Zygi Flashes The Cash
By Dan Zinski
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has shelled out $45 million to purchase four city blocks near the Metrodome. This is all part of the Zygman’s plan to get the Vikes a new stadium – one that would cost just shy of $1 billion and feature a retractable roof.
Unfortunately, the stadium plan has yet to receive legislative approval. Someone will still have to kick in a big chunk of that one billion – Zygi may be rich but he ain’t that rich – and so far there are no takers among the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County (which recently committed to a new Twins ballpark) and the state of Minnesota. Yesterday’s $45 million purchase is seen as Zygi’s way of showing he’s serious about not only getting the stadium built, but helping to revitalize downtown Minneapolis – something he must include in his plans if he hopes to get the go-ahead from the city/county/state. Said the executive director of The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (who are helping the Vikes with their stadium plans):
"[The purchase is] significant because it demonstrates a real commitment [by the Vikings] to both the Metrodome site and downtown east."
There’s no question that, for this team to thrive, it needs a new stadium. If it doesn’t get it, then it will almost certainly wind up in San Antonio or Los Angeles or some place like that. Zygi can talk all he wants about being committed to Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota, but dude’s a business-man first and foremost – he will ultimately do what’s best for his bottom-line. And if that means transplanting the franchise to some city that’s willing to build it a decent home, he will do it in a heartbeat.