Category "Sports business"
January 18, 2005
Vikings sale rumors
Mr. Cheer or Die writes a great rumor today concerning a potential Vikings sale. It seems a sale to Reggie Fowler is very much a possibility at this point:
Former Vikings punter and current Vikings Game Day sideline reporter Greg Coleman is friends with Arizona entrepreneur Reggie Fowler who has been off and on news in regards to purchasing the Vikings from Red McCombs. Well, Fowler is back on again. Coleman spoke at length with Fowler recently and gets the feeling that a sale is near. No price mentioned, and Coleman is not sure if Taylor would be involved. Fowler wants a family like atmosphere and has zero intention of moving the team. Coleman also said today on KFAN Radio that Fowler wants to move his entire business to Minnesota as well as his family.
In fact, Mr. Cheer or Die says that this very news was reported today on WCCO radio, and this weekend on KFAN, so I think we may see something fairly quickly. Thanks for the great reporting Mr. Cheer or Die!!
This is somewhat similar to the rumors that I've recently heard concerning a sale to Fowler and/or Taylor. Last week on a local sports show featuring Mike Max, Sid Hartman and Dark Star, it was rumored that Glen Taylor was 45 days from purchasing the team and that he was receiving heavy pressure from the NFL to include Fowler in the deal. Both Mike Max and Dark Star energetically backed up this rumor saying that a Taylor/Fowler purchase should almost be expected at this point.
Then, I got this rumor from an anonymous commenter for a post of about a week ago:
Rumor around town is that a deal has been done. Fowler's group owns majority of the team and Glen Taylor has a 10% stake...a stadium deal is also apprarently ready to go...expect news to be released soon!
All of these rumors involving Taylor and Fowler ... I can't help but think there is some major wheeling and dealing going on right now between those two and McCombs.
Keep your fingers crossed. I think we may finally be rid of this Texas-sized nightmare pretty soon.
We've heard this all before, but I think it is real this time.
Category "Sports business"
January 3, 2005
Argh! Two things ...
Here I go again. Just in case you missed it, the Pioneer Press had a pretty good article in Saturday's paper concerning my favorite topic: Stadiums in play again. Most of it was the same old stuff we've read about for the past few years, but it also highlighted my new knight in shining armor for stadium financing in Minnesota, the Native American tribes:
The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, under pressure from Gov. Tim Pawlenty to share its casino profits with the state, said it wants to discuss new joint ventures that could include helping finance a stadium. That potential support could make the difference in a traditionally difficult financing scheme. The quid pro quo: The band said it won't renegotiate compacts that give 11 tribes a monopoly on casino gaming and don't levy taxes on their earnings.
Johnson said the Twins have met with tribal leaders on the issue and that the addition of tribal money would be "a good strategy. There is much mud to be put on the walls in these issues, but it remains to be seen what's going to stick,'' he said.
Really, what is wrong with this plan? If there is anyone out there who has a problem with the tribes financing stadiums in exchange for retaining their gambling monopoly please let me know. Personally I have a big problem with using gambling money to help balance the state's general fund. That's what I have a problem with. I also have a problem with the state getting into the gambling game by building our own casino. And to top it all off, haven't we totally screwed the tribes enough thoughout American history as it is? So, the tribes themselves have offered to help pay for stadiums. I say we take them up on the offer and finally solve this problem.
Secondly, Dean Johnson mentions that the Twins have already talked with the tribes. This is news to me. The last I heard, Jerry Bell was tip toeing around the idea of combining baseball and gambling in any way. To hear that they've opened up discussions with the tribes is, I think, very promising. Like I said, this is my new "knight in shining armor." If this falls through ... well let's just not think about that.
Lastly, Charley Walters had some recent things to say about the upcoming sale of the Vikings that literally brought a tear to my eye. It may have been particularly dusty the morning I read this, but a tear came to my eye nonetheless. According to Walters, Glen Taylor recently said this concerning Tice's contract extension:
"I'm comfortable with whatever decisions they make, and we will live with whatever is in place. We're looking at the long run. (Tice's contract extension) won't deter or help either way."
Taylor was asked the status of a potential purchase of the Vikings by his investment group.
"(McCombs and I) are both watching the team try to get into the playoffs," he said. "That's what we're doing right now."
Now, I don't know about you, but this sounds like Taylor is more than serious about buying the team. This sounds like a person that is going to buy the team. I know, I know ... I'm grasping at straws here, but I AM A VIKINGS FAN! Straws are all I have to grasp. There is nothing else for me to hope for.
Category "Sports business"
September 14, 2004
Why do I even try to think of a title...
Kids ... I swear I am keeping track of all the extra money my kids are costing me. When they hit 18 I am going to present them all with bills for damages to my house and car through the years that will shock them. It is already shocking me, and my oldest is only 9. Take last week for example. My daughter, who just turned four, decided to "color" my mini-van. Only she decided to use a rock as her crayon. When I saw the damage, which wraps around the entire vehicle, I was too stunned to speak. Sputtering, I turned to my daughter to ask her what on earth prompted her to wreak this kind of devastation on something I am years away from paying off. She just looked at me and said, "Dad, you're crazy." I don't know what to say to this. No matter how much I want to, I cannot reason with a four year old. It is impossible. You say, "Honey, you can't scrape a rock against a car. It ruins the car." And she says, "OK Daddy, do you want to play with my dolls?" How frustrating. Maybe I am crazy. Regardless of my mental state right now, though, she is going to get a bill for this when she least expects it. Oh yes, there will be restitution!
Interesting article about the Vikings defensive line today in the Star Trib. As I sat in my seat at the Dome this weekend I was thinking the same thing. Vinny had all the time in the world to throw. I don't care how good your corners are, if the QB never feels any pressure he will eventually find an open man. According to the article, Dallas was only hurried on 12 of 50 throws. 12 of 50!!! That is unacceptable, especially considering how strong the Packers O-line is. And it appears that Hovan received most of the criticism. Are we a couple of weeks away from a benching? I wonder. I also wonder about this quote:
"They were going up against [Pro Bowl left guard] Larry Allen. I didn't expect them to go out and beat Larry Allen on every snap. He's a future Hall of Fame-type guy. But I didn't expect us to hand him a yellow coat, either. That's what we did out there. We handed him a yellow coat."
Maybe I'm just dense, but what in the heck does it mean to hand someone a yellow coat? I have no idea what this means. Oh wait, I just figured it out. They hand you a yellow coat when you enter the Hall of Fame. Sheesh, I guess I'm a little slow on the draw today.
Bob Sansavere wrote an interesting column today for a change that suggests the relationship between Reggie Fowler and Denny Hecker isn't as set in stone as we have been led to believe. Apparently the deal, as far as Hecker is concerned, hinges on whether or not they can get a stadium deal shortly after purchasing the team.
"The biggest hurdle is not the purchase price,'' he said, "it's setting up without a stadium. That's what we're really looking at — where would we be without a stadium.''
Hecker also added:
"This goes back to, 'Be careful what you wish for.' If you get it, you may not get rid of it. If you do get (the Vikings) and don't get a stadium right away, it's more painful than it is with a stadium. You don't want to risk enormous capital for fun.''
I also heard on the radio this morning some comments from Tim Pawlenty who was audibly happy about a local owner possibly buying the Vikings. Could part of Hecker's involvement be some assurances from the governor that he would look more favorably on a new Vikings stadium with a local owner? I would say that the answer is a definitive yes. No way Hecker, or Fowler for that matter, would do this deal without talking with the governor. Pawlenty also said he expects an offer to made within the next few weeks. While the article above hinted that things are still up in the air, I would be shocked if Red didn't have an offer on the table by the second week of October.
Category "Sports business"
September 12, 2004
What a weekend
What a weekend for Twin Cities sports enthusiasts. We had the Twins, we had the Gophers, and we had the Vikings and they all won their respective contests. Let's get to my "thoughtful" observations (yeah right):
The Gophers took a step back, in my opinion, this weekend. They say a win is a win, but I say a win is a win unless you are playing a Division I-AA opponent. Then you had better Win with a captial "W" and win convincingly. The Gophers struggled against a team picked to finish in the middle of the pack of the D I-AA Gateway conference. On the bright side the mistakes they made can be corrected. For example, Justin Valentine being stuffed at the goal line and then stripped was rather embarrassing. That touchdown would have blown the game wide open. I tell you, it looked like the Gophers were trying to pump themselves up the entire game but just couldn't do it due to the caliber of opponent they were playing. Note to Mason: never schedule a D I-AA opponent again. It just ain't worth it. A win against a D I-AA opponent doesn't count towards bowl standings, but a loss sure would.
Three things I've noticed watching Gopher football: 1) the Gophers' offensinve line will wear down opponents. A close game doesn't matter in the first couple of quarters. Sooner or later the O-line is going to wear down the defense and Barber-Maroney is going to go wild. It is inevitable. 2) the Gophers' defense needs to defend the short pass better. Teams are starting to figure out that if you want to beat the Gophers just nickel and dime them down the field. That has got to stop. And 3) Cupito is a much more accurate passer that Abdul-Kaliq, especially on the run. That pass to Ernie Wheelwright was a thing of beauty.
Do you know how cool it is to work for the University of Minnesota? Let me explain it to you. My place of work, my employer, has a football team. Not only that, but the place I work also has a basketball team, a baseball team, and a hockey team that all play on a national level. Does your place of work have any teams to that you can cheer for? Does, say, General Mills have a nationally ranked football team? I bet they wish they did so they could take on those jerks at Kelloggs. I tell you, working at the U really has its perks. You just have to know where to look.
Illinois State is located in the cities of Bloomington-Normal. These two cities are known as the "Twin Cities" in Illinois. So, in a way, last Saturday's game was a battle between the two "Twin Cities"!! So, needless to say, Minneapolis-St. Paul crushed that pansy town of Bloomington-Normal to claim the title of the real Twin Cities. I'm sorry, these are the things I think about. It cannot be helped.
Let's talk about the Twins. What is really on my mind right now is who finishes out the three man rotation in the playoffs? Mulholland, Silva, or Lohse? I think we can knock out Lohse right now. He has just been way too erratic this year to be considered. So that leaves Mulholland and Silva. If you would have asked me on Friday I would have said Mulholland for sure. He's got the experience and has been somewhat consistent this year. However, Silva's performance on Saturday was very good. I think the coaching staff is taking a liking to his approach his last couple of outings. Plus, he can probably last a little longer out there than Mulholland at this point in the season. He might just be the third starter in the playoffs.
I'll be going to the game this Tuesday to see Santana pitch. I swear every time he takes the mound I think he is going to get a no-hitter. And now that I have just jinxed him it probably won't happen, but I'm not really the superstitious type. I think the bats of the White Sox may have more to do with the difficulty Santana will have pitching a no-hitter on Tuesday. Anyway, this Tuesday the Twins will be handing out a Santana/Cy Young button at the game and that has me pumped! I already have the "Get to Know 'Em" and "Gotta See 'Em" buttons, not to mention the complete set of Twins fishing lures, so a new button will be nice to add to my collection of atypical Twins memorabilia.
Finally, we have the Vikings game. Much like the Gopher's game. I was not impressed with the defense. First of all, the Vikings could not get to the quarterback. We had one sack in the fourth, but up until that point Testaverde had all the time he needed. Was Hovan even out there? They showed a replay on the JumboTron that featured Hovan just getting stuffed. Anyway, also much like the Gophers, Dallas picked our secondary apart with short passes. Vinny passed for 355 yards for goodness sake, and they converted 8/15 3rd downs. To make it worse, Dallas is an average offense at best! Am I being too critical? They did only score 17 points.
No wait, I have even worse news: our starting cornerback, Ken Irvin, injured his Achilles tendon before the game in warmups and is probably lost for the season. He's not really our starting CB, but Brian Williams has been hurt most of the preseason. Brian Williams, you had better get to 100% really quick. And everyone, please say a little prayer for the health of Winfield this season. Our secondary is looking very, very thin right now.
Now for the bright side. Our offense is humming. Daunte looked spectacular out there today. I mean, five touchdown passes! Five! He is on pace for 80 TD passes this year! OK, deep breath. Daunte's audible to Onterrio Smith in the 2nd quarter demonstrates, at least to me, what a mature QB Daunte is turning into. And Moss, although he officially had only 27 yards, really marched the Vikings down the field. I saw in his press conference that he too was shocked with the 2 interference penalties called against the Dallas defense. I think we'll see a lot more of that throughout the season. And did you see Randy Moss lay down the guantlet when a reporter asked him to compare himself to Terrell Owens? Moss said, "There is no comparison." Ohhh ... I love that kind of stuff. Let the trash talking begin.
The Vikings win was great, don't get me wrong, and I think the defense will improve as the season progresses. I mean, they are already better than last year. However, the best news to come out of the day was Reggie Fowler's interview with the press. In his interview he said he anticipates making a formal offer "in the next few weeks." And concerning his relationship with Denny Hecker he said:
"I think it's very important, as an outsider, to give a level of comfort to the people here," Fowler said. "And with people like Denny Hecker involved, I think that goes a long ways towards establishing credibility that we would keep the team here. It takes enough work just getting involved in buying the team. Can you imagine the work it would take to buy a team and then move it?"
This is very , very, very good news. I am so pumped about this. To have a local owner again (Fowler would move to the TC and Denny already lives here, duh!) will be huge. Fowler also hinted if he bought the team his company's real estate arm could get involved in the development of a new stadium. I don't know what that means exactly, but I would suggest Fowler tries to go it without the aid of the state legislature. It just isn't going to happen with the state's assistance, I'm afraid. Maybe (hopefully!) he has already considered that.
Good weekend. See you soon.
Category "Sports business"
April 23, 2004
Victory yet again
The Twin Cities are abuzz with debate concerning Victory Sports. I think I've already made myself abundantly clear on where I stand on this issue, but I can't help but comment on news that came out today about the ongoing negotiations (or lack thereof). The cable companies will try to tell you they won't pick up Victory because their price per subscriber is too high, or because Victory doesn't have good enough programming to warrant any price. Hogwash. The cable companies won't pick up Victory because they don't want to set a precedent. If the Twins and Victory win this battle you will probably see every MLB team give this a try, and the cable companies just don't want the headache. Can you imagine trying to negotiate with 30 separate teams? Anyway, read the article above, but pay special attention to this quote concerning the cable companies' assertion that the Twins should be negotiating with FSN:
Victory President Kevin Cattoor was frustrated with the stance that the Twins should seek mediation with FSN. "My response to the Fox suggestion is it's not appropriate because the issue is not with Fox Sports Net," he said.
Cattoor was especially critical of Comcast, which has merged forces with the Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks and White Sox to form a sports network in Chicago. He points out that those teams bolted from Fox Sports Net in Chicago.
"If Comcast thinks that's the way it should occur in this market, why don't they give all the Chicago teams back to Fox Sports Net in Chicago?" Cattoor said.
Touché. We need to start putting pressure on the cable companies to make this happen. Stop focusing on the Twins! The cable companies need to start feeling the heat, hopefully more than they do already.
Category "Sports business"
April 22, 2004
Cable companies show their true colors
Unless you are living under a rock it would have been hard to miss the articles this morning concerning Pawlenty's offer of state mediation between Victory Sports and the cable companies. While I think it is obvious that the Twins started negotiations off poorly by asking way too much for each subscriber, I have always believed that the cable companies have been the problematic entity in this negotiation process. Now I think we have some proof. According to the Star Trib article on this matter:
Comcast and Time Warner -- which combine to serve much of the metro area -- put a different spin on the situation. Each company issued a statement that urged the Twins to go back to Fox Sports Net, which had been the team's previous cable home.
Time Warner's statement said any mediation should involve the Twins and FSN, stating, "This is where the dispute exists."
Comcast's statement read: "It is incredible the Twins have refused to consider the one solution that could put their games back on the air fastest: the reported [$12 million] offer from Fox Sports Net to carry Twins games. . . . If there is any play for government-sponsored mediation in this situation, it would be to facilitate an immediate deal between the Twins and Fox Sports Net."
The Pioneer Press writes:
A statement from Time Warner Cable, which serves Minneapolis and the southwest suburbs, was similar.
"The true parties to this dispute are Fox Sports Net North and the Twins, and any mediation effort should involve them,'' said a Time Warner statement. "… Any agreement between the Twins and Fox Sports Net North would mean these games would immediately be available to our customers at no retail price increase.''
It is obvious that the cable companies are in bed with Fox Sports Net. It appears they have never intended to actually negotiate in good faith. The only viable solution they see is for the Twins to go crawling back to FSN. I could understand this if the Twins hadn't actually already launched their own network. I could maybe see them going back to FSN if 30+ Minnesota cable companies hadn't already signed on to Victory. I could understand the position of the cable companies if Victory Sports wasn't already available in 90,000+ homes. FSN is no longer an option! For them to claim that the dispute is between the Twins and FSN is so upsetting to me and it clearly shows their true colors in this whole debacle. The Twins have desperately been trying to negotiate while the cable companies have just sat back and watched as Twins fans get angrier and angrier. And not angrier with the cable companies, oh no, Twins fans are angry with the Twins! The cable companies are playing us like a fiddle! Do you liked getting duped? Like it or not, we are getting duped big time.
Category "Sports business"
April 21, 2004
Victory and stadiums
OK, let's get the important Victory Sports news of the day out of the way way right from the start. Charley Walters is reporting in the Pioneer Press:
"Word is the impasse between Twins' TV rights-holder Victory Sports One and some of the six primary cable and satellite operators could be resolved next week as negotiations continue behind the scenes."
This is really good news, and hopefully it has a little bit of truth to it. My day is immediately brightened when Shooter has a new article in the Pioneer Press, but even more than Sid you've got to take his columns with a grain of salt. Speaking of Victory, my son's Cub Scout den went bowling last night at the Park Tavern in SLP. Park Tavern is one of the few bars in the area that shows Victory Sports so I got to watch most of the game. The place was packed and the atmosphere was good. Needless to say, I was in heaven.
The Pioneer Press is also reporting that the impasse in negotiations between Victory and the cable companies is hurting the Twins' chances for a workable stadium bill this year. After yesterday's tirade you might think I'd be really upset about this, but I'm not. First of all, I love how the Twins are always on the minds of our legislators this year. Apparently our representatives and senators are getting "peppered" with messages from constituents demanding that this issue is resolved. This fact, coupled with all the messages they get in favor of building stadiums, has got to demonstrate to them how important the Twins are to the residents of this state. True many of the messages they are getting are negative towards the Twins, but I would think if the Twins were contracted or moved to another city the legislature has got to realize they would get some really negative messages. Secondly, the minute Victory Sports is put on cable in the TC area (and surrounding areas) people will forget all about this impasse and hopefully start focusing on how the network will start helping the Twins bottom line. In other words, Twins fans are not going to care, they are just going to be happy that the Twins are back on TV. Finally, we have this quote:
"The connection with the stadium legislation involves more than just votes. The stadium bill, should it pass, permits the taxation of cable revenue to help pay for the ballpark."
This should be the focus of every fan of the Twins: Victory Sports could make a new Twins stadium in Minnesota more of a reality. Again, let's give the Twins the benefit of the doubt on this one and put things into perspective for now. We have missed 8 games on TV so far. Patience, people, patience.
Finally, my best buddy in Grand Forks, ND points out this little piece of news that TC the Bear was almost injured last night:
"Mascot T.C. Bear, driving a four-wheeler before the game, unexpectedly veered into the wall, tearing down a banner in the process. The bear was unhurt."
I know kids love the bear, but I can't stand him so I got a little chuckle out of this news. Although my respect for him shot through the roof when I saw him cranking homeruns in his softball challenge before games last year. Yikes has he got some power! So, perhaps I'll have to start showing TC a little love.
Category "Sports business"
April 20, 2004
A little bit of news today concerning Victory from the StarTrib:
"One of the key issues has been Victory's asking price per subscriber, which has dipped to $1.85 from around $2.20 according to one cable operator. Still, it doesn't appear that will be enough of a cut."
Well, that is good to hear, although it is still about 20-30 cents more than cable companies pay for Fox Sports Net. At some point I hope the Twins decide something is better than nothing.
However, I am a little surprised by the negative reaction to Victory Sports from the general public. God forbid the Twins make a little money to make the team more viable in the long run. It may be painful for us in the short term to not be able to see the Twins, but Victory Sports will make the Twins more competitive in the future. I'm also a firm believer that Victory will bring us one step closer to seeing a stadium built in Minnesota, and creating this TV network shows a committment from the Twins that they won't seek contraction when the current CBA expires. Why would they go through all this work only to then contract the team in 3 years? Victory Sports gives me a little more piece of mind that baseball will remain in Minnesota for years to come.
Truthfully, I am really sick of all the whining. Give me a break. If Victory doesn't come on by the All-Star break then we can start whining, but for now I'm pulling for the Twins in this dispute. Already I can see at least one benefit of Victory even though I can't watch it: I haven't had to sit through any commercials for "The Best Damn Sports Show Period." We should be thanking Pohlad for saving us from that fate, not berating him for doing exactly what we've been asking him to do for years: to stop whining about being small market, suck it up, and start looking at new ways to make the Twins profitable.
Time Warner keeps telling me that it doesn't want to charge me extra for Victory Sports. I tell you what I don't want them to charge me for, Spike TV. Who came up with that lame channel? Joe Schmo? Blind Date? Crappy movies? Who watches this channel? It sure isn't the "men" they are aiming for. And who watches the Lifetime Movie Channel? I would even give up ESPN Classic to get access to Victory Sports. I guess my point is cable companies could definitely shave away some of the excess to keep cable bills where they are at. They used to show CNNSI, why can't they show Victory Sports?
Well, enough for now. Hopefully this will all be resolved soon.
Category "Sports business"
April 18, 2004
Victory Sports tidbits
After church I usually flip the radio on to the "Sports Huddle" with Sid and Dave on WCCO and I heard an interesting tidbit from Sid regarding Victory Sports. According to Sid, he spoke with Jerry Bell late last week and Jerry told Sid that he expects Victory and the cable companies to settle their dispute within the next 10 days. In fact, I think Sid said Jerry said that we should expect a flurry of activity within the next 10 days. That would be wonderful. Of course, I watched the game last Friday but it irked me to no end knowing that I wouldn't be able to see the games on Saturday or Sunday. If you know of any Victory Sports news, please let me know in the comments below.
Behind the scenes, there is a lot of work going on to try to get Victory Sports and the Twins on television for most fans in the Twin Cities.
The Twins seem optimistic that they will work something out in the next couple of weeks with the major cable companies that will get their games on those cable systems.
Category "Sports business"
April 13, 2004
I don't know if any of you caught this, but Mark Dayton brought a meeting together between Victory Sports and Charter, Comcast and Mediacom for a 1 1/2 meeting this morning. And from what I can gather from the article, I actually think something got accomplished at this meeting. For one thing they found out that about all that stands between them and a deal is money:
"The good news is the differences seem to be entirely about money," said Dayton, referring to the fact operators have balked at Victory's per-subscriber asking price. "It is not a matter of principle or technological impediments. The bad news is they don't seem to be close to an agreement.
"One of the participants said, 'The difference is not a crack in the sidewalk, but rather the Grand Canyon.'"
The fact of the matter is, Victory needs to lower it's asking price. $2.20 is too much and based on what I've read rivals ESPN in terms of per user fees. The sad thing is, I would give up ESPN for Victory. That is how bad I want this station. According to Victory the cable companies haven't even made them an offer. In various interviews I've read with Kevin Catoor, president of Victory, the cable companies say "Your price is too high," but then they don't make a counter offer. If I was a cable company I would say we'll pay Victory as much as we pay FSN. That is substantially lower than the $2.20 per subscriber Victory wants (I think around $1.70, somebody please correct me if I'm wrong), but at least it is a start. In conclusion, let me say how happy I am Mark Dayton is taking the time to make something happen. Isn't it amazing that our U.S. Senator is doing this?
Secondly we have an article saying stadium hearings were delayed today due to the death of Jim Vickerman's son. That is very sad and I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we wish the Vickerman family the best during this difficult time. The end of the article also states:
"Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Abrams, R-Minnetonka, chairman of the Houses Taxes Committee, said Tuesday that his committee will probably begin hearings on all three stadiums the week of April 26."
That is when the real fun will begin. If this bill can get through the Taxes committee reasonably intact it will probably pass the House and actually work. Jim in St. Paul, have you heard anything regarding the scuttlebutt coming out of Pawlenty's office? Have Pawlenty and Abrams met yet?
Category "Sports business"
April 5, 2004
What a game!
Wow! What a great first game to the season! Shannon Stewart ... can you say enough good things about him? It doesn't get much better than a three-run walk off home run. And Joe Mauer looked solid: two walks and two singles for his first game in the big leagues. Tomorrow night I will be at the game and I expect more of the same. And it is a good thing I'll be at the game, too. It seems rumors of a deal between Victory and the cable companies is not even close to being in the works. According to Kevin Catoor, "There doesn't seem to be any urgency from the operators' standpoint to get this thing done." For more information on Victory Sports check out this great interview with Kevin Catoor on SethSpeaks.net.
As the Twins opened their season at home in the Metrodome on Monday, state Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson predicted that "it's better than 60-40 percent we're going to build a ballpark this legislative session."
Wow. When the Senate majority leader says something like that, you really have to pay attention. Next stop for the bill is the House Taxes committee and it sounds like Pawlenty is really putting his muscle behind it. You know, I was ticked off when Pawlenty was elected governor. I thought the Twins wouldn't have a chance with him at the helm. But now it appears as though he is doing the best job anybody could do reining in the Republican controlled house. According to Jim in St. Paul in a comment on my old site:
It wasn't reported in either paper, but there was an arrangement made that the stadium bill would not have to pass through the legislature's Capital Investment Committee. This committee is headed by Rep. Phil Krinke, any stadium booster's arch enemy. From my understanding Speaker Sviggum was able to convince Krinke that the stadium bill was not in the "purview" of his committee.
To take Krinke out of the picture is significant. It looks like the stadium battle could be coming to an end ... well, we better not hold our breath. For at least a day, though, it is good to be a Twins fan.