There about as many stadium ideas, sites, plans to pay for it, designs, and thoughts as there are people in the state of Minnesota! Ask anyone over a cup of coffee...anywhere in the state and you'll find a wide array of answers.
It looks like our legislators will spend too much time on the issue again this session. Pull the trigger already! It will not get cheaper! It will cost more to bring a different team to the state! And at least to the majority of people I have talked with recently say they want our teams to stay and our stadiums to be built. Now I say that is a majority...it certainly is not everyone I talk to. But then what in this life has been unanimous?
Here's how I see it:
Gopher Stadium: Build it. It was a bad idea to have the Gophers play off campus at the Dome. If someone want to put a Corporate name on it let them. Take the money, we have research buildings on campus with company names on them. Don't add any charges to the students...go after the alum. Do they want it? Does the University want it? Does the area around the University want it? They can pay for it.
Vikings and Twins: Build it. Build it with a roof and fund it with as much owner money as possible. Pay for the rest of it with money from those who use it and generate business from it. When I go, I want to be sure the games will be played. And I am willing to pay more for a meal, parking, a ticket, concessions, etc. I just don't want to be paying for it when I am not using it.
I would feel bad if our major teams started going away...partly because we would always have a faction that would be trying to bring them back [North Stars-Wild, Lakers-Wolves] and that really gets expensive!
Major sports is good for Minnesota and I like having them around.
Meanwhile, best wishes to the old "Clipper" Rick Johnson as he recovers from surgery. Hurry back to the chair before we all become "long hairs"!
We say goodbye to Activities/Athletic Directors Bob Sieling (Bertha-Hewitt) and Brian Maki (Wadena-Deer Creek). Both good men, who really had the kids' and coaches' best interests in mind. I really enjoyed them both as coaches and ADs.
Bill Brown long time band director at New York Mills is retiring after this spring. It was always a treat to hear any of the many bands Bill put together. Always a big part of the high school experience...Thank you Bill for everything you gave to the game.
Spring tournaments are underway or right around the corner. Although I won't be as big a part of them this year, I am watching with interest.
Dan Skogen is Sports Director for KWAD/KNSP/KKWS in Wadena.