Artist's Rendering of proposed Vikings  Stadium

Stadium wars redux: Now come the Vikes

It never seems to cease: professional sports teams in every market in the country go back and back and back to cities and states to demand that taxpayers finance stadiums the public will not own or operate. This is done with the complicity of elected officials under the ever-present threat that an area’s favorite team will abandon the market and ”go where they are wanted.” (Audio File below) And go they do, sometimes even a few years after getting their stadiums. Much has been made of the brand new Minnesota Twins ballpark as they prefer to call it – a stunning new facility that returns local baseball to the outdoors with nary a bow to Minnesota’s fickle elements. Last year, it was the University of Minnesota’s TCF Gopher Football stadium (decades after tearing down Memorial Stadium) and the St. Paul Saints are asking that city to put up a new stadium for them down along West 7th St. Now come the Minnesota Vikings, headed by owners Mark and Zygi Wilf, buttressed by the likes of the ever-loving icon, Bud Grant, to say that, now that their contract to occupy the Humphrey Dome is coming to an end, they, too, consider it our civic duty and fiscal responsibility to cough up yet another multimillion-dollar stadium, even in a recession and state deficits running to the billions – or else. Continue Reading

Students shine green light on garbage burner

Starting in April 2010, Minnesota Twins fans for the first time in decades will get to experience the sights of outdoor baseball. The open sky, pennants rippling in the breeze, the natural green grass, and … the smokestacks of a giant garbage incinerator? The Hennepin County Energy Recovery Center, or HERC, is a just a long foul ball from the new stadium site. The facility burns household trash to power steam turbines, which generate electricity for about 26,000 homes. Continue Reading