Sunday's editorial ("Maintaining Minnesota's 'big mo,' " Feb. 4) made a compelling case that Minnesota should spend more lavishly to entice more major events such as the Super Bowl to the state.
Having given the matter serious thought, I have created a short list of famed events that, given the proper financial inducements, might come here occasionally or even regularly.
The America's Cup. The world's greatest yachting race has traditionally been held on the high seas. But given its multiple bays and channels, Lake Minnetonka would provide a serious test for great sailors. The mansions lining the lakeshore would be a beautiful testament to Minnesota's quality of life for global television viewers.
The Tournament of Roses Parade. What with the great improvement in the quality of wax, silk and plastic flowers, Americans deserve the chance to awaken on New Year's Day to the magnificent sight of faux, flowered floats, gliding gracefully down Nicollet Mall, interspersed with snowmobile performance groups replacing the equine units of Pasadena.
The Kentucky Derby. Apart from the name, there is no logical reason why this Triple Crown race must be held in bluegrass country. Canterbury Park is idle in early May. Admittedly, the "run for the roses" might need to be renamed the "run for the lilacs," but success could lead to the Preakness and Belmont Stakes being held in Shakopee as well.
Major college football rivalries. Money rules college football. Pay them enough and Ohio State and Michigan, or Auburn and Alabama, might be convinced to move their annual showdowns to TCF Bank Stadium. Thousands of big-spending fans will descend upon us. An additional benefit is that long-suffering Gopher fans would get to see what good college football looks like.
Mardi Gras. There is no reason why this annual celebration always should be held in a city near the mouth of the Mississippi when it can just as easily be held in a city near the source of the "Father of Waters." Minnesotans will demonstrate a sober, passive-aggressive way to celebrate this pre-Lenten blowout.
The Oscars. Like college football, Hollywood runs on money. The newly refurbished Minneapolis Armory would be a perfect Academy Award venue. Holding it in a former armory would counter the stereotype of Hollywood being crowded with unpatriotic, antiwar liberals.
The Masters. Admittedly, Minnesota golf courses may not be in prime condition in early April, but a departure from Augusta, Ga., will democratize what many see as a snobbish, elitist event. A green parka will be awarded to the winner.
As such major events become a regular occurrence in these parts, the state may find it necessary to hire several thousand full-time greeters who will travel from event to event, welcoming visitors and giving Minnesotans a "world class" profile.
There are areas where government should practice economy; this is not one of them. Spend the money!
George M. Woytanowitz lives in Minneapolis.