The People's Stadium might be more welcoming to some folks than others, it turns out. Richard Meryhew over at the Strib is reporting that that the Vikings and college baseball coaches are having a little disagreement over the size of the field the team is hoping to build.
The issue: it's hard to fit a square field in a rectangle and keep everybody happy. The NFL wants its fans as close as possible to the action, but building seats that close in means right field is a very easy stroke away from home plate.
Here's what it's going to look like when the Rangers square off against the Astros for a couple of pre-season games at the Alamodome in San Antonio (where Red McCombs was once thought to have been weighing a move for HIS version of the Minnesota Vikings, coincidentally.)
As you can see, it looks a little, well, lopsided. But the Vikings say MLB has signed off on the deal, and its got an even shorter foul line, at 274 feet. The Vikings are thinking along the lines of about 285 feet for the Minneapolis version. Writes U of M athletic director Norwood Teauge, in a response to the prospective designs for the stadium:
"Any distance less than 300-305 feet down the line, 360 to the power alleys and 380 to straight away center field would not allow for a game that is played under fair dimensions as it pertains to games and statistics."
Tough luck, essentially, say the Vikings, who say getting fans close to the action, in luxe, permanent seats, is the key to battling the temptation to stay home and watch the team on a giant HD TV. Big 10 baseball teams, the Vikings say...
"all have outfield wall distances in excess of 300 feet. None of the schools have the option of playing indoors for their Spring training or early-season games, and instead travel South in the early part of the year to begin their season. When the new stadium is under construction after the Metrodome has been demolished, the University of Minnesota will need to play their spring season games elsewhere -- presumably in the manner of other Big 10 schools."
In essence: Hit the road, Goldy.
Here's Teague's letter, including a memo from Gophers baseball coach John Anderson:
And here's the Vikings letter: