Shakopee,Blaine or downtown Mpls.?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Let&8217;s see a show of hands. How many Vikings fans in the Albert Lea area would rather have a new stadium in Shakopee or in Blaine?

It&8217;s an easy question for fans in southern Minnesota.

Now what about a game in downtown Minneapolis or Blaine?

Downtown is better than Blaine, too.

Getting to a Vikings game in Shakopee in Scott County would be a lot easier than driving through or around the Twin Cities to reach Blaine in Anoka County. Shakopee is a southern suburb of the Twin Cities. Blaine is a northern suburb.

The Canterbury Park race track in Shakopee expressed interest in developing an entertainment complex with the Vikings. The news item comes about a week after Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan said he is about ready to give up on bringing a stadium to his town. He has been a big backer of the idea but now wants to move forward with development plans for the stadium site but without a stadium. &8220;It&8217;s on life support&8221; is how he described the 68,500-seat stadium proposal, according to the Associated Press.

The Vikings say they continue to have interest in the Blaine site.

The problem is that the Vikings owner, Zygi Wilf, let lapse a number of options to buy key parcels of land. That&8217;s put a wedge between the city and Wilf.

Honestly, Shakopee sounds like a nicer spot for it than Blaine, but we&8217;d actually prefer to see the Vikings play in downtown Minneapolis. It&8217;s good for the Twin Cities and fair for all of Minnesota to keep the games in a central location. Minneapolis has visions for a new stadium to replace the Metrodome and hopes to keep the Vikings as a tenant.

If the proposed downtown stadium is more welcoming than the marshmallow fortress that sits there now, it really could turn the dead zone around, much like stadiums have in Pittsburgh and Detroit.

We hope the Vikings take a good look at that plan.