Stuck in a purple haze

Published 9:10am Monday, April 30, 2012

Column: Aaron Worm, Behind the Mic

Are you as confused as I am when it comes to where things stand relating to the building of a new Vikings Stadium? I think I need to retake a political science class. Here’s my understanding of what’s going on. The bill went to a committee then another committee, but one committee added to the bill the use of a racino to raise money. Now, it might go to the floor for a vote, but taxpayers could have to pick up the tab if there is not enough money raised to pay for the stadium.

Aaron Worm

Things might have changed as of right this moment, but wow, I need someone to draw me a diagram of how this works. Three ways to pay for the stadium (this is how I understand it) are electronic pull tabs in bars and other facilities around the state, slot machines at the horse racing tracks in Minnesota, and possibly taxes if there is not enough money raised from the first two sources.

I want the Vikings to stay, but is the plan the best one, or the best that can be put together before the session ends. I don’t believe the current House and Senate members should be completely blamed by stadium backers if this bill doesn’t pass this session because the stadium issue has been going on for years and years. It has only become urgent with the Vikings’ lease running out and pressure put on by the NFL. If a bill doesn’t pass this session, I am not convinced that automatically means the U-Hauls arrive at the dome in January.

I don’t know how many jobs will be created or how much revenue a new stadium would generate, but I do know most stadium backers have a strong passion for the Vikings, and cheering for the purple (win or lose) has created many memories in their life. I couldn’t agree more.

I forget sometimes what I had for breakfast, but I know where I was on Sept. 12, 1982. I was in the top row at the dome with my dad, near the 30-yard line, watching the purple beat Tampa Bay 17-10 in their first regular season game at their new facility. Jan. 9, 1989, I was sitting in front of a 13-inch TV watching Anthony Carter wrack up 227 receiving yards as the Vikings upset the top seeded San Francisco 49ers 36-24 in the NFC divisional playoffs. Fast forward to Sept. 27, 2009, I was in the upper deck with my wife, as Brett Favre hit Greg Lewis in the back of the end zone with two seconds left as Minnesota pulled off a 27-24 win after the Niners. I will admit I didn’t know those dates off the top of my head, but I think you get my point. Like many stadium supporters, my list of memories following the Vikings is pretty long.

The Purple belong in Minnesota and not somewhere else. I just hope if a bill is passed, the results five or 10 years or so on down the road won’t be something Minnesotans will regret.