by James Lileks, Star Tribune
A lottery for a new Vikings stadium? Sure. I'll buy a ticket. Don't know why the governor is opposed to racinos, unless it's opposition to slots. I don't play them — it's like giving someone a dollar, asking him to make beeping noises for 10 seconds, then watching him put the dollar in his pocket and walk away. But if you put up a bank of Viking-themed machines, even idiots like myself might play. Sorry, we're talking about gambling: especially idiots like myself, I mean.
Same with the lottery. I don't play it now because I am afraid I would win, and that would ruin my life. Everyone wants something. You have to go live on the special island set aside for lottery winners, and even then there's hard feelings when the guy who won the most doesn't pick up the lunch tab.
But I'd buy a Vikings lottery ticket because
- I want the Vikes to stay.
- It might mean they'd use the Strib building and we'd have to move, and while that would be sad I have come to believe the coffee stains on the carpet by my desk are never coming out.
- It would be voluntary.
That last reason is the sticking point for many, because they don't want to pay for another stadium. But there's yet another philosophical objection: Former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, angling to be the next gov, said that if 3M wanted a new facility, would Minnesota "do a 3M lottery game?"
Well, you don't see 60,000 people gathering to scream "PERFECT THAT NEW ADHESIVE" or "BLOCK THAT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT." Sports teams are private entities, yes, but we pretend they belong to Us, The People.
Let's put it this way: a Vikings stadium lottery would be the funding mechanism that irritates the smallest number of people. Just be prepared to get some hard looks if you win. Yo, Mr. 20 Million, you just pushed back the completion date by a year. Thanks a lot.
Hey, where's he going? He didn't even pick up the lunch check.