In their continuing quest to make "The People's Stadium" feel less inviting to The People, the Vikings are petitioning the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to build a permanent fence around U.S. Bank Stadium.
The structure would replace temporary fencing used on gamedays. Anyone who can't afford a ticket would still be able to peer at the stadium from a distance, according to the team.
Lester Bagley, the Vikes' vice president of public affairs, says the fence would help maintain security. He cited the instance last season when protesters climbed the rafters to unfurl a banner denouncing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
When pressed by KARE 11 on how a new fence might have kept them at bay, Bagley admitted it wouldn't, while noting that his argument sounded convincing at the time.
Under the stadium deal, the Vikings are forced to pick up the tab for temporary fencing as part of their gameday costs. But the team expects the price of a permanent fence to be shared by the unwashed rabble.
Bagley said it's unfair to expect the team, valued by Forbes at $2.2 billion, to pay for its own stuff when it's been so successful in foisting such costs on the public.
"I mean, Christ, it's like running a craps game in the dementia unit of a nursing home."
He didn't actually say that, but he did tell KARE that "when it's a stadium project, if it's used for Vikings games and for non-Viking games, other events, it's a shared cost."
The team envisions something tasteful yet foreboding, bringing the feel of a gated community in Minnetonka to the downtown area.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Facilities Authority, has misgivings. She agrees that the stadium now serves as the greatest monument to rich man's welfare in Minnesota history -- and should be cherished as such. But the timing may not be right for another handout, since she just got caught lathering her own DFL allies with tens of thousands of dollars worth of free tickets, also courtesy of The People.
"We've really gotta lay low for awhile. This is not the time to bust out a new caper."
She didn't actually say that either. Yet Kelm-Helgen did mention that "it just makes no sense to fence off a public building from the public itself."
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