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Matt Von Pinnon, Published December 10 2011

Von Pinnon: Tap North Dakota’s wealth to buy Vikings, build stadium

North Dakota should buy the Minnesota Vikings, or at least loan its eastern neighbor the cash needed to build a $1 billion stadium that would keep the team in the region.

Ludicrous, you say? Well, let’s consider all the facts.

Minnesota can’t seem to figure out a funding formula to solve the stadium dilemma that won’t either bankrupt the state or make a gambling addict of everyone.

Meanwhile, North Dakota has at least a billion dollars burning a hole in its britches – even after conservative state leaders have locked up hundreds of millions of dollars in barely touchable “rainy day” funds. Oil exploration continues to ramp up, pumping huge dollars into state coffers and the overall economy, and there are no signs of that slowing down.

North Dakota’s purchase of the Minnesota Vikings is a grand opportunity for the Roughrider State. Consider these upsides:

All of the above scenarios are predicated on the team and stadium physically moving to North Dakota.

Of course, North Dakota could just loan Minnesota the money to build a new stadium, provided its residents get into games for free or have ownership stock in the franchise, much like Green Bay does with the Packers. The loan could stipulate that the team and stadium at least move a little closer to North Dakota to save its residents the time and gas to attend games. Rothsay might be a good choice, given its appropriate Scandinavian name. Or Alexandria, with that Kensington Runestone and all.

And what if Minnesota doesn’t pay back its obligation on time under the agreed-upon terms?

Well, North Dakota, being the source of much of Minnesota’s electricity, could simply turn off the lights until the bill’s paid.

Von Pinnon is editor of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Reach him at (701) 241-5579.