Minneapolis, Minn., Jan 12, 2012 / 04:11 am
Two proposed new stadium sites for the Minnesota Vikings professional football team, especially one only 300 feet from the Catholic Basilica of St. Mary, have the church’s rector “very concerned.”
“I can't imagine how our thousands of Sunday worshippers would be able to compete with the more than 60,000 people who attend a Vikings game – there simply isn't that much room in this area and the traffic, congestion, tailgating and parking issues alone could be disastrous for our Sunday worship schedule,” Fr. John Bauer said at a Jan. 10 press conference.
In a Jan. 9 letter to members and friends of the basilica community, the rector said that the congregation of 6,300 households comes from throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area for weekend Masses and weekday programs. Thousands of visitors also attend liturgies, concerts, outreach support, lectures, classes and other events.
Parking for present events is already challenging, he said, and traffic for the construction and operation of the stadium and event center would adversely affect the basilica’s ability to continue its programs.