Vikings fans helping stadium push — in person

Published 1:49 pm Thursday, May 3, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On this postcard-like spring day, when the lake and the links are beckoning, Larry Spooner and his purple van are spending more of their vacation time parked in front of the Minnesota Capitol.

Supporting the Vikings is a lifelong passion for this 51-year-old suburban Minneapolis warehouse supervisor, who’s the same age as the NFL franchise. If the team fails in its latest bid to secure public funding for a new stadium, and the Vikings are eventually sold and moved out of state, it won’t be for Spooner’s lack of trying.

Decked out in his Adrian Peterson jersey and purple-trimmed camouflage shorts, Spooner was joined Wednesday in his dawn-to-dusk lobbying efforts by two fellow season-ticket holders. This, the jersey-clad men said, was their democratic duty as Vikings fans.

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Spooner also said it was a way to simply pay back the team for all the fun he’s had being a fan.

“Sports is a different industry. You don’t have the general public gathering and high-fiving each other and hugging each other when 3M’s stock splits,” Spooner said, referring to the Minnesota-based manufacturing conglomerate. “It’s a different animal, no doubt about it. That’s why it’s such a hot potato subject.”