NFL, Vikings Trotting Out Tired Old Rhetoric Regarding Stadium Funding


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.”

Ha! As though other CITIES could own the Vikings. No, there is no public ownership in the NFL. So it’s not really cities that are interested, it’s other buyers — and that’s no certainty.

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.”

They’ve done everything they’ve been asked to do? The Vikings owners are the ones pushing for a new stadium in the first place!

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.

The NFL and Vikings ownership cannot pretend to be victims of the public process when they are the ones trying to circumvent that process in the first place.

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