Linden Avenue Vikings Stadium Site and the Basilica of St. Mary

Has anyone talked with the people over at the Basilica of St. Mary about the possible upside to having the Minnesota Vikings as a neighbor?   Maybe its time to ask:  WWRLD?

That, of course, is What Would Reverend Lovejoy Do…you know, the pastor providing Homer Simpson‘s spiritual guidance…

Anyway, it isn’t such a far-fetched question to ask.  I imagine Lovejoy being overjoyed with the prospect of tens of thousands of potential parishioners congregating only yards away from the Sunday service eight times a year, perhaps even more often if miracles really do happen.  So why shouldn’t the good people at the Basilica embrace the opportunity to welcome the Viking horde to Sunday service?

Of course other recruiting ideas exist, but these generally require planning and effort.  A new Vikings Stadium at the Linden Avenue site is a billion dollar freebie for the church, is it not?  Sure, there might be some traffic concerns, but churchgoers certainly can deal with that for the few Sundays when there might be a conflict in exchange for a chance to bring light and hope to thousands of hapless — and potentially debauched — Vikings fans, right?  And if future seasons look anything like this recent year, many people might opt for the pews over the bleachers anyway.

Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis, MNHell…I mean heck…if I were a football fan, I might even get to Mass more often.

Alas, I don’t know much about football and I really don’t care much for doling out millions to millionaires, but if we’re going to do it, we might as well do it in a manner that benefits the public good as best as possible.  Why not add a concern for the holy good as well.  This is where I think the Basilica is looking at this situation from the wrong perspective.    Not only is the Linden Avenue site in good proximity to restaurants, hotels, and transit…it is close to a church, too!  Who can’t like that?

So buck up Basilica.  Get on the band wagon and stand behind the idea.  Perhaps you can negotiate a “Basilica Plaza” or some such thing in exchange for your enthusiastic support.  (The Cathedral of Saint Pauldidn’t come out so badly with that crazy ice racing thing…perhaps the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis can come figure this one out, too.)

So I vote even more enthusiastically for the Linden Avenue site.  Get on the phone and call your elected elected folks and others and see if we can’t get this Vikings stadium boondoggle done right.

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