Minneapolis and Minnesota Vikings officials said Monday they're scrutinizing a parcel of land next to the Metrodome in hopes of continuing to play at the old stadium while the new one is under construction.Of course, one of the owners of the land has no interest in selling:
Even as the owner of a major technology center on the site insisted that he's not selling, Vikings' Vice President Lester Bagley said they want to see whether building at the Dome location can be done without having to spend the $48 million it would cost for the team to play up to three seasons at the University of Minnesota.
So far, Bagley said he hasn't seen "a viable proposal" that would allow the Vikings to build southeast of the Dome. That's partly due to Minneapolis entrepreneur Basant Kharbanda, who owns the 511 Building, a telecommunications center of high-tech firms that's considered the Twin Cities' portal to the Internet.And if you think relocating tenants from a high-tech building would be expensive, imagine the cost of moving an electrical substation:
Kharbanda said Monday that he's not selling the property and that he would take the city to court if necessary to protect his high-tech tenants.
Relocating those firms, he said, "is not possible technically and would take too much money to do it. For that amount of money, the Vikings could refurbish TCF stadium and play there."
The city's analysis is planned for release later this week, Lutz said. But he said it was clear that the 511 Building and the other major building in the way, Xcel Energy's Elliot Park substation, "would be high-ticket items."Remember, the idea behind forcing the Vikings to concentrate on the Dome site is that it would supposedly be easier to get the bill done and get something, anything built. You have to wonder how much longer the Vikings, and the public for that matter, are going to be willing to put up with this charade.
Xcel Energy officials met Friday with city officials to provide information on the substation, which supplies power to businesses and homes in the downtown area.
"At this point we haven't even started an analysis of what it would take [to move the substation] and what the impact could be. We haven't said it could or couldn't be moved. We'll do our part to accomplish that," said Xcel spokesman Tom Hoen.