The Minnesota Vikings recently realized their shiny new U.S. Bank Stadium is tragically being built in front of Chicago Avenue. This obviously isn’t ideal, given the team’s status as NFC North rivals to the Chicago Bears.
The franchise submitted a potential fix to the Minneapolis planning commission in which a portion of the street would be renamed “Viking’s Way.”
As part of the application, via Eric Roper of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Vikings wrote that they “strongly object[s] to having the street running in front of the stadium named after one of its opponents and neighboring rival,” which is a big issue.
Unfortunately, the council unanimously rejected the motion Monday night, which is a huge blow to the Vikings.
Per Roper, the City Council will likely make the final verdict on this, with one council member saying “he would like to see the team make more concessions on public access to the nearby Commons park before agreeing to a change.”
Another council member broke down what is likely going to be the crux of the matter:
“My understanding of our policy here is that we don’t want private businesses to change the names of streets in front of their business,” said Council Member Lisa Bender, a member of the commission. “So if this was a proposal for Target Way instead of Nicollet Avenue or Wells Fargo way instead of Chicago Avenue, would we expect to be recommending approval of this name change?”
The big argument against this line of thinking is that the Vikings represent more than just a private business to the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis. While it’s true the franchise is in the business of making money, this is an issue that every Vikings fan would likely take personally.
Perhaps the City Council would be wise to figure out a way for this change to happen.
While it’s true the franchise deserves blame for not foreseeing the problem with building its stadium on Chicago Ave., it would be a far greater crime to leave the problem without a remedy for the years to come.