More Stadium Games in Minnesota

With all the attention being given the Twins and their receipt of approval from Hennepin County officials to go ahead with their plans, don’t forget that the Vikings want to abandon the Metrodome too. One potential site that has received a lot of attention is located in a suburb in the north part of the Twin Cities metro area – Blaine. This article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune shows some of the negotiating tactics that are going on:

Two years ago, after evaluating three potential locales in Anoka County, county officials landed on the Blaine site, which has more than 400 acres ready for development. It stands just west of Interstate Hwy. 35W, bordered by 109th Avenue NE. to the north and Lexington Avenue to the east.

Here is a link to a Google map of the proposed site. Here is a satellite picture of the site from Google maps (which, by the way, is a very neat website!). From an earlier passage in the article:

Zygmunt Wilf, a New Jersey real estate developer who is scheduled to visit Blaine today, has told officials that if he and his partners buy the Vikings, a domed stadium is not a priority. He also said that elements of the retail-commercial-housing development in the Blaine proposal don’t appeal to him, and that he is examining land in nearby Lino Lakes as an alternative stadium site.

Why might Mr. Wilf want to look at different sites?

Langfeld speculated that Wilf’s interest in acreage other than in Blaine could merely be “a negotiating tool” as he begins to meet Blaine landowners, who for 18 months have been smacking their lips at the prospect of being critical to a stadium plan.

For instance, Rick Wilder, who owns 140 acres on the site and operates the Metro Gun Club there, said he believes his land could be worth more than $20 million, a staggering figure he has based on square footage for potential development,

“One of these guys might make me an offer I can’t refuse,” Wilder said. “But, I tell you, I’m not going to be forced out. I don’t want to be relocated.”

On the other hand, Joe Preiner, who bought 75 acres in 1968 for $300 an acre and who is now asking more than $200,000 per acre, said, “This Vikings thing has screwed up a lot of deals.”

It sounds like Wilf doesn’t want to tip his hand. What you get out of any agreement is determined, in part, by what you get if you disagree. If you make your opponent believe that you have options that you find suitable, you move negotiations in your direction. The county officials, on the other hand, probably shouldn’t have announced their favorite spot. Perhaps this has something to do with it being easier to spend other people’s money.

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Author: Phil Miller

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