Losing record may hurt push for new stadium

6:20 PM, Oct 17, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Fans are frustrated. "I turned the game off after three quarters," says Eric Johnson, a Vikings fan from Minnetonka. "I just got too upset."

Public perception of the Purple is low, considering their 1-5 start, and it's not coming at a good time as talks regarding a new stadium heat back up.

"It would be easier if they were winning," says Dr. Kevin Sauter, a professor in public communication and persuasion at St. Thomas. "It's the long-term investment of the stadium that the team is trying to sell to the public."

Dr. Sauter says the mood of the fans isn't the focus for team officials, but rather state lawmakers.

"If you look at it strategically, their audience is the legislature and the governor's office. Those are the people they need to convince."

In other words, cooler heads must prevail when it comes to a 600 million dollar taxpayer investment.

"It's not going to be the record of the team that will decide the fate of a stadium," said Dr. Sauter. "The team will focus on the lawmakers and remind the public that the Vikings have been here for 50 years and are a valuable commodity."

The "Voice" of the Vikings, KFAN's Paul Allen is hearing plenty of purple opinions over the airwaves and says if you focus on wins and losses you're not seeing the big picture.

"I think then you are jettisoning 51 years of football history and memories that have been made over the years," says Allen. "The team is part of our cultural fabric."

Some, however, disagree.

"I'm glad I'm not Ziggy," said one fan.  "When you win it makes people are more willing to support a stadium."

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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