Now that the Minnesota Vikings stadium plan appears to be dead, the NFL is ramping up its relocation rhetoric. The league is trying to force the public to pay for a new stadium while at the same time stating that Vikings ownership has done all it can to get a new stadium built. Except, you know, actually pay for a new stadium.
“There are plenty of willing buyers. I think the Wilfs do not want to sell the franchise, but I think there is a point where they probably would be open-minded,” Eric Grubman, vice-president for business operations told the Star Tribune Wednesday. “I would not be surprised if [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] tells the governor, if he asks, what other cities are interested.”
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But where it really gets rich is when the NFL holds the Vikings owners up as victims in this situation. “This is getting ripe,” Grubman said. “You have a very dejected ownership. They’ve run out of options. They feel like they’ve done everything they’ve been asked to do, and they can’t get a vote.”
But let’s remember what’s really important here. The NFL and the Vikings owners are trying to get the public to pay for a new stadium without actually having the public vote on it because they know that the public will not pay for what is essentially a private stadium. The reason the state bill died was because it circumvented a Minneapolis requirement that a public vote be held before devoting any more than $10 million to a sports stadium.
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