Clearly it is a biased presentation presented by Bruce Lambrecht and his cronies, in order to make himself and them money. It is just like he did when he pushed for the Twins stadium, then jacked the price of the land up, 5 years ago. I am truly surprised you are allowing yourself to be swayed by something so clearly subjective.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 04:16 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 378

Wow!

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 04:53 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 379

I live an hour and a half south of the metro. I park at Fort Snelling and hop the LRT for the ballpark. Never have to worry about parking even if it's a day game on a weekday. No matter how early I am before the game or how long I might linger downtown after the game, the trains on game day are always full. Every government project should be such a "waste" of money.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 08:47 AM by terry Highlight this comment 380

At least we aren't Oriole fans.

"We all know the Orioles have been spinning around in circles, chasing their tailfeathers for years. Now, as another three-ring circus plays out under the Peter Angelos Big Top, add the appearance of racism to the long list of Orioles' fatal shortcomings. "

I have attached a link to the article if you are interested in some baseball discussion. What a mess in Baltimore. They literally can't pay anyone to take the GM position.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 09:34 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 381

As to point 5, there Duffy, I also have to disagree. The LRT is a mode of public transportation, therefore isn't it more than logical that public money, or a portion thereof, be used to build it?

The federal government chips in a large portion of the cost of any project like that. Overall, I think the Hiawatha line when all was said and done, cost $1 billion. If memory serves correctly, the federal government transportation budget chipped in something like 60% of the total cost.

Personally, I would rather spend my hard-earned tax dollars (which would also contribute to the fed. government's transportation budget) on something that can benefit a lot of people, like terry. And I myself have found LRT to be a convenient option too. I can't wait til the new one to Saint Paul is done. Cause then I can go to Gopher football games without dealing with parking over there.

A new Vikings stadium goes up, with my tax dollars, and when will I have the opportunity to shell out the cash to go to a game? I think the stadium is a waste of government (tax payer's) money.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 10:18 AM by luke Highlight this comment 382

I stand corrected, I guess it's not called the Hiawatha Line anymore.
According to the article I linked to my name (clicky, of course), it's now called the Blue Line.

I didn't realize Metro Council color-coded the transit lines around here. I knew it was coming, but I didn't know they had approved it already. I heard virtually no fanfare about the change.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 10:27 AM by luke Highlight this comment 383

Interesting thoughts brought up. Could the twins ballpark affect the way other development looks. If the vikings did build on the FM site could the look be determined by how the baseball park looks like and for that matter any development around or near the twins ballpark.

I know the ballpark authority wants to affect the look of the transit hub if and when it ever gets built next to target field.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 384

Duffman,

You'll need to find an actual post somewhere which dismisses tailgating. I haven't seen one -- literally -- for years. Some people love it. Some don't care. Why is that so hard to accept? (I'll even give you that more Vikings fans care than Twins fans. But not ALL Vikings fans care. Many do not. That's my only point.)

When all is said and done, wherever the new Vikings stadium is built, there will be tailgating. That's true for any of the sites on the table, and the Vikings clearly think it's a priority.

In other words, tailgating availability does not give the edge to one site or another. Nor does it eliminate any.

If you would rather tailgate in a parking lot in the suburbs than one on the edge of downtown, that's fine. That's a personal preference and you're entitled to it. But it means less than nothing to those who will be making this decision.

---

In the 2009 ALDS, Nick Punto missed a stop sign at third base late in the game because of how the crowd reacted to a hit. He thought it had gotten through the infield, but it had been stopped by Derek Jeter. He was thrown out, and the game, series, and post-season was effectively over for the Twins. (Damn Metrodome.)

OK, how many examples of crowd noise affecting games do I have to give? Your point just isn't valid. Crowd interaction is a factor in every sport which draws a crowd. No one sport has a corner on the crowd noise market.

Plus, do you think there would be somehow more crowd noise in the suburbs than downtown? Even if it were true, I don't get how that could be a factor in where to build.

---

When siting facilities, the chance that two will be used simultaneously always has to be considered. But when it happens at most four times a year, it can be dismissed. Regardless of what percentage of anybody's schedule that is, it's a total non-factor.

But if you really looked at it, you'd see that there is sufficient infrastructure in downtown Minneapolis to handle it. In fact, the parking, roads, and transit could handle simultaneous events at Target Center, Target Field, and Target Stadium -- and what the hell, throw in the convention center for good measure. That's what downtowns are built for.

Where you might get into trouble is if they all BEGIN or END at the same moment. Then there would definitely be some significant stress on the system. But schedules are often adjusted to make sure this doesn't happen.

---

Say what you will about Lambrecht/Albersman/Oyaas, but there's no denying that they've done their homework and produced a very thorough study. The maps are current and sufficiently detailed, the statistics are undeniable, and their conclusions ring true. It's my understanding that none of them own any land on the FM site, but that Lambrecht might stand to gain from a "rising tide" effect on land in the neighborhood. Even so, you can't just dismiss them because they might benefit.

In fact, you pretty much have to assume that everybody who proposes a site has some financial interest. That's how America works. It means that you have to be skeptical of everything, but it does not mean that you can just dismiss everything. Someone can have a financial interest AND also the best idea.

(There is a trend in the country right now of dismissing any idea put forward by a politician or party that you don't like. It's the stupidest approach possible, and a very real threat to our republic. Of course, I hear that it's been worse at various points in the past, so perhaps this is a phase that will pass. I'm hoping so. But I digress.)

---

The parking numbers put forward are comprehensive, which means it is a survey of available parking. You may not park at the Leamington ramp for Vikings games, but you could, and some people probably do. (I usually take the bus to Twins games, but when I drive, I frequently park at the downtown library. That's about a six-block walk.)

The point of the maps is to show that there already exists more parking closer to the FM site than there is to the Metrodome site. Unless you can show that the maps are in error somehow, the point has been proven.

The point of the skyway maps is to show that they get a lot closer to the FM site than to the Metrodome site (and would, therefore, be cheaper to extend all the way). Again, the point is sufficiently proven.

There is a much larger point underlying the entire issue which cannot be denied: Downtown Minneapolis already has essential infrastructure which would need to be created and paid for again if you build in the suburbs. That's game, set and match for downtown.

---

The Hiawatha (Blue) line is already open.

The Central Corridor (Green) line is scheduled to open in 2014.

The Southwest (Green) line is under development, expected to open in 2015.

The Bottineau line is under study, but expected circa 2017.

A Vikings stadium, if approved now, would likely open for the 2015 or 2016 season.

You can connect the dots.

---

As for being duped, I've learned a lot since I started following this issue aggressively in 2001 (my first pictures of the Rapid Park site were taken on October 31, 2001). I still could probably be duped, of course. I could also be just plain wrong. I know that.

But I believe that I've learned how to tell when the data is real, and how to connect the political and financial dots. I encourage everyone who wants to follow this -- or any other important issue in the city or state or country for that matter -- to get the same sort of education.

It comes in handy.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 12:22 PM by Rick 385

Very well put, Rick. I liked your comment about two buildings used simultaneously. I mean, Ford Field and Comerica are close together. Arrowhead and Kauffman are across a parking lot from each other - and they manage just fine. Like you said, when it's a few times a year, it's a moot point at best.

And, what the hell, maybe the NBA will never play again and the league will fold, thus eliminating the T-Wolves from the mix. That'd be OK by me...lol. Of course, it'd be rare when we'd have to worry about those three teams playing on the same day (presuming the FM site wins over). Vikings and Twins, yes - but the Twins would have to be in the WS to have a potential conflict with the T-wolves.

But those days when the two teams play together on the same day (hopefully at different times), makes downtown a busy but exciting place to be.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 12:40 PM by luke Highlight this comment 386

"5 blocks doesn’t sound like much until you realize it’s a ½ a mile away. Not exactly convenient."

"the nearest station is ¼ mile away, not exactly direct access."

Speaking of threats to our republic . . .

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 1:19 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 387

“To enjoy a football game the way it should be, tailgating is essential; it becomes an all day event.”
That statement is just hilarious to me. It becomes sensible only when you preface it with “In my opinion…,” or “I’ve come to believe…” You can’t speak for everyone in this regard, so try to keep it grounded in fact, and leave the bombastic statements out.
Can anyone here remember the 1987 World Series? The Cardinals talked about how the constant crowd noise in the Metrodome began to make many of them sick to their stomachs. Not just figuratively, but literally sick to their stomachs. Don’t tell me that your play wouldn’t be diminished by such a thing. Fans sit close enough to the field at baseball games that a fan or two can get on a guy and razz him to the point that they get in his head and take him out of his game. They do it in baseball; they certainly do it in basketball (remember Ron Artest?); and it’s a hell of a lot more personal than 60,000 voices drowning out football signals.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 1:42 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 388

America...where 5 blocks is too far to walk.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 1:49 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 389

Maybe what is meant is that 5 blocks is too far if you've been "tailgating" too much.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 2:12 PM by terry Highlight this comment 390

Or just can't wait that long to get "loud, obnoxious".

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 2:20 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 391

Mild correction on my comment above:

The total cost of the Blue Line was about $720 million (not sure if that includes the cost of the extension to TF). Of that, the federal government chipped in $335 million.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 9:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 392

Ugh, arguing that tailgating is essential for enjoying a football game is like saying booze is essential for the full party experience. Last I checked, to enjoy a football game you are sitting in your seat watching it. That is the way it should be because football is about football, not tailgating. It is a perk, not a necessity. Period.

Everyone and their grandma knows not all 65,000 people in attendance are going to be tailgating, let alone driving to the game. Therefore there is no need for 65,000 parking spaces within 10 feet of the stadium so the pre-game heavy partiers can walk their drunk asses to the stadium like i hear so many people who are very high on tailgating say. We all know tailgating lots will very likely be incorporated to the plan and/or lots will be made on other properties. If you want to tailgate, you make the effort to get one of the available spots. Otherwise there is plenty of parking and easy accessibility to the FM site.

I am all for tailgating but damn, a lot of people I hear who are high on tailgating make it sound like it's life or death, with the implication that a space is needed for every other fan in attendance. I understand the strong desire to add something to the plans that has been sorely missed. It seems to me that the team also wants to fulfill that desire, so lets keep passing them the message and reserve our teen angst for when we actually see some solid plans after an agreement has finally been made.

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 9:55 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 393

Jared - Just let it all out, brother. I'm also a tad grumpy after yesterday's "effort."

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 10:56 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 394

I am a huge supporter of tailgating, and I think it does add to the football 'experience', but I also know that not everyone cares about tailgating.

I just think a lot of people such as myself, want to see this stadium built the right way. The Metrodome was done wrong in so many ways for both baseball and football, I just want to see it done the right way, the way Target Field was built the right way.

I don't want to see another football stadium crammed into downtown, where parking is scattered about everywhere, and tailgating lots are scattered here and there.

I understand both sides of the argument, and if it takes building it downtown to keep the Vikings, then I'm all for it, but if there is a choice in the matter, I still prefer Arden Hills over any other.

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 3:56 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 395

Have you ever wondered what the inside of an airplane barf bag looks like? Click and you'll find out.
Scroll to the right, you can see that they're starting to build that "Thing" in center field.

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 4:19 PM by luke Highlight this comment 396

Thank you, Vikeologist! There's the sensible approach right there.

You may just have provided a complete explanation for some people's insatiable lust for a suburban stadium: the fear that a downtown facility will get screwed up again, just like the Metrodome.

Very illuminating.

And it leads right to the question which truly needs to be answered: What are the critical failures of the Metrodome as a football stadium which must be avoided -- both in terms of the actual game experience (inside) and the gameday experience (outside).

Obviously, you start with parking and tailgating outside, and small concourses and archaic amenities inside.

But what else?

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 7:07 PM by Rick 397

I think we need to keep in perspective that design "needs" change over time. What worked for 1982 doesn't work for 2012. In 1982, perhaps the Metrodome met most of the needs for that time, other than tailgating, whereas now it is antiquated. Will what is built in 2012 fill all the "needs" we desire a stadium to have in 2042?

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 8:23 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 398

Well Rick, for the list of the Metrodome failures, perhaps you should rerun your TIWMATM series (for those who forgot, that stands for Things I Wont Miss About The Metrodome).
My Metrodome critical failures include:
-Ugly exterior
-Air-supported roof
-Revolving doors
-Concourses too small (as you mentioned in 391)
-Stadium shaped weird (looks like a rectangle with a pillow on top)
-Scoreboards that were state-of-the-art...in 1950
-Scoreboards still have rotational signage (who uses rotational signage anymore?)
-Sound system SUCKS
-Retractable seats, fine. But did they have to be accordion style?
-Aisles too narrow
-Upper portals too narrow
-That fucking support for the curtain that covered up Sections 205-212
when a baseball team used to play there
-Entry gates need to be wider and fewer (most new stadiums can get by with four. Did we really need...eight?)
-Concession stands need to have a bit more flair (and couldn't they have come up with a more creative name than "Field Fare"?

There's a few...if I think of more, I'll add to the list.

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 9:26 PM by luke Highlight this comment 399

Oh yeah, and most new stadiums have escalators.

And most new stadiums have more bathrooms than 32. 32 bathrooms. Jesus what were they thinking, that means one restroom location for every roughly 2300 fans. 2300 fans in one bathroom. Not good.

Oh yeah, and if you insist on giving fans an blow job on the way out, oh wait, they actually recirculate people back through the revolving doors on the way out now. Never mind.

Wow, I did think of more.

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 9:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 400

The Metrodome was built with no allowances for the future; it was designed and built to be cheap and satisfy the needs of their primary tenant at that time. It was all very short-sighted, and we’re paying the price for it today.

Any new Vikings stadium needs to be designed and executed with an eye toward future needs and expansion. There’s really no way to make expansion at the Metrodome a comfortable fit, nor is it really feasible to shoehorn in an acceptable number of club seats, stadium clubs, etc. Being one of the last teams to get a new stadium could be advantageous for the Vikings in one regard. With an uncertain economic future, communities, states, counties will probably be a lot less willing to pony up for a new stadium after having done so this time around. So, most every team will probably be stuck in the stadium they’re in now for a long time.

I don’t know what kind of room or allowances have been built into any of the newer stadiums when it comes to technology, revenue generation, or amenities, but if the Vikings get the cooperation they need to build, and do so with an eye on the possibilities for future revenue streams, they might have a leg up on a lot of other clubs. If the economy doesn’t roar back to where it was, it could be a very long time before there’s another round of stadium construction. That could mean the Vikings can exist comfortably in what should be their last publically financed home.

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 9:38 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 401

As soon as I posted that question I started thinking about it, and you're reading my mind, TTH. The "critical failure" of the Metrodome for the Vikings it that it's old. Nothing more, nothing less.

They need new sizzle, and adding that to the Dome just won't work. Lambeau Field it ain't.

That got me to thinking that it's probably no longer possible to build a facility which will remain economically viable for more than 25 years or so (it was possible for a long time, back when the economics of professional sports weren't quite so big and fast-evolving).

In fact, about the most important thing to build into a new facility these days is an economic model which will allow for regular upgrades and eventual replacement.

So let me rephrase the question. Is there something inherent in a downtown location which would hamper the design of a new Vikings stadium and its ability to remain economically viable for a reasonable amount of time?

I'm coming up empty on that one.

Basically, I'm seeing four basic mechanisms at work in the salivating over a suburban location.

The first is nostalgia. A big stadium surrounded by a giant sea of parking lots hearkens back to the great days gone by.

The second is fear, based on the sense that it isn't possible to build a great stadium downtown just because the last one built there sucked.

The third is panic. This is the argument that we have to get on with it because we'll lose the team if we don't.

The fourth is simplicity. To get to a suburban stadium you just point your car toward the big building on the horizon and take the clearly-marked exit.

There may be more mechanisms at work, and I'll try to figure them out. The reason to do that is to see if any of them actually represent a genuinely good reason to select a suburban location over an urban one.

So far, nope.

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 10:20 PM by Rick 402

The reason I prefer the Arden Hills site is the amount of space it allows for everything. The stadium can be built in a way that is spacious and allows for future expansion without taking away from plazas, parking, etc.

I don't know how many of your are familiar with Patriot Place in New England, but that is my future dream for the Vikings. It is in the middle of nowhere, even more so than Arden Hills will be. It has the stadium, it has parking for tailgating, it has hotels, shopping center, places to eat, entertainment.

I know a lot of people are against that because Zygi will make millions upon millions in a situation like that, and Bob Kraft the owner of the Patriots paid for this all by himself, but that is a rarity in this day and age of sports.

I also take the Chiefs for example as well. Their see of parking, with red everywhere, the smell of grills as you drive up to the stadium is insane. The huge family of Chiefs fans just hanging out, having a good time, and enjoying their Sunday morning before going into the game.

Like I said earlier, tailgating isn't for everyone, I understand that, but it has been so badly misplaced at the current dome site, that I am just turned off by any football stadium in the downtown area.

I know the Arden Hills site is much more expensive, but I think it would be great for Ramsey County. They get a site cleaned up, and will then get taxes from it, and not to mention the enormous amount of expansion that will develop on that site in the next 10 years.

I wrote enough for now, but I would like to tell you what I think the new stadium needs, that the current dome doesn't have. Sorry if I rambled on too long! :)

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 07:27 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 403

Has anyone here been to Soldier Field? It was first built in 1924. It has since been renovated, most recently in 2003. It seems to be a compromise between a Lambeau Field link to the past, and the modern facilities of today.

I would be interested if anyone can speak to this.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 08:27 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 404

I have very fond memories of tailgating at The Met. But even back then I was uncomfortable with the fact that the Met parking lot was for all intents and purposes the only parking option.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 08:46 AM by terry Highlight this comment 405

One of the things that bugs me most about the AH location is the cost. Intuitively, the main attraction of building a stadium in the middle of nowhere should be the inherent cost advantage. Land acquisition/prep should be easy and cheap, but it isn't at the AH site.

We'd be having a fundamentally different discussion if the total bill in AH were coming in around $800M instead of well north of $1B.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 2:37 PM by BR Highlight this comment 406

I've been to Soldier Field. It's an odd situation. They effectively built a new stadium within the confines of the old one's exterior walls. After a flirtation with the suburbs, the Bears and the city decided the site of Soldier Field was best for a new stadium. Since the old one had landmark status, tearing it down wasn’t an option, so this odd compromise resulted. Ironically, I believe the renovations were so severe that the stadium lost its landmark status anyway. I’ve enjoyed my trips there and don’t recall any big negatives although if I attended games there regularly, some would likely stand out. If there’s a drawback for the Bears, it’s the capacity of only around 61,000 seats, the smallest in the NFL. The old Soldier Field had around 66,000 seats. The team sacrificed capacity in favor of boxes when renovations occurred. The Bears apparently have no problem with this right now, but could down the line, and adding more will be a problematic due to the design and footprint.

My hope for a Vikings stadium is that it’s built as nicely as possible when it comes to technology, fan convenience, and comfort. Give me a huge HD video board, more concession stand points of sale, entry gates that can handle a big crowd, more restrooms, a full sized team store, bars and restaurants in the stadium, a crystal clear PA system, wifi that’s lightning fast and crash free, areas in which people can congregate without jamming traffic (the Dome has none), a fan plaza that won’t interfere with exterior circumnavigation of the stadium, and every bell and whistle you can name. The more they try to go with the Buick option instead of the Mercedes option, the worse the place will turn out, the worse it will age, and the less potential for improvement it will have. The Metrodome represents the cruel results of going with the Chevy option. I prefer a Downtown location due to personal convenience, but will take Arden Hills over Los Angeles.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 2:49 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 407

Terry Ryan to replace Bill Smith as GM....4:30pm news conference

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 2:51 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 408

"Going forward, we intend to have additional discussions with Bill about an ongoing role within the organization."

Wally's old job?

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 3:12 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 409

As for technology at a new football stadium, I'd love to see a moving camera platform that would allow the 'high sideline' shot (the one we see on tv the most!) to always line up with the line of scrimmage.

Obviously, I'm more concerned with the television broadcast, since I'll probably never see a game in person...

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 3:13 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 410

Clearly Bill Smith wasn't up to the job and needed to go. However, much as I love Terry Ryan, I worry that he's been away for too long and will want to retire again too soon. This will make great PR in some circles, but perhaps recruiting new blood from outside the organization would have been a better bet.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 3:40 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 411

Now I've learned that Terry is an interim GM. For how long? What free agent wants to come or stay when the GM is only a temp? This feels like a desperation move.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 412

Ryan is serving as interim GM. With news over the weekend they were trying to bring back Wayne Krivsky maybe this is the opportunity to make him GM with Ryan continuing more in his present role to help Krivsky make the transition back to the Twins.

If nothing else, Ryan is respected around MLB and a good GM for now.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 3:44 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 413

It is sad to see anyone lose his or her job. I am sure many more in the organization than just Bill Smith signed off on those Broglio-for-Brock sorts of trades the Twins have made in recent years. And there are a few players from the '11 squad who should be having a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror this afternoon.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 3:44 PM by terry Highlight this comment 414

Still, a better deal than the

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 4:03 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 415

Still, a better deal than the 21 in 25,000 chance of "winning" a shattered bat or scuffed up ball.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 4:05 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 416

Shattered bats are only $100 at the team store, I had a better chance at getting one in buying and not having to buy season tix and saving money, but I couldn't wait my turn to get a bat.

Also, I am sure the ones the team gives aren't authenticated, but I may be wrong.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 4:24 PM by tk Highlight this comment 417

With Billy out, do you think Hunter will end his career in a Twins uni?

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM by tk Highlight this comment 418

Hunter has stated he wants to end his career with the Angels but I suppose if they don't want to pay him he might find a home here.

I have to wonder who it was that finally got in the Pohlad's ear that Smith needed to go. Cuddy & his agent? Terry Ryan? Other players? what changed since the end of the season stance that the Twins don't make "knee jerk" moves and that BS was staying?

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 4:34 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 419

Stevie B, From an unreliable friend source (I know I am fishing), who had spoken to Hunter while in town stated that Hunter spoke of wanting to end his career in Minnesota, but somethings would have to change first...

This angle was also covered more recently with a little more of a reliable source in the article attached, click name for link.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 4:50 PM by tk Highlight this comment 420

jctwins - I don't really like what they did at Soldier Field. Soldier Field used to have those Roman columns on the sides of the stadium before the renovation. They're still there, but they're covered up by the suite level.

Incidentally, the Soldier Field renovation took the venerable stadium off the National Registry of Historic Places.

And, did any of you get a gander at the new Vikings stadium funding idea? I'll give you a hint: stock. Click for the article.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 5:03 PM by luke Highlight this comment 421

Going back to the Vikes for a moment, no stadium debate in Minnesota would be complete without a dumb suggestion from Rep Phyllis Kahn. She has revived her frequent proposal from the Twins stadium debate, calling for the Vikings to be publicly owned. The team would put 70% of the team up for sale with Minnesotans buying shares, with the Wilfs and their partners retaining a controlling 30%. I assume the shares would be non transferable along the lines of the Packers. The proceeds of that sale would pay for the stadium.

Of course the chances of this plan coming to pass are 0%. It is 100% a waste of time, effort, and energy for all concerned. Kahn brought up the idea on the basis that Mark Dayton asked for all ideas to be put forward. Of course, he meant good ideas, ones that stood a chance of going somewhere, unlike this one. The NFL forbids public ownership of this type and has grandfathered in the Packers. The Wilfs and the Vikes would never go for it anyway. All this dumb idea does is cause unnecessary distractions and prevents citizens and politicians alike from coming up with constructive plans.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 5:05 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 422

I know the public ownership thing was sort of an exception given to the Packers by the NFL (someone told me that here once); but if it's worked so well for the Packers, why wouldn't the NFL allow it for other teams, at least your small market ones in danger of moving elsewhere (i.e. the Viqueens, Jacksonville possibly even St Louis)?

Certainly, with the team's play on the field, any Vikings stock offered wouldn't have very much value. But, the idea has obviously worked for the Packers - why wouldn't it work here?

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 6:52 PM by luke Highlight this comment 423

Bill Smith, while I'm sure a fine man and a loyal Twin, had no business being in that job, and the team was set back substantially. He and Mauer share the blame for this team being in this position, but Mauer did what everybody else would've done...took the most money. Everything Bill did backfired with the exception of the first signing of Thome. I hope he can find a decent position within the team that doesn't involve personnel decisions. He got too overconfident in the ridiculous signing of Mauer, and then got cute with Nish, etc. I think Delmon's post-season performance probably sealed his fate.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 7:29 PM by twinswschamps2044 Highlight this comment 424

I noticed that too Jorge. Phyllis Khan shows her ugly face once again with her tired idea of public ownership. Our public servants, hard at work. We should be so proud!

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 8:39 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 425

The NFL couldn't make an exception for the Viqueens though? They know we're in dire straits financially and this might be a way out. I know the NFL changed it's ownership rules in 1986, and the Packers were already doing the stock thing, blah blah, but the NFL couldn't allow it again??

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 9:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 426

Kev:

Do a Google search for Phyllis Kahn. She has proposed some doozies over the years. Proceed with caution!!!

---

Where is Luke? Has his new love interest taken all his time & attention?

Lots of interesting chatter on TF after 2 years. I can say that having visited all but 4 current parks (Citi Field, Minute Maid, Anaheim, and Oakland Coliseum) that TF is nice but absolutely not the best. Probably ranked about 7th or 8th overall.

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 10:42 PM by Max Highlight this comment 427

What does the new Purple Stadium need?

- A museum. There is a lot of history in a "relatively" short time, even if there are no Lombardis to show off. I would enjoy seeing something you could walk through before and after the game, a la the Royals baseball museum.
- Concession boards that are TV screens so that offerings can be switched on a dime.
- Personality but not kitsch. Xcel is a good example. I've seen stadium drawings that resemble Viking ships. Pleeese. Find something original with lighting, perhaps?

Just a start to my list...

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 11:09 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 428

Here is what I would like to see in a new Vikings Stadium:

1) Circulation ramps outside the stadium. People can circulate to their correct levels outside of the stadium before getting onto the concourses. Instead of having everyone get inside on the main level concourse, and then having to go up, they can do it outside. That is how it is done at Arrowhead and it works great!

2) Wider concourses, even wider than Target Field. Target Field has wide concourses, but we have all seen that even those aren't wide enough. Add 25,000 more people and it gets even worse. I'd make them a bit wider, and keep the view open to the field like Target Field and the Xcel Energy Center.

3) Larger Video Boards. I know this comes with newer technology, but some very large HD video boards on each end of the stadium would be great, maybe even one overhead like Jerry World, but don't want to copy the Cowboys.

4) Vikings related theme. I would definitely like to see them incorporate a Vikings Ship into the new stadium somehow. When you drive up to the stadium, or go into the stadium, you should know that the Vikings play there. A Vikings ship in the endzone would be awesome. If you go to the Steelers, Buccaneers, Packers, etc. You know who plays there, its not just a generic stadium.

5) Vikings Hall of Fame. This is a must in my opinion. The Vikings have a very deep history (some great, some bad) but history nonetheless. They need to honor their players that are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in the Ring of Honor, huge games, great plays, coaches, etc.

6) This has been hashed and re-hashed, but Large Parking Lots! I would love to see tailgating brought back to the days of the Old Met, to the current days at Arrowhead.

7) I'd like to see the new stadium location turn into a Vikings Village. That is why I favor the Arden Hills site. Stadium, Team Headquarters and Training Facility, Shopping, Eating, Entertainment, etc. Training Camp could also be held there, which brings Mankato $5 million per year in revenue. Zygi would profit, but so would Arden Hills and Ramsey County in taxes.

Imagine Arden Hills in 10 years with a new Vikings Stadium, hotels, shopping mall, restaurants, movie theater, bowling, the list goes on and on. This could be similar to Patriot Place in New England. Check out their website if you get a chance at http://www.patriotplace.com

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 07:04 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 429

Sorry the above link is incorrect. Click my name for the correct one! Sorry about that!

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 07:05 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 430

Is there even a Vikings hall of fame? The only one I find on their web site is for cheerleaders (which is a little weird if you ask me).

Obviously, there are Vikings in the pro football HOF, but that's different -- worthy of celebrating, yes, but different.

I have to say that I was utterly unstirred by the new stadium promo video they are pushing (with a stupid, unrelated commercial playing before it). Even all those faded and grainy shots of Met Stadium don't do anything for me because the current franchise seems so disconnected from them. They seem to have nothing more than a passing interest in their own history, and then only when it's of some practical use.

These days, being a Vikings fan feels more like the proverbial "rooting for laundry".

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 07:46 AM by Rick 431

I feel bad for Bill Smith, but good for the Twins.

Smith had certainly earned the opportunity to be the GM, a promotion which comes with an implicit expectation that you will raise your game. But he just didn't have that in him, and it's not really his fault.

I listened to him many times on the Sunday pregame shows, and he always sounded like someone who completely understood the organization, the game, and even his job. But he never sounded like he had the necessary vision or instinct to be GM of a major league team. The results bear that out.

Making this change was probably pretty hard for an organization which prides itself on not eating its own. Still, the self-awareness that this decision took is very encouraging.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 08:02 AM by Rick 432

Phyllis Kahn sure gets points for consistency. She's trotted out this idea at every opportunity for many years.

And I believe that her advocacy for public ownership of the team is well-intentioned if utterly unimaginable. It sort of falls into the category of "imagine the best possible situation and then get as close to it as possible." (We all use that same strategy all the time in various areas of our lives.)

Thankfully, the idea won't distract anyone for too long. It gets one news cycle and then we can all just smile and say, "Oh, Phyllis."

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 08:09 AM by Rick 433

I liked the video, but thats just my opinion as a Vikings season ticket holder.

I think the Vikings do care about their history, they have a ring of honor, which someone goes in every year or two. Chris Doleman just went in 2 weeks ago.

I think the Vikings franchise is in the best hands it has ever been in. Zygi Wilf is a great owner. He is a true football fan, he wants to win, and he spends money to keep current stars, and spends money to go get new ones.

There are many teams in the NFL who simply don't do that, Cincinnati, Buffalo, etc.

As a season ticket holder for over 10 years, I am proud of this franchise, I am proud to have an owner like Zygi Wilf, and I will be even more proud when we have a respectable stadium to play in!

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 08:37 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 434

I have to say that I was utterly unstirred by the new stadium promo video they are pushing (with a stupid, unrelated commercial playing before it).

Same here. My knee jerk reaction to the video was, "I have already seen the majority of it somewhere and they just stuck a stadium rendering in and called it a new video".

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 08:40 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 435

Thanks TK. That article is what I was loosely basing my thoughts on. I would love it if Hunter finished his career here. I sat in lower RF seats during one of the Angels games and he just didn't look right in that uniform.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 08:49 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 436

I love Torii Hunter and all, but it would be horrible for the Twins to bring him back.

This team needs to get younger, not take on players past their prime. It's time to rebuild. Lets get some young talent up here and let them play together!

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 08:55 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 437

Ah, there it is, the Ring of Honor.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 09:02 AM by Rick 438

Rick,

Please don't base your opinion of how the Vikings treat their history off their website. The Vikings website is horrible. It's one of the worst websites out there.

It has a lack of info, and it's a mess!

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 09:08 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 439

Re: Billy Smith. To be a consistently good GM, imo, you need:

- Vision. What kind of team are we building? What parts do we have? What do we need? How do we get them (draft/FA/int'l FA/trades)? It's been unclear to me what Smith's vision is. For example, he has continued the Twins tradition of developing SPs who pitch to contact, but has traded away two decent SSs in Bartlett and Hardy, with no clear (or clearly superior) replacements. That seems odd at best. In total, his moves have seemed more reactionary than planful.

- Communication skills: You need to be able to talk with your manager and your owners. Helpful if you can relate to the players, too, but that's a bit less important, as long as you have others in the organization who do it well. Smith appeared to be fine in this area - probably one reason he got the job to begin with.

- Ability to play poker: You need to be able to assess and take calculated risks, and to bluff your way through negotiations with players and other teams. From what I've seen, Smith has fumbled through arbitration offers and trade negotiations, perhaps because he's not terribly savvy about playing the GM game. From all reports, for a very brief time, he had the Yankees and Red Sox bidding against themselves for Santana but blew it by equivocating - his single biggest failure, imo (followed by the myopic and ill-advised Ramos-for-Capps deal).

- Ability to blend stats with scouting. Most SABR-heads will scoff at the Twins' admin, believing them to be closer to Pat Reusse than Bill James when it comes to statistical analysis. I'm not so sure. But they never have struck me as being particularly advanced in the way they talk about player evaluations. They tend to overvalue the Carlos Gomez types. Is that Smith's fault? Yes, if he didn't bring a good balance to their player eval system.

I'm not sorry to see Smith go. I'm a bit disappointed that they've gone back to Ryan, the old blankie they're comfortable with, rather than bring in some rising star, but that's the way this organization works. The devil they know...

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 09:14 AM by BR Highlight this comment 440

Actually, I wasn't going based on their web site because it is genuinely terrible.

I was sort of thinking how the Twins have integrated their alumni (at least the big names) into everything from ceremonial events, to hanging out with players during spring training, to having them be ambassadors at the games. (Has any Twins fan not bumped into Tony Oliva five or six times at TF?)

There was a period of time when the Twins didn't have a very good grasp on their own history or just how to market it, but now they've figured it out (some would say they've overdone it a bit). The Vikings just haven't got it yet.

And the reality is that the Twins have a couple of World Championships that they can trot out (which they do frequently) to give anchors to their narrative. This gives some shape to their history that the Vikings just don't have. (Sure, no one wants to trot out Super Bowl losses. But really they should be proud of those seasons, and even 1998, despite how it ended.)

The diehards can probably name the quarterback for the 1987 season, but I cannot. By contrast, every single Twins fan anywhere can tell you who was the center fielder that year. That's partly a function of what happened, and partly a function of how the history has been marketed to fans.

Obviously, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. Football is a very different game, and there seems to be much more turnover in personnel from year to year. This alone makes the history much more complicated to market. And some former "faces of the franchise" have turned out to be either very complicated to market (Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper) or best forgotten (Herschel Walker). How exactly do you market Wally Hilgenberg (who died young, likely as a result of brain injuries sustained while playing)?

Also, you can't rely on special ceremonies at home games like a baseball team can. First, there are far fewer opportunities because there are so few games. And second, there are plenty of fans who will simply never get to a game, no matter what (I've never been to a Vikings game in person -- never, not even once -- and I've been a fan for most of their 50-year history).

I can't speak to whether Zygi is the ideal Vikings owner, but the organization he's got around him is seriously lacking in some regards, and this is one of them. If nothing else, it complicates and drags down their stadium push.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 09:43 AM by Rick 441

Rick I agree with most of your points, however the Vikings are an NFL Franchise and the most popular team in the state, so I think they don't have to work as hard as the Twins do in those areas?

I am not saying that to be smug. I am a huge Twins fan as well, but the Twins have to work harder at those things just simply because the MLB as a whole is less popular right now than the NFL is at this point.

It is just simply hard to compare football to baseball because it is different in almost every way. The fans are different, the game is different, the atmosphere is different.

Yes everyone knew Kirby Puckett, but most Vikings fans would know who Paul Krause or Scott Studwell is/was.

Tommy Kramer and Wade Wilson were the QB's for the Vikings in 1987 :)

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 09:55 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 442

Wow, it's easy to understand why you might be a fan of Arden Hills if you're already a fan of Patriot Place:



Here's the big difference: Public financing. If Zygi wants to pull a Robert Kraft and pay for the whole thing himself, I say go for it!

If, on the other hand, he wants to pay half or less, well, that's a different kettle of fish.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:01 AM by Rick 443

Yep Rick, that is why I love Arden Hills so much! But like i said earlier, Kraft paid for it all by himself, that is a major difference, but I still think its doable.

I think Zygi would dig deeper in his pocket to get Arden Hills. $600 million from Zygi and I think its very doable.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:10 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 444

Re: the history of the franchise thingy. Baseball in general appeals more to fans' sense of tradition and history than does football. Partly that is because of the importance of statistics to baseball. 714 means Babe Ruth's home run total. .367 means Cobb's lifetime batting average. Who the hell knows Johnny Unitas' lifetime quarterback rating?

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:11 AM by terry Highlight this comment 445

That's funny. Now that you tell me who it was, I actually do remember that year!

Maybe the Vikings think they don't have to try as hard, but that would be a mistake. Popularity today is no guarantee of popularity tomorrow.

In fact, if I remember right, a couple of weeks ago they couldn't even give tickets away...

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:12 AM by Rick 446

Do you think AH could happen if Zygi said he'd build the stadium and pay for it entirely if the state agreed to fix the roads and clean up the sight? In this hypothetical let's assume no roof and a 500-600 mil commitment from Zygi.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:27 AM by jp Highlight this comment 447

I think it would be a slam dunk if he did that.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:34 AM by Rick 448

(Sorry for mixing up my sports analogies.)

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:36 AM by Rick 449

Do you think AH could happen if Zygi said he'd build the stadium and pay for it entirely if the state agreed to fix the roads and clean up the sight?

Even that scenario is more "owner-friendly" than Foxboro. Not only did Kraft fund the stadium, the Patriots are obligated to pay back (over 25 years) the $70-75 million that the State of Massachusetts contributed to the project for surrounding road improvements.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 3:18 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 450

Has there been any talk about relocating Sharing and Caring Hands by the Farmers Market site? What about is the Wilfs provide a new space for Mary Jo, and then in return would allow them to develop that property.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 451

The number one most important feature I think the new stadium should have is a retractable roof that is not just a small hole in the roof. I say build the stadium with a roof that completely slides 100 percent off of the seating bowl.(Like the Twins design of 1997) The roof trusses would be as big as Rogers Center or Safeco Field. Uni-Systems is located in Robbinsdale and they could do the job of designing the engineering of the roof.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 4:12 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 452

Tom, there have been tremendous innovations in retractable roof construction since the goddamn Rogers Centre (well, Milwaukee didn't think so). Would a retractable roof on the new Vikings stadium need trusses as big as the Rogers Centre? I would hope they can build a roof better and smaller than that, thank you.

Did you know if you took the roof off of the Rogers Centre, put it on its side and put it right next to the Rogers Centre, the roof would actually be BIGGER than the goddamn stadium itself? BTW, Safeco Field's roof is much better, nicer and smaller than Rogers Centre.

Rogers Centre, what a joke....

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 5:36 PM by luke Highlight this comment 453

The Vikings' Ring of Honor isn't even permanant. It's plastic banners tied in place. The names also hang underneath the overhang of the upper deck, so most fans in the upper deck can't even see the names. they should be permanant; they should be illuminated; they should look like the Vikings give a damn about the whole idea.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 6:37 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 454

They are there for every home game, so yes they are permanent during the Vikings season.

Where exactly are they supposed to promote the ring of honor at the Metrodome? in the already crowded concourse? on the roof of the Metrodome?

When they get a new stadium, I'd bet money that they will have a hall of fame area.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 7:28 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 455

Speaking of hall of fame areas are the twins ever going to have something more than they have now. The stuff the Patriots have looks cool but you need lots of space for it. So for stuff like that AH is the place for it.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 8:32 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 456

I think the Governor and lawmakers need to sit down with the Vikings, and they need to ask whats the most the Vikings will put up?

Will they go to $600 million? If so, then get a bill written with funds coming from a Racino, Electronic Pull Tabs, Vikings scratch offs, Vikings License Plates, $5 tax on every ticket to every event held at the stadium, and a merchandise tax on Vikings merchandise sold at the Stadium.

This is still doable, it just takes some creativity and give on both sides.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 8:35 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 457

Definitely not on the roof, Vikesologist. Don't you remember what happened last year? Drip, drip...rip, tear, THUD! Tear, THUD! I knew God took mega dumps, but that dump goes into the anals of history. Let's try to keep stuff off the Metrodome roof for a while.

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 9:44 PM by luke Highlight this comment 458

I have no argument with the placement; there's really no where else to put the names unless a PERMANENT ring is constructed spanning the support columns above the last row in the upper deck. My beef is with plastic banners tied in place like the banner at the company picnic in the park. Paint the names in a permanent fashion and throw a little light on them and show these honorees some real respect. It's the Vikings' building to use as they see fit. They've splashed plenty of purple paint around after the Twins left; why not a little more?

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:11 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 459

Well said Winona Mike. I always thought the plastic "Ring of Honor" banners looked tacky - sort of like names painted on bedsheets.

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 08:13 AM by terry Highlight this comment 460

I know why they did the national emergency alert test today. It's to warn baseball teams at all levels of play to run for the hills when Bill Smith starts calling around for a new job.

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 6:41 PM by luke Highlight this comment 461

I wonder if the Wilfs used the Vikings as collateral for the loan to buy the team. If that’s the case, perhaps they’ve only paid down enough on the loan that the team only has a $407 Million loan value right now. The team might be leveraged to the point where $407 Million is all they can get their hands on.

Having never purchased an NFL team, I’m only speculating here.

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 6:46 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 462

According to mlbtraderuors Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in Venezueala. It seems like something like this happens every year, although most of the kidnappings I remember hearing about involve family members, moms, sisters, etc. Why is it that these millionaire ballplayers keep putting themselves in such harms way when there are so many safer options out there for winter ball?

Hope everything works out for him.

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 8:25 PM by jp Highlight this comment 463

Not sure if it was mentioned here, but word on the street is that Cuddy is moving to the city of brotherly love to join Thome in the chase for the title with the Phillies next season. I was supposed to be forwarded a confirmation link this afternoon but didn't get it. Will try to post ASAP.

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 8:58 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 464

Phillies visit Target Field in June, so that will be fun!

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 9:07 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 465

For sure, Mike. Boos aplenty will be heard and Dugout Dogs aplenty will be thrown. Gee, kinda like what it was like when Knoblauch came back to town.
Damn traitors.

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 9:21 PM by luke Highlight this comment 466

That is crazy about Ramos...

On another note...it seems the Phillies might be going backwards in their quest for a championship. Signing former Twins after their primes is probably not the answer for this under-achieving group.

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 10:14 PM by twinswschamps2044 Highlight this comment 467

I just came across this link to the PiPress report on Phyllis Kahn's proposal (hurry because the article will go into their lousy archive soon and never be seen again). There's a whole lot more information there than anything I read in the Strib.

Here's the part that caught my eye:

And here's another way to help raise funds for whatever will one day replace the Minneapolis Metrodome: install slot machines at the airport...

Kahn also has been proposing for years that the state install casino-style slot machines at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, somewhere within the secured area, to reap money from fliers...

In 2004, the Minnesota State Lottery pegged the possible net proceeds from 250 airport slot machines at $27 million per year.

"All gambling is a regressive tax on stupidity, but if you put the gambling in the airport, it would be a progressive tax on stupidity, because you have people with higher incomes at the airport," Kahn said. "Plus, 80 percent of the traffic at the airport is from out of state." ...

The slot machines would be administered by the state lottery, she said, which requires 40 percent of the revenue to go toward a state environmental trust fund. That leaves $16 million to spare for the state's general uses - or perhaps for the Vikings stadium.

OK, I've always thought that counting on gambling revenue is something of a Faustian deal, but does anybody else think this is f-ing brilliant? It costs nothing, and fleeces mostly non-Minnesotans with disposable income who want to be fleeced. What is not to love? It's like a hotel/rental car sales tax on steroids!

Here's a classic case of a weird but very intriguing idea being tossed aside primarily because of who raised it.

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 11:42 PM by Rick 468

jp-
Ramos is from Venezuela so it's not that odd for him to be there, winter ball or not. A lot of guys from Venezuela go back during the offseason. Johan Santana always went there and said he wouldn't move his family though he knew the dangers.

Sadly, it's not surprising.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 08:25 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 469

AJ I know he's from there, and I get most people will always want to go home, no matter how troubled their home might be. It just bothers me to think that we live in a world where this can happen to anybody, anywhere, and the fact that it happened to one of my favorite young ballplayers makes it worse.

These things happen all the time to relatively wealthy people in Venezuela and it seems 99% of the time everybody is returned safe and sound. That being said why aren't the Nationals protecting their investment by going the Santana route and paying for bodyguards, or setting up in a more secure compound. I'm not naive enough to think that would make anybody invincible but from what it sounds like 4 gunman walked into his house, grabbed him and threw him in a SUV. You'd think a security force could've stopped that.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 10:32 AM by jp Highlight this comment 470

How many times during the 2011 season did we all ask ourselves what else can go wrong? But a player kidnapped? Even the 2011 Twins didn't have that happen.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 11:19 AM by terry Highlight this comment 471

Rick:
I haven't been a big "more gambling" guy, but, I agree - airport slots is pure genius. That'd be easy money. And seemingly more than enough to cover the state's share of a stadium.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM by BR Highlight this comment 472

The airport slots idea makes sense to me. As for Phyllis Kahn coming up with it, this proves the old adage that a broken clock gets lucky twice a day.

Switching to Patriot Place and Gillette Stadium, that location was considered the middle of nowhere when the old stadium was put there in 1971. The Pats going there in 1971 would be the equivalent of the Vikings putting a stadium in St. Francis in now. The Pats chose the location due to the land being free and then built a $6,500,000 stadium with almost entirely aluminum benches and few amenities that was among the worst in the NFL for ages. At that stadium the crowds would go from 60,000 sellouts to 40,000 blackouts with little room in between because the stadium was so remote and so uncomfortable that no one wanted to go there unless the team was really good.

When the new stadium and shopping/entertainment center went up in the early 2000s, the area had grown up enough to be more of an Albertville, but it's still considered a long drive from Boston itself and its close in suburbs. The location is actually roughly between metro Boston and metro Providence. The only major freeway near to the site is I-95. Cars must then travel on US-1 in between the freeway and the site for maybe two or three miles. Patriot game traffic is considered among the very worst in the NFL, and this is even after all the improvements made when Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place were constructed. A big reason for building Patriot Place was to encourage fans to arrive well before game time and stay long afterwards. The trip from the lot along US-1 to I-95 can take as much as two hours.

I say all this not to disparage the Arden Hills site. It's closer to the heart of the Twin Cities than its New England counterpart is and is closer to I-35W and I-694, plus US-10 which would no doubt be greatly expanded, than the Patriots’ complex is to I-95. I just want to point out that Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place are not utopia.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 1:16 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 473

From today's Pioneer press:

While recovering from shoulder surgery performed this week, Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is helping recruit free agents the team is targeting, and he's being honest about the job ahead in 2012. Just who those players are, Gardenhire wouldn't say; though he did acknowledge, he wouldn't mind having infielder Nick Punto back.

Gardenhire was working the phones this morning as he has done for the past 10 years, reaching out to free agents the Twins have targeted. He had yet to speak with Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel but planned to, and said pitching coach Rick Anderson has spoken with closer Joe Nathan. Matt Capps, acquired in the trade that sent Wilson Ramos to the Nationals in 2010, doesn't appear to be on the team's radar.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 3:36 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 474

Man, this has been a lousy week in sports. Ramos being kidnapped, the terrible situation at Penn State...

I need to go hug a kitten or something.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 6:44 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 475

Hey, it's not all for naught F_T_K, the Wild are playing some pretty decent hockey...five straight wins headed to the Shark tank tonight.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 9:15 PM by luke Highlight this comment 476

Marlins to do a big uni unveil tonight. Linky in name.

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 07:58 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 477

Jamey Carroll close to a multi-year deal with the Twins

WHAT!?! This is not what I was hoping for when Bill Smith left. He's going to be 38 in February. You ask me, this is a bad deal unless we get him for peanuts.

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 478

My apologies if this has already been posted.

A third "mysterious" option for a new Vikings stadium.
http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2011/11/11/33089/minneapolis_mysterious_third_stadium_site_plan_spearheaded_by_downtown_council

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 12:24 PM by Scott2004 Highlight this comment 479

Hmm, let's see...Jamey Carroll... An apparently competent but slightly over-the-hill player with reasonably good numbers, reasonable upside, unnerving downside, not too expensive but a bit more than we'd like, boring as hell, that I've never heard of.

Ah, Terry, welcome back! We've missed you!

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM by Rick 480

Rick, you hit it right on the nose. This reminds me of the rotation "improvements" Terry Ryan likes to find.

Here I was really hoping the first thing we would do after the GM switch was either sign one of our free agents or make another mid-sized splash. I know not to expect a big splash. It's not like we're going to sign a premiere 1B or Jose Reyes or etc...

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 3:18 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 481

Jamey Carroll for 4 years at 50 Million? 12.5 Million per year for a 38 year old that has only hit 3 HR's in the last four years? I think we were only paying JJ Hardy in the 5 to 6 million range when we traded him away.

Throwing this much money at Carroll can only mean that we are very afraid of being forced to enter 2012 with Nishi and Trevor as our only options at SS. If we spend 12 million on a SS, will that leave any money to sign a starting pitcher, a closer, a backup catcher that can hit not to mention Cuddy's replacement in right? Maybe the 100 million total payroll amount was just a smokescreen.

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 4:37 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 482

Sorry about the over reaction. CBS sports has reported the deal to be a little less that ESPN.

The Minnesota Twins have signed Jamey Carroll to a two-year deal to be the team's every day shortstop, CBSSports.com's C. Trent Rosecrans has confirmed through multiple sources.

Jon Heyman of SI.com first reported the news, adding that the deal is worth "close to" $7 million.

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 4:42 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 483

When everybody said the twins were in rebuilding mode I figured they would go with the youth movment. I guess 38 years old is the new youth movemnt.

Oh boy I can hear that worlds series trophey A commin already.

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 8:21 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 484

I watched Jamey when I lived in D.C. during the Nationals' first year there. He was a serviceable BACK-UP, and that was almost 7 years ago.

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 8:31 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 485

OMG. OMG. OMG.
The leaks were right. The Marlins' new logo is as ugly as it seemed. Holy shit.
Well, an ugly logo to go with an ugly "ballpark".
Click my name for the Marlins store to get a look at the new uniforms.
If this is where MLB is headed, the Twins need to get out now.
I already miss the old Marlins. And Sun Life Stadium.

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 9:27 PM by luke Highlight this comment 486

Zygi goes all in on AH:

Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf emphasized Friday in a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton that he's committed to building a football stadium in Arden Hills - and only in Arden Hills.

Wilf said the $400 million or more that he and the NFL are willing to dedicate to a $1.1 billion stadium is site-specific. If the state chooses Minneapolis or another location for the new stadium, the money won't follow.

"The Vikings' private investment of more than $400 million is specific to the Arden Hills location because of the opportunities that exist with that site," he wrote. "Any other location would not justify anywhere near the level of commitment we have made in Arden Hills." ...

Wilf, a real estate mogul, isn't considering the 430 acres in Arden Hills only for a 65,000-seat, state-owned stadium and upward of 20,000 parking spots; he wants 170 of those acres for commercial development.

(Emphasis mine. At least we're all clear now on what this location is really about.)

He still has no idea what he's doing here. Ultimatums in the world of stadiums usually lead to lengthy postponements -- especially in Minnesota. I'd say that, unless somebody does some fast talking, we're done with this issue until the 2013 (post-election) session.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 12:30 AM by Rick 487

Dear Zygi ---

Go pound some salt.

Ben

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 04:58 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 488

I have to agree with you on that sentiment, Ben.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 07:04 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 489

I think Zygi is doing the right thing here. He is drawing the line in the sand. All he is saying is if the site moves from Arden Hills to Minneapolis, then his contribution would go down, as it should because the price is supposed to be much cheaper downtown.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 08:22 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 490

Zygi - you're full of shit. L

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 08:23 AM by luke Highlight this comment 491

Tell Zygi that he can have 20 acres in Arden Hills (for free or at a greatly reduced price) to build a stadium and team offices and practice facility and parking, as long as the State and Ramsey County get the rest.

Then we'll see where his true loyalties are.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 09:50 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 492

This is a no brainer for Ramsey County. They get the largest superfund site in the state developed and get it back on the tax rolls.

If Zygi then develops it like we all know he will, this will be a major cash cow for Arden Hills and the County.

I think the major reason a lot of people (not all) are against this site, is because an out of stater is going to be making enormous profits on this site.

You all know where I stand on locations, so I won't rehash it again...

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 11:22 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 493

Some good news: Wilson Ramos was saved by police. Not sure if Matt Capps was involved.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM by terry Highlight this comment 494

I don't think so, terry. Capps was his kidnapper.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 12:42 PM by luke Highlight this comment 495

If Zygi wants a new stadium now, he's doing exactly the wrong thing. This type of move freezes everybody and pushes them back toward their own corners. With a deal of this size, he's got to be all about drawing people out of their corners.

You cannot bully the Legislature. It just will not work. I'm reminded of the Seinfeld episode with Elaine trying to get the "hot and heavy" saxophonist: "I'm trying to get a squirrel to come over to me. No sudden movements!"

The very best thing he could have done would have been to say something like, "The numbers I gave you are for Arden Hills. If you want a different site, I'll be happy to put together some new numbers."

Or maybe it would have been something like, "You figure out where the stadium should go, and I'll tell you how much I'm willing to contribute." At the very least, either of the latter approaches would have been regarded as good faith efforts.

This letter will be read by the decision-makers as a big "f$#k you" to the legislative process. That's fine, but it won't get you a stadium.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 1:11 PM by Rick 496

Can't imagine that the kidnappers would have taken Capps for Ramos anyway. Who would?

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 1:18 PM by Rick 497

Looks like Bill Smith was trying to bring Ramos back to the Twins with the Ransom of his job back, but was unsuccessful. Glad Ramos is home safely!

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM by tk Highlight this comment 498

"Give me back my JOB!"

Was at The Bank today to watch my alma mater do what it was supposed to do and keep its claws on the ax for the eighth straight year. While I do not "cheer" for the Gophers, I want them to be competitive. What I saw today was just sad. The offense is a joke, consisting of MarQuies never looking past his first receiver and then tucking the ball and running. There was no running game, and I think WRs do not even exist on this team. Had it not been for special teams and the fact that Wisconsin elected to stop throwing the ball all day long and burning clock with the running game, the final score would have been 84-0. ... And if you are looking to the future, why do you wait until there is 1:30 left in the game to bring in Shortell??

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 7:52 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 499

We need a new post, I think. My computer is having one hell of a time sifting throuh 400+ comments on ONE page to load all of BPM.com. Sure, I know there's book links to the other pages, but it doesn't know that...it goes through EVERY comment, instead of 50 a page like it used to be.

On a lighter note, click my name for a "promo" video about the Santa Clara Stadium that will eventually house the San Fran 49ers. One note of interest that should shrug off this Arden Hills nonsense. Listen very closely to what the commentator says at 0:20. He notes that the new stadium is being built not only in the heart of the entertainment district; but it's being built in a location where folks can take advantage of many transit options.

As with any real estate purchase, the three most important things about building a stadium are: Location, Location, Location.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 9:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 500

Other schools in The Big Ten have had long periods of non-competitiveness, including Iowa and Wisconsin. But no team has had the length of non competitiveness Minnesota has had for nearly half a century. They regularly get beat by teams from the Dakotas manned largely by Minnesota kids. And of course when they get beat by the schools whose teams are manned by kids from the HS football hotbed states, they get beat even worse. Fans shouldn't be heading out to the Dinkytown bistros when the game is still in the 1st qtr.

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 9:24 PM by terry Highlight this comment 501

I dare say it's been about 60 years since the Gophers made any noise. Wasn't their last Rose Bowl appearance in 1962? It's too bad they already built the football stadium; now it's too late to drop football. Unless...

Why don't we give it to Zygi in exchange for the Vikings paying for the necessary upgrades. Then they have a new stadium in the cheap and the U can go ahead and drop their pathetic football program.

Posted on November 13, 2011 at 12:38 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 502

My math stinks tonight. Terry's right, and I'm wrong; it's fifty years. Still, the program's a dog.

Posted on November 13, 2011 at 12:40 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 503

what's another decade or so when you're having fun. But to be fair, they did finish in a 3-way tie for the Big Ten title in 1967 - only forty-four years ago!

Posted on November 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM by terry Highlight this comment 504

Well, Winona...not sure the NFL would go for it.
Sure, I know TCFBS is expandable to 80,000 (give or take?). But, the NFL doesn't want its games played on university campuses on a permanent basis. May have happened 40 years ago (i.e. Tulane Stadium, a couple SB's were at Sanford Stadium, I think Rice Stadium was in the mix somewhere, etc.), but the NFL is a different monster now. The league would never go for it.

Neither would the Vikings, they don't sell alcohol at TCFBS. Which is a definite must when watching the Vikings, especially this year.

Posted on November 13, 2011 at 11:52 AM by luke Highlight this comment 505

Huh, this is interesting.
Checking the webcam for the Sun Country Airplane Hangar...I saw something that...well, it's the coolest thing about the "ballpark" I've seen.
Take a look at the webcam, it would appear...the Hangar is going to have multi-colored seats. At least in some locations. That harkens back to a post WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY back called Color Dreams (there was another one where Rick discussed seat colors too, can't remember what the title was).

Posted on November 13, 2011 at 5:05 PM by luke Highlight this comment 506

Oh, boy... a TF concert. And a whole 5 days to get the field back in shape. Good luck.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 09:02 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 507

Sorry to all the country fans out there but what a terrible choice for a first concert. I'm not anti-country but the post Garth new country garbage that Chesney and McGraw perform is the worst kind of music. The only silver lining is it'll be hot in July and I'd have to assume the "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem" policy will be in play.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM by jp Highlight this comment 508

When Zygi Wilf made his comment about paying less for a downtown stadium than one in Arden Hills, I was upset and angry, believing such a statement would actually hinder progress towards a stadium regardless of the location. In the aftermath, unless I'm missing something, there appears to have been relatively little backlash. That could be due to the statement getting pushed in to the background by other news, by people not taking the statement at face value and viewing it as a bargaining ploy or just not wanting to deal with it until stadium talk really heats up at the legislature.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:08 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 509

What's going on now (sort of half-heartedly) is an effort to do some talking and keep this thing alive, first by Governor Dayton yesterday, then by House speaker Kurt Zellars today.

After reading the Zellars piece, I don't see much hope that anything is going to happen now. The delay may give the city of Minneapolis time to get its act together...

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:14 PM by Rick 510

I almost forgot about this little piece of bad news for the Vikings' hopes:

"The Minnesota Vikings have pledged at least $407 million toward a new football stadium, but calculations by state officials show that the team would bring roughly $225 million of its own money to the deal and possibly less."

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:23 PM by Rick 511

Here are some interesting pieces of information from the Zellars piece.

"He said there are as many liberal DFLers as conservative Republicans who will vote against any public help for a stadium. That could narrow the field of possible House votes from the 134 members closer to 100, he said. Sixty-eight is needed for passage."

This is shocking to me -- that there are as many as 100 reps who might actually vote for something. Without doing any research, I would have guessed about 40 or 50 actually available, with the remaining ones needing to be acquired in trade for something else they want.

"'Then you start finding ways politically,' he said. 'You start looking at people who can vote for a stadium, or who can vote for it this way but maybe not that way.'"

I bring this forward just as a civics lesson. Voting at the Legislature is never a simple thing. It bears almost no relation to what you and I do when we enter a voting booth.

Finally, here's a piece just for historical documentation of how the Twins thing actually got done:

"Republicans put up 37 votes for the bill; DFLers nearly matched them with 34. In the Senate, a coalition of 22 DFLers and 12 Republicans pushed the Twins stadium bill through."

bi·par·ti·san /bīˈpärtəzən/

Adjective: Of or involving the agreement or cooperation of two political parties that usually oppose each other's policies.

Wow, what a concept. And oh how the world has changed since May of 2006...

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:32 PM by Rick 512

Zellers needs to be a leader and take on this issue whether he may be for or against the stadium. So sick of hearing the "we have more important issues right now" or "this is not worthy of a special session and can be tackled during the regular session"...

The legislators don't do anything during the regular session either...it took them 5 months and they couldn't balance the budget, which was the #1 priority on the list...so the government shutdown on July 1 and they needed a special session to end the shutdown.

I don't care if they are for or against the stadium...it's time to face this issue one way or another and move forward. So tired of them pushing it to the side each year and not taking a stance on it.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 2:42 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 513

Mike,

Doing nothing is the equivalent of taking a stand.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 3:10 PM by Rick 514

What do you mean the legislators didn’t get anything done; they got the marriage amendment on the ballot next year.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 3:53 PM by trebor651 Highlight this comment 515

Well we see what the twins are thinkin now. Promoting concerts at Target Field is more important than signing free agents or putting A decent team on the field.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 4:18 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 516

The Vikings will be running out a couple of commercials for a new stadium during tonight's game. You can watch them right now here.

Borzi points out that AH is never mentioned at all. I'll add that the clip of digging on the FM site (or directly adjacent to it) which I showed earlier in this thread is still being used.

Those who want to read tea leaves might reasonably conclude that the Vikes are not quite as AH-frenzied as they portray themselves. But that requires you also to believe they have some sense of subtlety -- something I've never seen any indication of in this whole process.

It is a curious fact that there doesn't seem to be anywhere near the same amount of frenzy among the fans as there was for either the Twins or the Gophers. In fact, outside of a few passionate online boards, there seems to be hardly any excitement for a new Vikings stadium at all.

Could it be that everyone just assumes as a foregone conclusion that one will get built? (I do, even though I don't really care one way or the other.)

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 4:23 PM by Rick 517

Thank you, jp. I'm not anti-country either, but I'm not a huge fan of the most recent country garbage that's out there. I like the stuff from the good 'ol days of country: Waylan Jennings, Johnny Cash, you know what I'm talking about. When country music was fun to listen to.

I was sort of hoping for a reunion of the Metallica/Guns N Roses/Faith No More concert that swept by this town in 1992. Or maybe Pink Floyd. Or the Stones even. Not Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw...

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 5:10 PM by luke Highlight this comment 518

All due respect Rick for someone that doesn't care one way or another you sure do devote quite a bit of time posting about it and researching different bits and pieces about it.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 6:07 PM by moda Highlight this comment 519

"All due respect Rick for someone that doesn't care one way or another you sure do devote quite a bit of time posting about it and researching different bits and pieces about it."

Perhaps Rick simply enjoys the chess game that is the process.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 6:22 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 520

Screw the "Country Show"...Warm up is Grace Potter & the Nocturnals...They FKN Rock.....GREAT Band..

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 6:31 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 521

Then it would be an early, but expensive evening.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 9:08 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 522

moda,

It's newsworthy, so that makes it interesting, whether or not you're a Vikings rube. I'm not into showering with boys either, but I find the continuing saga of Penn State noteworthy...

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 9:38 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 523

Wow you don't think anyone really cares if the Vikings get a stadium? I guess you hang around different people than I do. Guess you go to different sites than I do.

Ask Corey Merrifeld if there is anyone who cares if the Vikings get a stadium or not?

Ask the lawmakers how many calls and e-mails they have received from people wanting a Vikings stadium?

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 10:42 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 524

The Star Tribune article about the Vikings using an NFL loan and PSL money to finance their share of a stadium should neither offend nor surprise anyone. They would likely pay a miniscule amount in cash from the team's or the Wilfs' coffers. Home owners ought to think about how little cash they put down in comparison to their mortgage. This is no different. Whether they pay the NFL or Wells Fargo, there will still be substantial interest payments. As for PSLs, the Vikes ought to tread carefully. Apart from the nominally priced, relatively speaking, Gopher Points system being implemented at the U of M for men's hoops and men's hockey, and already in place for football, this area has no real experience with PSLs. The Jets overpriced their PSLs at Met Life Stadium and ran into both bad PR and sales beneath expectations. Between the economy, culture, lack of PSL history, and lack of blackouts, this is not a prime PSL market at all.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:03 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 525

I want to add to the above that the segment the Vikings wouldn't pay with PSLs or an NFL loan would mostly be financed with the attendant principle and interest payments.

Also, after seeing Lester Bagley on KARE-11's news after the game, the Vikings need to consider not having him speak publicly again. He not only lacks charisma, he sucks it like a black hole from everyone and everything around him. This is not the guy you use to rally public support.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:08 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 526

They could get rid of Lester that might help there cause.

On that thought there was A two part series on channel 5 on what would happen to the dome if the vikings built somewhere else thats kinda interestin click for the link.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:27 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 527

I didn't say that no one cares, I just said that the frenzy level seems lower, and I stand behind that. Even the most casual baseball fan was jonesing for a new ballpark in the run-up to the legislation which resulted in one. The Vikings need to run ads to get people engaged.

The two situations are fundamentally different, and that's my point. The Vikings aren't in as bad a spot as the Twins were (nobody is talking about contracting them, though it would spare us all the pain of nights like tonight), and there is a general expectation that a stadium will get built in plenty of time (the only questions being where, when, and money).

And no offense to Merrifield but his posts are drawing an average of five comments each. That's not what I would call a "frenzy". (It's also not about anything he is or isn't doing.)

For what it's worth, the lack of frenzy also applies to the stadium opponents. There was a group forming to oppose the Ramsey sales tax, but they haven't been heard from since it became clear that the option didn't have a chance. Opponents of gambling expansion also seem somewhat muted.

I've read a series of opinion pieces in the past few weeks, but they all just roll out the old "how can you build a stadium when there are so many other problems" arguments which have never had an effect on these debates (and never will).

All in all, it's not a bad spot for the Vikings to be in. Inevitability. Suitors. Options. Momentum from the top of state government. Votes waiting to be secured. Lack of noisy opposition.

As I've said before, right now the only ones who can screw this up are the Vikings.

And yes, Jorge, Bagley is just about the worst face the Vikes could have in this process. Despite his title, he is effectively just a PR person with no decision-making authority -- and a pretty bad one at that. People who have dealt with the Vikings organization directly say that the Wilfs are the only decision-makers, and they tend not to show up for the nitty-gritty meetings where things actually get hammered out for deals like this. Their proxies are just note-takers, and opportunities for progress are routinely missed.

Not only is that a discouraging sign for the stadium progress, it also points to problems that could haunt the team throughout their operation.

As for my own interest, I will talk more about it in the coming days, but it comes down to caring about what goes on in the place where I live. Also, because I know that many stakeholders read what is written here, I've thought that maybe I could be of some help to the process (which I do support, though I wouldn't be crushed if nothing happened for a while). But clearly, if the Wilfs are reading, they are either not agreeing or not comprehending.

I wonder if Zygi has ever gone to lunch with Jerry Bell and talked stadiums...

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:58 PM by Rick 528

Tonight was the first time in a lOOOOOOOOOOOOOOng time that I actually sat down and watched a whole Vikes game. Is this what I've been missing?

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 12:20 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 529

Twins got a beautiful new ballpark, then had a terrible season.

Vikings are apparently trying the other order.

Yikes. This team is lousy.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 07:24 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 530

Houston Astros reportedly moving to AL West in 2013

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 10:08 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 531

Mike,

I have not been paying to close of attention, but would that mean that Interleague play would occur year round? With 15 teams in each league, one would only logically think that this would need to occur to have teams playing on an almost every day basis, unless each team would get a 3-4 day break at some point during the season.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 11:09 AM by tk Highlight this comment 532

Yes, it sounds like there will be about 30 Interleague games on each team's schedule which will be played throughout the entire season.

That means we will also be seeing a more balanced schedule, which is much needed.

I like the moves, in fact, I remember in the early days of Interleague, the Twins played at Wrigley Field on Labor Day weekend because we drove down to Chicago for it.

If I had my choice though, I would move KC Royals to the AL West and move the Milwaukee Brewers to the AL Central but that will never happen.

You also have long-term question marks for Tampa Bay and Oakland, meaning there could be more changes in the future.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 11:31 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 533

I don't know what to make of Jerry Bell. He certainly deserves credit for helping to ultimately make Target Field a reality. Yet I also think back to the late 1997 stadium proposal that included the very misleading Pohlad/Twins contribution that the team initially announced as if it was a gift, but was really a loan to be repaid to them with interest. Bell allowing that certain to be doomed proposal see the light of day without apparently trying to stop it reflects very poorly on him. It not only delayed the opening of a new Twins stadium by many years, it also contributed massively to the bitterness locals feel towards stadium construction with public money, a price currently being paid by the Vikings to a great extent. So although Jerry should be praised for the final result, he made a meal of things along the way.

That said, the Vikes ought to talk with him and try to learn from his and the Twins’ good and bad experiences. I’m sure talks have occurred, but the Vikings are in such a different position in so many ways that you have to wonder how much they’re taking to heart. The biggest difference is the Vikings have a legitimate place to go in Los Angeles. MLB expanded itself out of the relocation game unless you count DC, which came from way back in the pack to get the Expos. Los Angeles is viable for an NFL team and is arguably further along towards a stadium than Minnesota although not as far as some would have us believe. Unlike the Twins, the Vikings have somewhere to go although it likely wouldn’t be until at least 2013 due to several reasons on the LA end.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 11:43 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 534

The other difference between the Vikings' situation today and the Twins' situation in the '90's is that the Vikings as tenants will become a "free agent" when this season ends; the Twins still had a lease at that monstrosity on Chicago Avenue.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 11:49 AM by terry Highlight this comment 535

Jorge,

The story you are referring to (the contribution-turned-loan) is significantly more complicated than is generally known. But the error-maker wasn't Bell, it was Carl Pohlad. And the error wasn't in what was proposed, but in who was trusted. Basically, Pohlad got out-played for once.

"the Vikings have a legitimate place to go in Los Angeles"

Nope, they don't. That's part of the problem. All of the decision-makers now know that this is a total bluff, and a very weak one at that. Given that realization, all sense of urgency is gone.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 12:40 PM by Rick 536

Terry,

The Vikings lease situation is a little bit different, but not really all that much. The Twins played on year-to-year leases for quite a long time. The Vikings will certainly need somewhere to play next year (and at least the next four years), and their only option is the Metrodome.

They can stomp around all they want, but at the end of the day, if they want to play, they'll need to extend their lease -- unless, that is, you know of an empty stadium somewhere that could host their games starting next August (De La Salle High School has a nice new field).

Once again, their leverage is pretty thin. That's one of the reasons why giving ultimatums on Arden Hills is a very unwise move.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 12:48 PM by Rick 537

Rick I agree with you about the Vikings' lack of leverage right now. Not saying what the future might bring. Is there tailgating at the DeLaSalle field?

Quite frankly I had forgotten the Twins were on a year to year lease by the late '90's. I was thinking in terms of the original 30 year leases signed back when the dome was built. I think it is more palatable for voters and legislators to consider a replacement if the original building has remained in use for the full term of those leases. A replacement for the Twins was needed sooner because as we all know the dome never was a baseball park.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 1:22 PM by terry Highlight this comment 538

"The story you are referring to (the contribution-turned-loan) is significantly more complicated than is generally known. But the error-maker wasn't Bell, it was Carl Pohlad. And the error wasn't in what was proposed, but in who was trusted."

I suspect most here are not aware of, or choose to forget, how slimy Carl Pohlad really was.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 1:30 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 539

Rick, I'll grant you that Carl Pohlad drove the 1997 proposal with the loan masquerading as a gift. My beef with Jerry Bell is that he was among the very few people who had enough of Carl's ear to say "don't do this, it won't work and will only make things much more difficult" and have a reasonble chance of his words being taken into legitimate consideration. If he said something like that and was ignored, then fair enough. I owe Bell some credit if that was the case. However, all indications are Jerry kept his mouth shut and went along for the ride despite what ought to have been a flashing "Danger" sign on the cover of that proposal, resulting in the fiasco that occurred and the damage it caused. If that's what happened, and I have no reason to believe otherwise based on existing evidence, I'll knock him for it every time.

Regarding Los Angeles, I think we may be on the same wave length, at least partially. Los Angeles is a bluff in the sense that the area very likely won't have the Vikings or any other team in 2012. So I agree, the Vikings will almost certainly be in the Dome in the fall of 2012 and that reduces some of the urgency or the need to risk a deal one or both parties may later regret.

However, Farmers Field has progressed enough thus far that it seems likely to happen. In a best case scenario out West, if some hurdles can be cleared in 2012, namely a pending environmental impact study, an NFL team, probably either the Vikings or Chargers, could parked at the Rose Bowl as soon as 2013 while the turning of ground began downtown. I realize there are plenty of open ends out there, but LA has a firm site, funding minus any up front public dollars, reasonable political support, and, in AEG, a proven entity when it comes to getting stuff done. Questions about AEG’s requirement of a cut of the team at below market rate are up in the air, but I’ll stand by my earlier statement that more has happened out there than here to date and it should be perceived as a real threat in Minnesota. Just to add, I don’t see the City of Industry site getting any takers for several reasons.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 1:40 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 540

Sooner or later LA is going to get an NFL team or two, and there will be no bluff.

The bluff worked for many years in the past for cities such as Tampa, Phoenix, Indianapolis and Seattle, but LA is closer than ever on actually building a new stadium and there are also several teams with leases about to run out or options to exit out of their lease...San Diego, Minnesota and St. Louis all have leases expiring soon. Buffalo and Jacksonville are also big question marks. I can see Buffalo moving to Toronto and Jacksonville is currently for sale, or at least Wayne Weaver has been entertaining offers for his franchise. Oakland is another big question mark now that Al Davis is no longer running the show.

The Vikings are free after 2011, the St. Louis Rams have an opt-out in their lease after 2012 and the San Diego Chargers are free after 2013.

It's one thing to push for a new stadium while you are still locked into a long-term lease, but its another whole issue if you are essentially a "free agent franchise" with nothing stopping you from pursuing a better stadium deal in a different market. I also would not rule out Toronto, although Buffalo would be the best candidate for that market once Ralph Wilson moves on.

If you don't think LA is bluff, just ask fans in Houston, Baltimore St. Louis and Cleveland...if there is a better stadium deal on the table in a different market, than there would be no reason to stay in the current market.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 2:44 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 541

And just as the Vikings are running all those television commercials talking about their 50 year history in Minnesota, they'd pull up stakes and scurry to another city like a rat through a maze looking for more peanut butter.

This is what professional sports has become in our country.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 3:00 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 542

The Vikes have a lease that's about to expire.

The Chargers' lease runs into 2020, but they can get out before each new season by paying a $26,000,000 penalty.

The Raiders' lease expires after 2013.

The Bills' lease expires in both Buffalo and Toronto after 2012. They can leave Buffalo after this year for a $2,000,000 penalty fee. As long as Ralph Wilson is alive, they're not moving. Currently they're working on a 10 year lease extension with $100,000,000 of renovations. If Wilson dies and nothing's in ink, all bets are off. He and his family have never lived in Buffalo and his heirs aren't keeping the team. His succession plan, if one exists, is unknown. They're not going to Toronto without a new stadium. Rogers Centre is too small and its sightlines are too poor to make it as a long term, full time NFL stadium.

- The Rams can exit their lease in 2014 if its not in the top 1/4 of NFL stadiums for revenue, a criteria that's not possible to meet. They might stay with a reworked lease. The owner is a Missouri native, so moving the team isn't as easy as it seems.

- The 49ers' lease expires after 2014, but they have approval for a new stadium in nearby Santa Clara. The problem is financing. There's a big gap to fill. Groundbreaking is hoped for this spring.

- The Jaguars are not and never have been a candidate to move. Their lease runs through 2029 and is only breakable in two ways. They can go after three years of net financial losses that have been substantiated by independent auditors (losing money at all, let alone that long, in the NFL is virtually impossible). They can also go if stadium upkeep isn't met to requirements, something that is not an apparent ongoing issue and would also have to be legally proven. Departure via either route requires the team to repay the bonds on the stadium's construction, a big bill. The lease can't be bought out. The whole "Jags should move" thing started in 2009 after they had 7 of 8 homegames blacked out and nearly a third of all NFL blackouts that season, but it was not and never has been a realistic possibility.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 3:07 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 543

I think you have to acknowledge that leases for professional sporting venues are fundamentally different from, say, the rental agreement you signed with your landlord. For one thing, no security deposit.

For another, the mutual interests of all parties trump everything, including all the dates and clauses in those contracts. Wilf will not go to LA because it is not in his best interest -- not by a long shot.

Meanwhile, the MSFC will probably not try to hold the Vikes to the automatic lease extension (which clearly has been invoked by the roof collapse) because it wouldn't be in their best interest.

It comes down to Zygi needing a place to play and the MSFC needing a tenant for a very expensive building. You may kiss the bride.

You can argue that the Vikings might move to LA, but to do so, you have to get through all of the things which would have to happen. Those start with approval and construction of a very speculative stadium (not many places are willing to build stadiums anymore with the mere potential for a tenant somewhere down the road; that has happened many times in the past, but we don't live in that past), and continues all the way through giving up an ownership stake. Along the way there are NFL issues, governmental issues, existing lease issues, pissing off one fan base, and very substantial issues about market potential (the past failures of NFL teams in LA are well-documented).

If I were advising the Vikings, I'd tell them to forget about blackmail and start, as Zellars almost said, "threading the f**king needle already."

(By the way, were they to take Jerry Bell to lunch, he would tell them the same exact thing.)

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 3:29 PM by Rick 544

Click my name for a Tailgater love link. I bet the Wilfs would love if he was wearing a purple jersey...

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 4:42 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 545

I don't think any team would go to LA without knowing a stadium was happening, which why no team is going there in 2012. Nothing is certain yet. I also don't think AEG would break ground without knowing they have a team in the bag. That said, I also think full approval with hurdles clear for construction will create a marriage of LA and a team, which may or may not be the Vikes.

LA and the NFL have a strange history of bad luck and bad miscalculations. I started writing a much longer post and stopped due to it just being too much. Maybe another day or in pieces over several days, it’ll be posted. To sum it up, the NFL never intended LA to be dark. A series of errors, bad luck, and political infighting brought LA and the NFL to the status quo. The root of the problem was stadium related.

The Rams problems with the Coliseum led them to Anaheim. They found themselves with unwanted and unexpected neighbors in the Raiders who cannibalized the fan base. The Rams also were given unfulfilled promises of development rights on the Anaheim Stadium parking lot, something that’s wrongly forgotten when their 1995 move is recounted. The Raiders also found themselves in a bad situation at the Coliseum with numerous unfulfilled promises of renovation, but their 1995 return to Oakland shocked the NFL. The Rams departure was supposed to leave the city in Raider hands, but then the city unexpectedly wound up minus the NFL.

The 2002 expansion team that became the Texans was originally awarded to Los Angeles with the plan that one of two competing groups would get the team. Once again, the stadium situation got bogged down. The significant factor was the city government’s now terminated obsession with getting the NFL back to a revamped Coliseum. One of the two groups pushed a stadium on the parking lot of Hollywood Park, the horse track. The other was tied to a Dodger Stadium parking lot proposal, an idea that’s regained some momentum lately. The then mayor wanted to get some steam behind Staples Center, so he switched favor from Chavez Ravine to the Coliseum, while denigrating Hollywood Park, in order to curry favor with politicians tied to that facility and its surrounding neighborhoods. The NFL didn’t want the Coliseum and Houston seized the day and the team.

With the Coliseum retired as an NFL possibility and its operations likely to be handed over to USC in the near future, there’s reasonable political consensus within LA politics on a site downtown.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 546

In addition to the Gopher sports, our area now has a couple years experience with PSLs in Target Field, i.e., the Legends Club.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 6:54 PM by robin Highlight this comment 547

Well, the concept exists in principle for TCFBS. It's a donation to the athletic department of the University.

Posted on November 15, 2011 at 10:20 PM by luke Highlight this comment 548

Anybody up for a surprisingly long Q&A with Lester Bagley? (It's by Karla Hult of KARE11.)

He hits all the basics, but I can't shake the feeling that the whole thing would be easier to sell if the Vikes could put a different face on it.

Some generally interesting facts:

- The Vikings have 52K STHs

- 40% of those live outside the metro area

- They get a 69 share for TV ratings (69% of TVs in use in the region are tuned to the games)

- They believe they've been working on a new stadium for 10 years (Zygi is in his 7th year of ownership)

- They base the public/private ratio for stadium funding (70/30) on market size (i.e. teams in larger markets can afford to privately finance a larger percentage)

- By that calculation, they claim to be offering more (60/40) than they should really have to

- Naming rights deals in Dallas and LA yielded $700M each

- The average NFL stadium is 60% larger than the Metrodome (I can't verify this)

Some info dropped about AH specifically:

- Of the 430 acres in AH, 260 would be owned by the state, and the rest would be owned (and paid for) by Zygi

- If they don't develop that land, it can be sold back to the county after eight years for exactly what they paid

- They would build 20K surface parking spaces

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 2:07 PM by Rick 549

Here are some low-quality images captured from KSTP's report last night on the meeting of the 2020 Partners group discussion of Minneapolis stadium sites.





Here's a quote from the story. Take from it what you will:

...the Vikings, who want to build a stadium in Arden Hills, did not show up to listen to the Minneapolis plans.

The Vikings say they were not invited.

Business leaders say they were.

(Here's what I take from it: If you want to look like you're acting in good faith, you want to be at things like this.)

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 2:52 PM by Rick 550

I know those renderings are as meaningless as the faux Lucas Oil ones a week ago, but that's a building I can get excited about. My hope is one of the concessions that get's this thing built is abandoning the desire for a retractable roof. It's a gargantuan waste of money, and hinders the creative process when they actually design this thing.

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 3:16 PM by jp Highlight this comment 551

- One interesting aspect about the naming rights fee for Farmers Field in Los Angeles is the money goes to the developer, AEG. The tenant will see little, if any, of that $700,000,000.

- When Bagley says the average NFL stadium is 60% bigger, he must be talking about square footage or some sort of measurement. He can't mean seating capacity. If we assume the figure is based on measurement, then measurement of what? Is it the overall footprint? Is it useable space? Is it public space? Are outside areas such as parking lots and fan plazas counted? For instance, Patriot Place is near to, but not directly connected to Gillette Stadium. For the purposes of this comparison, is it counted?

- Regarding the ten years claim, Lester Bagley is correct. The Wilf family and its partners have owned the team for only around seven years. However, the Vikings as a club started campaigning for a stadium years before that. Red McCombs and Lester Bagley met with Jesse Ventura in January of 2001. Jesse was no fan of public stadium support and times were tough on the Twins front back then. Then senate majority leader Tim Pawlenty pretty much shot down the entire notion of a Vikings stadium happening at the 2001 session. To show how times have changed, Red McCombs offered $100,000,000 of his own money for the project, which was thought to have a $500,000,000 price tag. The Vikes may not have accomplished much over the past ten years, but they've been hovering around, trying to get something done.

By the way, after more than a decade at working for a Vikings stadium, accomplishing little, and apparently not understanding fundamental Minnesota politics, how does Bagley still have his job?

- Given the proposed capacity, the impracticality of parking off site and walking in, and the state of mass transit, I think 20,000 parking spaces are too low for Arden Hills. Given the massive size of the proposed location, it would be easy to add another 10,000 to 15,000 spaces and have ample land left over for whatever development would occur.

- I agree that the Vikes ought to have shown up for the Minneapolis presentation regardless of how or when they were invited. The Vikes are clueless when it comes to PR. Let’s add that the city of Minneapolis government is clueless enough in its general operation that it’s no stretch to believe they goofed up the invitation. Either way, the Vikings needed to be there and at least pretend to listen seriously.

It seems to me as if the Vikings are so committed to Arden Hills that they fear even slightly giving Minneapolis the time of day will ruin their suburban dream and condemn them to downtown. Fair play to the team for having a first option and a reason for it being their first option. Whatever one thinks of the AH site, at least the Vikings can say they want to develop the land and give their fans a major tailgating experience. However, the Vikings fail to realize that the team's first choice might not be the public's first choice. No matter how much more money the team is contributing in comparison to other teams, the presence of public dollars and those dollars constituting the majority of the expenditure mean the Vikings have to accept that the team might not get its top choice and will need to keep options open. If the Vikes have truly decided, they want Arden Hills or nothing and are gun to the head committed to that philosophy to the point of packing up the trucks and heading to LA otherwise, then fine. If not, they need to start playing the game and knowing how to make some friends. Regardless of the location, to get a stadium done, they’ll need some.

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 3:50 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 552

Since we are talking about the overall gameday experience of a football game I will share with you all that I am going to South Bend this weekend to watch the BC vs. ND game. I last went to a game there in 1991. The atmosphere there for a game is about as good as you can get. Although Arrowhead was pretty awesome too. I still hope the Vikings decide to built the new stadium with a large retractable roof. The reason I would like to see that happen is simple- the experience of any sport played indoors sucks. And it always will to me.

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 5:58 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 553

The reason the Vikings didn't show up because it would look very bad to be pushing for Arden Hills, then going to listen to another sales pitch by Minneapolis.

They did that with Blaine. They had a plan, then they went and listened to Minneapolis. Fool me once...

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 6:35 PM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 554

Query: the last photo in the set that Rick posted from the KSTP report, the structure which "AECOM" floats over, is that supposed to be the Intermodal Transit entrance to TF, thus noting the stadium's close proximity to TF?

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 6:44 PM by luke Highlight this comment 555

Oh, and going back to TF's first concert for a minute: country fan or not, at least Chesney/McGraw was a better booking than say...Justin Beiber or Justin Timbergay.

I'd hate for TF's first concert to be a three hour gathering place for whiny, screaming pre-teens you know what I mean?

Isn't that interesting: two of music's most dull acts today...are both named Justin. Fancy that.

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 6:48 PM by luke Highlight this comment 556

Even basketball or gymnastics?

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 7:04 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 557

^^ wait I thought we were talking about sports?

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 10:18 AM by moda Highlight this comment 558

It's all but official Houston to the AL in 2013, extra wild card in each league possibly as early as 2012, and an extra 12 interleague games (30 total) played throughout the season.

Outside of the extra interleague games I like the changes. It should balance the schedule, and penalize teams that don't win the division. For all the "baseball is turning into hockey and basketball" talk I'd like to point out that baseball will still have the lowest percentage of teams that make the playoffs (NBA + NHL 53%, NFL 37.5%, MLB 33 %).

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 1:32 PM by jp Highlight this comment 559

Astros to AL just seems kind of dumb to me. (I've written about this before.)

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 1:49 PM by Rick 560

I would have moved Milwaukee to the AL Central and Kansas City to the AL West but that is just my opinion. The Milwaukee Brewers are a former AL franchise and they were also the last one into the NL Central meaning they should be the first one out. Good geographic rivals with the Twins and White Sox as well.

I do like the 15-team balance in each league and I will enjoy the extra Interleague games, as long as it gets us a more balanced schedule overall.

Will be interesting what kind of schedule format they come up with in 2013.

Now there will be no National League presence whatsoever in the south-central US.

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 561

Why move KC to the AL West? Wouldn't that create the same TV revenue problem that Crane is worried about with the Astros? Crane is worried that TV revenue is going to be lost because his divisional road games are all going to start late in Houston. The same problem we have here in the Twin Towns when our pro teams play out West.

Those 9pm TV starts around here are never fun.

Couldn't MLB have bribed Arizona to move to the AL West? Jesus, Arizona is closer (and on the same time zone) to the AL West teams than Houston is. Of course, do remember who's behind the whole thing: Bud Selig. And as we all know, Selig...has made some poor decisions over the years:

-Expansion teams in lousy Florida cities.
-A 7-7 tie in an All Star Game (in HIS hometown of all places.
-There was that whole contraction debacle.
-Then this stupid idea to "reward" the league that wins said All Star Game with home-field advantage for the WS...which REALLY sucks.
-Bribing new owner of the Astros to move to a different league, only so MLB can add an extra round to the playoffs, which means more TV revenue.

I thought bribery was...somewhat of an illegal practice in this country? If not illegal, then at the very least, unethical. Or is it insider trading?? I forget. ONE of those things is illegal in this country. Can't remember which one.

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM by luke Highlight this comment 562

At least Minnesota won't be the worst team in the league anymore.

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 5:40 PM by bulldog Highlight this comment 563

lol Bulldog. Very true.

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 6:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 564

I'm pretty sure the Astros were picked to go to the AL out of convenience. By picking a team with a pending owner they were able to strong arm the new ownership into agreeing to the switch in order approve the sale.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 12:02 AM by jp Highlight this comment 565

Mr. Butera, meet Mr. Bench. Mr. Doumit will be handling your duties from now on.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 2:25 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 566

"Mr. Doumit will be handling your duties from now on"

Actually, no. If Butera's role is as a defensive replacement (and it should be), that is a "duty" Doumit is unable to fulfil. The good thing about this deal (at least if you think like Gardy) is that it allows the team to carry three catchers. Ryan is on a versitility tear.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 2:34 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 567

Unfortunately, it does sound like Butera will still be around. Ah, for the good ol' days when Mario Mendoza set the standard by which bad hitters were measured...

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 2:46 PM by Rick 568

Ahh the Mendoza line ... what would we have given most nights this past season to have had a catcher in the lineup who was batting .200?

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 3:38 PM by terry Highlight this comment 569

Only 142 days until Doumit and Carroll? I need to go beg my Twins ticket sales rep for my full season tickets back.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 4:18 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 570

Hmm, the Twins did wait to make the GM change until after STH renewal payments were due. Now, I'm not a conspiracy nut, but...

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM by Rick 571

BREAKING NEWS - BREAKING NEWS:

Ya'll remember the embarrassing TV moment a couple years ago when some chick decided to cry over Sanjay being booted off American Idol.

SHE HAS MADE A STUNNING COMEBACK!

Clicky to see what she's crying about now. You WON'T BELIEVE IT. You'll laugh your asses off.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 5:34 PM by luke Highlight this comment 572

"Mr. Butera, meet Mr. Bench. Mr. Doumit will be handling your duties from now on."

Johnny Bench is coming out of retirement to catch for the Twins?!

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 573

We have stadium news!!!

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins plan to add another bronze statue of a former player outside Target Field next year.

Twins spokesman Kevin Smith says the player has yet to be publicly identified. He would join statues of Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and the late Twins owner Carl Pohlad and his wife Eloise.

Smith says the Twins hope to unveil the new statue at the April 9 home opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 10:20 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 574

Everyone that has a gate, also have a statue except for one guy. think it will be Herbie or Bert?

I would think Herbie and there is plenty of room by his gate.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 10:22 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 575

Doumit will almost certainly not end the Butera era of Twins baseball but it should keep him from surpassing 200 abs. In my perfect world Mauer will catch about a 100 games, Doumit can handle the 30 or so day game after night games, and Butera can handle Pavano's 32 starts.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 11:29 PM by jp Highlight this comment 576

I still have not renewed my tickets for 2012 and got another letter in the mail this week (certified mail) as my final notice. I also got a call from the Twins urging me to renew.

The final deadline is 5pm on Monday, November 28, at that point, my seats would be released if no payment is received from me.

I am going to renew, but am downgrading from 40 games to 20 games.

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 11:32 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 577

STH have the chance to enter a drawing to have "sit down breakfast" with Rod Carew at Target Field. Sounds like a fun experience, but on a Monday? Really? You cannot plan for a weekend?

Also, I find it funny how it is open to legal residents of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. I'm sure someone from Forks is going to drive down for breakfast on a Monday morning...

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 11:58 PM by tk Highlight this comment 578

I really really like the signing of Carrol and Doumit. Carrol is very good defensively, something that really hurt the Twins last year. Yes he is 37 and doesn't hit much, but errors killed the Twins last year.

I love the Doumit signing because it gives the Twins some security at catcher and first base if Mauer and Morneau continue to have problems, and he can also hit!

I think getting Terry Ryan back was the best thing that could have happened to the Twins at this point. He has an eye for value talent, something the Twins have lacked since Bill Smith took over.

They need to work on the pitching staff now.

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 07:34 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 579

KSTP's website has a story about the amount of taxes realized by state and local government this year as a result of Target Field. These figures represented direct taxes from ticket sales and actual ballpark activity. They did not include the revenue that came in from added business in the area surrounding the ballpark. I would think this kind of information would help the Vikings. There are still people out there, however, who are more than willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 09:47 AM by terry Highlight this comment 580

They don't mind spending state or county money on public parks for the enjoyment of those who use them, but bristle at the notion that someone already well off might profit from public investment. But if the public is better off for the investment, does it really matter if it's helped out a fat cat?

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 581

Am I the only one who thinks this team is getting worse? These signings reak of what we spoke of last season...strangulation from the Mauer contract.

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 1:14 PM by twinswschamps2055 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 582

From the Strib, new additions at Target Field next year...

"...they plan to spend more than $1.3 million in the off-season to spruce up Target Field with more photos and displays, new carpet and flooring, an improved wi-fi network and a revamped ballpark menu.

They didn't reveal which new foods they're considering, nor the mystery Twin whose bronze figure will be unveiled sometime next season at Target Field (although if you look at Twins with retired numbers and the statues already in place, it sure looks like Kent Hrbek, the pride of Bloomington, might be on deck).

Another new feature down the road: permanent bollards -- the short immovable posts you typically see around courthouses and federal buildings -- to stop unauthorized vehicles from ramming the ballpark. Target Field now uses temporary structures."

Is this what Jim Pohlad had in mind, when he stated sometime back about the secret idea for Target Field next year?

Target Field, as beautiful as it is, will continue to be enhanced, Twins owner Jim Pohlad said.

"Last year was (generation) G1, this year is G2 and next year will be G3," Pohlad said.

Pohlad said he's excited about an idea he has to further enhance the ballpark in 2012 but wants to keep it a secret and hasn't even revealed it to team management yet. He said he first wants to make sure it would be approved.

Pohlad, who can see Target Field from his Minneapolis office and regularly walks to the ballpark from there, loves the current ballpark.

"To me, it's just unbelievable," he said. "It's like being at Disneyland for me as an adult."

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 7:48 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 583

Why does a ballpark, entering its third year, need new carpeting and flooring?

It's not like the existing carpet has innumerable stains and a lingering smell from champagne or anything.

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 9:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 584

What bothers me most is that the twins are getting free agents from other places but do not seem to have any interest in the free agent twins we already have on the team.

Maybe the twins are getting us prepared for life without Cuddyer or Kubel and others by brining in other people they think we can get excited about. But you can only have so many on A roster if you keep three catchers or short stops which I doubt they will you would have to be short somewhere else. Wonder where that will be.

Its dissappointing since getting the new stadium was going to change the Twins old ways of doing things. Maybe these players will work out but I cant stop thinking of the past where the Twins got players on the cheap thinking they still had something in the tank. Is it a good idea to think in the short term or long term the current situation has got me wondering.

Posted on November 20, 2011 at 12:46 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 585

It's called market value and the Twins cannot and should not pay Michael Cuddyer the money that Philadelphia and/or Boston may offer him. The Twins offered Cuddyer a 2-year $16M deal (or something like that) in July and he said no.

The Twins had the 9th largest payroll in all of baseball last year so they are not being "cheap" by any means in relation to payroll.

The problem is they are/were paying guys like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan way too much money and were not getting the production results on the field due to the injuries.

Same with Joe Nathan, the Twins were smart not to pick up the $12M option on him for 2012. Perhaps they could try to sign him to a 2-year deal with a 3rd year option for say, $15M, but he will more than likely get offered much more than that on the open market.

I am not defending the Twins' front office by any means, but they are not being "cheap" either as they did have one of the top 10 highest payrolls in all of MLB last year. Terry Ryan will be the first one to tell you that payroll alone does not result in more wins.

I know we all like Cuddyer, Kubel and Nathan but the Twins need to get younger and start "rebuilding" as they say because they are not going to be getting much better anytime soon, and it will be even more challenging in 2013, when MLB returns to a more balanced schedule.

Posted on November 20, 2011 at 11:49 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 586

Do you suppose the Twins should just clean house and sign a team like the one described on the video (clicky).

Posted on November 20, 2011 at 6:43 PM by luke Highlight this comment 587

Mike is spot on. The Doumit signing is especially nice b/c it's likely he'll replace Cuddyer's production at the plate at about 1/10th of the guaranteed money. By focusing on replacing their free agents with cheaper alternatives they should have something left over to address the pitching staff.

Posted on November 20, 2011 at 10:28 PM by jp Highlight this comment 588

I'm in the "don't go overboard trying to resign Kubel or Cuddyer" camp. Offer them arb, get the drafts picks, and sign guys like Doumit to take their spots. I think they'll go after another free agent OF if they don't resign Cuddy or Kubel, as Doumit's value lies in his flexibility. They could go after a guy like Dejesus, who'll be cheap coming off a down year but is a good glove/OBP type. Or a DH/OF like Ordonez.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 10:02 AM by BR Highlight this comment 589

2012 Guaranteed "Giveaway" (click name for link)

This year's collection is just $55 per order and will feature approximately eight items such as Twins caps, a beach towel, kid's jersey and a golf club cover.

*The 2012 giveaway schedule is not yet finalized and is subject to change. Guaranteed "Giveaway" collection will not include Bobbleheads, figurines or breakable items.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 12:29 PM by tk Highlight this comment 590

Don't understand the fascination with bobble heads and if they aren't included in the giveaways then people feel like they've been ripped off. If I want to be surprised by a bobbing head, I'll go put on my Garanimals and volunteer at The Second Mile.

What...too soon?

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 1:29 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 591

A "popular benefit" (benefit?) "back by popular demand".

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 1:29 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 592

TTH:
My 12 yo likes bobbleheads. He has a whole shelf full of them. Why? I don't know. But Americans love collecting crap. Bobbleheads are more fun than Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch dolls or Precious Moments figurines. (And I sort of liked the Minnie and Paul bobble giveaway, even if 78% of them were broken, and the Hrbek/Gant one. They were somewhat more unique/clever.)

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 3:23 PM by BR Highlight this comment 593

Let's hope the Twins and the other pro team down on Chicago Avenue have some good quality scouting going on. Both teams will draft high and hopefully there will be no Troy Williamsons or Willie Banks on their radar.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 3:44 PM by terry Highlight this comment 594

The 2012 Spring Training schedule was released today. Something to look forward to in the dog days of winter. Boston opens a new $80M park near the Fort Myers airport and games start at 1:35pm. I found that interesting as almost all ST day games (FL and AZ) start at 1pm local time. If you make the trip be sure to check out the new JetBlue Park. I'm sure it will be exquisite. I was in Phoenix for a few days in October and had a chance to see some of their ST complexs. Never seen a more gorgeous facility than the one the Rockies & Diamondbacks share at Salt River at Talking Stick in Scottsdale.

Another thing that I saw recently that I don't believe has been reported in the MSP media is that Bert Blyleven will be cutting his schedule back to 100 games in 2012. He cited the desire to spend more time with his grandchildren & family. I do wonder if he is slowly phasing himself out of the booth ala John Gordon.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM by Max Highlight this comment 595

Sounds like the Astros sale went without a hitch. The AL gets a new toy to play with come 2013.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM by luke Highlight this comment 596

Wouldn't say "fascinated," but always appreciated the bobble heads. High quality, reasonable likenesses of their subjects (except Mauer's), and of the giveaway items, the most likely to retain any sort of value. Used to get at least 4 with the guaranteed giveaway, now none. I'm not ready to jump off the High Bridge as a result of this, but the cheapskate-ness in the context of their new playpen is frustrating.

Not sure if it was ever produced, but just think how much that Sandusky bobble-head will be worth.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 6:01 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 597

Not so sure that getting lucky in the draft would even put a dent in improving either teams' fortunes. Change will have to be long-term, unless wallets open and several trades and FA signings happen. (And by FA signings, I don't mean Jamey Carroll-caliber players.)

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 598

Nathan to Texas....

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 9:18 PM by TK Highlight this comment 599

This team doesn't get out of the cellar unless Baby Jesus starts playing like a $14 million player, let alone a $23.5 million player. I told this team to start chasing Latino players, and they chase more aging white guys. "Clubhouse leader" and "brings veteran leadership to the team" are catch-phrases for useless white guys.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 9:52 PM by twinswschamps2046 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 600

Dont forget the twins are chasing more players from Japan as well. I think they are looking at 3 pitchers at the very least.

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 11:51 PM by Leroy Highlight this comment 601

You just KNOW that Nathan could've provided the Rangers that elusive third strike...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

So long, twitchy.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 07:58 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 602

I recall Joe C. or LaVelle mentioning something about Bert reducing his number of games for 2012.

This does not surprise me whatsoever...Now that he is in the HOF and his number has been retired by the Twins, he probably thinks he is now too good for Twins territory.

Let's just hope people don't bring those "Circle Me Bert" signs to those games he is not working...it would save themselves the hassle and it would also make the surrounding fans happier by not having a sign blocking their views throughout the game.

As for Joe Nathan, it amazes me so many Twins fans are unhappy that the Twins did not re-sign him. And why do so many Twins fans continue to think they are being cheap with payroll??? As I have said before, the Twins had the 9th highest payroll on Opening Day 2011...far from cheap. And for those wanting to re-sign Nathan, Cuddyer, Capps and/or Kubel...how are those players going to benefit the long-term success of the Twins? This team lost 99 games last year so we need face the reality that the Twins need to re-build and replenish the minor league system with talent.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 08:41 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 603

To me, Nathan has been one of the more consistent closers of the game, even with the way he goes about closing some games.

He had a down year after TJ, who doesn't? And I think the Twins were just not wanting to take a risk on his injury/age. I guess we will just have to wait and see how he fares on whether it was a smart move or not. Right now, I would say it is a okay move, but his performance will speak volumes one way or another, and the Twins went the safe route on this movement of money.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM by tk Highlight this comment 604

Nathan has had a nice career here, but a 99 loss team can't afford to spend a third of their available payroll on a closer. It'll be interesting to see how this affects the Rangers. This will be the third year in a row they'll be taking a late inning bullpen arm (C.J Wilson in 10, and Alexi Ogando last year, Neftali Feliz this year) and converting him to the rotation.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 11:16 AM by jp Highlight this comment 605

It is usually never fun to watch a fan favorite leave the Twins, but JP is correct. This team is in rebuilding mode and with the contract Nathan got from Texas (2 years approx. 14 million), the Twins couldn't afford to spend that kind of money on a closer. Especially when in 80+ games a closer didn't factor in the game. I think Perkins could fill the spot nicely for the time being.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM by PNB19 Highlight this comment 606

I hadn't thought about the positive side effect of the end of the "Circle Me Bert" era. Hopefully the confusion of when he's working a game vs. when he isn't will be enough to bring it to an end.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 607

If this team were truly and solely in rebuilding mode, then it was stupid to sign Carroll to a 2-year deal and the 30 yo Doumit for $3M. Save the cash, put it into the draft and international FAs, and trade established expensive veterans for youth and emerging mLers.

I don't think that THEY think they are simply in rebuilding mode. They could have gone 2-years at this money for Nathan ($4M LESS than what they paid him last year) and it wouldn't have hurt them in the least. They would still need to find and coudl afford another good bullpen arm or two; Nathan would at worst have been veteran insurance for the late innings.

Blow it up or reload, but don't go halfway in between. That's the recipe that teams like the Orioles follow year after year.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM by BR Highlight this comment 608

To secure Nathan, the Twins would have had to pay more than what Texas offered. That would have been crazy. (This is an old story.)

The same goes for Cuddyer, Kubel, and even, to a lesser extent, Capps. There is some very sound reasoning behind the decisions we've seen recently, as Aaron Gleeman points out.

If decision-making like this continues (which I hope), next year's Twins won't be very sexy, and they won't win 100 games, but at least they won't cripple the team for any longer than is absolutely necessary.

Right now, that's all we have a right to hope for.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM by Rick 609

There's been a lot of junk out there over the past couple of weeks about the Vikings stadium, but here are a couple of good ones:

First, it's Arne Carlson as the voice of reason. He acknowledges that, among other things, the issue is likely off the table for 2012, new (non-gambling) revenues will probably be required, a more powerful MSFC is needed, and the Vikes shouldn't be allowed to play shell games with their contribution.

Second, for the first time I can ever remember, I actually agree with Phil Krinkie: holding stadium hearings now is, in a word, stupid. It's political theater, plain and simple. It certainly will not help, and likely will hurt, the stadium's chances now, though everybody's profile will be raised a little bit (especially that of a certain Senator from Chaska who may be among the most self-interested members of the Minnesota Legislature).

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM by Rick 610

Nathan called into one of the sports radio channels (not sure if it was KFAN or 1500) and said he turned down more money to go to Texas. Not sure how many other teams were in the mix, but it felt kind of implied that the Twins were the ones who offered more money.

Of course if he wants to win then going to Texas is a no brainer, either way.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 3:08 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 611

And I just read the article in the pioneer press about it. So apparently he had 8 offers, some were for more than what Texas offered. Twins were pretty close to what Texas offered money-wise and a two year deal.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 612

Let's see --- winning team with strong, vibrant, baseball minded front office and intelligent, focused field management - or loser with stubborn, narrow minded morons running the show backed up by a front office full of blow-hard marketing pukes. Decisions, decisions.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 4:58 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 613

BR you sign stopgap guys like Carrol and Doumit so you can protect your young players by not rushing them to the big leagues when they're not ready. With the new changes to the CBA the twins are looking at 4 extra draft picks for losing Capps, Kubel and Cuddyer so the thought that they're not investing in a youth movement is wrong on several levels.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 4:59 PM by jp Highlight this comment 614

LMFWHAO - homepage of Pioneer Press- "Sansevere: Ex-Twins pitcher Nathan chooses penthouse over outhouse."

That is one of the best fuc*ing headlines ever.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 5:28 PM by luke Highlight this comment 615

I'm loving the new CBA when it comes to Capps, figured we'd lose out on that because there's no way the Twins would have offered him arbitration before. He's nowhere near worth +8 million.

It makes me sick that they are considering bringing him back though. Hopefully it's just all talk.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 7:00 PM by AJ Highlight this comment 616

JP:
I understand the free agent system, and the changes. (BTW: Looks like Kubel will net them nothing.) The Twins have no need to protect Nishioka or Casilla (not to mention the Hughes types). Sink or swim time for those guys, and fixed costs regardless. Punto was signed for $750,000 last year and if all they wanted was a stopgap, they could have found someone similar this season. Instead, they gave two-year deal to a 37 yo player. That's simply not something you do if you are rebuilding, unless you're profligate or stupid. I think the Twins are neither, and instead are trying to paste together a contender.

Rick:
I happen to disagree with AG's take on Nathan. Simply put, he was a known quantity at a highly speculative position. Reasonable minds can disagree, but his price was reasonable. Compare what Boston gave Jenks to be a set-up/bridge guy.

Jon Daniels is no fool. He knew that Nathan was a solid risk/reward choice given the cost of existing alternatives.

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 11:17 PM by BR Highlight this comment 617

Kubel's status did not change with the new CBA, if he signs elsewhere the Twins will receive a sandwich pick as compensations (assuming they offer arbitration). Capps was changed from a type A to type B and will also yield a sandwich pick even if he isn't offered arbitration. Next year the compensation for free agents changes drastically but not for this offseason.

Back to the main issue at hand, the Twins and how to rebuild. The Twins aren't in a position to tear everything down and rebuild. Before any free agents were signed the Twins had about $80 million committed to the players on their roster, many of them nearly untradeable. Mauer and Morneau are immovable for many reason, none of the starters are worth anything on the trade market, and the remaining veterans are either coming off of injuries, or awful seasons. The rational thing to do then is get value where you can (draft pick compensation from lost free agents), and fill those holes with short term low risk moderate reward type players. It's hard to ask a team, or a fanbase to knowingly throw away a season in the third year of a new ballpark when you'll have the third highest payroll in team history.

So if they aren't totally rebuilding why not bring back Nathan? It might be he didn't want to come back. We have no idea what, if anything they offered to try to keep him, but for the sake of argument let's say they low balled him and that's why he left. His track record is impeccable and he did seem to turn it around in the second half of the year making him a great risk for a team on the brink of a championship, especially one that has multiple options should he fail. So obviously the Twins aren't in that position and now have to replace him, but as it's been said before great closers are made, not born. Closer is one of the few positions in baseball where a guy can come from nowhere and dominate (Axford in Milwaukee is nice example), and it's time for the Twins to see if we might have one of those guys.

Anyway it's late and i'm starting to ramble.

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 01:12 AM by jp Highlight this comment 618

Joe Nathan was an awesome closer (most of the time), and has been my favorite Twin ever since he arrived. Personally, I'll miss him as a member of this team, and wish him great success in his home state with his new team (except when they're playing the Twins, of course).

But there was no way that the Twins had any business signing this guy right now. Once it became clear that he might have some gas left in the tank, his value on the open market was obviously going to be higher than the Twins should be paying for the closer position. They need that money for other things.

And now is the perfect time to identify/create the closer of the future. We've got some affordable candidates, as does the market. (Matt Capps is, in my opinion, not one of them.)

As much as I will miss the chance to stand up and shout, I agree with this decision wholeheartedly.

And I think that Ben Revere may be my new favorite Twin. He'll get that inside-the-park-homer yet!

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 01:57 AM by Rick 619

When you think about baseball a lot, it's easy to forget what it was like to think about it as a kid.

So, having mentioned my need for a new favorite Twin (a throwback to my youth which I can't seem to let go), here's a mostly pointless list that I'm going to type out now because I'm not tired enough to go to sleep despite having to get up tomorrow morning at an unreasonably early time.

My Favorite Twins By Year

1968-1974 Killebrew
1975-1976 Blyleven
1976-1982 Butch Wynegar
1982-1986 Mickey Hatcher
1987-1995 Puckett
1996-2000 ...um...
2001-2003 Mientkiewicz
2004-2011 Nathan
2012-XXXX Revere?

(I intentionally limited myself to one per season, despite the fact that there were a few years when the title was essentially shared.)

Thinking about these names makes me feel like I'm 10 years old again.

OK, now I'm sleepy.

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 02:18 AM by Rick 620

I loved Hrbek, Gaetti, and Gladden in that late 80's bunch with Puckett, too. That was a great group of guys to watch as a kid (I was about 10-12 then).

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 08:51 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 621

Tough call for favorite Twin from 96-2000...Molitor played til 98 and had some memorable moments on some very forgettable teams. Radke won 20 games in 97 and was an all star in 98. Todd Walker won the ROY in 96 and then continued to play with the team for a few more years. I can't really pick a favorite Twin from that era because I was in middle school/starting high school and my new friends were too cool for sports. What a sad dark period in my life.

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 09:21 AM by jp Highlight this comment 622

No way you want the Mad Crapper back. Nathan was cooked I would have given him 2 yrs 5 mil or take a hike. Do not sign Cuddy! Maybe Kubel if cheap. I like the moves so far. Defense and pitching wins! Lets hope Nishy is taking ground balls. Now if we can get Danny boy ( interested in the game and not looking into the stands all the time for his next date we might be on the right track for maybe even 500 ball next year.

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 09:40 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 623

How about some "Old Testament" favorites?

1961-Killebrew;
1962-Vic Power;
1963-Earl Battey;
1964 Killebrew;
1965-Mudcat Grant
1966-Jim Kaat;
1967-Killebrew

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 09:54 AM by terry Highlight this comment 624

1996 - Cordova
1997 - Radke
1998 - Molitor His last year, and I'd like to dedicate this pick to his wife (wow!)
1999 - I got nothin'
2000 - Guzman

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 625

1985-1995: Puckett
1996-1998: Molitor
1999-2007: Hunter
2008-now: Morneau

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM by AJ Highlight this comment 626

1961-2011: Harmon Killebrew

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 12:16 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 627

This is gonna be a long winter if there's this little activity on this site...

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 9:35 PM by luke Highlight this comment 628

2004-2010: Crain

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 12:12 AM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 629

2006: Tony Batista

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 12:48 AM by FD Highlight this comment 630

Mauer = runner up in the annual Turkey of the Year contest.

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 05:55 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 631

"Stopgap"=useless white guy.

The Tigers are going to roll in the Central next year and the Indians are the up and comer. We've replaced the Royals as cellar dweller. There is no way anybody can put a positive spin on the FA signings. Of course, Ryan's hands were tied by his pupil. The math is simple. 23.5/100=somebody that better dominate 155 games a year. Once Mauer is crouching on those shitty knees, he'll be on the DL again come May. The 2012 Twins could surpass the 100 loss mark. The silver lining? The White Sox are in about as bad as shape as us.

Does this team have something against Latino players? I know it's Minnesota, but c'mon! They are the best players.

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM by twinswschamps2045 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 632

So...you think the Twins paid Mauer exclusively for his potential performance on the field? Surely you can see the bigger picture here.

I mean, do we need to review the many ways in which a team makes money that have almost nothing to do with what happens on the field? Do we need to review the branding capacity of those sideburns? How about the lost revenue if they were to divest of this property?

Whine about Mauer all you want, but he's the goose that will keep laying golden eggs as long as he can hobble onto the field a few times per season (and doesn't get caught somewhere with his pants down).

The Twins are in a bad place for a lot of reasons, but I don't really think that Mauer's contract is even one of them. If he were gone, the payroll would just be reduced by the premium that they are paying for him above another veteran catcher (roughly $18M). But the difference in revenues would be staggering.

When you consider just lost merchandising and ticket sales, the revenue plummet could hit $50M immediately. When TV contract time comes around again, it could be another $10M (assuming he has not been replaced with another comparable superstar).

Since the Twins set their payroll as roughly 55% of projected revenues, payroll in the years following Mauer's departure would be forced downward even further, something like this:

2012 (with Mauer) - Payroll $105M, Revenues $210M
2013 (no Mauer) - Payroll $90M, Revenues $160M
2014 (no Mauer) - Payroll $85M, Revenues $140M
2015 (no Mauer) - Payroll $75M, Revenues $130M

Even if it didn't look exactly like this, it would still get ugly very quickly. And let's not forget that his upside as a player is still off the charts.

Simply put, Mauer is not the problem.

In the macro, the problems are these:

- the farm system is threadbare (from neglect and low drafting)

- sloppy defense and mismanagement by the front office have robbed the pitching staff of their confidence

- the hitting approach at all levels has reaped what it sowed (mostly singles)

- a culture of "we always figure out a way to win" has replaced rigorous preparation

- a shift in the balance of power toward the medical staff has undermined on-field performance

What Terry Ryan is trying to do now is make sure the team doesn't embarrass itself next year while making the necessary long-term adjustments. That's better than doing all of the experimenting at the major league level (a la 1999-2000).

So far, I'd give him an A- for the moves we've seen. The next test will be to replace Nathan's veteran leadership in the bullpen and shore up the confidence level out there.

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 2:32 PM by Rick 633

Not one mention of Scott Stahoviak or David McCarty as favorites in the 90s.

Michael Rand had an interesting perspective in today's Strib: the comparison of elite athletes signing big contracts, then being injured. From Strib comment sections: Mauer is villified while Adrian Peterson not risking further injury in a lost season is encouraged.

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 11:12 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 634

Dammit, I guess the Sun Country Airlines Hangar (aka Kevin in AZ's vacation home garage) in Miami WON'T be having multi-coloured seats as I had thought. Once again, it looks like the Metrodome with a retractable roof. *sigh*

I suppose it's a good thing MLB didn't make the Marlins move to the AL. It's bad enough Houston's Whatever-they-call-it-this-week Park is going to be in the AL in 2013.

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 11:15 AM by luke Highlight this comment 635

Adrian Peterson also has a legitimate injury.

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 11:55 AM by FD Highlight this comment 636

Uh oh, in carving the turkey yesterday, he trimmed his finger instead of the drumstick, didn't he?
Or did he pass out after realizing it was once a live creature?
I've got it, his wife was so pissed off he didn't get a Butterball, that upon taking a steaming hot turkey out of the oven she threw it at him, hitting him in his man cards.

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 12:44 PM by luke Highlight this comment 637

I think those revenue projections were submitted by Mauer's agent. The revenues will plunge if he continues to be the deadweight that he has become. On the flip side, they would rise if that money was used for 2-4 players that could put the team in contention for some time. If he has a 2012 like 2011, look for his jerseys on the clearance rack at Champs.

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 5:09 PM by twinswschamps2044 (aka twinswschamps2011) Highlight this comment 638

First, there are no affordable "2-4 players" out there who "could put the team in contention for some time." The problems are much bigger than that. The Twins are not a tweak or even four away from contention. That much became quite obvious as the season wore on this year.

Second, my point is that Mauer is getting paid partly for his on-field activities and the rest is for being a franchise boy. Try to unload him and, unless you find a drunk Steinbrenner, the Twins would have to foot all of that difference for the rest of the contract, effectively reducing their payroll accordingly. (My numbers may be off, but it's the principle that matters.)

Third, most of the t-shirt-buying fan base has never even heard the phrase "bi-lateral leg weakness". They have no idea how many games Mauer did or did not play last year, or what the issues are in calculating how many games he will play next year. But if he's gone, those same people are not just going to switch to buying Span jerseys.

If you are reading here, I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about many of the 5- to 10-year-olds out there and many of their parents and grandparents. They love the idea of the Twins, but they don't live or die by them. (If you don't believe, find your nearest casual Twins fan and ask him to name either one of the free agent signings so far this off-season.)

Mauer has reached a level of saturation with that crowd that happens only once a generation -- and it has next to nothing to do with his stats.

It's certainly true that revenues will fall if the team sucks. But do the calculation from a management standpoint. With Mauer, there's at least a chance that the revenues won't fall as fast or far, and even a chance that they won't suck. Without him, you guarantee some degree of revenue dropoff even if it makes the team better.

It's a no-brainer.

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 7:43 PM by Rick 639

Good synopsis Rick. Speaking of revenue dropoff, what is attendance going to look like for Year III of TF? 28,000 per game?

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 9:04 PM by luke Highlight this comment 640

I am a dinosaur who has railed for years against blogs because the ones I had seen had been the ones where people emboldened by the anonymity which comes with cyber-aliases, say really dumb, outrageous and often offensive things. This blog, however, appeals to the intelligence of thoughtful baseball fans (with a lapse or two such as when the Rant Radio crowd worked themselves into a foam-flecked fury over Rick's analysis of the viability of the Arden Hills site).

So, what is my contribution to a thoughtful analysis of what needs to be done to improve the Twins? I'll start out with a very modest proposal; learn to execute the run-down play! How many time in '11 did Twins pitchers pick runners off only to watch the infield botch the run-down play? Spend part of those three extra days of Spring Training working on that. That's my two cents worth and you're probably being over-charged.

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 07:39 AM by terry Highlight this comment 641

"Foam-Flecked Fury" was worth every penny.

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 08:45 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 642

terry ---

Excellent point! As a scant few of us seem to realize or believe, the "Twins Way" is as long gone as TC - and has morphed into little more than insipid drivel foisted upon us by the FO marketing bozos.

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 09:24 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 643

TK, not TC.

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 10:19 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 644

Adrian Peterson has a severe high ankle sprain, the worst kind of ankle sprain.

Joe Mauer had 'Bi-Lateral Leg Weakness' for 3 months...

Joe Mauer was then out with back stiffness, then mild pneumonia...

What next a ingrown toe nail to put Mauer on the shelf for a month?

If only we would have kept Ramos. Could have moved Mauer to 1B and had a very nice catcher as well

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 10:34 AM by Vikeologist Highlight this comment 645

lots of tailgaiting and open air stadium all the way....we have to rival green bay and chicago in our stadium.....
bring back the snow!!!

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 12:39 PM by rolo Highlight this comment 646

rolo - shut the f+*k up with that snow shit. Most every other NFL team can get by without snow. Do you remember what that shit did to us last year? Crippled our stupid stadium to a concrete pile of nothing?

No, what we're experiencing now is just fine. I can get by just wonderfully without snow, and so can you. Trust me.

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 5:15 PM by luke Highlight this comment 647

21 hours of silence.
This ought to wake up some folks around here: The NBA lockout may be ending, well in principle anyway. They've come up with a deal, apparently. Let's see what the players think. NBA hopes to be up and running by Xmas. Shoot, I'd rather have a pony than the T-wolves and the rest of the NBA.

Posted on November 27, 2011 at 2:07 PM by luke Highlight this comment 648

In fact, the 2011 season started with a botched rundown in the 1st inning of the 1st game on that Friday night in Toronto (Rajai Davis)...

Posted on November 27, 2011 at 8:30 PM by Max Highlight this comment 649

As most of you know already the vikings put out A new plan to pay for the stadium do you think it will work? I dont think you will get enough money from that but then again what do I know im just sitting on the sidelines.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 04:47 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 650

Everything I've seen says "these sources will pay for it." I haven't looked at it very closely, or read the articles closely enough (that's what this blog is for). Does it essentially just take a number that is estimated to be from these sources? Or does it actually create a new tax charged on Vikings-centric financial transactions/salaries?

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 08:17 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 651

Something tells me there is a loophole they will find once the dotted line is signed, but that is just me who is a skeptic to all of these big time deals. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM by tk Highlight this comment 652

Nope, it's not a new tax. It's just taking the existing taxes from NFL salaries and fan spending and directs them toward the new Vikings stadium. Which, of course, leaves a hole in the state general fund.

It's an interesting number to talk about, but it seems like a terrible policy. $20 million in Vikings-related taxes might justify approval of a $5 million stadium contribution, but they can't just go 100% back to the team. And it doesn't really solve anything, since the state would have to raise taxes or cut services for everyone else to make up the difference anyway.

I was definitely hoping for a new tax, a ticket/salary surcharge. That, plus a more modest stadium cost and/or more private money, would probably swing a lot of support towards the Vikings.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 653

The "but-for" option is a significantly more salable idea, but there's no denying that it robs Peter to pay Paul. It also has the undesirable consequence of being a not-so-subtle threat to move.

Threats are bad.

Creativity is good.

Thus, this new development must be considered a wash.

I tend not to think in terms of what would be the "best" or "fair" or "correct" funding solution, only that which is most likely to get approval. Frankly, in that regard, this one doesn't look all that bad.

The trick in covering that gap (politically speaking) is that new revenues will not be available until at least after the next election. So, for it to fly now, the Dems will have to agree to cover the shortfall with cuts.

Given the likelihood that the Repubs will want to make those cuts on the most vulnerable Minnesotans, there will be serious pushback. It's a f-ing broken record over there.

Still, this funding idea has more chance than just about anything we've seen so far. It's at least a little more palatable to everyone than any of the others.

When I think of the "best" possible solution, I think Chris Coleman has it right: a two-cent statewide liquor tax. But that has about as much of a political chance as us having a snowless winter.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM by Rick 654

Rick is right; a tax of a few cents on every on-sale drink would raise the revenue needed in a fair way. It would not cut essential state services and it would not take money from people who don't have it. And given the hot button responses about tailgating that have appeared on this blog,there is some poetic justice in this type of a tax. Unfortunately, Rick is also right that it is as likely to pass as a snowless Minnesota winter.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM by terry Highlight this comment 655

Rick, I think you've made good points about the big picture problems for the Twins. I happen to think their biggest problem is the farm system's failure to produce "major league average" players over the past couple of years, and the current paucity of such players in the pipeline. It's going to take time, smarts, and luck to fix that problem, although nailing their first few picks in the next draft would be a nice start.

That said, without being too homerish, picture this scenario:
- Mauer, Morneau and Span return and stay healthy this season, giving numbers consistent with their career stats (when healthy)
- Liriano pitches more like 2010 than 2011.
- Baker comes close to last year's quality and does so over 30+ starts
- 2 of Duensing, Pavano, Blackburn, Slowey, other give them league average numbers (ERA 4.25-4.5/WHIP 1.3-1.4 range)
- Perkins continues his bullpen dominance A couple of guys already signed (like Bulger) provide quality 6th-7th inning relief innings.

This isn't a far-fetched scenario. Other than Pavano, all of those guys are in or entering their primes. How strong a nucleus is that? Is it good enough to compete?

I tend to think it is, at least in the Central. Seriously, Detroit is one Jason Verlander injury away from collapsing back to mediocrity. Chicago is retooling. KC isn't ready yet. Neither is Cleveland.

I also agree with Rick's points about Mauer's global value to the franchise, but I guess I'm in the minority in thinking that, with just 3 healthy months of vintage "Mauer" production, his trade value would be fully restored. Big market clubs would kill to acquire him. Take one step back and realize that we're talking about a guy who is already a historically great catcher who has not yet hit his 29th birthday.

Any hang up would not be the money (7 yrs, $161M remaining), it would be the no-trade clause. Putting aside Pujols some team is going to shell out more-than-remaining-Mauer-money for Fielder. NY just signed Sabathia to a 5-year extension for more money per year ($24.2 v. $23). Those latter two guys don't exactly have bodies that look to age like fine cabernets.

There'd be teams more than willing to "gamble" on Joe Mauer - assuming he's back to catching nearly full-time. They'd worry about moving him to another position down the road.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 3:09 PM by BR Highlight this comment 656

A two-cent tax on liquor isn't feasible. But, hey, maybe a "fee" or "surcharge" would be ok!

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 3:11 PM by BR Highlight this comment 657

Let me add a quick note about the problems with gambling revenues: They're not guaranteed.

I've read that people gamble more when the economy is bad, but whether that's true or not, there's no denying that the revenue stream could be volatile, and will certainly fluctuate.

Since it is not a wholly stable revenue source, a back-up must be built into any legislation, and negotiating that back-up is essentially the same process as finding a palatable non-gambling source.

Thus, politically, to build a gambling solution, you first have to convince enough people to make that deal with the devil (no easy task), but then you have to work out the back-up plan.

I just don't see it happening.

That's not to say that I don't see a downtown casino happening. I think that's got a real shot, though it kind of makes my skin crawl to think about it.

I just don't see the decision-makers being able to harness that revenue cleanly.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 3:18 PM by Rick 658

BR,

Your point about pitching is important because it sounds like that's what Terry Ryan is thinking. He sounded last week like he's ready to stand with the rotation he's got. That's the "no embarrassment" solution, assuming the defense gets shored up behind them.

But since confidence is the currency of pitching, it sure would be nice to see one more name get into that mix, though I don't know which one. Edwin Jackson seems to fit the Terry Ryan mold, though I'm not sure how realistic that is.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 3:25 PM by Rick 659

It's funny, but at the start of last season, I was thinking that a trade for just one playoff saavy, veteran starter could be all the Twins needed to help get them over the hump. The guy whose team I was thinking could stumble, and therefore make him available mid-season? Chris Carpenter.

Oops. Right guy. Wrong assumptions!

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM by BR Highlight this comment 660

Rick - I do agree with you, in principle.
The Mariners tried a specially-designed Mariners scratch-off game to collect funds to construct Safeco several years ago (not sure if they're still doing it??). From what I remember hearing, the first year the game operated, it fell about $350,000 short of the projected first-year earnings, thus, the Mariners had to go to the Washington State Assembly to get general fund money.

I wonder if it's possible, as you postulated, that if people realize their gambling dollars are going to the new stadium, and if they're vehemently against the stadium, they will decide not to gamble, or go somewhere else??

I can only speak for myself, but I've probably made more trips to the casino (within financial reason and a gambling limit) this year than any other year in my life...lol.

And, if a downtown casino solution ends up being the primary financial source for the new stadium, how much red tape are the Vikings going to have to cut through to get that done? i.e., the fact that downtown Minneapolis is NOT sovereign territory, therefore they might meet a great deal of opposition from the Indian tribes here in MN.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM by luke Highlight this comment 661

Thanks for clarifying that this is strictly marketing, and not a "new idea" at all. It is certainly being perceived to be a new source of revenue, coming from those Vikings-centric sources, based on some of the coverage I heard today.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 11:23 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 662

This year's collection is just $55 per order and will feature approximately eight items such as Twins caps, a beach towel, kid's jersey and a golf club cover.

8 items that are each worth about ten cents... for $55. Nice.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 02:22 AM by mj Highlight this comment 663

DQ caps are worth squat. Kid's jersey in a package marketed to adults? Beach towel??? - really, a beach towel??? Will the "golf club cover" have a nice "7" on it?

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 07:52 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 664

So, Ben, exactly how many of the guaranteed giveaway packages do you intend to order? ;)

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 09:33 AM by BR Highlight this comment 665

One --- for a non-STH friend who is "a sucker for anything Twins"

I used to get them - but then they used to include every bobblehead for the year as well as the statues and other (what I consider) nice collectibles. The Twins seem to be on a course to determine the choke point of their customers (AA ball at MLB prices anyone), at least one of whom admits he is a sucker.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 09:57 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 666

I've always liked how they call it a "giveaway" even though you're paying $55 for it. Takes a special kind of chutzpah...

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM by BR Highlight this comment 667

Anyone see those ticket prices for the Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw concert?

Seems kind of high if you ask me...ticket prices ranging from $278 - $32.50 ($297.75 - $39.25) with the "processing fees"...

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 10:15 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 668

Is anybody else watching the stadium hearings streaming on startribune.com? My favorite part so far was the Ramsey county guy's eyes darting back and forth when asked how they'd come up with $350 million without raising taxes.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 10:43 AM by jp Highlight this comment 669

New favorite part:

Edina Guy: Aren't you coming late to the party? We've heard about AH for months.
Rybak: We're not behind, we're ahead. We're the only local partner with a funding plan (convention center bonds as I predicted a month ago)

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 10:59 AM by jp Highlight this comment 670

Processing fees are nothing more than another gouge. In the bad old days (before the monroney label), once you had settled on a price for a car and were ready to sign the papers the dealer would say "OK, you're getting a real nice deal here, now, would you like a steering wheel to go along with the car?"

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 671

In regards to the concert at TF. Not sure who is in charge of the pricing of sections, but they definitely go the seating chart backwards. It essentially follows the same model for watching a ball game. No way would I pay more to sit behind home plate in the Home Plate View than in Field View, which is $22 less and closer.

Click name for pricing link.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 1:54 PM by tk Highlight this comment 672

I love how the "processing fees" are significantly higher for higher-priced tickets. As if there are different costs to "process" tickets in different sections. So basically, they are estimating their total "processing" costs, and spreading them out over all of the ticketholders based on each ticketholder's ability to pay. So why isn't this just built into the price again?

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 3:14 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 673

Spycake, because it's the Twins Way. TM isn't even that bold. Heck, the top ticket price processing is 50% the cost of the lowest priced tickets total cost.

My guess, the promoter determined the cost, the Twins did not feel they got a good enough cut, and can recoupe any of a lost cut by gauging processing fees to turn a healthy profit. Maybe it is there thought of how to control the secondary market? They do weird things like that on 1 Twins Way.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 3:37 PM by tk Highlight this comment 674

It's quite a racket, alright. But I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the asterisk next to "Total Price*" on that page. It leads to this in small print at the bottom:

*Plus an additional $5 per order handling fee

In other words, even the total price isn't the total price! Why not just keep piling on the asterisks:

*Plus an additional $5 per order** handling fee
**All orders are also subject to a $15 coordination+ charge
+Coordination requires agreement to the $29 small print premium++
++We reserve the right to include a $10 per ticket because-we-can surcharge^
^By viewing this web site but not purchasing tickets, you agree to pay an Entertainment Refusal Tax of $35 per family member^^
^^Undetermined Sell-Out fees may be added to any transaction as applicable

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 4:15 PM by Rick 675

I think Rick is going to receive a job offer very soon.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 4:20 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 676

Hey Rick, don't forget the $5 surcharge if buying a front-row seat.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 677

Wow this better be quite the concert. Anyone think it will have a problem selling out at these prices? I am with you guys why not just include the processing/handling/printing/bullshit fees in the ticket price. At least then the consumer doesn't feel quite so gouged. tk is probably right. The Twins wanted a big ticket concert but the promoter wanted the big payday. To make that happen St. Peter had to squeeze more outta the public...

I'll be shocked if the STH renewal is 85% as St. Peter has said. I say no way on God's green earth. Just do a search for "Twins" in the tickets or wanted section on Craigslist. Lots of folks looking for partners to split their packages or outright selling of their Legends Club PSLs. The "lure" of a potential future all-star game and access to concerts/hockey games isn't nearly strong enough to dish out thousands/tens of thousands annually.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 5:43 PM by Max Highlight this comment 678

Well, I suppose the high ticket prices will be put towards the replacement of the sod after thousands of people and a huge stage trample it down.

I think it was St Louis that replaced the sod at Busch Stadium after the U2 concert because the grass was so matted down because of the mammoth stage and GA field seating.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM by luke Highlight this comment 679

"The Twins wanted a big ticket concert but the promoter wanted the big payday."

Something along these lines put the kibosh on the Sir Paul concert. The Twins greed was matched, at least. Those who think the date was not open or that "things just didn't work out" are encouraged to contact me in regard to a bridge I have for sale.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 6:23 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 680

If Target Field turf can't stand up to one Kent Hrbek knee, how is it going to look after several thousand concert goers are tromping on it for a few hours??

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 6:54 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 681

I was under the impression that twins STH's were given a perk for any concerts/activities scheduled at TF...So what's the perk for this show? A pre-sale? Enlighten me...Please..

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 682

Steve, I had heard it would be a pre-sale, but I have heard nothing.

I am surprised they are putting the people on the field. I am guessing no food/beverages will be allowed and the place will be lined with tarp, plywood, etc. Hopefully the grass doesn't turn out like at Busch III. However, the turf already looks like it needs replacing in many areas. Maybe the processing fee is to purchase new sod?

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM by tk Highlight this comment 683

*I have seen nothing

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 8:23 PM by tk Highlight this comment 684

The season ticket holder presale for the concert will be Dec. 5th and 6th.(According to the season ticket holder activity calendar on the Twins web page.) Count me out.

In the 85% renewal rate, I'm wondering how many season ticket holders are like us in that they will be dropping the number of tickets they have - we are going from 5 tickets (all together) to 3 tickets. I don't think the Twins have any clue what this number will be, because at this point we just had to commit to renewing.

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 9:25 PM by Go Go Twins Highlight this comment 685

Go Go, commit to renewing? So are you being currently invoiced for 5 and will drop down to 3 once the selection happens?

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 12:45 AM by TK Highlight this comment 686

Wow those ticket prices are high. Who in the world is gonna pay that much to sit in the upper deck seats your not gonna be able to hardly see anything up there.

I wonder if they have considered what the views will be from various sections before they priced things since this is the first outdoor concert they might want to look at that.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 04:01 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 687

It's been said before but upper deck near the foul poles would actually be a pretty decent seat. The worst look like they'd be behind home plate in the lower bowl, farthest away and you'd have to look over an empty infield and a sea of people before the stage.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 08:38 AM by jp Highlight this comment 688

And then there are those who go to a concert to hear.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 08:44 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 689

I kept my two tickets but downgraded from 40 games ($1240 x 2) in the lower level to 20 games in the upper level ($220 x 2). At $11/ticket, its hard to complain for that value regardless of how good or bad the Twins will be on the field.

I simply want to break-even if I want to sell my tickets. At $11/ticket, I will take much less of a hit this year if I am unable to sell my tickets. In fact, if I can't go to a game, I would only be out $22. In fact, it would cost me probably $40 in gas to drive to one game. The schedule is not very attractive at all this year with the exception of the Interleague homestand in June with the Brewers, Phillies and Cubs all visiting Target Field. It's going to be very difficult to sell tickets in April, May and September.

I renewed last Tuesday and my rep told me at that time there were 3,800 on the waiting list so it will be interesting how the final numbers work out. Monday (11/28) was the last day to renew before the seats would be released.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 10:01 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 690

Wow that bullpen will really scare opponents.

Click link.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM by FD Highlight this comment 691

Not to mention the rest of us.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 692

Not really new information, but information nonetheless from the November Ballpark Authority meeting...

For the entire meeting minutes click my name.

"Mr. Hoy stated that in 2012 the team will invest more than $1.3 million in capital improvements and equipment for Target Field, this will include more public art, interior work, addressing accessibility issues, security and fan safety issues and more food and beverage options. Off season use of the stadium has been very good, many events have been scheduled and everyone is looking forward to the concert to be held this summer at Target Field with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw.

B. Hennepin County Interchange Project – Ed Hunter, Project Manager
Mr. Hunter gave a Power Point Presentation on the Urban Design Guideline Meetings. The upper plaza will be attached to the promenade side of Target Field and improve LRT accessibility. The Mid and lower level plaza’s will be for retail and/or green space. The Interchange Project has applied for a federal TIGER Grant and is waiting to hear if they will be approved for funding."

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 1:16 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 693

From MLB TradeRumors site:

Apparently we are in any need of help to become competitive, yet the both the Diamondbacks and Cardinals make the list.

The new collective bargaining agreement calls for a competitive balance draft pick lottery beginning in 2013, and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has details. 13 teams will be eligible for the first lottery based on their market size and revenue: the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Royals, Athletics, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers, and Cardinals. The lottery gives each of these teams the chance to win one of six extra picks in the 2013 draft, which will come after the compensation picks for free agents. The odds of winning a pick will be based on each team's winning percentage in the previous season.

There will be another group of six picks after the draft's second round. The teams in the mix for these will be the ones that did not win a pick in the first lottery, as well as any other team that receives revenue sharing.

Mayo says lottery picks can be traded, but only once by a team and only during the regular season. The picks cannot be sold for cash.

A third lottery will be held for picks forfeited by teams that exceeded their bonus pools. Teams that did not exceed their pools will be eligible, with odds based on a formula of revenue and winning percentage. Got all that? There will be a quiz tomorrow.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 1:45 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 694

FD, thanks for the link:

STARTING LINEUP

1. CF -- Denard Span: $3,000,000
2. SS -- Jamey Carroll: $2,750,000
3. C -- Joe Mauer: $23,000,000
4. 1B -- Justin Morneau: $15,000,000
5. 3B -- Danny Valencia: $520,000
6. DH -- Ryan Doumit: $3,000,000
7. RF -- Trevor Plouffe/Rene Tosoni: $520,000
8. 2B -- Alexi Casilla: *$1,500,000
9. LF -- Ben Revere: $520,000
---------------------------------------
Total (9 starters): $49,810,000

Wow, 7 starting position players = about $12 Mil
A 1B = $15-$38 Mil
A Catcher = $520,000 to $23.52 Mil

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 1:47 PM by tk Highlight this comment 695

We are "not" in any need to help, yet four playoff teams do qualify.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 1:49 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 696

I guess I need to see more detail on how they came up with that "in need of help" list. Market size and revenue? Those are two different things. Some of those teams listed are BIG market clubs - Tampa and Phoenix (Arizona) are both bigger TV markets than the Twin Cities. San Diego's TV market is relatively small but its population as CA's 2d biggest city is huge (tho its metro area is just slightly smaller than the TC metro). Those cities' teams aren't inherently "small market" - they've just done a crappy job of developing their markets and fan bases. I don't really understand why clubs that do well to maximize revenues and already subsidize "low revenue" clubs would also want them to get more draft picks.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 2:30 PM by BR Highlight this comment 697

@minn55441 who said:

"13 teams will be eligible for the first lottery based on their market size and revenue: the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Royals, Athletics, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers, and Cardinals."

Nice info!

Miami area is the 8th most populous, we are 16th, San Diego is 17th, St. Louis is 18th, Tampa (!) is 19th, Baltimore is 20th, Denver is 21st, Pittsburgh is 22nd. The 2010 metro area population difference between us and Pittsburgh is about 1M people (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_United_States_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas)

So, 1M people is not chicken feed, and I am actually for this type of competitive balance engineering, but St. Louis must make as much money as the Twins do. And, I don't think that because the Marlins are dysfunctional (despite 2 world championships) that they should be rewarded.

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 9:30 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 698

"Vikings to help Minneapolis pick stadium site" Click name for link

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 10:50 PM by tk Highlight this comment 699

I love the excitement a full house brings to the ballpark, but I do hope just enough STH's didn't renew to allow me to move down a section or two closer to the infield. I'm getting excited for the seat relocation process.

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM by terry Highlight this comment 700

Terry, I am with you on that. However, I really hope many people didn't renew to get even better locations.

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 12:36 PM by tk Highlight this comment 701

TK- What did you end up doing regarding your STH renewal?

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 1:13 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 702

Terry and TK where are your seats now? We should get the relocation e-mail this week.

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 2:41 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 703

As an LC partner I'd be interested in any rumblings about unoccupied seats in LC. You might think the Twins would consider some type of relocation if it offered improvement before they re-sell the available PSL's. There have to be at least a few people out there that didn't renew and let it lapse.

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 3:21 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 704

Count me as one who did not renew my 20 game pack. I will buy about 5 games from my brother who has a 20 game pack. Otherwise will be a buyers market April May & Sept. from the scalpers. $80 seat for $5.00 why not?

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 3:36 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 705

I had three seats in 204 in 2010, but had to move down to 203 in order to add a fourth seat last year. I really like my "neighborhood", it's handy to escalaltor, friendly concessions, rest rooms and the Met Club,and good seat mates,but am hoping to move down a little closer to the infield this year.

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 3:41 PM by terry Highlight this comment 706

We have a full-season in 323, 40-game in 123.

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 7:21 PM by tk Highlight this comment 707

I had a full season in 323, Row 10 last year. I thought for the money they were some of the best in the house. Some minor glare issues off of the skyscrapers at times, but still no biggie.

TTH

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 11:01 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 708

Hmmmm lots of 323-ites here, that's where I am for 20 games, plan E.

323 is excellent, I agree TTH it's prob. the best value in the house. I wouldn't mind moving a couple rows down in the relocation if it's available but I'm pretty happy.

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 2:02 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 709

Where the hell is Luke?

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 2:52 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 710

I heard through the grapevine that Luke had a rendezvous with Joanie and eloped to Puerta Vallarta...

He was somewhat of a legend around these parts. Nobody and I mean NOBODY said more inane completely ridiculous bullshit!!!

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 3:22 PM by Max Highlight this comment 711

Mauer: "I'm feeling great." Click name for strib article.

Heck, I feel great when I am on vacation too!

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 5:29 PM by tk Highlight this comment 712

I could only laugh when I read the article.
Clicky.
I'm not surprised. It IS Miami after all.
I just thought it was funny.

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 9:49 PM by luke Highlight this comment 713

Minny's stadium design released...

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 9:56 PM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 714

lol. Well, why not? I mean, there's been IV "Madison Square Garden"'s.
There have been II "Busch Stadium"'s. II "Chicago Stadium"'s (basketball arena, Max, not an actual "stadium". HOWEVER a regulation football game WAS played there).
I don't know if I like the idea of a "ToiletDome II". It's bad enough they built ONE ToiletDome here.

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 10:13 PM by luke Highlight this comment 715

My STH seats have always been down the right field line. To those of you down the left field line, what about the sun? A positive or a negative? I only get direct sunlight for about the first hour of noon start games. TTH mentioned glare off the downtown buildings.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 07:33 AM by terry Highlight this comment 716

For me last year being in the sun during day games was worse than being in the shade during cool games. I'd choose shade.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 09:22 AM by jctwins Highlight this comment 717

luke??... too many high-profile court cases on tv snaring his attention these days.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 09:28 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 718

I'm on the 3rd base side, and just as Rick projected about a year before TF opened, you do occasionally get some glare off the glass buildings from that angle. In my experience it is only a problem for 20-30 minutes before the sun moves enough that it isn't directly where you want to look, so maybe an inning tops. Totally dependent on when the game starts, the time of year, and of course if there is cloud cover. I think I can remember once each year of my 20 games where I noticed it, so I wouldn't base a seat choice on the glare.

I like the 3rd base side for the downtown view mostly. I am enough under the overhang that I'm never in full sun for the whole game. In April I like to sit out in the upper deck of left field to get some spring rays, but whenever I go to a July day game those people just get NO relief. A nice summer day is exactly when I want to be at the ballpark, so I guess I need a little shade to enjoy it.

Of the 81 home games in 2012, 30 are day games (3:10 or earlier). Of those 30, 11 are in April or September, so only 19 potentially hot ones in the sun. So, for a 20 game package, you might end up in the hot sun maybe 4-5 times. Just a thought.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 10:10 AM by Lincster Highlight this comment 719

We chose the first base line for the shade. As above, we find the possibility of being a bit too cool preferable to being blasted by the sun. And --- a view of downtown does not factor in at all.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 11:00 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 720

I am not a season ticket holder but in 2011 I went to Target Field for 8 Twins games and 5 Gopher games and I sat on the third base side for all but one game. Even went to the 12:10 day game when it was about 95 out. I too really like being able to see the skyline-to me it just sort of enhances the whole game experience just a little bit.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 2:12 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 721

Has leadership finally been restored with the Twins?

Terry Ryan, “I’m going to say this with no humor involved,” Ryan said, “but some teams came in here and pounded the fences pretty good. We need to get some of that out of our mentality and move forward and just go out there and play the game.”

Click name for entire Pioneer Press blog by Shipley

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 4:06 PM by TK Highlight this comment 722

I have 2 sets of seats on the 3rd base side. I, however, love the sun. Sat through the double header game that was extremely hot and loved every minute of that. It is one of a few Twins memories from 2012 that is going to get me through this cold season.

Being in Section 123, I did not get much glare off the buildings. I had more glare and it was more bothersome when I sat in Section 119 for a few games last season.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 4:09 PM by TK Highlight this comment 723

Legends, section Q (also down 3rd base). Definitely sunny during day games but, for the relatively few day games I can attend (about 1 per season), I prefer that. Love the downtown view, and the close proximity to Gate 6. I also prefer to see into the home dugout.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 4:12 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 724

I am so ready for spring training right now.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 4:12 PM by luke Highlight this comment 725

Good for Terry. Somebody had to say it.

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 4:56 PM by Rick 726

"It is one of a few Twins memories from 2012 that is going to get me through this cold season."

A little less time in the sun might be in order. :-)

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 5:12 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 727

"It is one of a few Twins memories from 2012..."
So, Swami Ben, how did the Twins do in 2012??

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 6:37 PM by luke Highlight this comment 728

Ben, I forgot to mention, I just got back from a ride in my Delorean and this upcoming season ain't to great :)

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 12:05 AM by tk Highlight this comment 729

BPMers, I need your help.

Some of you may have seen this street performer working as a living statue after games near Target Center:


Does anybody have any idea who she is or how to get hold of her? If so, drop me an email. (I want to get permission to use a photograph of her.)

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 12:43 AM by Rick 730

I think Bud Selig should get his fat, wrinkly ass in gear and make a realignment plan for MLB similar to what the NHL is proposing.
Possibly after Houston makes the giant leap over to the AL.
It would solve a ton of problems.
A key element is what would be boiled down to a more balanced schedule.
Clicky for the NHL proposal.

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 12:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 731

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/128425768.html

Rick,

Here's a story about her from August in the STrib.

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 1:49 PM by CSG Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 732

As far as sections go... I am in Legends, sec B for about 10 games a year. I love it. The shade is great and the scoreboard is right above the playing field.

I have spent random few other games over in the sunny 3rd base side. It was fun for a game or two, but I'll take my seats any day.

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 1:53 PM by CSG Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 733

Glare from the downtown buildings is a non-issue. Lasts only a short time.

Shade definitely better than sun in this park. The times I have been in right field in this park have been brutal - if it's sunny, even not-so-hot days are really steamy, and the glare makes it hard to follow.

I'll take my under-canopy 3rd base side seats for all-weather viewing.

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 7:09 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 734

I will say this, the glare IMO isn't much of an issue but when its around at certain times of year it provides a spectacular, almost magical, glow inside the park. It even looks amazing on tv too.

Posted on December 4, 2011 at 10:22 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 735

I saw that girl punch a guy in the pills before a game last summer haha. He was harassing her and definitely had it coming. Thought it was hilarious.

Posted on December 5, 2011 at 09:50 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 736

Thanks, CSG Mike. It's helpful to have her name, Sarah Steinman, though I still haven't been able to track her down.

I was surprised to read that she wasn't a pro, because she was so good. You see a million of these types of performers at Fringe festivals (especially the big one in Edinburgh, Scotland), and she stood out -- at least partly because she fooled me the first time. I thought, "I don't remember reading anything about a statue being put on this walkway!"

She also handled the obnoxious types very well (though I didn't witness anything like PatMeares describes).

Posted on December 5, 2011 at 10:37 AM by Rick 737

Shame that Kitty and TonyO were still denied joining the Hall this time around. Worse yet -- am I reading this right? -- next chance for these Golden Era players not until a vote during 2014 Winter Meetings?? I've made one pilgrimage to Cooperstown, but I swear I will return to celebrate either of these guys going in.

Posted on December 5, 2011 at 11:27 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 738

I can just hear the story the guy told his friends:
"I was just making fun of this statue, then the statue gave me a man card punch, literally."

Posted on December 5, 2011 at 5:06 PM by luke Highlight this comment 739

Will STH's be getting tickets to Twinsfest again this year? I don't care too much about the baubles and beads, but the complimentary Twinsfest tickets is one STH perk I really do appreciate.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 07:08 AM by terry Highlight this comment 740

Has anyone gotten their relocation e-mail yet? The communication I had got from them said the e-mail was supposed to go out the first week in December but I haven't gotten anything yet.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 08:35 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 741

No word here on the STH relocation email; I was about to ask the same thing. Maybe they are waiting to announce some blockbuster signing at the winter meetings first.

But I do get an email about every day offering 25% off on some overpriced bauble or bead from the Twins Shop.

As the relocation process gets underway it would be nice if people gave some general reports on availability of seats.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 08:52 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 742

I think the relocation process has been moved back about a week from when they originally estimated it would occur. They are now saying it will happen the week of the 12th sothe e-mail should come any time this week.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 09:26 AM by terry Highlight this comment 743

There must be a final push after the final pushes push to push more tickets.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 10:21 AM by tk Highlight this comment 744

I wonder if the sale of concert tickets has caused a delay in the relocation. They started selling the concert tickets this morning and I would guess that will take a week or more to get everything wrapped up. I doubt they have the computer capability to sell concert tickets at the same time as the relocation process. I guess a week or two doesn't matter, especially if they can offer the relocation to current STH's without the system crashing this year.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 10:29 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 745

minn55441, I was having similar thoughts, right about the time I was stuck in a waiting room...

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 10:37 AM by tk Highlight this comment 746

So much for keeping the scalpers out of TF for the Chesney/McGraw concert. Tickets are up on SH. Several packs of 10 and 18 seats on the floor, and random packs of 8.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 10:55 AM by tk Highlight this comment 747

Tell me it ain't so...The city of Minneapolis to endorses the Metrodome site.

From the Strib...
Lester Bagley said city officials made that choice clear to them in a meeting on Monday. "The city informed us they're going to advocate for the Metrodome site,'' Bagley said. "We raised questions and issues about all of the sites" in Minneapolis. Bagley said the team remains committed to a site in the Ramsey County suburb of Arden Hills.

I love how Bagley states that the Vikings really aren't interested at all in Minneapolis and that their meeting was only for the city of Minneapolis to show which site they support the most.

In my opinion they are going to make a big mistake on the location for this stadium. Metrodome or Arden Hills just doesn't make sense to me.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 12:19 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 748

Yes, the city of Minneapolis (namely Rybak and crew) has now officially killed any chance of the Vikings stadium saga getting resolved this year.

This isn't really a surprise. In fact, I started writing a big post evaluating all of the Minneapolis sites, then realized it was pointless. I can't tell whether the mayor is really that clueless, or whether he has ulterior motives (Strib support is probably a requirement for reelection, and they could be big winners in a rebuilt Dome scenario).

So basically, everything from here on out is for show until after the next election.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 12:33 PM by Rick 749

Glorious weekend spend in the cities at the vikings game this weekend. One observation, The vikings want a BILLION dollars for a new stadium, the only two imprrovements that I seen needed, were A. Replace the troughs with urinals, and B. Get some secondary defense. I think that could be done for a BILLION Dollars!

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 12:35 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 750

The conspiracy theorist part of me thinks that the Vikings nudged Rybak towards the Metrodome sight b/c they think it gives AH the best chance. The other possibility might be by picking the cheapest sight (I've heard by potentially S150 mil or so) it opens the door for them to drop the amount they're willing to contribute by $50-$75M.

I love the idea of a sports complex in the North Loop neighborhood but by building it over the Metrodome at least the city won't have to figure out what to do with that huge parcel of land, and as a totally superficial benefit the view of the skyline is much prettier when looking East to West.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 12:42 PM by jp Highlight this comment 751

The more I think about this, the more upset I get because this bonehead move will probably cost you and me and the taxpayers of Minnesota another couple hundred million dollars.

There's no doubt that we'll be talking about $1.2B after the 2012 election, and $1.3B or more after 2013 (when Rybak is up again). You think the Vikings are going to put up that difference? Time really does make a difference in these things.

It also bumps up the chances of the team being sold and leaving for LA (which I still think is highly doubtful, but becomes more likely with each passing year until there are at least two teams there).

The question becomes: When is the right moment for Zygi to sell?

It just got closer.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 12:44 PM by Rick 752

Rick why do you think the Metrodome sight will mean delays in construction time, and higher costs? Is it the lack of support from the private business community? To me it seems tearing down and rebuilding the Dome would be easier than the land acquisition required for either North Loop sights.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:05 PM by jp Highlight this comment 753

TF illustrates the importance of a neighborhood to a sports venue. The ballpark is surrounded by resaurants, bars, classic architecture and all the lively activity of an urban downtown. The Dome on the other hand has one bar/restaurant across the street and the rest of the area surrounding it is concrete, utilities buildings, jails and lots of Soviet-style architecture. Sure doesn't compare to the architecture and the life surrounding Target Field.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:08 PM by terry Highlight this comment 754

I love a good conspiracy, jp, but that one is kind of hard to imagine. The only reason Rybak would earnestly put forward the Dome site is if he did not realize that everybody hates it and it has pretty much no chance. If he isn't putting it forward for his own political gain, then he's doing so out of pure naivete.

He wouldn't do it to help the Vikes land AH, because if that happens he becomes "the mayor who lost the Vikings" to downtown. He doesn't want to see that any more than anybody else.

The cost thing is actually a little more plausible because he might be thinking that the Legislature will pick the cheapest site. But if he thinks that, he isn't a very good student of the stadium game.

Despite all the whining about it, cost doesn't mean sh!t if you can figure out a way to cover it. And when the numbers are this big, a difference of even $300M is pretty much meaningless. It's not the 300-millionth dollar that is hardest to find, it's the first. Get everybody to agree on $1 and you've got $300M, $400M, $500M, whatever you need.

In government, $300M is pocket change. Shake the couch cushions at the capitol and it will fall out. I kid you not.

That's what has me pissed off. Rybak's move today is essentially saying he doesn't care how much the thing costs (even while he appears to be saying the opposite). Either he's clueless, or he's got a Political Strategy that has nothing really to do with solving the problem.

So here's where a guy like Mike Opat comes in. You just know he's sitting there watching all this play out, knowing full well what's going to happen, and just waiting for the right moment to step in. He's a master of timing, as we saw with TF.

How much do you want to bet that he's already got a deal in principle with Mary Jo Copeland? I know there are site plans floating around out there that show a stadium on her land (though I haven't been able to get hold of one).

When all is said and done, if you can't get the HERC site (which you can't because of its future usefulness for transit and maybe the Twins), Mary's Place is the obvious next best choice.

And if you tweak 0.15% to 0.3% you've got another $350M, which will satisfy the local partner requirement while also doing some good for some other non-sports cause (just as the TF tax does for libraries and neighborhood sports facilities).

That's what is going to happen, of course, and it's just a question of when.

Sooner would be preferred because it saves lots of money.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:09 PM by Rick 755

The Metrodome site is bad for many reasons, none of which have to do with cost or construction.

It primarily has to do with land use, and the need to acknowledge that it is surrounded by a whole bunch of institutional buildings which would be better off without it there.

Given what Minneapolis hopes to do in downtown east, a sporting venue just does not fit temperamentally. It's just wrong for that spot.

It would be better suited for either housing, or a corporate campus (probably medical in nature), or some combination of the two. And that solution could add much needed green space to that end of town.

A big sports venue there will, as the Metrodome has done, suck the life out of everything around it. The advantage of the other side of downtown is that it's already designed to feed this type of facility, as has been proven with the arena and the ballpark. A stadium is the natural extension of this.

Keep in mind that the Dome site was a compromise from the beginning. They needed to be close enough to the U to lure the Gophers.

Then the city screwed it up by allowing vast acres of surface parking instead of encouraging some sort of neighborhood infill. In reality, we now know (and some knew back then) that it's a mistake to pick a site with just the hope of what will develop. It's way better to pick a site where what you want is already present.

Thus, the opposite side of downtown becomes the natural place to build, and the east side is best left to a different purpose which more closely matches what is already there.

That's why people hate the Dome site, even if it isn't really being talked about in those terms.

Well, I should add the Zygi has a whole bunch of different reasons for hating it, not the least of which is that he'd have to play in somebody else's stadium -- at a steep loss -- for at least three seasons.

Once again, if Rybak can't see that, then he's in over his head here.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:24 PM by Rick 756

Rybak's reasons do look totally political, and I wasn't trying to suggest that Rybak wanted the Vikes in AH. Instead I'm suggesting the Vikings gave their "endorsement" to the Dome because they knew it wouldn't be as appealing as FM thus increasing they're chances of landing their dream sight.

I totally agree that government can make shake an extra $300M w/out batting an eye, and I agree with terry about why the Dome sight is wrong for long term benefit and growth. That being said it looks like we have a lot of people determined to get this done, and I don't think by picking the Dome they've automatically closed the door on getting this thing built.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:28 PM by jp Highlight this comment 757

Not liking the Crapper signing even though only 1 yr $4.5 mil! Please do not give Cuddy 3 years! Please! Build with pitching and defense. Crapper had 9 blown saves last year. No change-up pitch just 85 mph right down the heart of the plate. What a waste... Will both he and Mijares both come in at 350 lbs each? geeeeezzz

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:30 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 758

Slowey also dealt to Colorado for a player to be named later or bag of balls. 0-8 6.67 era. Won't miss him or his attidude.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:32 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 759

Here's why I think the issue is dead for now:

1. Zygi is all-in on AH; he can't win
2. Rybak is all-in on the Metrodome site; he can't win
3. TPers will block any tax increase
4. Gambling and Legacy funds are deals with the Devil which can't win
5. 2012 is an election year
6. The team sucks (and could for a long time)
7. (new!) The projected surplus demotivates everyone

What could revive it? Mike Opat.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:45 PM by Rick 760

I'm also crabby because the Twins managed to lock in some mediocrity today in signing Matt Capps.

OK, he's not terrible, but really some improvement would have been nicer.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:47 PM by Rick 761

Those are 7 very compelling points, 8 if you count the Capps signing. Also I just heard Lester Bagley say the Vikings didn't pick a sight in mpls os my attempt to pass some of the blame onto the Vikings doesn't appear to be factual. This is entirely on Rybak.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:55 PM by jp Highlight this comment 762

Fat out of shape bad arm elbow and blow save after blown save is nuthin to get too excited about. Thats a bad Ryan signing right there. I'm thinking not much of a market for Cuddy. Let em go or 2 years 10mil in the spirit of compromise. Mid 30's corner outfilders are a dime a dozen. I think I would try and move Span if there is a market. Don't trust his head anymore.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:58 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 763

Ask and ye shall receive. I just got my STH relocation email, I go on 12/19.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 3:27 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 764

Here's an excerpt from the Relocation info, showing the timing of the relocation for the various classes of STHs:

-------------

The Relocation and Upgrade process for the 2012 season will take place from December 12th through December 19th, 2011. As a reminder, the entire relocation and upgrade process will take place online.
Relocation & Upgrade Information
There are four actions that can be performed through this process:

Retain existing seats
Retain existing seats and add up to four seats
Relocate or upgrade some or all of your existing seats
Relocate or upgrade some or all of your existing seats and add up to four seats

Timing: accounts searching for full season locations will select on December 12th, accounts searching for 40-game locations will select on December 14th, and accounts searching for 20-game locations will select on both December 16th and 19th. Your relocation date is listed on the email you were sent; you will be allowed to enter the site 30 minutes prior to your selection time.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 3:32 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 765

Wow. Just wow. It gets even dumber...

Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak said Tuesday the city would contribute $300 million to a new Minnesota Vikings stadium built at the Metrodome, and that an enhanced fan experience would include using the nearby Minneapolis Armory as an “event space” on game days.

...

In his latest proposal however Rybak for the first time included having the aging armory, which he said would remain privately owned and sits two blocks from the Metrodome, become part of a Vikings’ game day experience. He also briefly – but vaguely – outlined a series of improvements along 4th and 5th Streets in downtown Minneapolis near the Metrodome to help enhance the fan experience.

(Emphasis mine.)

Can't say that we know any more about why he's so stubbornly stuck on this site. But we do know that his lack of vision is, well, stupefying.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 3:59 PM by Rick 766

Did no one hear or did no one care? Slowey was traded to the Rockies for a bag of seeds. No wait, I mean a bucket of dubble bubble. Oops sorry, I guess it is actually a guy named Player to Be Named Later. Didn't we trade for him last year? I didn't know he left the team?

I am gonna go out on a limb and say no one heard...:)

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 4:18 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 767

Yes Jared I mentioned the trade a few posts earlier. Although mine was for a bag of balls!

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 4:24 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 768

Jared, I don't think he was worthy of posting. I mean, maybe if he would have been 1-7, he might have gotten a post. As far as I am concerned, he has been away from the Twins like Luke has been away from this site.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 4:27 PM by tk Highlight this comment 769

I don't get Rybak's thought process here.

The Vikings are thoroughly against playing at TCF Bank stadium during the construction of a new stadium on the Metrodome site. I cannot argue against the Vikings on this one.

The fan experience currently around the Metrodome site is defienct in multiple ways.

The Metrodome has failed to spur development. So why does Rybak think this will change?

From the recent press releases, the Downtown Council cannot wait until the Vikings move out so that they can better use that property for the city of Minneapolis.

It fails to capitalize on what is happening around Target Field and the Warehouse District. There are signs of increasing development around this area.

Transportation investment.

I could go on and on...

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 4:36 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 770

No relocation information for my 40-game or full season yet...may be starting with the 20 games?

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 4:37 PM by tk Highlight this comment 771

#4 Gambling is going to happen in some form or another I think.

Either:
Electronic pull tabs in bars & taverns
Electronic version of the current Minnesota Lottery system
Slots at current race tracks (Racino)
Casino in downtown Minneapolis
Indian gambling expansion with a portion of proceeds going to Stadium funding.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 772

I don't get all the Rybak and Metrodome site hate. It's not the most creative, but I think cost is still a big issue. The Metrodome site savings of $150 million may not seem like a big deal, but that site also offers the best potential for further cost savings, with an eye towards reducing or eliminating either the state or local contribution, which would be one less obstacle. Plus, for a stadium that will host 10 big events a year, it doesn't need the surrounding neighborhood or development. And maybe Rybak has reason to be more pessimistic about the potential of a residential/medical community developing on that side of town.

In this development, I am least impressed with the Vikings again, for sounding like spoiled children -- reading their statement, I can just imagine them pouting with their arms crossed as they were forced to listen to Minneapolis officials. Another unimpressive figure is State Sen. Geoff Michel -- why did he insist that Minneapolis needs to have one stadium site/plan at this point? I think a realistic cost estimate and viable funding mechanism is far more important. Michel was just getting in some partisan shots at the Democratic Golden Boy Rybak. Rybak's biggest mistake here was simply responding to Michel's absurd demand -- the mayor could have easily stood pat for now with his three potential sites, although I don't fault him for favoring the Dome site at this stage in the game.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 5:05 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 773

Also, quick question: why do stadium costs rise so darn much? I understand fuel prices and steel costs rise, but outside of crisis/disaster situations, they generally aren't rising as fast as total stadium cost estimates. Has there ever been a good outline/breakdown of a stadium construction cost proposal, for reference?

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 5:20 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 774

"It would be better suited for either housing, or a corporate campus (probably medical in nature), or some combination of the two."

The Metrodome would be better suited for the world's largest bonfire. All those plastic seats in there...and a fabric roof to boot? My God, can anyone say Dresen II??

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 5:55 PM by luke Highlight this comment 775

Jeff, care to elaborate a bit on this tidbit?

The Vikings are thoroughly against playing at TCF Bank stadium during the construction of a new stadium on the Metrodome site. I cannot argue against the Vikings on this one.

When did this come out? Granted I haven't been following terribly close but I dont remember hearing this. How long has this been out? I thought TCF was built for future expansion purposes including the Vikings. I am sure that was contingent on a permanent lease with the U and that a temporary stay wouldn't necessitate expansion. Also, with that I can see that with less seats, there is less money coming into the Vikings coffers so that makes sense. Just wondering as I don't remember hearing about that. I was probably just severely out of the loop at that point in time.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 8:28 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 776

LOL Jared. TCFBS is NOT on the Vikings' mind for several reasons, which I will number:

1) TCFBS is years if not decades away from expansion to 80,000. The Vikings cannot and WILL NOT wait that long. Therefore, with only 50,000 seats, the Vikings stand to lose millions in ticket revenue.
2) Have you ever tried to park over by TCFBS? Forget that, have you ever tried to park at the U, period? Parking will be a huge concern.
3) The one advantage (if you want to call it that) is that TCFBS has some degree of club seating, which the Humpty Dumpty does not. However, I doubt the Maroon and Gold would allow the Purple to retain 100% of any club seat (or suite) sales.
4) Concession sales. See the last sentence of #3.
5) Advertising revenue. See the last sentence of #3.
6) It's one thing for Da Bears to have played in Champagne for a year whilst Soldier Field was being renovated. We're talking about the Purple playing in a college stadium for three, maybe even four years. The NFL would frown on that. It's about money, people.
7) And this is an important one. TCFBS doesn't sell alcohol. Has never sold alcohol. Will never sell alcohol. This would keep many Purple fans away. Nothing whiles away a Vikings loss like a good 16oz beer or two (or three or four).
8) This is also an important one. The Vikings spent 27 gut-wrenching years sharing a stadium with the Gophers. They don't want to relive that.
9) This is also an important one. The Gophers spent 27 gut-wrenching years sharing a stadium with the Vikings. They don't want to relive that.

Now you're in the loop.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 9:15 PM by luke Highlight this comment 777

Jared, the Vikings stated some time ago (maybe a year plus ago) that the financial loss they would endure because of playing at TCF Bank Stadium to be too great for the team. They gave some more details at that time, but I would have no idea where to find that sorry. I apologize for being able to provide many details. Though, I do remember them talking about financial not being able to compete with the other NFL teams because of not bring in enough revenue from playing at TCF Bank Stadium.

Also, with wouldn't TCF Bank Stadium need major field upgrades? Wasn't there talks last year about the lack of heating coils underneath the field turf, and that this would be a must if the Vikings were to play there because of how low the temperatures can get in December and January.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 9:42 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 778

Wow, I need to proof read things before I make a post.

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 9:44 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 779

I really think we're missing the boat on one important factor: monster truck rallies. Let's examine the options, shall we?

1. The Metrodome site: This location has already proven itself as a more-than-suitable option for monster truck events. Surrounded by a lot of nothing, unless you count Soviet architecture (IALTO) as "something", it provides plenty of gray buildings for monster truck fans to publicly urinate on. And with a retractable roof as an option, the revving engines and pyro can be contained. And if Grave Digger lives up to its name, HCMC is just a block away for those spectators who might get a little too close to the action.

2. North Loop: Not a good idea. Rednecks and wine bars don't mix very well, although it would be a nice change of scenery from the 23-year-olds puking on the corner of 1st Ave and 5th Street on a Saturday night. In addition, if I want to see artificial suspensions, I'll just head over to Seville's.

3. Arden Hills: Lots of room for HIGH OCTANE ACTION for those who want to come see Phantom, Bigfoot and Black Widow this SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! (Kids free with a paid adult admission!) There's already a trailer park across the street next to the Big Ten Pub, which provides an alternative to driving to the stadium in their whiskey-plate adorned El Caminos.

After looking at all three, I have to give my nod to AH. BE THERE...OR BE DESTROYED!!!!!!

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 11:07 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 780

spycake,

You said it on the Vikings. Bagley looked the worst he's ever looked today. They come off as completely unprofessional, stubborn babies who have clearly not done their homework. They seem so much smaller than the stage they are on.

Here's the sobering reality: The team on the field clearly reflects the team off the field. I don't think these guys know what they are doing in either regard.

It makes you wonder why any governmental entity would be willing to do business with these jerks. Maybe waiting for a new owner isn't such a bad idea.

Also, I gotta say that Rybak looks increasingly clueless. Now I'm starting to think that maybe he doesn't have any mischievous political plan at all, just the general inability to read the tea leaves. I said "naivete" earlier in this tread. After today's developments, I'm more inclined to go with "bone-headed clumsiness".

Back to the site...

The Downtown East (Metrodome) site is a problem primarily from a city planning standpoint. Back in the day, it was sold as an area ripe for redevelopment. Build the stadium, it was said, and the neighborhood would be revitalized. At the time it was called the "Industry Square Renewal Area" and included all of the land between where the Dome sits and the river, plus that swath up Washington all the way to the Depot (some of which was part of the earlier infamous urban clear-cutting). The empty lots would get redeveloped and that whole side of downtown would see new life.

Clearly, that didn't happen. In fact, for most of the Dome's existence, the area around it has been more depressed than it was in the first place. The site was a miserable failure pretty much from day one. (Weirdly, the other downtown site which had been proposed first and was beat by Industry Square, was the site where the A ramp stands today. It would have been a concrete donut surrounded by a large parking ramp.)

Now the city gets a do-over. Should it make the same mistake again or not?

If we've learned anything from that mistake, and clearly the mayor has not, it would be that you site your amenities in areas which are already compatible. You don't site your amenities with the hope that they will spur something.

Apparently, Mayor Rybak has also not seen any of the maps of extensive transit planning which has taken place over the past couple of decades. (What has he been doing?) The Downtown East site has two transit lines, while anything on the other edge of downtown would have five or more.

He also hasn't noticed those very large parking ramps which were built over there. Or the fact that there are, well, none by the Dome. (Oh wait, there is one. It's under the plaza. Have you ever parked in it? Me neither.)

But these are flotsam and jetsam compared to the real issue, which is that a stadium just cannot peacefully coexist with the rest of that neighborhood either as it is right now, or especially as it likely will be in 10 or 20 years. That land just cries out for a different use, and all of the long-range planning documents show it without a stadium. Most show the aforementioned housing or corporate campus in its place.

There are a lot of factors that go into this, but the presence and ongoing expansion of HCMC is certainly one of them. But also connected is all of the residential development which has happened on those former Washington Avenue surface parking lots in the past decade.

Once they decided to put the Guthrie where it is, and allow all of those condos to be built, the fate of the neighborhood was pretty much sealed. The stadium became a unwelcome interloper. Something of a weed.

And the movement is finally on to fill in those surface parking lots. The economics finally make sense, but only without a stadium. If the stadium were to stay there, so would the parking.

The trick is that you have to forget that there's a stadium there now, and answer the question: If that were empty land, would it be the right place to build a stadium?

It would not. Not by a long shot.

This, by the way, is the proper method for evaluating any potential site. Land acquisition issues and cost shouldn't even be considered because you're building the future of the city. This is a decision that will have sway for decades at least, and perhaps much longer.

In other words, if Mary Jo Copeland happens to own the best land for a new stadium, then it's worth it to pay whatever it takes and give her whatever she wants to do the right thing. If you do the wrong thing to save a little money, you'll regret it for as long as the facility stands.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 12:30 AM by Rick 781

I hadn't noticed this, but the monster truck rally lobby has certainly been eerily silent -- until now! Now!! NOW!!!

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 12:36 AM by Rick 782

For years, every time I saw a TV commercial for a Monster Truck show in the dome, I pointed to it as definitive evidence of just how awful the dome was for baseball. Could you imagine one of those redneck cotillions in Fenway Park or Dodger Stadium? The worst thing that can be said of the dome and its surrounding neighborhood is that they are just right for Monster Truck shows. Please pass the paint thinner and road kill.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 03:09 AM by terry Highlight this comment 783

Epic Post, TTH!

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 08:42 AM by JoJo Highlight this comment 784

Anyone know anything about this Tribe wanting to build a casino in Arden Hills to help pay for a stadium?

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 09:22 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 785

I thought TCF was built for future expansion purposes including the Vikings. I am sure that was contingent on a permanent lease with the U and that a temporary stay wouldn't necessitate expansion. Also, with that I can see that with less seats, there is less money coming into the Vikings coffers so that makes sense.
Jared: While TCF has been built to allow for expansion, that expansion was never designed to happen for or with the Vikings. The U could certainly choose to permanently expand the seating to accommodate the Vikings for 3 years if they wanted to. But that decision would require A) careful planning (as the work would have to be done in time for the Vikings move in) and B) a rash of extreme short term thinking by the U (since the Gophers fanbase does not sell out the current seating capacity).

In the meantime, I suspect the Vikings would still lose an unacceptable amount of money given the fact that ad revenues, parking, etc would be controlled by the U. Without an expansion that loss is worse. Just multiply the face value of a Vikes ticket times 13,300 seats times 8 games times 3 years. Conservatively you're probably looking at a loss of around 15 million in ticket sales alone.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 09:23 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 786

Also, with wouldn't TCF Bank Stadium need major field upgrades? Wasn't there talks last year about the lack of heating coils underneath the field turf, and that this would be a must if the Vikings were to play there because of how low the temperatures can get in December and January.

Jeff~
Some upgrades would definitely be needed. The U was on a very tight budget and heating coils were an unneeded expense for the Gophers given the fact that their home games take place no later than the weekend after Thanksgiving. I'd guess that the NFL would want heating coils to be installed and that the Vikings would be on the hook for the cost.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 09:26 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 787

Anyone know anything about this Tribe wanting to build a casino in Arden Hills to help pay for a stadium?

I grew up in Detroit Lakes, just south of the White Earth reservation. Whether I know anything worthwhile is debatable. What are you interested in knowing more about? =)

The plan makes sense to me if I'm looking at it from the POV of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. They get access to a more lucrative gambling revenue stream that is currently held exclusively by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The SMSC is a MUCH smaller group than the WEBO (which is the largest tribal group in MN at approx 20K).

My understanding (formed by my parents friendships with some tribal members of WEBO and various media reports over the years) is that WEBO has never been happy that such a small tribe is able to take advantage of the best casino revenue stream. Poverty is still a BIG deal on the White Earth Reservation.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 09:40 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 788

I've been pondering this whole casino in Arden Hills thing, trying to understand who will be coming from where on it.

Haven't the various tribes been looking for a way to build a casino closer to the core of the metro? My first thought was to understand this idea in that context.

Beyond that, it seems to me that it would probably take money out of Zygi's pockets, so it's hard to imagine him supporting it. It also seems like it would take money from the proposed downtown casino, so there could be some very powerful opposition from there.

Mostly, I think it just has to be considered with all the other gaming ideas, which I just don't think the Legislature will ever go for (despite the optimistic feelings people seem to have about it these days).

It's a weird and unexpected wrinkle, but I don't think it changes the discussion very much. It just seems to trade one set of issues for another.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 09:47 AM by Rick 789

A question for all the STH on here. How exactly does the season ticket Relocation and Upgrade process work on-line? I'm wondering because the relocation/upgrade process as a Gophers season ticket holder is frustrating to say the least. The online method we used to select our seats at TCF was immediately replaced by the old paper "mail and hope" method once the stadium was open.

I noticed that both Target Field and TCF used the Seats3D product (http://www.seats3d.com/). I'm guessing that the Twins relocation/upgrade process that happens online involves you being given a login window to complete the process via the same Seats3D map that you used to pick your seats the first time?

I'm guessing the U doesn't use this system because of cost (and if anyone has inside info about what it costs the Twins to offer this option each season that would be great) but sticking with paper makes the process of seat improvement so annoying as to not be worth it.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 09:52 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 790

GoAUpher- Thanks. I figured as much but was foggy on details.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 10:49 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 791

I'm sure with alot more cancellations of season tickets the seat relocation process should be alot smoother than last year. Should be able to relocate anywhere you want this year.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 792

GoAUpher,

Here is a link to the Twins relocation page.

http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/min/ticketing/sth/gen/relocation.jsp

It explains every thing and even has a 6 or 7 minute video to walk you through the process from start to finish.

I went through the process last season, but not change seats.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 11:07 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 793

If you don't want to cut and paste, here is the link again.

According to the site, I will have my chance at relocation on Monday, but still have not received an e-mail. Less than a weeks notice? I think we had to have our request for relocation in months ago.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 794

Yeah I got mine as well. Monday the 19th. I am not expecting there to really be any seats out there but I can dream. Although with an 85% renewal rate there have to be seats somewhere. Existing STH's get first crack before those on the On Deck Circle right?

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 11:50 AM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 795

Last year I could have moved in a section or two but chose aisle seating in the same section instead. I'm thinking my chances for improvement section-wise will be at least as good this year.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 12:01 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 796

Maybe this is what Rep. Kahn was meaning by Public Ownership.

Selling stock bonds that are not worth anything for $275/share and the value is nothing more than telling your friends you own a small piece of the most notorious team in the league.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 12:24 PM by tk Highlight this comment 797

BTW, click my previous name or this one for the link.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 12:25 PM by tk Highlight this comment 798

Wilf's recent purchase of a $19 million apartment in New York, a non-factor to Gov. Dayton in the pursuit of the Vikings getting a new stadium. Click name for link

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 12:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 799

Here are a few thoughts of mine on the Vikings stadium situation.

- I've long believed RT Rybak is an empty suit who is at the very least highly naive. His office's handling of the Vikings stadium issue has done nothing to disprove this notion. It baffles me, regardless of which site he chose, that he moved ahead without apparently trying to put in place at least the beginnings of a reasonable political consensus among those he needs on his team to make this work.

- The armory part of the proposal makes little to no sense and came off like something he just thought of midway through his speech at the hearing. The idea was undeveloped to put it mildly, so why even bring it up? If he's serious, the armory could have waited for later when some sort of comprehendible idea existed, good or bad.

- I write this next part carefully and intend disrespect to no one.

Does anyone at the capitol in great numbers, speaking specifically of suburban and outstate legislators, really care about downtown Minneapolis' long term city planning issues in general and the east end of downtown specifically? For that matter do Minneapolis city council members as whole (certainly there are specific members who do) care about how the east end of downtown is developed given their apparent lack of collective interest in the past?

I ask out of curiosity about whether the Metrodome site is as politically impossible as has been suggested given the possible comfort level some politicians may have with the location given its long term status a sports site. I have no allegiance to the location. I'm just curious about how the level of disappointment with the chosen location and desires for downtown development among people here jibe with actual perception in political halls.

- My take on the LA stadium situation is there will be one team and it will be at Farmers Field downtown. AEG, its builder, would love to own a team, but I don’t think the Wilfs want to sell, because the Vikings are a fun toy that gives them publicity and status otherwise unattainable to them. Occasionally talk of that metro area ending up with two teams has come up, but it isn't likely for the following reasons.

To maximize the market's potential, the NFL needs one team to capture the focus of all fans, sponsors, and media. Dropping two teams in at once would cause them to cannibalize each other rather than enhance their value as could happen under different circumstances. I also think the City of Industry stadium's cost, which must be 100% privately financed by the team itself, will be too great. The location, while convenient to Orange County and the Inland Empire, is too far to attract monied fans from West LA in great numbers.The other issue is TV.

Having two teams in a West Coast market, as the NFL has learned repeatedly in the Bay Area, always results in fewer locally televised out of market games than in any other market by a vast distance, especially late doubleheader feature games. This is because when the home team is playing, its game is unopposed on TV by any other game no matter the importance (if the home game is blacked out, a replacement game may air, but also unopposed). Keep in mind too that all Pacific and Mountain time zone games must begin at 3:00 CT and these teams play in the Western Divisions, which gums up things even more so. To remedy these issues, the NFL gives the 49ers and Raiders prime time games even when their prior season's records don't make them worthy of such a thing. Making a schedule that conforms to its own TV rules would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, otherwise. It doesn't want a duplicate of this mess in Los Angeles, something that LA only having one team will solve.

- TCF Bank Stadium holds 50,500. The Dome holds 64,000. Of those 64,000 seats, probably season ticket holders occupy 57,000 although significant non renewals are likely this off season. If enough people bail and temporary stands can be arranged at the open end, the Vikes may just be able to fit in everyone should they actually be forced to play on campus.

- Lester Bagley needs to be removed, if not from his lobbying position, then at least from his position as spokesman. He comes off too cold and aggressive for his spot.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 2:14 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 800

minn55441~
Thanks! The is the EXACT same process we were able to use when selecting our seats in TCF back in the spring of 2009. The amount of money required to offer this feature each season better be prohibitive because if the U is pinching pennies and costing Gophers STH an easy option I'll be very annoyed. =)

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 801

- TCF Bank Stadium holds 50,500. The Dome holds 64,000. Of those 64,000 seats, probably season ticket holders occupy 57,000 although significant non renewals are likely this off season. If enough people bail and temporary stands can be arranged at the open end, the Vikes may just be able to fit in everyone should they actually be forced to play on campus.
It's probably doable, though you have to wonder if the U would be inclined to support the addition of temporary seating for 3 full seasons.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 2:34 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 802

I think the U would take the money and gladly use the extra seats for visits of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska assuming the Gophers revive enough to warrant possible sell outs for those games. There was a small bleacher section behind the West endzone for the Nebraska game, but not as big or wide as the Vikes would need.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 2:40 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 803

Great questions, Jorge.

To the question about city planning: There are at least five intimately interested sets of legislators. First is Mpls city government at all levels. Second is Hennepin County. Third is the Met Council. Fourth is the Mpls delegation at the capitol. Fifth is the metro reps and the two senators in Washington. There are probably also a whole bunch of committees and boards out there with lower profiles that have an interest.

All of these people have a vested interest because they have made planning and funding decisions which would be impacted by where within Minneapolis a new stadium is built.

Your implication that rural and St. Paul legislators don't give a rip is partially correct. They still have a responsibility to their constituents who may want to get to a game (infrastructure concerns), or may be taxed to pay for the thing (sources based on geographic location). For example, they have all been involved in decisions about where LRT, BRT and commuter rail lines will run, a factor which does figure into geographic location within Mpls. In that sense, everyone is interested to a certain degree in best value and leveraging previous large expenditures.

But you are correct in implying that choosing a location within Minneapolis probably isn't at the top of anyone's list outside of those five groups listed. Everybody has an opinion, of course, but most will take the same approach as Ortman: "Minneapolis, get your act together. Pick a site already."

But I should make clear that whenever I'm talking about future plans for the Metrodome neighborhood, I'm talking about documents which already exist -- which are publicly available and which I have seen -- almost all of which already assume that there will be no stadium on that site after the Vikings get a new facility. In other words, other than this inexplicable jag by the mayor (apparently done all on his own), pretty much all of the stakeholders have already decided to go a different way with that part of town, and have already put some serious effort into answering the question of what comes next for that site.

It's all very puzzling because the only motivated reason I can think of why the mayor would push this is to keep the Strib happy with him. This would be supported by the fact that he apparently didn't try to line up any support among City Council members or the Mpls delegation in St. Paul for the money he wants to commit. And it sounded from one report that I read that he didn't even talk to the current owner of the Armory before offering it up in his plan.

If he fails in this bid, which most likely will, he will be able to at least say to the Strib, "Hey, I tried."

The whole thing is pretty weird.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM by Rick 804

I can't imagine any scenario in which the U would happily host the Vikings for a few years. They'd have to get a whole lot of upgrades and cold hard cash to make it worth their while.

When I walked around that place, I got the distinct feeling that all the M's were just a little bit bigger than they needed to be so as to say, "This is our stadium, and we ain't sharing it with nobody."

Likewise, I can't imagine any scenario in which the Vikings would want to share that stadium. The hassle factor is off the charts. And I've heard that there isn't much parking around there...

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 2:55 PM by Rick 805

"Lester Bagley... noted that playing in the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium for three years while the new field was built would cost the Vikings $40 million in lost revenue."

So, less than $15 million per year. I don't think that would be a deal-breaker, although I'm sure the Vikings would demand that their contribution be lowered to compensate for it (in addition to being compensated for abandoning their Arden Hills plan).

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 2:59 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 806

Rick, thanks for adding background for me. I understand better where you're coming from.

The U of M will have a new athletic director in the near future and it'll be interesting to see how that person approaches his job in comparison to Joel Maturi. The new hire may see the Vikings coming in as undermining the U of M's identity. I am more inclined to think that person will agree to host the Vikings due to their tenancy being temporary with clear termination date, the capital improvements the Vikings will want done and will have to fund, and most importantly due to the need by the U of M to fund several projects (basketball practice facility, new baseball stadium) and non revenue sports. At possibly the detriment to the revenue sports, Maturi steadfastly refused to eliminate any non revenue sports, no matter the budget concerns. This comes from his experience as an assistant AD at Wisconsin when baseball was eliminated after around 100 years of history, a hugely traumatic and divisive moment on campus. The U of M probably has more non revenue sports than it can reasonably support in the long run, but getting millions from hosting the Vikings will enable the school to keep some of these teams alive longer.

Parking for Gopher games needn't be traumatic, even with Washington Avenue closed due to the light rail expansion. The U of M wisely made all campus lots and ramps within any reasonable distance of the stadium season parking only. A few private lots exist and there are some public spots pretty far from the stadium, but for the most part the people driving to Gopher football games know exactly where they're parking, how to get there, and how to get out afterwards. The aimless drives of people vainly searching for a spot largely don't exist, because those drivers aren't on campus to begin with. Those not accomodated by the season lots park downtown or at the State Fair grounds and take shuttle buses in.

It's not fool proof. There aren't enough traffic cops and too many don't properly understand how to actually direct the cars. There are too often not enough shuttle buses. Too many drivers don't understand that there are other ways on and off campus apart from University Avenue, forgetting that the most direct route won't always be the quickest. That said, it works well enough that if the Vikings adopted the U of M's system and made better use of public transportation, a temporary stay on campus would not be a traffic/parking disaster.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 3:19 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 807

Reading along about using TCF Bank stadium as a temporary home... I had a thought pop into my head.

Would they try to slow down the new stadium construction until AFTER the Central Corridor LRT is done? Somehow try to talk the Vikings into playing at the dome for 2012 AND 2013, then spend 2014-15 at TCF.

With the LRT open it would make getting to the game easier. Heck they could even tailgate at the Dome and have free trains run to TCF.

Just a thought. Comments?

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 3:22 PM by CSG Mike Highlight this comment 808

I think the U would take the money and gladly use the extra seats for visits of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska assuming the Gophers revive enough to warrant possible sell outs for those games. There was a small bleacher section behind the West endzone for the Nebraska game, but not as big or wide as the Vikes would need.

Jorge~
I wasn't actually sure if you were speaking towards temporary or permanent seating. If you talking about a permanent addition then you're actually highlighting the short sighted thinking the U will hopefully avoid. Expanding the stadium permanently before their is demand from Gopher fans is pointless. The whole point of the on campus stadium was to build local fan support and get away from the days of the 25K Badger fans in the stands. The support among Gopher STH is low enough, adding empty seats except when WI, Iowa, or Nebraska come to town won't help them (which is why I suspect any competent AD would avoid the move).

If you're talking about temporary seating then yea, I could see the U taking the money and running with it (though as an STH I'd hope they'd resist. Also the fact that they might only have IA, WI, and NE home games in one of the 3 seasons is something to consider).

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 4:16 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 809

I can't imagine any scenario in which the U would happily host the Vikings for a few years. They'd have to get a whole lot of upgrades and cold hard cash to make it worth their while.

When I walked around that place, I got the distinct feeling that all the M's were just a little bit bigger than they needed to be so as to say, "This is our stadium, and we ain't sharing it with nobody."

Likewise, I can't imagine any scenario in which the Vikings would want to share that stadium. The hassle factor is off the charts. And I've heard that there isn't much parking around there...

Conscious "we don't plan on sharing" or not, the "Block M" effect is strong and definitely prevalent. They are everywhere, from the drinking fountains and soap dispensers on up. It's one reason I always end up laughing at Gopher fans who worry about the Vikings choosing to permanently share TCF with the Gophers.

Agree with Jorge on the parking. I believe (and I'm searching for the older U powerpoints I have for the actual figures and a link) that there are over 19K parking spots on the East and West Banks. I know for a fact that there are approx 3,300 surface lots right near TCF that are included in that figure. Since vast majority of parking at the U is ramp/garage, they are able to pack in more spots in less space. So parking shouldn't be an issue. The fact that the Vikings won't see any of that money however...

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 810

GoAUpher, I was speaking of temporary seating, of which I think the Vikings could get away with about 5,000 seats given the space limitations. It won't look pretty, but it wouldn't be permanent and would vanish with the Vikes once a new stadium was completed, if the Metrodome site comes to fruition of course.

There were briefly talks last year of bringing in some temporary seats for the Bears game until it was dismissed as unfeasable due to the short amount of prep time. Plus, the Vikings may have figured out that the weather and first come/first served basis would prevent a full house. Indeed the Bears-Vikings attracted a well below capacity crowd, to the point that the Vikes sent word through campus on game day that any students that wanted to attend would be admitted free of charge due to the abundance of open seating.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 4:37 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 811

Found the most recent U of M PTS Facts and Figures PDF. See pages 10 and 11 for the parking details. Looks like I was right on for the total spaces info if I was talking about the entire U (including the STP campus) but wasn't accurate when it comes to the East and West Banks. I also wasn't thinking about the potential impact of contract parking. About 13,000 of the U's approx 20,000 spots are contract. Not sure how much of that applies to Sunday's though.

In any case, there are 13,000 total spaces across all of the East Bank. Parking on the West Bank adds approx 2500 spots and STP adds almost 4000 more. So, should be more than enough parking if needed for Vikings games.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 4:44 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 812

GoAUpher, I was speaking of temporary seating, of which I think the Vikings could get away with about 5,000 seats given the space limitations. It won't look pretty, but it wouldn't be permanent and would vanish with the Vikes once a new stadium was completed, if the Metrodome site comes to fruition of course.
Sounds about right. Depends on if the U is feeling charitable about the "won't be pretty part" I guess (or more realistically, depends on how much the Vikings are willing to pay the U for their trouble.)

Also, referring back to one of your earlier comments...the temp seating against Nebraska was for the alumni band. Since we're only talking a few hundred folks and given the amount of space the temp seating took for that smaller # of people I'm actually pretty sure that you wouldn't be able to put up 5K in temp seating on the open end. There is extra space beyond the concourse off the upper deck, but I don't know the rules about placing temp seating up there (could foresee safety concerns, etc.

In the end, I don't think the need to share TCF ever comes to pass which makes this all a nice comments thread diversion. =)

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 813

Marlins sign Buerhle to 4 yrs 58 mil! Spending money like a drunken sailor! New stadium and the Oz at the helm!

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 814

Back to baseball for a moment:

"Because you are a Twins Season Ticket Holder, on December 13th you will be able to begin registering online to receive two complimentary tickets."

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 5:09 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 815

Anybody get any info on Twins seat relocation yet? I could have swore the email said the 1st week of December...

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 6:54 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 816

Steve,

ClarkAddison mentioned that he received his information a day or so ago. I believe it is a 20-game relocation for the 19th. Check page 13 for details.

I have a full season and 40-game and have seen nothing yet.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 9:44 PM by tk Highlight this comment 817

Sorry, page 14 now.

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 9:46 PM by tk Highlight this comment 818

Dont forget no alcohol at the bank. If the vikings were to play there at some point that would have to change. Im sure that the change would happen but the powers that be would argue the benefits of that in the long run which could kill that whole idea.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 08:10 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 819

Pujols to the Angels. 10 years, $250M. Look out Target Field fences...

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 09:26 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 820

From an LA Times piece on Pujols deal: "His contract would also be worth almost $70 million more than the $183 million Arte Moreno paid for the team in 2003."

Will he be worth 25 mil/year when he's 41? even in 2021 dollars?

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 09:50 AM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 821

The Angels sure do know how to make a splash.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 09:57 AM by Rick 822

Remember the good old days when Kirby Puckett signed the first ever deal for $3M/year?

Any word on whether the Cardinals are in a panic and have offered Punto $8M/year to fill the void left by Pujols?

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 09:58 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 823

Looks like the Halos are gonna get C.J Wlson too for 5 years and something around 70 million

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 10:02 AM by jp Highlight this comment 824

...as if Twins' Home Opener tickets weren't already hard enough to come by.

StevieB: Yeah, and now $3M/yr is only the DIFFERENCE between what StL and the Angels offered... sheesh.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 10:15 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 825

Angels will regret that signing in a year or 2. Mauer like club choking contract. I think this guy is too old and has peaked. Owners get dumber by the year.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 10:20 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 826

Dont forget no alcohol at the bank. If the vikings were to play there at some point that would have to change. Im sure that the change would happen but the powers that be would argue the benefits of that in the long run which could kill that whole idea.
I wouldn't expect any change that would require the U to sell it in GA seats for Gopher games. The Regents are clearly comfortable with holding the line on that decision. If it's Vikings only they might be more amiable, especially since the revenue benefits the U.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 10:22 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 827

Anyone else still waiting on their relocation e-mail? I'm scheudled (according to the Twins website) to make my relocation choice on Monday, yet still have not recieved anything from them since a generic relocation timeline e-mail that was sent on the 17th of November.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 11:07 AM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 828

Scheudled?

That's German, right? Anyway, it sounds like a reasonable synonym for "clumsy planning".

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 11:10 AM by Rick 829

"...the revenue benefits the U."

Another reason Zygi's not gonna wanna have his team play there...

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 11:13 AM by Rick 830

That's ridiculous...And these owners wonder why so many people oppose public funding for stadiums when they can afford to shell out $250 million over 10 years for one player?

How many stadiums were built for less than $250 million in the 90's and early 2000's?

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 11:33 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 831

1 minute ago i just received an e-mail from the Twins,"By now you should have received an email containing instructions for participating in the 2012 relocation process. If you have not yet received this email please contact us immediately in order to ensure that you can take full advantage of this opportunity. You can reach us by calling the Ticket Sales and Service Department at 612-370-4575."

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 11:36 AM by tk Highlight this comment 832

Yes, it's too bad Albert isn't a Vikings fan. He could now afford to serve as Zygi's "local partner" in a stadium venture.

I wonder if the Wilfs have talked to Joe Mauer.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 12:00 PM by Rick 833

Angels spending money like crazy! Cj Wilson 5 years $77.5 mil. Hunter will start screaming he is underpaid soon!

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 12:09 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 834

Leroy - I do believe luke mentioned the "no alcohol" thing in comment 765. You should check it out.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM by JamesHetfield (aka luke) Highlight this comment 835

Leroy, luke had mentioned the no alcohol thing in comment 765. Somehow, I tried posting that in comment 819, but it came up blank...lol.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 12:28 PM by JamesHetfield (aka luke) Highlight this comment 836

hmm...not knowing why my comments aren't showing up, even under a pseudonym.
anyway, I DID mention the no alcohol thing.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM by luke Highlight this comment 837

Ha the mystery is solved. Luke's been incognito as "JamesHetfield". Caught red handed sir. Even posting about himself. Classic!!!

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 12:50 PM by Max Highlight this comment 838

With three games in the first week against the Twins, Albert Pujols might have 15 home runs before the season is a week old.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 839

Thanks TK, just called and had them send it.

We are trying to move with the couple that sits next to us, so it will take some coordination to get this to work out.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 840

Finally, Luke has resurfaced, I can BREATH!

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 1:03 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 841

So you are Luke, pretending not to be Luke? Has Joanie started monitoring your web activity?

I don't think Home Opener tickets will be hard to get this year, even with Pujols. They weren't too hard to get last year at face value, especially for standing room, and then last year happened. It is also on a Monday this year.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 1:25 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 842

Luke has, but he references comment 765, but this post is only 737...weird! Maybe JamesHetfield can't type either...

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 1:27 PM by tk Highlight this comment 843

Cuddy must not be getting any great offers. I hope he does and we don't lock him up for 3 years 24 mil. Minn 55441 I doubt you will have any problems moving. Should be lots of empty seats to lock onto this time.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 3:33 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 844

Got this after I got the 1st email and a phone call..Someday actually answered the VIP line which has about a 10% success rate..Seems a couple batches of emails got hosed up..Don't know about everyone else here but I work during the day and don't have a constant internet 8 hour connection..The Twins expect people to do this during normal work hours which is bullshit..I was told mine would be in the morning between 8-12...
Today we sent you an email indicating that by now you should have received a relocation email containing the instructions needed for the relocation process.

We have since learned that not all of our clients registering for relocation received this important email. We apologize for any inconvenience.

By the end of today you will be sent the original email detailing everything you need to know about the 2012 relocation process, which begins next week. If you do not receive this email by tomorrow, please contact the Ticket Sales and Service Department at 612-370-4575.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 5:21 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 845

$3 Mil a year is now the Major League average salary...

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 6:19 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 846

It's too cold. I miss baseball.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 9:50 PM by JamesHetfield (aka luke) Highlight this comment 847

I miss baseball, and the ability to comment on here. Comments seem to be getting dropped alot. As tk, JoJo and Max can attest.

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 10:02 PM by luke Highlight this comment 848

Damn with that ave salary twins wont have much. Hope they can do lots with very little.

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 03:52 AM by Leroy Highlight this comment 849

I know we're a long way away, but I don't see this team playing meaningful games in Spetember, which I have posted many times is my goal as a baseball fan.

Realistically, what should be the goal for the Twins this year? If everyone stays healthy and Ryan can sign one bigger free agent, could the Twins finish above .500? That's my hope this year.

Pujols and the odds on World Series bound Angels opening day should make things exciting!

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM by ole Highlight this comment 850

If the Twins pass on Cuddy and invest that money into a solid inning eater who can miss some bats (Edwin Jackson anyone?) and if the M&M boys stay reasonably healthy (huge IF) I would think they have a chance for 85-90 wins. That should result in meaningful games in September, especially if the 2 wild cards come into play next year.

If they keep Cuddy and stay the course I can't see them staying above .500. It's unlikely that any of our current pitchers not named Pavano will get above 180 IP next year and that'll end up taxing a thin bullpen with little minor league depth. Or I could be wrong, I think I put the Twins on 93 wins last year so my track record for speculation is spotty.

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 1:11 PM by jp Highlight this comment 851

I got the Twins at about 75 wins. I know see how the Angels signed Albert. The tv deal went from 50 mil a year to 150 mil a year. Angles signed a 5 billion $$ deal. Expect those cable bills to go up in California. Meanwhile the FSN deal here was worth 12 mil a year. LOL! Cuddy said he wants to go to a contender. That puts us out then!

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 2:02 PM by twinfan (aka twinkfan) Highlight this comment 852

I got the Twins at about 75 wins. I know see how the Angels signed Albert. The tv deal went from 50 mil a year to 150 mil a year. Angles signed a 5 billion $$ deal. Expect those cable bills to go up in California. Meanwhile the FSN deal here was worth 12 mil a year. LOL! Cuddy said he wants to go to a contender. That puts us out then!

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 2:03 PM by twinfan (aka twinkfan) Highlight this comment 853

I got the Twins at about 75 wins. I know see how the Angels signed Albert. The tv deal went from 50 mil a year to 150 mil a year. Angles signed a 5 billion $$ deal. Expect those cable bills to go up in California. Meanwhile the FSN deal here was worth 12 mil a year. LOL! Cuddy said he wants to go to a contender. That puts us out then!

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 2:04 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 854

I got the Twins at about 75 wins. I know see how the Angels signed Albert. The tv deal went from 50 mil a year to 150 mil a year. Angles signed a 5 billion $$ deal. Expect those cable bills to go up in California. Meanwhile the FSN deal here was worth 12 mil a year. LOL! Cuddy said he wants to go to a contender. That puts us out then!

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 2:04 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 855

Test

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 2:11 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 856

Morneau is cooked, done, finished, kaput - Twins fans need to get that through their heads and move on. Mauer's knees are junque and his catching days are definitely numbered - he is morphing into a slap hitting first baseman of little more than average value, if that. Youth is the future and that will take time.

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 2:19 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 857

Agree Ben. I guess this is how you can pay for Albert with the Angels new tv deal;

The Angels new TV deal more than pays for Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson
Craig Calcaterra
Dec 9, 2011, 12:30 PM EST
21 Comments As I noted yesterday, the Angels’ offers to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson make sense given that they are/were in the process of negotiating a new television deal. Well, Bill Shaikin has the details on it, and everything makes a ton of sense now. The Angels are making a mint.

The deal is for $3 billion over 20 years. That means $150 million a year. The current deal they have is for $50 million a year. You don’t need a calculator to see that those new contracts are more than paid for.

Heck, there’s enough money now to go sign Prince Fielder too. Make him the bullpen catcher or something.

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 2:53 PM by Twinkfan (aka twinkfan) Highlight this comment 858

test!

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 3:00 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 859

Testing!

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 3:29 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 860

The Twins are not going anywhere anytime soon. That's just the reality of the current situation and we can blame that on some very poor decisions made in the front office over the last few years. There is definitely no easy way out of the current mess other than blow up everything and re-build from the bottom up. They are stuck with Morneau and Mauer due to their contracts as they are being paid way more than their current value is worth. We all know the Twins will be shopping guys like Pavano, Span and Valencia this year. It wouldn't even surprise me if Capps is on the trading block come July.

It's going to be a long next couple of seasons. Not to mention, come 2013, there will be a more balanced schedule, including 30 Interleague games. That does not bode well for a team like the Twins that traditionally does not play well outside of the AL Central Division.

Hopefully Terry Ryan can re-establish a tougher mentality amongst the players and coaches because things have sure seemed to soften up over the last three or four years.

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 3:40 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 861

Agreed mike!

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 4:10 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 862

WOW took about 15 minutes for those posts to show up! Ohh well.

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 4:40 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 863

Anyone looking to purchase tickets to the TF concert? I am just wondering if anyone is having any luck? My cliffhanger hasn't moved. Click name for what currently being played over my speakers at home.

Posted on December 10, 2011 at 10:25 AM by TK Highlight this comment 864

Tickets are all gone TK. I'm gonna try to get a few on eBay to resell on the streets the day of the show, for a 400% profit. You can try to get them from me the day of the show...

I had a thought, since the Twins and the Wild share PA announcers (Adam Abrams), perhaps the Wild should share their coach, Mike Yeo with the Twins during the NHL offseason. Because whatever the hell he's doing for the Wild is working. Best team in the NHL right now. I'd like to see if he can put the fire in the bellies of the Twins next season...lol.

Posted on December 10, 2011 at 9:25 PM by luke Highlight this comment 865

Hard to believe that one year ago today, the Metrodome was just an aging piece of shit showing off to the national media. Oh wait, the Metrodome is STILL an aging piece of shit. Clicky.

Posted on December 11, 2011 at 5:49 PM by luke Highlight this comment 866

Baby Jesus is getting married. Maybe now he can focus on baseball this year.

Posted on December 11, 2011 at 10:32 PM by FD Highlight this comment 867

FD, it only gives him another reason to need to miss a few games this season...

Posted on December 11, 2011 at 11:45 PM by TK Highlight this comment 868

No, no! They'll start to have kids and it will really motivate him. Kids are expensive, you know, and you have to have a steady income...

Aww, hell, who am I kidding. One AB will pay each kid's college tuition...

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 12:14 AM by Rick 869

It had better not be a large family, then.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 05:45 AM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 870

Wonder how the Twins will spin this one. Piece of wedding cake promo?

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 06:51 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 871

Joe Mauer, reproduce? He's a catcher for Christ's sake. I thought you were unable to have kids if you took too many hits down there.

Either that or whatever kids he does have will be automatically born with the cup.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 07:43 AM by luke Highlight this comment 872

I guess we know now what they meant by "Bi-lateral leg weakness"...

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 08:10 AM by Jared Highlight this comment 873

Relocation today at 12:01..Interested to see if any long time SHT have bailed and if I can move down from Row 11 Section 109...

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 08:49 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 874

steve, do you have 2 or 4? currently there are pairs in 109 in rows 9 and 10. You can also move in to 110, similar rows. And out to 108 there are pairs in row 5 and 7, and 4 aisle seats (closer to home side) in row 8.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 10:09 AM by robin Highlight this comment 875

I have 2..I might move to 110 but not 108

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:04 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 876

I am in the middle of the section and will NOT move to the aisles..Aisles are a clusterFck..I much prefer the middle.25 mins to login....Scope it out..

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:07 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 877

I'll try. Interested in the 3rd base side, or just close to where you are?

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:14 AM by robin Highlight this comment 878

just checked 109-111 now.
109 now has 2 in middle of row 11, maybe next to yours?
110 has a pair in row 12, 4 seats from inside aisle; also a pair right in middle of row 13.
111 has 3 in row 4, someone checked out 2 of them. I don't know if that is allowed now. But there are 5 right in middle of row 10. Could get two of those. maybe I will check out HPB 3rd base side. You want to avoid behind net?

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:20 AM by robin Highlight this comment 879

I prefer 1st base side only because 1st base is where most the action is..No preference to sun/no sun..

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:21 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 880

No net...Gotta run and Log In....Thanks Robin..

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:23 AM by Steve Highlight this comment 881

So you can probably log in 30 minutes ahead and check it out. Good luck.
If anyone wants Field Terrace, a lot of row 1s are available. Guess the rail is a problem. For those who don't mind it, or the extra $5, lots of opportunities all the way to 207. Haven't checked 3rd base side.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:23 AM by robin Highlight this comment 882

I have a full season for Section 323 at 1:47pm today. I did not have any luck last year and I am not expecting anything to open up this year. I am pessimistic, as people prior to my selection time can add seats, and it appears that groups like to add seats in the cheap section.

I have a 40-game on Wednesday to look at upgrading from 123, Row 15. I am a little more optimistic on that chance, but not holding my breath.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:24 AM by tk Highlight this comment 883

323 has a pair in row 3 and 10 in row 4, but 4 on the aisle are on hold.
I think you have a great chance of improving 123, either there or moving into 122. Lots of lower rows, assuming they are available in 40 game plans.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM by robin Highlight this comment 884

Oh, I just noticed you said Wednesday. Still, the 123s might be improvable. Maybe not 323 by then.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM by robin Highlight this comment 885

The whole thing about stranding a seat is total bullshit..3 seats available and I have to buy all 3 or no sale..Crock of shit...I should be able to buy a pair...My 8,000 ain't good enough?

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 886

"My 8,000 ain't good enough?"

Dear Steve:

No.

DSP
cc: JP

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 12:55 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 887

Poll:

How many of you WOULD like to pay $5 extra per seat/per game to have a railing in your way?

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 12:58 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 888

Yeah, that doesn't exactly sound like a "convenience fee". I've never understood why the Twinkies charge an extra 5 to sit in the front row.
Because the railing is in your way, I think you should pay 5 bucks LESS.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM by luke Highlight this comment 889

Blue Jays Claim Jim Hoey

That is an early Christmas gift to all of us.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:22 PM by minn55441 Highlight this comment 890

"My 8,000 ain't good enough?"

Dear Steve:

No.

DSP
cc: JP
HaHaHa...Yea,no shit....

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:25 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 891

You're $8,000 apparently looks more like not-$12,000 to the Twins.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:43 PM by Rick 892

Well, It's actually 10,000 with both sets of seats...My 10 will be 8 if I get hosed on this...:):)

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 2:03 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 893

Guaranteed Giveaway:

"This year's collection is just $55 per order --- " And then the small print at the bottom of the order screen:

"There is a $3.00 convenience fee per giveaway package"

Well --- where I went to school that comes to $58 "per order". Why is it that they look you straight in the eye while they are lying to you?

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 894

I'm betting there are a ton of seats open to relocate this year. Can't wait to score some from the scalpers this year. Buyers market for sure. I see morneau says wrist not healing! Great! I may have to adjust that 75 wins down a bit.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 895

It's the way of the world Ben. That's how things get done. You gotta lie to people.
Biggest lie ever told is "I solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
44 men have told that one.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:09 PM by luke Highlight this comment 896

Funny. I thought the $55 WAS the "convenience" fee.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:09 PM by BR Highlight this comment 897

Ben, I have no problem with the rail in front of me, as I was able to upgrade to row one in the Skyline View. There is not a $5 up-charge there, and there is also a little bit more leg room.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:13 PM by tk Highlight this comment 898

TK ---

I was referring to other kind. The Twins apparently only charge an extra $5 for the annoying rails. :-)

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:16 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 899

I guess I am not certain what annoying rails you are speaking...sorry. I must have missed a discussion at some point?

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM by tk Highlight this comment 900

Rails that you need to reshuffle from a comfortable seating position in order to avoid an obstructed view. Some find that circumstance annoying.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:38 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 901

With the railing, seats in row one of the Terrace are actually less desirable than seats in the other Terrace rows. By contrast, in the LC seats, the "railings" are plexiglass so the problem does not exist. In the cheap seats, however, the railings are solid and unless you're Superman, you cannot see through them.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:53 PM by terry Highlight this comment 902

Don't forget about the railings in front of aisle seats in row 9 of the upper level there too. I found that out the hard way one game. Will never sit there again...

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:56 PM by luke Highlight this comment 903

Well, it is my hope that I will be able to see from Row 1 in section 325, I thought I checked last year and thought it would be okay, a lot better than row 4 on the end (with the railing that follows the steps upward).

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 5:25 PM by tk Highlight this comment 904

You can have my 306 Row 1's..After the Twins trying to blackmail me into having to buy 3 seats when I only need 2 maybe it's time to take some cash back from the Twins.....

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 5:32 PM by Steve Highlight this comment 905

Some like first row and aren't bothered by the rail. Secondary market probably has more than a $5 premium but many of those buyers are unaware of what the rail might be like. I have shared four front row locations. Field Terrace was bad, and it's not surprising so many first rows are now available. Legend Club was somewhat of a distraction the first year, but was adjusted the second year. Diamond Box above Dugout Box was not even an issue to a single person I am aware of (and had no premium). Diamond Box on the field had no rail but had a $10 premium. Well worth it for a few games but not for a whole season. But it's different for everyone. Height has something to do with it, also temperament (how much do we let it bother us?)

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 6:06 PM by robin Highlight this comment 906

Obviously, a spectator's height is a factor in whether the rail is a problem. My seats are in row 2 of the field terrace and some row 1 fans are not bothered by the rail, but there are others who have to lean far forward or do other contortions in order to avoid being blocked by the rail.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 8:31 PM by terry Highlight this comment 907

I agree with those that say the "orphaning" one seat us silly. Perhaps that will change in future years when there aren't 3000 people on a waiting list. I saw a number of locations where two of three seats were selected, but perhaps those folks never got past the checkout process.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 9:12 PM by Jfh Highlight this comment 908

Thanks for the front row discussion....I avoided them when we picked in 2010 because I wasn't sure. Is the consensus that legends club is ok? I'm not buying those for 81 games, but I'd like to know if they were worth it for a pick up.

In the 300 sections, I personally don't think it is worth the $5 premium. I'd like to hear from those in the 200 sections!

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 10:27 PM by Lincster Highlight this comment 909

hi everyone! bye everyone!

to my bud, the truth hurts: eat shit and die bro! ;-)

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 10:49 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 910

Legend Club ok, for my vote, for the great majority of persons, though I prefer being about half way up in the LC.
200 level includes the Field Terrace, not very ok. I'm not sure about other 200 sections.

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:11 PM by robin Highlight this comment 911

Lincster, no $5 premium for front row in Field View, Skyline View, not sure about HPV

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:16 PM by tk Highlight this comment 912

Hey Lincster, 5' 11" 195. Split a season in Row one of Home Plate Terrace in 2010. I found the railing to be an interference. In order to see the pitcher and batter I would slouch in seat and view them between the wires. Did not notice any extra room for beverages, food, or legs. It was nice not having anyone in front. In 2011 we moved to 2nd row of HPT. I could see most of the action. From time to time the person in the front row would block the batter and I would bob & weave to check out the action. If there were no $5 per seat fee for row 1 I may take them again. As things are now, I prefer the 2nd row over the first.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 06:25 AM by NotMendoza Highlight this comment 913

Hey Woah, Beta....why the hate for TTH???

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 08:03 AM by luke Highlight this comment 914

STH is trying to sell their 2 free Twinsfest tickets for $30??? UGHHHH
There won't be a shortage of tickets this year. Good Luck

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 12:45 PM by Go Go Twins Highlight this comment 915

I just went online to retrieve complementary TwinsFest tickets...you are unable to proceed to get your tickets without providing a credit card. What a bunch of crap!

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 12:56 PM by TK Highlight this comment 916

How is there a virtual waiting room for Twinsfest tickets??? Unbelievable...

I hope its just a ticketing sytem issue because I can't see why demand would be so high for Twinfest tickets on just the first day on sale.

They need the credit card information for some verification thing, who knows why, but I remember this last year as well.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 1:14 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 917

Is relocation final? I'd be interested in any sense of what's available for the On Deck Circle. Anything in Home Plate or Dugout Box?

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 1:14 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 918

My Fest ticket "order" timed out as it was "processing" and the tickets were "released". I can, of course, click "continue" to "start over". They are at it again folks.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 1:34 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 919

I got in and out with no trouble. Too bad I have no interest in Twinsfest. Nice Xmas present for the kiddies I guess.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 1:49 PM by ClarkAddison Highlight this comment 920

With all these issues with the online ticket purchasing system, I wonder what all these "convenience fee" revenue is being used for. It obviously isn't being utilized to upgrade their systems.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 1:49 PM by tk Highlight this comment 921

I had thought they did away with the $5 fee for front row seats, since they figured out they are actually worse seats? Didn't that happen last year. I am in row 3 in Field Terrace right now and am planning on moving a couple sections over, but would probably avoid the first row.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 2:32 PM by PatMeares Highlight this comment 922

Twins are in considerations for Josh Willingham. Something tells me the Twins want Cuddy to sign elsewhere and get the draft picks and have comparable numbers from Willingham (minus a lower average, but higher OPS)

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 2:42 PM by tk Highlight this comment 923

To buy additional Twinsfest tix, they want to charge a $1.50 convenience fee plus charge me $2 for the privilege of using my printer and ink to print the tickets at home. This last "option" does not appear to be an option - there was no "mail" option.

Galling. I exited and am going to talk with the kid to be sure he even wants to go. We might not need any tickets, let alone extras...

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM by BR Highlight this comment 924

By my calculations, the Twins can pay for an entire Mauer at-bat with the convenience fees from TwinsFest...that's if he's healthy.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 3:07 PM by tk Highlight this comment 925

I know Colorado was looking at Cuddy. Nobody wants to give him 3 yrs 30 mil. Might have to settle for the Twins 3 yr $24 mil which is a bad deal for the twins anyways. No market it appears for aging corner outfielders.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 926

I love how the quotation marks seem to define the way the Twins run things: "Convenience" fee, last "option". Ben's rant was the best though. Ah yes, the Twins "Way".

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 4:47 PM by luke Highlight this comment 927

What’s the appeal of Twinsfest? It’s a glorified card show. When it was at the Dome, you could at least stand in a long line to visit the Twin’s clubhouse, and there haven’t been any new trophies in 20 years to look at. Once you’ve seen the two World Series trophies, you’ve seen ‘em. Old jerseys and bats, gloves, and caps.

Have fun, I guess.

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 6:22 PM by Winona Mike