(This editorial was published in Wednesday's Daily Globe of Worthington.)
We want the Minnesota Vikings to move their summer training camp to Sioux Falls, S.D. If that doesn't work, let them stay in Mankato.
The Minnesota Vikings are considering offers to move their training camp from Mankato -- which is a nice little drive away from where we live. Sioux Falls wants the Vikings, too. The South Dakota border city is only one hour away from Worthington via I-90.
Vikings fans all over the Daily Globe coverage area had to be salivating at the prospect of having the Vikings' summer home so near. Already, hundreds of us trek to Mankato to see them practice, take pictures and beg for autographs. To have the Purple Gang even closer to us seems too good to be true.
Well, maybe it is. Sioux Falls is only one of four cities vying for a piece of the Vikings. Mankato, which has called itself the Vikings' summer home for 39 years, wants to keep them. Duluth and Fargo-Moorhead are also in the running.
Enter Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Just as we southwest Minnesotans were beginning to feel so close to the Vikings that we could touch their jerseys, Pawlenty warned team owner Red McCombs that any move out of the state could hurt the team's chances for a new stadium.
It's hard to butt heads with this logic. Though the Vikings draw legions of fans from South Dakota and North Dakota, and Iowa, too, they are named for Minnesota. We can hardly assume that Pawlenty and the Minnesota Legislature will share the same enthusiasm for helping the Vikings procure a new stadium in Minnesota should they take their summer dollars out of state.
It's a pity, actually. Sioux Falls, with ample help from South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, is pushing big-time for the Vikings to choose its city. We think the Vikings would be hard-pressed to consider a more lucrative package than Sioux Falls is offering -- a plan to spend $5.6 million to modernize Howard Wood Field while introducing a creative fan-based marketing approach, besides.
... We will have to wait and see what happens next. Alas, Sioux Falls still seems to be a longshot -- that is, if the Vikings are still serious about getting a new stadium. And we know that they are.
Unless, of course, Sioux Falls can supply that, too.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.