A stadium fit for two

Recently, the University and the Minnesota Vikings started discussing the possibility of building a joint stadium together. The University has brought this long simmering issue back to the forefront with its agreement to explore building a stadium that both the Gophers and the Vikings could use. Though both teams, as well as the city, could benefit from the increased revenue brought by a new stadium, financial matters should not be the only determining factors. Careful consideration reveals that jointly building a stadium with the Vikings would not serve the University’s best interests.
Most of the two teams’ concerns about the Metrodome revolve around money. The Vikings complain of a lack of luxury seating, which generates huge revenues, and insufficient revenues from concessions and parking. For the Gophers, the issue is not so much money, but that the Metrodome is not a collegiate stadium. Its distance from campus is another difficulty, as busing Gopher fans to the games adversely affects campus unity.
The joint stadium is only one of three ideas those involved have presented to resolve the problems that the Vikings and Gophers have with the Metrodome. Another possibility is to refurbish the Metrodome, which would be a colossal waste of time and resources. Though additional luxury seating has been created to placate the Vikings, it does not resolve the University’s problems with the stadium. The construction would also be a nuisance, disrupting the atmosphere of the Metrodome.
A third possibility is for the Gophers to have their own on-campus stadium, leaving the Vikings to contend with their own problems. Of the three, this last one would be the most beneficial to the University. Having a stadium on campus specifically geared toward the University’s needs would be an amazing morale booster, besides being the most practical option.
If the University were to build a joint stadium with the Vikings, designers and architects would have to deal with two disparate sets of concerns — the University’s and the Vikings’. The Gophers would likely lose out on specific facilities intended to create a unique collegiate atmosphere. It is doubtful that University concerns would receive the same weight as the professional football team’s. With Vikings owner Red McCombs recently agreeing to listen to a proposal to move his team to San Antonio, the city and the state would probably devote more of their energies toward maintaining the football team’s Minnesota presence. The needs of the Gophers could possibly be ignored in an unequal partnership with the Vikings.
In the past, Memorial Stadium was a rallying point for many students, creating campus unity. The University, the Gophers football team and the fans would benefit most from another stadium that is on campus and designed to serve a university’s unique needs.