For Vikings fans, later is now

Published 8:57 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dear Minnesota Legislature:

This is your two-minute warning. The Vikings stadium legislation has been delivered and has been met with great support of your constituents. Polls I have seen have been overwhelming given the narrow focus of “user-based” fees. Further, there is a “fan” solution which requires zero taxes — using racino dollars to fund the project.

I am from South Dakota and a proud Vikings season ticket holder. Did you know 22 percent of Vikings season ticket holders live outside Minnesota? I can assure you we spend significant amounts of money, which supports Minnesota’s general fund. Being from South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is our most identifiable asset.  Imagine, if you will, the South Dakota Legislature deciding that the monument is no longer important and will therefore be destroyed. For me and fans of the purple and gold, the Vikings are Minnesota’s Mount Rushmore.

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There are only 32 NFL franchises in the world. I am thankful that leadership in the late 1950s recognized the importance of bringing an NFL franchise to Minnesota. It is time for the current leadership to reaffirm the importance of the Vikings to this area.

A few years ago, the Legislature told the Vikings to come back “later” as the Twins and Gophers stadiums were most pressing. Their stadiums were opened to rave reviews, while the Metrodome imploded and has been voted worst venue by sports publications and fans alike. Clearly, “later is now” and the clock is ticking.

Reid Jorgensen

Sioux Falls, S.D.