Let the Vikings go public

Public ownership of the team could help finance a new stadium.

Editorial board

It is hard to believe that anybody would question the business model of the Green Bay Packers; Why would they when weâÄôre talking about a championship club? However, behind the scenes exist an ownership model that, although not necessarily well known, could serve as a model for the Minnesota Vikings to follow while they are desperately searching for solutions to their stadium woes.

The model in question is public ownership, and state Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, introduced a bill to this effect Monday. The positive benefits of a publicly owned Vikings team could provide lasting solutions to numerous obstacles the team currently faces.

Keeping the Vikings in Minnesota is undoubtedly good for the stateâÄôs economy. However, not everyone in the state is willing to foot the bill for the teamâÄôs demand of a shiny new stadium. Nonetheless, a vast number of Minnesotans are willing, and making the team public is not only a good solution for those fans, but a good option for the current owners as well.

Allowing community members to buy stock options would generate revenue to construct a stadium âÄî taking the burden off of taxpayers âÄî as well as free up capital for the Wilf family, which would still retain almost all of the control it currently enjoys.

Kahn has already brought the idea to the Legislature and it was shown to have bipartisan support during negotiations with the Minnesota Twins. Momentum for this idea should build in the state and in the Legislature âÄî it is a reasonable and logical option not only for potential investors but for all Minnesotans as well. This idea has a proven track record and would take the burden of financing a new stadium off of taxpayers âÄî itâÄôs the ideal option for everyone.