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February 1, 2007

Hodgepodge

• If I had some news I would definitely share it with you. Unfortunately, I know about as much as you do about what is going on at this point. I don't think an actual agreement has been crafted yet between the land owners and the County. What they are still trying to do is negotiate a sale price for the land without having to go through the condemnation process. The County desperately wants to strike a deal so they will know how much money they'll have for infrastructure. If they can't strike a deal, the County will do the quick take and will be forced to pay an unknown amount later as determined by the condemnation hearing(s).

That is how I understand it. I would post more information if I had it, but I am of the opinion that the worst is over now. The County will get the land. If anyone has any other information to share I am all ears.

• Two dates to keep in mind:

Anytime now, perhaps even today, the Vikings will release their own stadium dreams for the land on and around the Metrodome site. This is exciting for me for a couple of reasons. One, it provides me with another stadium to pine over (and quite frankly that is my bread and butter) and two, I am especially fascinated by the potential funding for this endeavor. I think we'll know right away whether or not this will fly based on Zygi's own contribution (it had better be huge) and what kind of public assistance he expects. The public assistance piece is obviously really, really important because as the Twins stadium battle demonstrated the state won't help. We all know that Minneapolis is constitutionally prohibited from providing more than a few pennies, and Hennepin County is already on the hook for the ballpark. Where will the money come from?

My guess is that the Vikings will suggest a 7 county-metro area tax. That, my friends, will go over like a lead balloon. As I've said before, if that happens, we are years away from a new Vikings stadium. Probably 2013 or 2014. We'll know more soon.

The second date to remember is February 15. This is the date that the stadium design will be presented to the Hennepin County board. This is the date we will find out just what shape this thing will take and hopefully we'll have lots of pictures to mull over.

That's it for now. Peace out and all that ...

Posted by snackeru at February 1, 2007 7:01 AM

Comments

I agree that a seven-county metro tax wouldn't fly, but I think the Vikings are hoping that the stadium will be viewed as part of the "Downtown East" re-development project. As if to suggest that the stadium is just one small part of a huge effort. Any sensible person can see right through this, but I bet that is their strategy. They need to spend some serious time studying the Twins deals that have failed in the past. If we don't learn from history...something something something. Also, according to a recent article in the Pioneer Press, they are wanting to use the Metrodome site so as to save some money on infrastructure and land, and also perhaps to utilize some of the foundation materials. So, maybe costs will be kept down a little because of that. We were talking $675M in Anoka county plus $115M for nearby road improvements. And, they were worried about costs escalating on that project. If this project is more than those numbers, I will begin to question why they turned their backs on the one public agency willing to make a significant financial contribution. I am sure Zygi will just keep coming back, year after year, until they give in. I guess that strategy did work for Pohlad.

Posted by: Derek Robertson at February 1, 2007 12:43 PM

Shane,

I am a long time reader and had a stadium unrelated question to ask you. Since you are a pretty sweet techy guy, could you help me find a website that allows me to print spine labels for CD jewel cases. I have an extensive collection of burned cds and have bought a bunch of jewel cases to put them in, but no way to label their spines lately. I found this website, but it doesn't work. Any ideas? http://www.wellesley.edu/Computing/DiscBurner/CDCaseLabels/caseLabels.html

You are my hero!

Posted by: vince at February 1, 2007 5:33 PM

Any updates on when the Vikes Stadium Design will be presented? I thought I heard from several sources that it would be presented yesterday.

Posted by: MOJO at February 2, 2007 12:26 PM

I know y'all are new stadium pimps, but this Saturday, Feb. 3rd is the Gophers Pro Alumni exhibition at the Dome. It's free for U students, $5 for the general public, I think, and you can sit wherever you like. What better way to spend the coldest day of the year?

Posted by: spycake at February 2, 2007 4:31 PM

So randy johnson of the henn. board said today on wcco radio the site being a go for the ballpark is no better than 50-50. Still optimistic? This is turning into a clusterbleep. He said he's strongly looking into possible other sites. Oh jeezo beezo...i hope land partners II enjoys holding the public hostage. Johnson said the landowners have never given the county a counter-offer price. So it's a he said she said, or in this case, he said he said. Nothing is ever easy in this silly state.

Posted by: mullen at February 4, 2007 11:27 AM

I heard the same WCCO interview with Johnson. It surprised me that he had other sites in mind that could be used without impacting the timetable to severely, if at all. Anyone know what other sites in town they might be looking at? Also was stated that while the legislation was site specific, the people he's talked to in the legislature were fed up with Land Partners II as well and would be willing to allow a site change.

Posted by: Mylometer at February 4, 2007 12:08 PM

From Viking Update

"The Vikings may have a hard-sell when it comes to getting state funding for a stadium proposal during this Legislative session. After seeing a deal with Anoka County fall through in which the county would have pledged $275 million in funding for the project, the Vikings are currently without a financial dance partner and the new price tag of a stadium with a retractable roof has climbed to $900 million.

The Vikings plan would call for a seven-county sales tax that would include all of the counties surrounding the Twin Cities. Ironically, it would also include Anoka County, which, at this point, are no strong supporters of anything Vikings-related – much less a stadium that wouldn’t be in their county, but the residents still asked to participate in the funding.

In addition, there likely wouldn’t be a ton of support from Hennepin County. When the Legislature failed to get a Twins stadium deal done in previous sessions, county officials went off on their own and agreed to a .015 percent sales tax (three cents on every $20 spent). The likelihood of legislators from that county being willing to pay up for another stadium – despite being within its borders – is also going to be a difficult sell.

The Vikings stadium plan was expected to be unveiled Feb. 15, but without a financial plan in place or a partner ready "

Posted by: MOJO at February 4, 2007 12:30 PM

i dont think they could get the legislature to revisit the twins issue, not as it's configured now. it's sad and im hoping it's all about leverage and public perception. i also think everyone involved in this land sale should just stay off the radio and not make any comments. (except on this blog of course, hehe)

Posted by: mullen at February 4, 2007 12:35 PM

As if I needed anything more besides the weather to remind me as to why I left MN long ago...Nobody can agree, everybody whines and even when it's all settled, it's not settled. Unfortunately the Vikings eventually will leave. I can't imagine Zygi has the patience that the Pohlad family does. Zygi has no local ties to MN. Leaving MN wouldn't hurt him one bit if there's an area willing to build him a stadium - LA. All he'd have to pay is a relocation fee to the NFL. If he was a smart man, he'd just say here's my contribution of X dollars, you guys at the capitol figure out the rest if you want this team to stay past 2011 or we're outta here. He has nothing to lose, MN has everything to lose.

Posted by: kevin in az at February 4, 2007 3:35 PM

Kevin, you are so right. It's a very frustrating place when you realize the potential that exists here. It seems we aspire to be just good enough, but not great. And we talk, debate and convene committees 'til the cows come home. We're not on the same level of Denver or Seattle, I don't care what civic boosters say. They actually get civic projects accomplished in those cities.

Posted by: mullen at February 4, 2007 4:26 PM

You've got that right Mullen, and the Twin Cities area NEVER used to be like this. MSP used to be one of the more progressive metro areas in the US. When there was even a hint of an idea of attracting major league sports to MN, they threw Metropolitan Stadium up so fast (and it showed) to get a baseball team. The Giants almost moved there and so did the Indians. The stadium authority promised to expand down the right field line and Griffith agreed to move his Senators. Then the NFL expanded. After the Vikes played there for 3 years, the gov't entity that operated Met Stadium helped the Vikes build the bleacher pavillion in left field.

Today it's a totally different story. Yes, sports has changed from the way it once operated. However, if the Twin Cities wants to compete with other markets of similar size, they need to put up or shut up. And when they do actually pass legislation or make resolutions, make sure there aren't any glitches like this land fiasco that Hennepin Cty now finds itself involved in.

It makes me sick to see what has happened to my home state and the people who supposedly "lead" it. Of course the leaders are only as bright as their constituents, right? GEEEEESH!

Say what you want about Norm Coleman. I'm as left of center as they come and I typically disagree with him and definitely poked fun at him when he switched parties. But it's a real shame he left local politics. The way he was able to get things done at the local level is something nobody else has been able to do since he left for Washington.

Posted by: kevin in az at February 4, 2007 7:17 PM

Nice conversation guys, and thanks for the update on the Johnson interview on WCCO. I did not hear that he would be on.

I've got more to say, and I'll say it later, but for right now we are all in the dark.

And Vince, as far as I know there is nothing out there that can do this for free. I looked around and didn't have any luck. Sorry! Anyone else got any other ideas for online CD jewel case label creators?

Posted by: Shane at February 5, 2007 8:54 AM

Kevin - I totally agree with you on Coleman. That guy was an outstanding mayor in St. Paul and had it not been for Jesse, he likely would have been the governor. How different would the Twins stadium situation have been then? IMO, the Twins would already be playing in it.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 5, 2007 11:49 AM

Gonna be awesome, its almost here!

Posted by: Minnesota personal injury lawyer at March 20, 2009 10:51 PM

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