MANKATO -- The Vikings official media guide contains a not-so-subtle message to Vikings fans: an entire page devoted to why the team needs a new stadium and can't survive in the Metrodome.
"It's a big issue and the media guide is well read," said Lester Bagley, the Vikings' stadium consultant. "We just wanted to reintroduce the basic issues."
The publication is distributed to local and national media and sold at souvenir stands and on the team's web site.
Headlined "Vikings face sports facility challenge," the page praises the Metrodome's past, but bluntly sums up the team's view on playing under the Teflon roof.
"Unfortunately, the facility cannot compete with other NFL-standard facilities," it says.
Mike Kelly, the Vikings new executive vice president, said the purpose of the page was, in part, to distinguish the Vikings' situation from that of the Twins, who also want a new stadium.
"We want to get everyone to at least agree that the football club is an asset worth keeping," Kelly said.
The page reminds that the Vikings are valuable to the community because they "generate an average of $85 million per year in out-of-state money, which would not otherwise come to Minnesota without the Vikings." That money is brought in through the NFL's revenue sharing policy, the page says.
Bagley said the page shouldn't be treated as a threat.
"It doesn't get (threatening) at all," he said. "It's specific about what the problem is and why the Vikings are a community asset."
But should fans believe the Vikings when they talk about their revenue problems and support billionaire owner Red McCombs?
Kelly acknowledged the team is unlikely to open its books to the general public, but he has been presenting the Vikings' financial situation to the Twin Cities business community and the team's major sponsors.
"Because of the way the McCombs companies are set up, it's tough to do that without getting into a lot of confidential and proprietary information," Kelly said.
Kelly, hired from the Minneapolis law firm Faegre & Benson, admits that the page in the media guide won't necessarily change the public's mind, but said it's a good first step in an awareness campaign.
As for the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission's plan to renovate the Metrodome, Kelly said there are huge holes in what was proposed.
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