Sports

How Does Shakopee Factor into Minnesota Vikings Stadium Plans?

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First off, I'll give all of you non-Minnesotans a moment to get over the giggles that may be induced by a town called "Shakopee". It sounds funny, right? Like "Shack o' Pee". You are a little off on your pronunciation, but you are pretty close. Go ahead...giggle. Shack o' Pee! Hilarious!

It is, of course, of Native American origin--the home of Mdewakantonwan Sioux Chief, Shakopee.

For Minnesota Vikings fans who want to see a stadium built for their team, the idea of Shakopee throwing their hat into the ring at this late date may also seem somewhat humorous. Shakopee is a good 35 miles from central Minneapolis. Even the crappy Arden Hills site the Vikings want is much closer to both downtowns of the Twin Cities than that.

But, wait, just a moment, because I think this argument could get interesting.

The Vikings hate downtown Minneapolis (they claim) because of the congested matter of downtown; there's no way to break ground right away, and there are businesses already there, and there is simply no room to develop the "proper fan tailgating experience" (i.e., getting drunk in a parking lot).

And to be fair, plenty of Minneapolis businesses aren't crazy about some of those plans, either. One of those businesses is the Catholic Church--the franchise in question being the Basilica of St. Mary's, one of Minneapolis' most distinctive and prominent church edifices. And there are plenty of other, secular business owners who worry about the impact on their business, if any of the non-Metrodome sites are approved.

So, Arden Hills, the Vikings favorite site is a non-starter. Minneapolis is a tough sell because of established businesses. Wrecking the Metrodome and starting over would be great, if the Vikings weren't such whiny bitches about that. "We'll have to play in a college stadium! We'll lose money at the gate! We're a bunch of babies who don't know that we make all of our money on TV rights anyway!" And so on (there may have been some unfair editorializing by me in there. I don't mind that I did that.)

And so, again, Shakopee. It is distant. But it isn't much further than the Arden Hills site the Vikings prefer. It's another 10 miles or so, in the other direction. BUT...

The roads to it are already better than the roads to Arden Hills are now. Shakopee already has a little bit of the Twin Cities playground vibe to it, what with ValleyFair, the only solid, non carnie-infested amusement park in the metro Twin Cities area; Canterbury Park, a place to gamble on ponies and cards; and one of the biggest Casinos in Minnesota in Mystic Lake Casino (owned by those previously mentioned, pesky Mdewakantonwan Sioux).

Shakopee has the added benefit, for those of us who live in either Hennepin County or Ramsey County (the counties of Minneapolis and St. Paul, respectively) to not be in either of those counties. Fundraising would have to come from Scott County--and who knows? For the residents of Scott County, paying for a stadium to have thousands of Twin Citians flock into their county might make economic sense. Maybe those drunk, sad Vikings fans head to the casino, or to the track. Maybe Shakopee can actually make money on the deal.

Which is probably why the Vikings are lukewarm on the idea. Those dollars belong to them, dammit!

Regardless, keep your eye on this seemingly ridiculous, no chance in hell idea. It might make sense!