I was fortunate enough to win 2 tickets to see the Vikings vs Dallas this weekend. The tickets came courtesy of Minnesota Momentum (http://www.vikings.com/stadium/new-stadium/index.html). I wanted to take my daughter with, but my wife was afraid the noise would be too much for a 2 year old, so I did not get to take her unfortunately. However, I really was wanting to see how the family vibe was. Eric Durkee (founder of MN Momentum) tweeted this to me:
@TomSimano father/daughter bonding! Part of the reason we need a #newmnstadium so it can continue to happen!
Now first of all, I felt terrible that I could not take my daughter after winning the tickets, I really can’t wait to take her to a game, especially after really observing the game and just the overall atmosphere to and from the game. His point really was spot on though, any way that we can bring families together, whether they live together, or are scattered around the state/country, is really a great thing. Vikings games are great for getting to hang out, with family/friends, and enjoy football.
I took the lightrail from the Mall of America, and I was amazed at how many people crammed into the train, and it was literally a sea of Purple Pride. Every stop we just kept cramming more people in, which was crazy. The same could be said of the way back, I rode the bus back, which again was filled with Vikings fans (minus a few Cowboys fans). That really got me thinking about how important this team is to our state. Not only were there tons of fans everywhere I looked at the game, on the train, and on the bus, but there were tons of families. I think this is an understated part of football, that it can be used for family outings. There was a family in front of me who also happened to watch the Seahawks game as well, they took their 2 children to both games. There was an elderly man who came with his daughter and her husband/boyfriend. I sat next to younger kids who may never had been to a game before. Everywhere I looked there were people, most decked out in Purple gear, and most there with their family in tow.
Now, imagine if the team fails to get a new stadium and leaves town. The sea of purple riding the light rail on game days would be gone, the buses empty. All of the fans who travel out of state to attend games, gone. I can’t imagine how bad that would be for these restaurants, hotels, car rentals, malls, bars…
Also, the current Metrodome is not set up well at all. I had to wander to find bathrooms, it took forever to find a food vendor, lines were long everywhere. Target Field, on the other hand, has easy access to bathrooms (including Family restrooms), and many easy to access food vendors when you get in the main walkways. The seat positioning is uncomfortable (hello neck crinks). We need a stadium, if you haven’t been to the Minnesota Momentum page, please take the time and go there, support the effort, contact your Legislatures, let’s get the deal done. Ownership did their part to get a local partner in Ramsey County, roads that need upgrading already, will finally be upgraded as part of the plan, and Arden Hills will get a fantastic place to both tailgate, and watch our Vikings.
Keep the Vikings in Minnesota, just remember, “If you build it, they will come.” (Field of Dreams)