The Wilfs have made no secret of their desire to outfit the new Vikings’ stadium with a retractable roof. Not only would such a roof allow the football team to play in the sunshine now and then, it would also increase the likelihood of the Wilfs landing an MLS franchise for the Twin Cities. Truly, a retractable roof would be the best of all possible worlds. Best for the fans. Best for the team. Best for the city.
But it’s not yet certain that a retractable roof is even financially feasible for the Vikings, especially after the legislature made them kick in an extra $50 million to cover stadium costs. I can already hear a few people grumbling that if the Wilfs can kick in an extra $50 million they should surely be able to scrape together whatever it would cost to put a retractable roof on the stadium. Especially when you consider that they would be getting their own MLS team in the bargain.
I’m not going to speculate on how much money the Wilfs may or may not have in the bank. All I know is that they want a retractable roof and that the fans are behind the idea. Right now however, the Wilfs aren’t promising anything. They best they can say is that they’ll make an effort to get the retractable roof.
In describing the team’s plans for the new facility, Mark Wilf told Sid Hartman, “We’re going to have features that people are going to want to come to the game with their families and make it a full-day experience. We’ll work very hard at getting that done. Whether it has a retractable [roof] of some kind, that’s yet to be determined, but we’re going to try if we can.”
Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis continues to be thrown out as a model for what the Vikings are shooting at. Wilf said, “Certainly in terms of the types of amenities and the way it feels inside [it will be like Lucas Oil]. I think this past Super Bowl got rave reviews in terms of the people that attended from all over the world and all over the country. I think it’s the right sensibility.
“We want to have something exciting but also is going to fit the Minnesota market and be something that has a Minnesota flavor to it. That’s the sensibility that we’re going to shoot for, the type of features that Lucas Oil has — big screens, technology, comfortable seating, club areas, public plazas, the whole nine yards.”
And fireworks. Don’t forget the fireworks.
Whether the roof ends up being fixed or retractable, one thing is certain: the new stadium will not be a giant dump like the Metrodome. They should throw a parade the day that place gets imploded.