Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two quick stadium predictions

I. If Cubs' owner Tom Ricketts moves the club's spring training facilities from Mesa, Ariz., to Naples, Fla., I suspect most Cubs fans who make an Arizona visit an annual rite of spring will go to Naples once and never return. They're not interested in the traffic, the overcrowding, or the New Yorkers who take over Florida at that time of year. They'll find out the hard way: a wasted spring vacation. The following year, they'll go back to Arizona and attend White Sox and Dodgers games.

II. Within the next five years, the Minnesota Vikings will successfully force the people of Minnesota to pay for a new retractable-roof stadium; or they will move to Los Angeles. A billionaire in L.A. has an offer on the table: he'll build an $800 million stadium if a team moves. Could be the Vikings. Could be the Jaguars. Could be the Bills. Move fast--beat the others! If the Vikings are stuck and the voters keep saying no, I wonder how much money the team is willing to invest to renovate dilapidated, outdated, decrepit, aging Mall of America Field (f/k/a Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome). The stadium's two other tenants, the Twins and Golden Gophers, moved out. The Gophers played in new TCF Stadium this season, and the Twins will open Target Field in April. They are both outdoor stadia. The Vikings want an indoor-outdoor palace like the ones in Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Indianapolis. We'll see. Is the Metrodome paid for yet?

No comments: