Sunday is a day for the sportsies, so no one should be surprised that in the wake of the Metrodome’s collapse, the media’s new-stadium shills were braying loudly. Listening to “analysts” on MyFox9’s 90-minute afternoon special, you’d think the bodies had piled up like cordwood, even though nobody, thankfully, was hurt.
But if you’re taking anything other than fantasy football advice from Paul Charchian, Irv Cross and Jim Rich, you’re an idiot. How did those outside the toy store do contextualizing the collapse that could influence a $1 billion policy decision?
Guys like me watch the Star Tribune closely: it stands to gain tens of millions of dollars should a new stadium require the newspaper’s downtown land.
So, one has to say, thank God for Mike Kaszuba. He’s covered stadium politics for many months; his story is properly astringent, poking the SaveTheVikes group for comparing the Dome’s deflation to I-35W. (Note to SVC and the Fox9 crew: people die building new stadiums, too. See: Miller Park.)
The legislators quoted in Kaszuba’s story hit all the right notes, about how the collapse of the state’s budget might be a wee more important than the collapse of some stadium fabric. Perhaps like you, I suspect our leaders will eventually cave like the stadium’s Teflon, but somebody has to at least articulate differing priorities.
Kaszuba’s story didn’t make the front page (above) — it’s on A6 in my edition — and I’d have tried to put it there to balance the football-centric fan-implication story. But I don’t have a huge issue with the Strib’s choice. The page is dominated by a great Dome-collapse photo and the focus is on immediate implications. You can see the Pioneer Press — whose ownership has no stadium land — went much the same way (below).
In the Strib’s sports section, Jim Souhan (and of course, Sid Hartman) went full shill mode, but at least that’s properly ghettoized. (The pro-stadium Strib editorial page adopted the “debate-can-wait” line that the disingenuous Vikings also took.)
As sports reporters go, the Pioneer Press’ Brian Murphy did a good first-day job reporting how much a replacement roof would cost ($12 million to $15 million). It’s nice to get facts when considering one’s pricey new purchase.
I didn’t have a chance to see the late TV news, so I don’t know how breathlessly reporters bought or fought the “must-build” storyline. Feel free to report your sightings in the comments.