By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
The poor Minnesota Twins. Despite a decade of trying to hornswaggle taxpayers into ponying up a couple of hundred million dollars for a new ballpark, the public remains firmly opposed to the idea. The Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll recently found that 67 percent of voters were against spending public dollars on a new ballpark.
Roughly two years ago, as Anderson tells the story, he was watching a Twins game when he gazed up at the roof of the Metrodome and spied...a giant swastika! Not entirely trusting this evil vision, the 34-year-old self-employed salesman returned to the Dome a few weeks later to confirm his discovery. Sure enough, right over second base, a massive symbol of Nazi propaganda appeared to be etched into the roof. "I started asking people around me," Anderson recalls. "They looked at it and agreed. Two out of three people said yes. The other asked me what a swastika was."
Ever since then Anderson has been waging a lonely campaign to build awareness of what he calls the Swastikadome. He's created a website (www.swastikadome.com) devoted to the issue, and hopes to file some kind of lawsuit against Geiger, Berger and Associates, the firm that designed the stadium. So far he's talked to roughly 25 attorneys, but none has been willing to take on the case.
Anderson is also working on a documentary film about the Swastikadome. He has interviewed Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the agency that operates the Dome. And in March he traveled to New York to chat with Horst Berger, one of the primary designers of the Dome (and a native of Germany). Anderson has also discussed the swastika--which he claims is the world's largest--with Twins president Dave St. Peter, but got a cool response. "He told me I was nuts," Anderson recalls. Attempts to reach the owner of the Vikings have been even less successful. "I left at least five voicemail messages for Red McCombs," he notes.
Anderson, who is in favor of a new baseball stadium, argues that the swastika's presence should bolster the Twins' ballpark pitch. "This is something that should be part of the stadium debate," he says. "If people were aware that there's a swastika in the current building they might be inclined to get rid of it."
Bill Lester is dismissive of Anderson's arguments, noting that the cables purported to form a swastika are necessary to keep the roof from flying away. "His whole concept is totally frivolous and without merit," Lester says. He's amazed that Anderson is still waging the campaign. "This guy has the tenacity of a low-grade skin infection," Lester laughs.
Funny, that sounds like an apt description of the Twins' decade-long stadium drive.