Video Q&A: Another stadium for Major League Soccer in Minnesota?

http://youtu.be/5yxCOwAubcw

The tantalizing news that Major League Soccer is going to grow by 20 percent in the next eight years has some observers, like Fox Sports North, speculating about a futbol team in the new Vikings stadium.

But soccer aficionados — even some who lobbied the hardest to accommodate the beautiful game in the new Vikings stadium — are saying now that soccer’s fortunes now lie elsewhere —  possibly with another new stadium in the Twin Cities.

Here’s a conversation with Wes Burdine  about the Vikings’ future as a soccer franchisee. Burdine is one of the founders of MLS4MN, and a soccer blogger at dunordfutbol.com.

Below is what the “pitch” would look like, as the Vikings (and an amazingly large amount of fans) are thinking about soccer.

Rendering courtesy Minnesota Vikings
  • BJ

    Soccer stadiums in Europe, mostly, are in the 25-45,000 range in seating. There are only about 20 in the world over 65,000. Most major league baseball stadiums are now 45,000 or less. Of the last 15 MLB built only yankee stadium is over 45,000. In the NFL only Oakland is under 60,000. So why would a team want to play in an empty stadium? The TV visuals, alone, make it not very appealing.

    • http://scttdvd.com/ Scott

      Uh, they’d want to play in a big stadium because it’s already there and it would cost like a billion dollars to build a different one? Explain to me why “TV visuals” would justify building another stadium, when you already have one built to MLS specs.

      • BJ

        “cost like a billion dollars to build a different one?”

        Really, a billion dollars. I think most of the new MLS stadiums cost under 200 million, most are team owned (ie private financing).

      • BJ

        “when you already have one built to MLS specs.”

        The design, since it hasn’t actually been built yet, can hold a soccer field doesn’t mean its is something the MLS would want. In fact the local soccer community has been pretty vocal that the design makes chance less that MLS would go into it.

  • rst1317

    What concrete step’s has Zigi’s organization taken to land a franchise? I am not aware of any.

    • JeffreyG

      It has been confirmed that there were “talks” between the Vikings organization and the league. The assumption is that these were very preliminary. Since the stadium was approved the vikings position on MLS has been essentially “maybe, but now we’re focused on building a stadium” which suggests they won’t get serious until 2016. A lot can and will happen in those next 3 years.

      • rst1317

        The MLS is planning on expanding to 24 teams by 2020. If the Vikings are serious about getting a franchise, they need to piss and get off the pot today. They need to do something concrete, not just talk that amounts to “what would it cost us to get a franchise?”.

        Yes, a lot could happen in the next few years. But a lot of the possibilities do not bring the Vikings any closer to adding an MLS franchise. For example, given the current federal investigation we could see Zigi selling the team. Or this sort of thing, whether he’s guilty of the charges or not, could simply occupy time and resources that could otherwise be used in pursuing a franchise.

        Beside that talk is cheap, the other reason I question how much a franchise would mean to Zigi when they’ve passed up owning a soccer team in the Twin Cities today. The MLS has added several teams that played in lower leagues with their ownership showing they could a successful team ( both on the field + as a business ) before they got into the MLS. With Orlando, Sacramento, San Antonio, Indy and others having owners on that path today it’s hard to see how the Zigi will be able to argue his organization can do it better.

  • Jamison S.

    I’m a fan of the MN United FC, and for their first 5 games this season they played in the Metrodome. I can agree that a stadium that size made it look really, really empty in there, This is despite the fact that the United had record breaking crowds (something like 5-8k I think). Even if you doubled the crowd that was in there it still would look really, really odd.

  • Starquest

    And why not? Everybody gets a stadium! Build them a stadium! The T-Wolves want a new one, so they’ll be next. The Wild are already bellyaching about their ancient, decrepit, 13(gasp)-year-old arena. By the time we’re done catering to all those needs, the Twins and/or Gophers will certainly be lining up for something new, and after that we can replace the new Vikings stadium! Don’t forget the Saints! Pretty soon their Lowertown stadium will be “functionally obsolete!”

    We can’t lose!

    • Brian Scott

      Huh? If you don’t like it go back to Wisconsin.

  • http://scttdvd.com/ Scott

    I like lacrosse. Please build a lacrosse stadium. Cricket, too. Separate stadiums. Thank you.