With some prime tailgating lots near the new stadium targeted for development, the NFL team is working to fill the void and preserve a gameday tradition.
Let me get this straight............the fanboys who say that this stadium will bring much needed revenue to downtown shops and restaurants are the ones complaining that there isn't any tailgating, which is counterproductive to what they claim will happen. Guess those hits to the head really do damage brain cells. What a fiasco!
Every parking lot that isn't developed near the Vikings Stadium will present itself as a negative for Downtown, and Minneapolis. We cannot turn our Downtown, our most productive place in the State of Minnesota, into a parking lot for occasional tailgating.
The mayor and his yes men don't get it. This has been going on for year before the new stadium. My group use to be have the big Graybus with the party deck on top, and we would host some great parties prior to and after the games. We had the same spot for years in a lot along Washington avenue down from the Liquor Depot. People who got there before us would not park there because they knew it was our unofficial spot. This exact spot is now the corner post for the parking ramp they built for the theater folks. The tailgating population don't want food trucks and rail rides - we want fire up our own grills and cook what we want and enjoy some adult beverages and relax while doing it - railgating doesn't get it done.
They seem surprised that fans actually want to tailgate. Are they that far out of touch? By selecting the downtown site, the Vikings effectively killed any opportunity for fans to tailgate. "Railgating"? Puhleeze. If the Vikings truly wanted tailgating to occur, the stadium would be built in Arden Hills. Just sayin'....
Tailgating has to move to the 35 side of the stadium. I get that it is important to football, I've seen it in other cities. But 365 days out of the year Minneapolis residents will continue to suffer the sight of these surface lots in our downtown so that 8 mornings a year people can get drunk in them. I am not against tailgating. But BYOB brings zero revenue to our city.
This is great news but do NOT let them kick you tailgaters out of your own new public park! Otherwise, it really isn't YOUR new public park but a "corporation's park." I am guessing that the reason why "additional tailgating space" is being searched for is because they (the greedy moneymakers that have already made promises to "in-the-park" vendors) will want you tailgater types far away from your new public park. Here is a better plan: A bunch of young entrepreneurs create a company named "Tailgater Assistants, LLC." The company's sole purpose will be to deliver to your group at the designated time and place a grill (or two or three), grill necessities, chairs, coolers with ample ice, LCD TV, small power generator, maybe even a porta-potty, etc. These items would be "ordered" by your group's leader via the "Gater-Assistants" website days in advance of the game. Equipment pickup by your group would be at a road's curbside (alongside the park) and the employees could even be paid a bit more to help lug the items to your exact public park "picnic" spot. Actual food and drink would be the group's responsibility to keep the MN Health Dept away as would sodas/alcohol so as to release from liability the "Gater-Assistants." Usage of the spot and an alcohol consumption permit would need to be obtained through the Mpls Park District but that is quite easy. Now, setup at your spot, you will have three options: (1) Stay right there and watch the whole game in the park! That would rock! Especially if one group created a very large projection of the game on a large screen! The NFL cannot do anything to stop that. (2) Have the "assistants" pickup your rented grills, coolers, chairs, TV's, other stuff, go to the game, and call it a day after the game (ie go home). Or, (3) choose the "go the distance" route and have the "assistants" return your gear to continue your group's soiree into the evening and pickup even later on! Those who choose to be "Rybak Railgaters" can do so but they will dislike paying $10 for a crummy water-beer and $20 for a snack while tailgaters are eating quality brats, steaks, dogs, etc at store prices and then enjoying real beers and affordable sodas at around 50 cents to a buck a piece. The entrepreneurs that provided this service to many groups would make a killing and the "Park-Gaters" would be extremely pleased! Seriously, who needs Rybak Railgating, food trucks, and Aramark chosen stadium food?!?! They are building this park for YOU the taxpayer, not for corporate interests.
"...building a massive deck over I-35W." Honestly, that may be the only way to make it work for everyone. So... anyone got another $975 million sitting around to build that?
So we're supposed to underutilize whole city blocks so that Vikings fans can stand around drinking beer and grilling in ugly surface parking lots? not using any of the bars and restaurants that the stadium is supposed to help fill? Great. The thing is, some of us actually live and work in Minneapolis and would like it to be pleasant for something other than football.
To all tailgaters, the Mpls Mafia don't want you to have fun, they want to make millions off the downtown site. Too bad the Arden Hills site lost, that would have been a great stadium site for fans. But the downtown site will be great for the upper class real estate tycoons. Too bad for average citizens. But that is life in a capitalist society. Those that have, get. Those that don't, well good luck.
Do you hear Chicago Cubs fans complaining that there's no parking? No. Chicago's Wrigley Field is in the city and that's part of the experience. I am sure no Vikings fans will turn down a ticket to the game because the tailgating options are sub-par. This stadium is great for downtown. It's going to be a great addition to the city landscape, and encourages fans to use public transport. Minneapolis is becoming a more modern and efficient city, and this stadium is part of that transformation. If the folks from the hundreds of nameless suburbs are upset because they can't park their "Greybus" across from the Liquor Depot anymore...too bad. Suburban sprawl is out, gentrification is in. Take the Light Rail downtown. Enjoy the city. And hopefully enjoy many Vikings playoff victories in the years to come!
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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