A Modest Proposal to Save the Vikings

It goes without saying that the Minnesota Vikings are a local treasure. No Minnesota sports team has done more to dramatically lose. In fact, the Vikings are the only team this side of Buffalo that has found so many innovative losing ways, pioneering a uniquely depressing balance of inspiring talent and constant ineptitude rarely found anywhere in the world of overpaid grunting men.

[Artists' rendering of the proposed stadium complex.]
As you may know, the owners of the Vikings are currently spending millions of dollars lobbying local politicians to levy a sales tax on some of the poorest residents of the state in order to generate millions of dollars in new revenue for a real estate developer in New Jersey. All that is well and good, but how exactly will the stadium be built? There’s some debate over where the new billion-dollar luxury spectacle will be, how it will be paid for, how people will get there, and what sort of local economic impact it will have…

So, I wanted to throw my two cents into the conversation while there’s still time to affect the minds of the local politicians, including Governor Dayton, who are meeting right now in back rooms at the capitol working out the deal with Wilf’s lobbyists without any public scrutiny.

Here is a modest proposal that I believe will solve many of the so-called “problems” with the current stadium plan:

#1 The Walter H. Bachlenty (Target) Arena luxury stadium and hotel

Obviously, any football team that wants to lose in spectacular fashion will require a large, expensive, semi-outdoor stadium. There will have to be plenty of luxury boxes for local CEOs and medical device executives. The stadium will have to be large enough to give the Vikings inevitable dramatic overtime losses a feeling of pathos worthy of the fall of the Roman Empire. So, we spend a lot of money here.

[The new VIP-ZIP pilot program.]
(Interesting thought: a personal Segway sharing system modeled after the popular NiceRide program that would use dedicated “seg-sky-ways” so that employees of Medtronic and Boston Scientific can travel from their nearby corporate campuses right to the luxury boxes, bypassing all the messy parking lots and freeway onramps. You could call it “ZIP-VIP.”)

Here’s the brilliant part. In keeping with Vikings tradition of high-profile failure, and to honor all the hard-earned unpayable state government debt invested in the project, we would name the stadium after Minnesota’s strong tradition of losing presidential candidates. We will call it Water H. Bachlenty (Target) Arena. We could even erect memorial statues of each politician giving their concession speeches around the outside of the building!


#2 An Aquari-Sino at Block E

But, you might say, “How will we pay for this huge stadium? The state is broke, and has been for years!”

No problem. We’ll build a lucrative downtown casino at Block E, a building right in the heart of downtown Minneapolis that has sadly lay empty ever since Hooters and Applebee’s went out of business during the recent economic downturn.

(Whichever developer built that thing really messed up, boy howdy!)

What’s that you say? “Downtown casinos never work out, and become soul-sucking dingy blights where ever they’re built?”

Well, sure. That’s why we’re going to add a large publically financed aquarium component to the casino. My studies have shown that one of the primary reasons downtown casinos fail is because they don’t have enough architecturally embedded fish tanks. This casino will be different. It will be full of backlit sea creatures.

Close your eyes and imagine the “carps and craps” table. Block E will surely be one of the Top Three Aquarium Casinos in the World.

[The problem with the failed Duluth downtown casino and the failed Duluth aquarium is that they're too far away from each other.]

#3 “Sinking ship” themed Waterpark Convention Center

One of the other problems with the current proposal is that Arden Hills site is in the middle of nowhere, at a vacant bullet factory.

That’s why I am proposing a new Minneapolis Convention Center complex to add synergy to the Vikings stadium hotel development plans, which unfortunately will only be used eight times each year.

As you may of heard, the current Minneapolis Convention Center is struggling, and recently had to lay off half their staff. We need a new attraction to draw in lucrative tourism and convention business, and so I’m proposing a new “waterpark” convention hotel.

Special Bonus: In keeping with Vikings’ tradition and Minnesota state government trajectory, the waterpark could be called “The Sinking Ship.” Conventioneers could ride a special Vikings longboat that would sink into the water during each Vikings 4th quarter loss, projected onto the Jumbotron for vicarious televisual depression. The image of a sinking ship could be emblazoned on the stadium itself!

#4 MinneMonoRail

At this point you’re surely thinking, “Well, those are all good ideas. But Arden Hills is in the middle of nowhere! How will people get from the Block E Aquarium Casino to the new Walter H. Bachlenty Luxury Stadium and “Sinking Ship” Waterpark Convention Center?”

[The MinneMonoRail would be modeled on the successful Detroit people mover.]
That’s why I’m proposing a new modern “transit feature” that will connect our new tourist and entertainment amenities into a seamlessly integrated modern transportation network that rivals anything found in China or Belgium. We will construct a new “people mover” transportation line using an automatic train that runs from downtown to the luxury stadium without interfering with automobiles.

The magic of it all is this: there will only be ONE track, high up in the air. I call it a “MinneMonoRail.” Soon Minneapolis will be breathlessly mentioned alongside destinations like Las Vegas, Nevada and Detroit, Michigan. The future is now!

#5 Artistic Lutefisk Hall of Fame Museum & Cabbage Preservation Library

All this sounds expensive, to the untrained ear, I’m sure.

But luckily, the state of Minnesota recently passed a sales tax dedicated to environmental protection, arts, and culture called “The Legacy Fund.” And all that money is going to waste! What are all these “artists and “deer” doing with this valuable tax income? Not tackling each other, that’s for sure.

So, in order to use this underutilized revenue stream for productive economic development purposes, I propose that the new Vikings Mega-Convention-Aquarium-Casino-Monorail complex include an artistic Lutefisk Hall of Fame Museum and Preservation Library.

You might not know this, but Minnesota has a rich Scandinavian heritage! A lutefisk Hall of Fame would, at long last, pay some much-deserved tribute to some of the all-time great Lutefisk chefs, such eminent “fiskers” as Uwe Thorbløatt, Nancy Johnson, Soren Sorenson, and Inga Aårvindsonindöttir.

Never heard of those people?

That’s exactly why we need a Lutefisk Hall of Fame!

Plus, there are two added benefits: Lutefisk is already preserved, so we won’t need to do very much to preserve it. And secondly, the museum’s palpable stink will make the Vikings smell better by comparison. (Look what the garbage burner has done for the 2011 Twins!)


#6 The 2013 Arden Hills World Exposition of America Field

“You’re dreaming, Bill”, you’re probably thinking. “All this wonderful stuff will never happen here in little Minnesota. Nobody’s even heard of our state. How can we bring in so many tourists?”

They said the same thing about the Mall of America, and look at it now!

That’s why we’ll host a spectacular international festival. To kick off our new mega-project with a bang, we will host the 2013 Arden Hills World Exposition of America.

Think of it. Millions of people flocking to our little corner of the upper Midwest to marvel at the wonders of the future, at the latest cutting edge science and technology of our modern age. They will ride Segways onto the monorail and into the waterpark and up to the aquarium casino and up into a giant cheese curd themed roller rink / Large Hadron Collider, where they will be quickly accelerated PAST the speed of light and out into Ray Kurzweil’s singularity, just like what happened at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, only it would be Brett Farve sitting in the room at the end of the universe wearing a smoking jacket, waiting patiently to hug us and give us “massages.”

If we act now, we can make our dreams come true. Let’s a leave a real legacy and make our grandchildren proud.

[Artist's rendering of the proposed stadium from street level.]


Nathaniel said...

Dude. This is great!

Ed Kohler said...

I can't wait until Minneapolis becomes the Duluth of the Twin Cities.

Swaberry said...

You are truly a great visionary, my brother.

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