Eden Prairie’s Loss is Arden Hills’ Gain #vikings

What does the City of Eden Prairie think about the the Arden Hills Vikings stadium proposal? Specifically, what does it think about the last line of this paragraph in the Arden Hills Notes:

The stadium would be surrounded by other amenities. With approximately 21,000 parking spaces, there would be opportunities for tailgating. The County would purchase all available 430 acres and would sell the portion not used for the stadium development to the Vikings. On the approximately 170 acres not used for the stadium development site (which is subject to City zoning and approval), the team proposes commercial attractions, such as restaurants, retail, a hotel, and a movie theater. The Vikings corporate headquarters and training facilities also might be moved to the site.

Is Eden Prairie interested in publicly subsidizing the loss of one of their highest profile businesses to Arden Hills?

The About page of the Eden Prairie website includes this sentence:

Eden Prairie is home to more than 2,200 businesses, including Super Valu, ADC and the Minnesota Vikings.

Will Vikings employees, including players, continue to choose Eden Prairie as a place to buy a home, shop, and dine? Or, will North Oaks and Dellwood be more attractive options than driving around the entire Twin Cities metro to get to/from work?

Vikings Training Facility in Arden Hills

It sure looks to me like the official Minnesota Vikings’ plan for Arden Hills includes an indoor training facility and three outdoor fields, which would be one more than they currently have at Winter Park in Eden Prairie:

Vikings Proposed Stadium Site Plan

Put that together with the fact that Winter Park being even older than the Metrodome (1981 vs 1982), be prepared to hear arguments from the Vikings that Winter Park isn’t the type of modern facility that an NFL team needs in order to stay competitive. It’s a polite way of saying “it’s been great, Eden Prairie, but we’ve found $600,000,000 in public welfare that makes it easy to say goodbye. Thanks for your financial support of our move away from your town.”

6 thoughts on “Eden Prairie’s Loss is Arden Hills’ Gain #vikings”

  1. While I think much of your coverage of this is fairly silly at best, this one is a bit of a stretch.

    Do you really believe a Vikings player gives a shit if he has to drive his $180,000 Mercedes SL with twin V12s a couple extra miles to “work”? I don’t.

    Even if you’re looking at those that make the league minimum, I think you’d be hard pressed to find one that would go out of their way to live nearer to “work” than where a reasonably priced McMansion happens to be up for rent/sale for the short time they reside here during the season.

  2. It is absurd to suggest that players would not start relocating to the North/East metro if the stadium was moved to Arden Hills. Just because their car costs a heck of a lot more than yours or mine, doesn’t mean they don’t hate commuting (especially in rush hour) just like you or me. As Ed points out, it is a fact that many more players live in Eden Prairie now than Dellwood or North oaks. It is reasonable to assert that new players would look there instead of EP, and current players living in EP would consider moving there. So the bottom line is that Eden Prairie’s tax revenue and local businesses’ revenue would be adversely affected because people with a lot of extra money to spend would be leaving. So the city has a vested interest in keeping the practice facility in EP.

    Secondly, and I don’t mean to nitpick here, but seriously- going from a condo complex like The Station in Eden Prairie to practice at Winter Park is a piece of cake. Conversely, going from a condo complex in Eden Prairie to a practice facility in Arden Hills is waaaaaay farther than “a couple extra miles” as Bill says in his post. In fact this change would realistically make the drive about an hour instead of 5 minutes unless they’re going to practice at midnight, when there is no traffic whatseoever. Even then it would still be a good 25-30 minutes.

    I’m not saying that I neccesarily care about an NFL player having to drive his fancy car farther to go to work (it seems that might be more what you want to argue about, based on the crack about the expensive cars, salaries, and quotations on the word “work”) I’m just saying that Ed’s post is spot on if we’re truly discussing just what he said.

    Whether or not NFL players are overpaid, spoiled, and whether or not we can call playing football for a living work (for the record I belive we can) is a debate for another blog.

  3. I paid for college with a full athletic scholarship. While it can be argued that swimming 10-15 miles a day + weights, running, etc is “work” by some, it definitely wasn’t anything even close to what I saw other students doing to pay for school. But yeah, we’re not going to argue that here.

    I continued to live in Apple Valley and commuted to White Bear Lake when I worked there for various reasons–mostly because I found no good reason that I wanted to live in that area of town for what turned out to be two years. With fairly short contracts and the physical nature of the game which renders many NFL players useless, I would be willing to bet many, especially those making the league minimum, would stay put.

    I cannot find their in-season practice times online but if their summer practice schedules are any indication, it would appear they would fall outside of typical rush hour.

    As for your complaints about my mentioning their salaries, that has a major impact on the discussion. Someone making more than a half a million dollars a year will find a 54 mile RT commute a lot less painful than a state employee making $39,000 who was driving 67.2 miles a day.

  4. Go Bill! But I think you are missing the main point of this posting, which seems more targeted at the lost value to the City of Eden Prairie (and maybe the lack of understanding that might exist in Arden Hills area) and not the impending Viking player-du-jour’s commute trials.

    But even the EP ‘loss’ and Arden Hills ‘gain’ is a net zero for MN. Actually it is a negative given the opportunity costs of pissing away adequate existing resources in pursuit of perceived elegant resources. There is a cost to pissing away already engaged land resource and replacing it with yet another same-old training facility of similar value, meaning the net effect is
    –a lost existing Winter Park facility, its value being reduced to a negative (who will use this facility without having to re-do it completely), and
    –creating a single-value Arden Hills training facility with zero value to the general public (yet funded completely by public land and tax dollars; a land resource that might have been given public value by being engaged in virtually anything else but instead being part of Zygi World.

    And then yes Bill, a generation of Viking players will need to commute across the city from EP to Arden Hills–but since the average NFL career is three years, that generation will make this shift rather cleanly, no?

  5. Bill,

    Your points against Ed’s post actually support it quite well:

    – Vikings players are likely to be partial-year residents, so it would be especially easy for them to move during the portion of the year they’re not in town and might be moving anyway
    – NFL players have short contracts and often short careers, thus player turnover is high, so regardless of whether most current players stay in EP, new players will definitely NOT chose to live 27 miles away from their daily practice facility
    – Rookie league minimum is $375,000 and going up every year, so I doubt moving expenses are much of a concern, and a 54 mile round-trip commute is less likely to be tolerated
    – Vikings players are likely to be out-of-towners, and thus not have any particular reason to prefer one community over another, other than which one is closest to their daily practice facility

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