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Yes, I Want a Stadium, But...

...here are 5 reasons I would vote against the current plan

May 5, 2012 3:32 PM

If you're a Vikings fan pining away for a new stadium it may be a foregone conclusion that you want the Legislature to pass the current plan when they convene on Monday.

At the very least, we can say that the Vikings want everybody to vote yes, as does the Governor, the Mayor of Minneapolis, and probably others whom you may or may not know (lobbyists, fan groups, certain lower-profile legislators, a few business leaders, etc.).

But before casting your vote, it's time to look hard at what is being proposed and try to decide if it really is either A) an acceptable solution for this problem, or B) really a necessary step right now.

Frankly, as much as I want a new stadium, and as much as I want this whole mess to be over, and as much as I want the Vikings to be locked up for another generation of fans, I would not be able to vote for the plan as it's currently formulated. And it's not even close.

So, here is one fan's list of the five reasons that I would vote against the current plan, and hope sincerely that it fails on Monday.

1. The Wrong State Financing Model

To me, it's not enough to just come up with some plan for funding a project of this size. Just any old plan may work on a smaller scale, but stadiums easily represent some of the largest projects governments ever undertake. Having the right plan is essential. What we have in front of us essentially represents the quintessential just any plan.

The current plan funds the stadium with new revenues from a massive expansion of charitable gaming.

Imagine if such an expansion of gambling had been proposed without any attachment to a stadium. How would it have been received? Frankly, I think it would have been politely dismissed without very much consideration. Without a compelling reason to go after such revenue, cooler heads would easily recognize the waters into which they are wading.

Revenue sources which target the most vulnerable in society usually don't get very far unless there is some sort of desperation for the governmental income. Such desperation is usually all it takes to get even the anti-tax types to accept semantic diversions ("user fee" or "gambling revenue").

Well, make no mistake: this very much is a tax increase. And it targets gamblers, especially casual ones.

Philosophically, it's easy to get beyond some of the objections to gambling increases. Gambling is often understood as a "voluntary" and "recreational" activity, thus whatever revenues it generates are essentially free money.

But gambling expansions have widely-acknowledged social consequences and monetary costs. So my first objection to this funding source is the lack of acknowledgement of these costs in the plan. Gambling increases generally require equivalent expansions of the services provided to those for whom gambling is neither "voluntary" nor "recreational".

Second, because the plan relies on two new media for gambling (electronic pulltabs and tip boards), a reasonable question must be asked about the revenue projections being offered. It may very well be that the projections used to support this bill are accurate. But support given for those numbers is slim at best, relying heavily on vague notions or "younger players" and "reduced costs" -- along with a restructuring of the taxes paid by the sponsoring organizations, itself rather nebulous in its effects.

It must be admitted that, in the shadow of a Vikings stadium, these massive changes have not been duly considered. It could be that, after such consideration, they might find a majority of supporters, but right now that is not exactly on the radar. Without full understanding of the ramifications, legislators are voting in the dark.

In short, the state financing model is ill-advised, unvetted, only lightly understood, and certainly highly speculative. To support a 30-year obligation with this would be socially and fiscally irresponsible.

2. The Wrong Local Financing Model

Finding the right local partner is essential to funding a project of this scale. That partner not only has to be willing, but must have the fiscal resources available to make the commitment. In addition, a local partner must present a clear plan, without complicating conditions which muddy the project financing. Some would say that expecting this from a government entity is asking too much. I would disagree.

In the current plan, the city of Minneapolis proposes redirecting a variety of local sales taxes from support of the Convention Center to support of both a new Vikings stadium and the increasingly antiquated Target Center.

This plan's biggest problem is that it redirects a local tax toward sports facilities in direct contradiction of a charter amendment enacted over a decade ago, intended specifically to prevent what this plan is trying to do. Despite all of the semantics being employed, and lawyerly (though carefully "verbal") opinions, the intent is clear: A tax which currently benefits the city of Minneapolis is being reassigned to construction of a new stadium. Whether this violates the letter of the amendment is irrelevant because it clearly violates the spirit.

Beyond this, the question of whether Target Center should be updated and its financing model changed, while a good one, is inappropriate to meld with the question of how to build the Vikings a new stadium. It deserves its own debate and solution. In this way, the inclusion of Target Center appears to be an attempt to solve a large problem as if it were a footnote.

Finally, the Convention Center is an essential asset to the Twin Cities community. Its funding should remain secure into the next generation. It is likely a mistake to believe that there are even any "excess revenues" far down the road on these taxes. Costs will increase. Maintenance cannot be stopped. Expansion or replacement will likely become a necessity. Were that funding to be removed, it simply opens another problem issue for the city of Minneapolis.

It's just not acceptable to solve one problem by creating another of comparable size (even if it will be on a different Mayor's and City Council's watch).

3. The Wrong Ownership Model

Truth is, this provision in the bill has barely been mentioned in media coverage of the stadium debate. But it has ramifications which should be considered.

The current plan would create a new "Stadium Authority" to collect revenues, bring about design and construction, and ultimately own the new stadium.

If this sounds familiar, it's because the design and language were lifted largely from the plan which built the Twins stadium and created the Ballpark Authority.

The Ballpark Authority has shown itself to be a highly functional landlord for Target Field, and now has the experience of its construction under their belt. There is quite simply no reason to create yet another authority, peopled with yet another set of political appointees, and with no experience to shepherd this project.

Expanding the existing authority not only saves money, but it builds on knowledge gained from the earlier process.

And it is worth at least a conversation to see if there might not be significant gains to be had from combining construction and management of all such facilities into one governing body, perhaps even one with the power to establish funding mechanisms for future expansion, upkeep, and replacement.

4. The Wrong Location

The location of a stadium changes the shape of a community. It is essential that such massive facilities be sited with clear vision and frank acknowledgements about what they require, can benefit from, and can bring to a location.

The current plan reuses the Industry Square site at Fifth and Chicago, the site of the current Metrodome.

Given the long disdain by the local community for the Metrodome and its site, it would seem almost redundant to list yet again its disadvantages. With antiquated infrastructure connections, insufficient and inconvenient parking, and an utter lack of support for its function among the surrounding structures, these disadvantages would seem quite obvious to even a casual observer.

A new stadium on this site would likely suffer the same problems as the old one. There is a name for doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

In addition, several entities have come out against the site, including the Downtown Council and some members of the Elliot Park neighborhood group (albeit with caveats regarding the actuality of redevelopment).

Essentially, without a stadium, the Metrodome site represents a massive redevelopment opportunity with potential benefits to a corporate partner, or housing advocates, or the medical community, or even the University of Minnesota. The possibilities for significant economic and community enhancement are numerous. That area of downtown has been guided toward a much more residential character over the past decade, and the simple size of the parcel makes it a plum opportunity for reimagining.

With a stadium, the site remains an urban island, perhaps even accentuating that identity since the current schematic calls for an even greater separation between the facility and the downtown core. Building a new stadium there would be a barrier, and not a boon, to renewal.

Discounting reasons against the site, there are precious few reasons for the site. Placing a new stadium there does not represent "redevelopment" but rather "continuation". It would be the extension of a major urban planning mistake into yet another generation.

5. The Advantages of Waiting Outweigh the Disadvantages

The Vikings are part of the fabric of our state. They are integral to our Sunday afternoons for roughly half of the year, and remain in our collective consciousness far beyond the 60 minutes of weekly play. They play a sport that we collectively love, and we show it by giving them our money again and again.

And to the latter, we must acknowledge that they are also a major corporation, with profit motives above all else. While this does not argue for their treatment as just any other corporation, their business position must be considered when making a decision of this size.

The ongoing, fear-based motivation of "the Vikings will leave" has turned especially hollow. Throwing around the epithet "L.A. Vikings" is even more so. Widespread analysis of the Vikings' position relative to Los Angeles, the league, the other owners, and the stadium discussion, indicates that the Wilfs would be highly ill-advised to consider a move now, and the league is ill-positioned to allow it anyway. Perhaps it goes without saying, but there is no new stadium or sweetheart deal awaiting them somewhere else.

This will not always be the case. There will come a point where a sufficient deal will materialize somewhere else, and conditions will be very different. It is without question that such a moment will come if Minnesotans do not solve this problem. But it is equally without question that such a moment is not happening right now.

Any pressure to vote for this bad plan now is thus relieved. There will be another round, and another opportunity to get a financing plan that is both sufficient and responsible. (To those who argue that no plan for a professional football stadium could ever be responsible, I would say, "That battle is already lost. We want the Vikings to stay, and we're willing to pay. Other things that might matter, simply don't.")

This does not mean that the Legislature should hold a stadium hostage. It will come as no surprise that the outcome of stadium discussions around the country is almost always a new stadium in the home town of the team. Conventional wisdom is that the same thing will happen here.

It will be clear to anyone who has followed local stadium dramas of the past decade that other, better opportunities can be found. After a breather for everyone, good faith discussions must resume, and new financial opportunities must be conceived, uncovered, explored, discussed, vetted, and ultimately selected. The Vikings will need to find a new local partner.

Though it would have been my preference to solve the stadium problem this year and save the expenses associated with waiting (among them financing), the plan as it is currently formulated is not only potentially insufficient, it is rather irresponsible and decidedly ill-advised on many fronts.

I would vote against it, and encourage legislators to do so. Then they should prepare immediately to try again with the benefit of this experience.

Comments


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Batten down the hatches Rick - you know what's coming!

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 3:37 PM by terry Highlight this comment 1

The hatches are battened down.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM by Rick 2

Oh you make so much sense. How will we gets our stadium cash now? Dang.

Wait, I know! Vague threatstorm ramp-up, Monday is D-Day, vote yes or die, weehee!! 877-Stadium-Cash-NOW!

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 4:24 PM by Piggy Wilf Highlight this comment 3

Yah there won't be a next year! Keep dreaming, the Vikings will be playing either at the coliseum or rose bowl in 2013, they will NOT be playing at the Metrodome! Mike Opat does not care about Vikings GET OVER THE SAINT OPAT PIPE DREAM! IT WILL NOT HAPPEN!!!!! OPAT IS A DOUCHE! YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES! IT WILL BE A LAME DUCK SEASON THIS YEAR!!!! ....And now for the sheep who take every word Rick says seriously to agree with him in unison, and put down anyone who DARES challenge and criticize Rick's Nostradamus predictions, because he's obviously right and super human. Except maybe the common sense of vikeologist.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 4:45 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 4

Piggy Wilf (tee hee) #sarcasm. I didn't know Ed Kohler posts here. .......unless Rick is Ed! Rick is obviously as for the Vikings staying in MN as Ed is....

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 4:53 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 5

Thanks for a well-reasoned treatise, Rick. Perhaps the best solution is to defeat this strangely haphazard proposal, use the issue to help turn over about half of the elected officials of the state this fall, and start from scratch with a new plan on the Farmer's Market or Linden Ave. sites. This would save the cost of playing any games at TCF Bank Stadium. Our current legislators have not earned the luxury of re-election with their ham-handed bungling. A non-election year may foster a broader sense of creative thinking and fewer blatantly political games.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 5:05 PM by badjuggler Highlight this comment 6

Gus, Hennepin County is on record as saying it will make a stadium proposal should the legislative session end without a stadium deal. You can dislike their offer and/or its timing, but you can't say they don't care.

As for the deal on the table, I am rooting for it to pass because, as a Vikings season ticket holder, I'd rather take a deal with holes now than risk they won't get something done later. Too many people with the Vikes and in state government seem to miss the mark for me to place much confidence in them.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 5:08 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 7

Gus you are so right! People that read and believe the BS that Rick writes expect Saint Opat to come riding in at the last moment to SAVE THE VIKINGS! Guess what it isn't happening. Any SMART business man with so called big business and Minneapolis power broker connections that Rick thinks Opat has is NOT going to wait until all of the chips have been played to say "hey wait a minute I have a plan".

First of all if the Vikings were to build in the location that Rick so adamantly advocates it is going to require relocation of existing property owners, then it is going to require INCREASING a TAX to fund the stadium. If it was such a great plan why not save the expense, time, and tax payers dollars to just consider the superior plan from the beginning.

Rick is delusional and all of his followers are no better. So if the vote fails on Monday you all can line the streets in 2013 and wave goodbye as the moving vans are heading out of town. Opat's dream is a nightmare to all Viking fans when they find out he is blowing hot air and Rick is left laughing at all of the suckers that say "its all right there is always Henn. County".

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 5:12 PM by Bigdog Highlight this comment 8

Right on bigben. Is it just me or is Rick's latest headline Kurt Zelleresque? "I want it to pass but I won't vote for it.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 5:30 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 9

Bigdog, my bad.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 5:31 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 10

All AEG needs to do is break ground. It could even be this year should the vote fail Monday and a lame duck season happens.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 11

There almost certainly won't be any ground breaking in Los Angeles during calendar year 2012 for Farmers Field. The environmental impact study won't be released until July. The findings can then be challenged by opponents, a process that won't be resolved until November of 2012 at the earliest. Even if everything gets resolved on that front by then, there will be enough remaining red tape to prevent any construction from starting this year. In my mind that's no reason to delay things here, but it does mean there's a window of opportunity if the vote fails on Monday, a distinct possibility.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 6:31 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 12

Someone will need to show me where in this article either Mike Opat, Hennepin County, or any alternate site or financing plan are mentioned.

Most of the time I engage in analysis, but this piece is completely opinion. And it is exclusively my opinion of the currently proposed legislation.

If you want to make an argument that any plan is better than no plan, fine. If, on the other hand, you want to actually discuss the issue, you're going to have to do better.

Also, I'd happily consider any actual example of the Vikings threatening or even suggesting vaguely that they intend to move. They have wisely avoided that, recognizing that they shouldn't be burning any bridges at this point. Seems like some people think they should harp on it a little harder -- and kill all hope for a local solution.

Just because you (or I) say something doesn't make it so.

But, well, shine on.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 6:42 PM by Rick 13

Rick,
What do you think the contribution to the Hennepin County deal will be? Would it just be participating in the Sale Tax increase, or will there be something in addtion?

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 6:45 PM by JLH Highlight this comment 14

What do you think the Minneapolis contribution be..

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 6:46 PM by JLH Highlight this comment 15

The new Vikings stadium Will be a complex that involves a NBA team..........

.....Make it 2 NBA teams. There will be no ballpark though, Dodger Stadium is on the south side of their downtown, and Angel Stadium is in the burbs. In 2013 the LA Coliseum will be proud to present the Los Angeles Vikings for 3-4 years, or Rose Bowl.. Either way the Viking will be in Los Angeles in 2013. I could see Zygi selling the team to Lewieke (sp) on Tuesday should the Monday vote fail.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 16

When will the Twins start firing coaches? Joe Vavra has to go, this team just cannot hit anymore.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 10:39 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 17

Twins knock out Hernandez early. Can only make it through 8 innings.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 10:42 PM by N.D. (aka N.D. "Rube") Highlight this comment 18

Joe Vavra has got to go!!

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 19

One has to think that if/when the bill fails on Monday that all is not lost, but rather that what has been happening up to this point is momentum for ongoing talks and planning for a much better financing deal next year. It's foolish to think that after Monday if there is no approval that everyone stops talking and we all wave goodbye to the Vikings. Contrary to what the fear-mongerers are decreeing, the sky will not fall.

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 11:00 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 20

That is the exact thinking that will cause the team to leave! Whats the hurry there is always tomorrow. Or its there will be a better plan if this one fails. Get real people tomorrow is here!

Save the Minnesota Vikings!!!

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 11:59 PM by Bigdog Highlight this comment 21

#1 All you did here is regurgitate anti-gambling rhetoric you could of stolen from any old anti-gambling site. It's the same old story you could apply to any "Sin" labeled activity. Concentrate on the few who would be harmed rather than the many that would benefit. The real analysis is in weighing the good against the bad. Do the benefits of expanded gambling outweigh the negatives?

As a side note I believe the majority of Minnesota citizens support expanded gambling. If the legislator put it on the ballot as an amendment to the constitution there's a strong probability it would pass. Just like past expanded gambling amendments have.

#2 I agree there's something fishy with the local financing. What other viable options does Minneapolis have?

#3 Separate is good if both a competing for the same tax dollars. And it's also good if one implodes so it doesn't take down the other. If they are run well, there still can be cooperation and information sharing between them.

#4 Location, Location, Location. In the end it's not really going to matter where it's located. Any of the mainstream proposed locations are acceptable.

#5 You failed to list any advantages and disadvantages, what kind of analysis is that?

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 12:18 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 22

Did you miss the part where Rick wrote:

"Most of the time I engage in analysis, but this piece is completely opinion."?

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 12:26 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 23

Yes I seen that part. Did you miss the part after where Rick wrote:

"If you want to make an argument that any plan is better than no plan, fine. If, on the other hand, you want to actually discuss the issue, you're going to have to do better."

That implies analysis!

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 12:34 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 24

Dave,

We can certainly have differing opinions. But here is how I would answer your list:

1 - I didn't regurgitate anything. I said, "Philosophically, it's easy to get beyond some of the objections to gambling increases." I'm not anti-gambling.

My objection is that the plan has snuck in under the radar, with provisions nobody really understands, hasn't been properly vetted, makes no accommodation for the added costs of added gambling, and may not even be fiscally sufficient.

2 - As long as the charter amendment stays in place, the city of Minneapolis has no other options.

3 - These facilities should not compete. Competition between Xcel and Target Center forces down revenues in each place. These large entertainment venues should collaborate. One management body is better than any other number.

4 - The Metrodome location is insufficient and would make a poor choice. We could talk about land acquisition costs for surrounding parcels, environmental review concerns (the laws have changed a lot since 1978), significant infrastructure disruption (including closing Fifth and rerouting Fourth and Eleventh), and even added construction costs having to work around the existing facility. Should we go into the lack of nearby entertainment amenities or the "forbidden zone" which seems to exist between this site and the rest of downtown? Do we ignore the vast distance from other major investments in infrastructure?

In one sense, I agree that any site can probably be made to work. But why choose one with so many obvious faults? It really doesn't make sense.

5 - I thought this was clear, but I can be more plain. The advantage of waiting is the chance to design a better financing model -- to actually get it right rather than settle on something so wrong. Of the supposed disadvantages of waiting, the primary one (that the team will move) has been discredited (for now), while the secondary one (increased financing costs) is worth the short-term cost to prevent long-term fiscal mistakes.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 12:59 AM by Rick 25

1 - The funding falls under the umbrella of health care. Addictions are mental and sometimes physical health concerns. All gaming facilities need to fund is the advertising and promotion of the proper places to go for help. You do not want the gaming industry to fund or perform the actual treatment. That would be like having the auto industry provide funding and treatment to auto accident victims.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 08:32 AM by Dave Highlight this comment 26

Rick,

Just curious, if this was the way the bill was for the Twins Stadium would you still vote no? I mean honestly if this was the best chance to have built Target Field in 10 years, could you have brought yourself to vore no?

Also I don't recall, were you against the Ballpark Authority?

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 10:17 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 27

I see this year as Target Field 2005. Reaallllllllly close, but it needs one more year (and hopefully a new Legislative leadership) to emerge fully baked

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 11:42 AM by Mr Bandgeek (aka Dodgeboy) Highlight this comment 28

Rick I agree on one of your earlier points that there should not be competition between the two arenas because they will both likely lose. In that sense I think Target Center should have been renovated to accommodate the Wild but I did not follow the whole Excel Center debate as to why they built a separate arena.

Realistically what other site in the city is better at this time than the dome site? Arden Hills was shot down, Linden Avenue was shot down, as of right now Farmers Market has been shot down where else do they go Shakopee?

I still think the stealth plan that you claim Opat has would face tremendous scrutiny because it would require raising an existing tax and remember the anti tax Republicans are in charge in St Paul unless that changes in November. I just think the Henn Co plan is a pipe dream on a napkin and sounds something like what Kurt Zellers would say "I have a plan but I am not going to announce it" or is it "I hope it passes but I am not going to support it"

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM by Bigdog Highlight this comment 29

In my perfect world...

The state passes a $.05 "drink fee" statewide that funds a Met Council-run Met Entertainment Commission. The money would be split up under this formula:
2 cents for a new Vikings Stadium built next to Target Field
1 cent for Target Center and Xcel Center renovations / upgrades
2 cents for outstate sports facilities - replaces bonding for sports facilities (see Duluth, Bemidji, St Cloud, Mankato, Crookston, etc arenas built recently)

Furthermore, the MEC assumes ownership of both Target Center and Xcel for taking over payments / upkeep.

Also, St Paul gets it's new Saints Ballpark and the Pond (WIld practice arena across West 7th
from Xcel
The Target Field sales tax could be taken over by the MEC and extended across the entire 7 county metro area

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM by Mr Bandgeek Highlight this comment 30

If anything, they could solve this by putting the Vikings stadium next to Target Field, move the Wolves to Xcel, and tear down Target Center. This would solve everything. Minneapolis gets their new 365 day a year facility, and the money saved by not renovating Target Center could be used to forgive Xcel'a loans. And the people saying the compition that hurts the two arenas would cease to exsist. It would help out Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 31

I really don't understand the thinking behind renovating the Target Center. I agree Duffman they should move the Wolves to Xcel and not spend the money on Target Center, the problem is that it makes too much sense!!!

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM by Bigdog Highlight this comment 32

Duffman,

It's a good question, and I don't think I can give a straight answer. The Twins were in such a different position then than the Vikings are now. And I knew a whole lot less back then about what is possible, what is smart, and how the behind-the-scenes stuff happens.

Even so, I remember that the plan presented at the start of the session in 2006 had the right site but was pretty lousy in the financing. I was on the fence about it, rather skeptical about its chances to pass, but certainly willing to overlook some pimples in order to get the Twins back into fresh air. Once the Hennepin tax became public knowledge, however, it was clear that they had the right package and I was right there in support of it.

I think that a very common mistake going around these days (perpetuated by some very loud voices) is thinking that the Vikings' position now is anything akin to the Twins' position back then. It's not even close. (I laughed out loud when I first heard that a "Save the Vikes" organization had been formed. It's such a silly, unnecessary idea, and so unhelpful to the discussion which needs to happen.)

As for the Ballpark Authority, back then it made no difference to me. The MSFC was clearly dysfunctional, so the idea of creating a new body made sense. But I think that even then I would have chafed at the idea of a new governing body for each major entertainment venue.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 1:36 PM by Rick 33

You know, I intentionally left any alternative financing options or sites out of this post. My point in writing is that the current bill, as it stands right now, is a bad bill. The debate tomorrow is unlikely to improve it.

But I've said many times that a state-wide drink tax is just about the most logical funding mechanism I can think of. It's definitely better than anything limited to one county or municipality. It's also entirely painless and politically salable -- were it not for the TP zanies.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 1:41 PM by Rick 34

I think tomorrow's vote in the Legislature will show just how powerful the NFL is, by the fact that it did less than strong-arming when Goodell paid his visit a few weeks ago. If this passes, just think what that says of the National Football League.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 1:51 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 35

Agreed, TTH. But even if it squeaks by, not even the NFL is powerful enough to get past all of the leaks in this bill and force a stadium to be built.

My real question is what happens to the gambling piece if the bill passes and no stadium is built. I looked for language making the gambling expansion contingent on a stadium getting built, but it doesn't appear to be there.

Another reason to be very wary of this particular piece of legislation.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 2:04 PM by Rick 36

My precioussss... stadium cash!!

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM by Piggy Wilf Highlight this comment 37

It's tomorrow or Los Angeles. Saint Opat is not gonna ride in and save the day.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 38

Oh no, I've been found out! #gasp #sarcasm Time to unplug the router for 30 seconds.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 39

Piggy Wilf, still not funny and unoriginal. Who are you, Rip Anderson? Remember that "laugh riot" nick name for Carl? POORlad? #teehee

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 5:02 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 40

I had forgotten that the 2003 Detroit Tigers only won 43 games, which is an American League record in futility. I think the local squad has a chance to beat that this year. They have 7 wins now and I don't know if they have 37 more wins in them to get to 44. These are bleak times on the sports front.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 5:08 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 41

If the Twins continue at this pace, they will lose 120 games this year.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 7:25 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 42

Mr Bandgeek, yeah, I have to agree with that assessment. I think you're right, it needs one more year to gain some steam and some new leadership. We shall see. It'll be an interesting day for Minnesota sports tomorrow.

F_T_K, also agree. It won't be pretty. Although Common on KFAN has a chant "strive for 135" on his afternoon "progrum". Ouch...27-135, that hurts.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 8:38 PM by luke (aka 4-158) Highlight this comment 43

Fascinating that Rep. Ryan Winkler (D-Golden Valley) is saying he'll vote for the stadium bill tomorrow. He has been one of the most vocal critics...there is some serious arm-twisting going on... This will be a fascinating vote (and extremely close).

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 8:48 PM by Jerry Highlight this comment 44

Many people opposed Target Field's financing and especially location. It was next to the garbage burner, it was too small for a major league ballpark, it would be too cluttered and end up being a disaster if built where it's built now, yet many very capable engineers made the site work and not just work, flourish. I have been under the impression for years that if the Metrodome site, done right (unlike it was the first time) would flourish too. It has to have the right amenities and it's not in a terrible location. Freeway access, lightrail access, close enough to DT but not too close. It could be done, and one never knows how well or not the plan will work (a la Target field) until it's built.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 9:16 PM by jcm-baseball Highlight this comment 45

Mr Bandgeek--The only flaw in your plan is that it makes far too much sense! The power of the liquor lobby is far too strong here. Whether we're talking Sunday sales, wine in grocery stores or--egad!-- increasing a liquor tax that hasn't changed in decades, they stomp it all down, common good be damned.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 9:37 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 46

I ask this question in all seriousness and seek an intellectual answer.

The open hostility some have shown towards Hennepin County possibly providing a stadium solution is not unique to posts at this forum. I've run into it elsewhere and don't really understand this viewpoint. Apart from a declared plan to wait in the wings until after the legislative session ends, the County has stayed out of the stadium drama.

So is it an issue with the County as a local partner? Is it an issue with the site by Target Field? Is it due to a fear that people, not politicians, discussing the site somehow undermine the Dome site proposal? I want to understand. So I ask for people opposed to the County possibly providing a stadium if the Dome site proposal bombs to explain why that's a bad thing.

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 11:19 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 47

Twins no bargain, but tickets are (Click Name for Strib article)

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 11:36 PM by tk Highlight this comment 48

Another scoop from the Strib!

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 11:45 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 49

Jorge,

I can't speak for them, but the impression I get is something like this:

current plan = best possible shot

future plan = might kill current plan (therefore evil)

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 12:01 AM by Rick 50

I understand that it was Vavra who called the Hitter's Meeting before the game yesterday.

Huh??

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 08:14 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 51

Meeting....What meeting?....After all, it's only a meeting....Doumit must not have been listening or he missed it completely.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 08:38 AM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 52

Wait a second..... Gambling is an issue because we aren't addressing the problems that gambling brings.... Buuuuut taxing alchohol is ok?

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 08:50 AM by moda Highlight this comment 53

current plan = best possible shot
future plan = might kill current plan (therefore evil)

Yea. Folks are reacting to the fear of losing their team. I've had discussions with folks who are usually very reasonable and think things through who in this instance are very fearful that the Vikings will move. Most of them fear that Wilf will sell the team and that the new owner will simply bide their time until another city becomes viable (see: what happened to the Seattle Supersonics). Many of them will acknowledge the validity of the counterarguments but the end of their replies always end in "but I don't think we can afford to risk it."

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 09:28 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 54

ELIAS: The Twins have nine hits in their last four games, the fewest for any team in a four-game stretch in modern major-league history.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 09:48 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 55

But they are doing it the Twins' way.....Showing good patience at the plate, working the count, wearing down the pitcher, going the other way with the pitch, hitting behind the runner, staying in control by not over-swinging, blah, blah, blah......

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 56

"Obviously, we'd like to do better," Smith said. "But we're tracking pretty well right now despite the on-field woes.

"I don't think it's out of the question we will get to 3 million [tickets sold] this year."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA....oh you were being serious, or trying to save face.

There is no question we would like to have people in those [empty] seats," Smith said. "If the team is 33 and 18, I don't think we are having this discussion."

Of course if you 13 games over .500 you would be having no issues. The problem is you can get to 1/4 of 33 wins.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM by tk Highlight this comment 57

As Mr Whipple would say. "We're just scuffling right now" On pace for 40 wins! Will the $240 million dollar bust get anymore homers this homestand? I see he had his first yesterday.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 11:53 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 58

$5.00 tickets! $1.00 dogs and $2.00 beers will get em back!

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 11:54 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 59

twinkfan - you can get 2 out of 3 tonight - $5 tickets and $1 dogs.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 60

Thanks I got my game in already this year. Now 14-22 last 3 years at TF.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 1:36 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 61

Received another Sweet Spot promotion today!!! It was a card in the mail that said, "Happy 2nd Anniversary as a Twins Season Ticket Holder."

Umm...okay? First, it is not my 2nd Anniversary, even if I was to be "celebrating."

It followed by, "You deserve a pat on the back." When I first read it, I thought it said, you deserve a bat, but nope, my excitement got ahead of me.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM by tk Highlight this comment 62

Steal of the week!

"Each week, the Twins will highlight a 'steal of the week' - a great game with great savings! Get Skyline View tickets to the 5/14 Twins vs. Indians game for just $13 (originally $14)!"

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 1:58 PM by tk Highlight this comment 63

Will there become a time this year to where the starting pitcher has more wins than the entire Twins team?

Tonight Weaver is 4-0 and the Twins have 7 wins. It could happen.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 1:59 PM by tk Highlight this comment 64

tk - I got that same postcard and this is my fourth year with season tickets...not sure where they got the two year anniversary information from...

I too laughed at that "steal of the week" $14 tickets for $13 for a Monday night game in May against Cleveland...wow, what a steal...!!

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 65

Don't know what mine said --- tossed it immediately.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 2:35 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 66

Really wish I could go to tomorrow's Twins game $118 for Champions Club. Not an incredible deal, but I would definitely take a nice dinner and drinks for that price. Maybe step out for the 7th Inning Stretch.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM by tk Highlight this comment 67

Not too sure how things are going at the capital, but it seems like a lot of amendments.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM by tk Highlight this comment 68

The amendments are largely spoilers by opponents. The one of greatest concern reduced the state's contribution by about $100,000,000. It passed by a decent margin and would have to be deleted for this thing to have a shot.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 3:28 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 69

Jorge, I actually think the amendment you referenced will increase the likelihood of the bill passing...the question is whether or not the Vikings would actually walk away if the bill passed with a reduced state contribution. I don't think they would.

But yeah, this thing has a long way to go...nothing matters right now except passing the bill in some form. Conference committee will iron things out.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 3:57 PM by Jerry Highlight this comment 70

I agree, reducing the contribution from state by 100M increases the chance of it passing. Should be some good drama tonight! Hope that it is shown live on public tv like it was when the Twins stadium vote came.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 4:15 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 71

100 million? Ooh, trixie legislators, they wants to steal the precious stadium cash from us. We hates them!

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 4:34 PM by Piggy Wilf Highlight this comment 72

anitfire, it is live streaming on the net. Go to the Strib main page for link.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 4:51 PM by TK Highlight this comment 73

...and, to get around the STrib's pay-to-read-our-articles, clicky...

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 74

"twins one of only a few teams that hasn't changed their closer" #Bremer

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM by tk Highlight this comment 75

As if they need one...

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 10:06 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 76

Responding to the above, I worry the Vikings would bolt if the extra $100,000,000 gets dropped on them. So far they're mum. Is that because they're going to live with it or hope it'll get dropped later?

It has been utterly painful to watch and listen to the house tonight. Do they screw around with useless and untenable amendments on other bills like this? If you're against it, fine. However, the constant insertion of these amendments is just infuriating.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 10:15 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 77

By bolt, I mean reject the deal, not leave, certainly not at this point.

Lanning is speaking. The actual vote will be taking place shortly.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 10:23 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 78

Looking at the tote board on TPT2, it looks like a narrow win for the stadium, but that's far from official.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 10:30 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 79

I forgot that fear is an exceedingly powerful emotion. Heard lots of speeches about how the Vikings are certain to leave if this bill does not pass. It ain't true, but that doesn't matter.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 10:32 PM by Rick 80

The bill passed in the house. Then the bill must pass in the senate. Then it goes to conference committee. Then it goes back to the house for another vote and then to the senate for another vote. Then to the Governor. This assumes it survives each step of the journey and survives in a form that's acceptable to all parties because there are pieces of this bill that are not going to work if it makes it to law.

There's a marketing disclaimer that says "past results not indicative of future performance". That sums up tonight's house vote.

The bill lived to see another day not only because some legislators believe in a Vikings stadium but because some just want it to at least get to its final form after conference committee without necessarily obliging themselves to voting for what that final form may be. Others voted yes tonight due to amendments that may not survive the senate and conference committee as the bill takes its final form. In other words, a win in the house tonight does not necessarily equal a win if or when it returns to the house. It also must make it past the senate twice as well.

The game isn't over. It's not even halftime.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 11:07 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 81

The Vikings have already shot down the amendment calling for them to pay an extra $105,000,000 as unworkable, but have hopes it'll come off the bill in the senate and make it through conference committee.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 11:16 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 82

I agree that what we saw today is not necessarily indicative of how a vote on the final version of the bill will go.

What surprised me was how unreasoned most of the voting seemed. In other words, basically everybody I heard speak was voting with their emotions instead of clear-headed reasoning.

Maybe that's how it has to be with an issue like this, given the high emotions that run around the Vikings. But with so much money in play, and so many hot-button supporting issues, I thought there would be a solid core on both sides who would stand up and say, "This just doesn't make sense." Maybe that will happen in the end, but I'm certainly going to adjust my expectations based on the fear factor.

Also, as often happens when I watch floor debates, I came away embarrassed for the Legislature. Both sides play these meaningless games which are essentially just sniping at one another for the sake of it. There's a lot of "caucus" talk. Pet issues get inserted where they don't belong. Many times I heard things like, "I supported you, now why won't you support me?" -- as if that has any bearing on the merits of the legislation. (It's the elementary school playground writ large. No wonder they have so much trouble solving anything.)

Even worse, many of these speeches I heard sounded utterly uninformed about the very issue they are discussing (among both the yeas and the nays). I know that it's hard to be a legislator, and that they have a million demands on their time, but on an issue this size there really is an obligation to become an expert before placing your vote. (I recognize that there are many issues for which this is the case.)

Many times I heard people claiming things that were demonstrably untrue (such as just about every job-creation claim), making highly-impassioned but highly-flawed arguments (often including meaningless phrases like "common sense"), or not even making an argument at all. There was way too much, "My family loves to get dressed up in purple on Sundays so I'm going to vote yes."

If this is a poll of how many people like to get dressed up in purple on Sundays, count me in. (Would that my beloved #10 jersey still fit me...)

Frankly, I think we've had better debate here than they had there today. And I'd be willing to bet (on an electronic device) that the average visitor here knows twice as much about this issue than the average House member.

And, no offense intended toward all of you, but that fact disheartens me.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:07 AM by Rick 83

Rick I think it's time to give it up. It's ok to admit maybe you are wrong about this. The time to get this done has come. The Vikings and their fans have heard "come back again next year" long enough. And personally, I think this bill is just fine. I happen to like gambling and thing it's great it is being expanded, and even happier some of the money I end up "donating" will be going to another activity I enjoy, football. I also think the location is just fine. I live in Rochester, and I ride the light rail in from Fort Snelling. While I personally wouldn't tailgate much anyway (those days have passed me by), the site does include a tailgating area. And I agree with others that if done right, this can make that area more attractive.

Perfect? No, and never will be. Despite some of the people still being negative, tonight was a HUGE step toward this becoming reality. And it passed with PLENTY of room to spare. Will be tweaked over the next week or so with the conference committee, but this will eventually pass and the Vikings will be playing in their new home on the Metrodome site in 2016, and I can't wait. Great time to be a Twins and Vikings season ticket holder!

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:51 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 84

Rick I think it's time to give it up. It's ok to admit maybe you are wrong about this. The time to get this done has come. The Vikings and their fans have heard "come back again next year" long enough. And personally, I think this bill is just fine. I happen to like gambling and thing it's great it is being expanded, and even happier some of the money I end up "donating" will be going to another activity I enjoy, football. I also think the location is just fine. I live in Rochester, and I ride the light rail in from Fort Snelling. While I personally wouldn't tailgate much anyway (those days have passed me by), the site does include a tailgating area. And I agree with others that if done right, this can make that area more attractive.

Perfect? No, and never will be. Despite some of the people still being negative, tonight was a HUGE step toward this becoming reality. And it passed with PLENTY of room to spare. Will be tweaked over the next week or so with the conference committee, but this will eventually pass and the Vikings will be playing in their new home on the Metrodome site in 2016, and I can't wait. Great time to be a Twins and Vikings season ticket holder!

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:52 AM by antifire Highlight this comment 85

It was a bad bill when it started the day, and is a better bill now (by virtue of changing the financial balance).

I will never accept "the time has come" when the deal is wrong, but that's a personal approach. Clearly, many legislators accept that as a reasonable argument.

I still don't think this bill will actually result in a stadium even if it makes it all the way through and gets the Governor's signature. But...a lot could still change before it gets to the Governor's desk. If it solves the problem this year, I'll be as happy as anybody.

And if I'm wrong, I'll be the first to admit it. As I've said before, stadium politics is a lot like meteorology: You're going to be wrong on a regular basis.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 01:15 AM by Rick 86

Antifire,

Not sure if this is about right or wrong, there is still a long way to go. There was an amendment added to allow for other locations to be looked at. I believe Rick has always said that if a stadium is to be built, it would be best if it was placed in the FM location.

I am sure Rick can defend his position, but everything is still speculation until ground is broken. I think Rick has said over and over that he does not really care if he is wrong and that this is his opinions on the matter and how he sees the political winds.

Whether this deal gets done or not, I do not think this is the best plan. Just because we have waited long enough does not make it a good plan.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 01:18 AM by TK Highlight this comment 87

I hear stocks for face paint suppliers were up in early trading on Wall Street this morning.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 08:34 AM by terry Highlight this comment 88

Bagley basically said the additional funds were unworkable for the Vikes. Don't they realize if they want to feed at the public trough they need to be willing to dance the dance? Their negotiated deal is only as good as what can get through the rest of the process. Once again the public face of the project should just shut up.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 08:40 AM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 89

Rick-

You and I must've been watching different proceedings. I didn't see any legislator say that the Vikings were CERTAIN to leave if this bill didn't pass. I heard them say that the Viking's future is UNCERTAIN if this bill doesn't pass, which is true. I also heard them say that the way to make the Vikings future in Minnesota certain (for the next 30 years, anyways) was to pass this bill.

Are the Vikings CERTAIN to leave if this bill doesn't pass this session? No. But they are also not certain to stick around after this upcoming season. There is a real possibility of them moving in 2013 if there is no stadium deal. You may enjoy the prospect of playing a game of Russian Roulette with this thing, but I do not...and I'm sure most other Vikings fan would agree with me.

You forget that this isn't baseball. It's my understanding that it's tougher to move a MLB team than an NFL team. You only need to look at recent NFL history: Baltimore, Cleveland, St Louis, Los Angeles....most of these markets are larger than the Vikings market area and yet the NFL allowed them to move. How many MLB teams have moved in the past 30 years? Just the Expos?

Would the NFL prefer to keep the Vikings in Minnesota? Of course! But this has been going on for 10 years now, the Vikings have waited their turn while the Twins and Gophers got their new digs, the Vikings have been on the clock since 2007 and the clock is ticking......and building a new stadium isn't going to get any cheaper.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 08:41 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 90

...I forgot to include Houston in the list of markets losing their NFL team.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 08:53 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 91

Just to nitpick, 3 of the 5 markets you mentioned are smaller than the Twin Cities (Baltimore, Cleveland, and St. Louis).

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 08:59 AM by Jerry Highlight this comment 92

Point taken Jerry....Houston and LA are larger. Cleveland and St Louis are slightly smaller....But notice that the NFL had no problem moving a team from the 10th largest market to the 29th largest (Houston to Nashville).

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:09 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 93

Where does it say that the Vikings get a "turn"?

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:14 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 94

Antifire - Great time to be a Twins and Vikings season ticket holder???

I am both a Twins and Vikings season ticket holder as well and couldn't disagree more. It's been a terrible last couple of years with no end in sight, at least for the Twins. And the nostalgia of a new venue will only go so far. You need to ultimately win games and have a long-term plan with your franchise. Something both the Twins and Vikings have failed to do over the last couple of years.

On another note, some fans are suggesting the Twins go after Terry Francona or Tony LaRussa for their (non-existant) managerial opening...some Twins fans just need to get a clue! Are Terry Francona or Tony LaRussa going to win with this lineup and pitching staff? And why would they want to come here? It's probably the same fans that wanted the Twins to go after Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder this past offseason.

I am thinking a new voice and new direction is needed for the Twins, but it's gonna do no good firing Gardenhire right now and replacing him with Scott Ullger. At least wait until the end of the season and clean house entirely.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:16 AM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 95

No. But they are also not certain to stick around after this upcoming season. There is a real possibility of them moving in 2013 if there is no stadium deal.

This is the fear I was referring to. What real possibility currently exists? The LA plans that currently exist are stuck in the mud. That could change of course, but as of now there is no real plausible plan in place in LA that is currently workable.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:39 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 96

Ben-

In the mindset of the local anti-stadium crowd, the Vikings would never have a "turn". Neither would the Twins, Gophers, Wild or Timberwolves. If this group had their way, Minnesota would be free of the hassle of getting into the stadium business, and the result would be that we would have no professional sports teams left in town.

But for those that would like to see the local pro teams stick around, we could all come to an agreement that it's now the Vikings "turn" to have this issue settled.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:43 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 97

the amendment is what will get this thing passed. It will be negotiated out and the team will up its offer somewhere between 50-100 million with monies coming from the Owner and not from stadium revenue streams. The Wilfs most assuredly knew that there would be number inflation in the legislative hearings. That they have managed to get this far with only 30-50 million of personal expense is somewhat incredible. So the Viking swill offer up a little more skin and be able to reap the rewards down the line. For negotiation reasons Bagley has to sound tough on this but the Vikings most DEFINITELY will give up some ground on this IF it's the biggest hurdle they face.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:50 AM by moda Highlight this comment 98

GoAUpher-

We don't know for certain what the outcome could be if this bill doesn't get signed, but history has proven that NFL franchises that don't get a new stadium deal eventually move. It's as simple as that.

One possibility is that the Wilfs decide "the heck with it" and decide to cash in and sell the team. And maybe this new ownership group's sole interest is to work out a deal with Los Angeles to move the team out west.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 09:54 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 99

We don't know for certain what the outcome could be if this bill doesn't get signed, but history has proven that NFL franchises that don't get a new stadium deal eventually move. It's as simple as that.

It's that simple only if you believe this is the last go-round for a bill.

One possibility is that the Wilfs decide "the heck with it" and decide to cash in and sell the team. And maybe this new ownership group's sole interest is to work out a deal with Los Angeles to move the team out west.

I understand this concern (and already noted it earlier) but I think Zygi knows he stands to make more money by getting the stadium built in MN then he does in moving the team. Especially since this session should make it clear that a bill is still doable. My only concern would be if the "no new taxes" crowd got stronger after the election.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 10:02 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 100

If they are going to strong arm the public for funding and leaving as the ultimatum, I say goodbye.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 10:47 AM by tk Highlight this comment 101

First of all, there is really no reason to think the Vikings will leave if this bill does not get passed. In other words, there's a big difference between these two statements:

A) The Vikings will leave if we don't build a new stadium.

B) The Vikings will leave if we don't pass this bill.

The first is unquestionably true. The second is unquestionably false. But it's easy to get them mixed up.

Listen to how Lanning blurred the line ever so carefully (from this article):

"There's a limit to how much we can squeeze" out of the team for the stadium, Lanning said. "If we squeeze too much, we may end up not having a deal." If that happens, he said, "I believe that the Vikings will likely leave."

(Emphasis mine.)

What I heard in the debate over and over is "this is our best/last/only chance" language and "if we don't do this the Vikings are gone" statements. (I did not hear uncertainty nearly as often as I heard inevitability.) The statements are admittedly ambiguous. In letter, some are actually (A) above, but in interpretation they are all (B) -- and that's how they are intended. That's how the debate went.

To get the best possible deal, it's important to remember that there's no Russian Roulette involved here. These are negotiations. Yes, any party could just walk away, but both parties really want to make a deal, and each wants the best deal possible for themselves. So the far more likely outcome is that a deal will be struck, probably (hopefully) exactly at the moment one or both parties are pushed to the very edge of what they are willing to do.

moda is right that the $105M will become a negotiating point between the team and any conference committee. Frankly, I would have gone a little higher because the team really needs to bring about $75M more to the table for the deal to get into a better balance (and about another $75M needs to be shaved off the total amount, with the team accepting cost overruns, another improvement made yesterday).

Since the Vikings are guaranteed to play here next year, and there's virtually no chance they could leave before the '13-'14 season starts ('14-'15 is a different story), I still think the best deal can only be reached if they set anchors now and then hammer it all out over the summer. (I still think the financing mechanisms in this bill are all wrong and will doom it even if it does get signed into law.)

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM by Rick 102

TK- Did you say "goodbye" to the Twins when they used contaction as a strong-armed way of getting the new stadium effort going again? I think not since you have season tickets.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 11:02 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 103

I agree that the Vikings are due a new stadium.

They are not overdue. They signed a 30-year lease with an automatic extension if they should ever have to play somewhere else for any reason. That added one year when the Dome's roof collapsed. Barring another collapse (which would extend it further), they'll be without a lease after next season. That makes them due for a change of some sort.

Whether it's "their turn" or not is sort of irrelevant. Both the Twins and Gophers had considerably more urgent (and different) reasons to need new facilities, and they were handled on separate schedules. It's absurd to compare the timing, though I know that makes for a nice tactic to create a sense of urgency.

When you make emotional decisions with your money, you are much more likely to make a big mistake. That's why all advertising is directed squarely at our emotions. Making financial decisions out of fear is the worst, almost always a recipe for pointless overspending. (Can I interest you in an extended warranty?)

I was primarily disheartened because the Legislature appears to be making exclusively emotional, specifically fear-based decisions with the public money.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 11:08 AM by Rick 104

Contraction was to happen in 01-02, Stadium opened in 2010.

If the Twins would have left, so be it. However, it was in different times and different priorities. Also, I think the funding structure for the Twins stadium was smarter than this plan.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 11:09 AM by tk Highlight this comment 105

14 games under. 10 games out. -64 run differential. The team has packed it in. I guess we are the new Pittsburgh Pirates of the AL. 100 losses looks like a lock. I guess I was off a bit with a 71-91 prediction.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 11:14 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 106

"I was primarily disheartened because the Legislature appears to be making exclusively emotional, specifically fear-based decisions with the public money."

We all know about the studies that have been done which prove its never in the financial interest of governments to subsidize the building of professional sports teams....so, emotion/fear is really the only reason to vote for a bill. If the votes cast were solely based on sound economic principals, virtually NO stadium in the country would have been built with public subsidies (which would've been ideal, but that horse was let out of the barn along time ago).

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 107

so, emotion/fear is really the only reason to vote for a bill. If the votes cast were solely based on sound economic principals, virtually NO stadium in the country would have been built with public subsidies.

Emotion and things beyond straight economics can be used productively in stadium debates but what emotion you're talking about and what it is being used to justify matters. Pragmatically, public funding for stadiums is just part of the deal now if you want to keep the Vikings (or any pro team). I think most folks who are open to thinking it through get that. That doesn't mean that a bad bill is suddenly better.

That's the difference between fear and positive emotion (e.g. pride) in making the decision to fund a stadium and keep the team here. Fear means you grasp at the first/most readily available deal, regardless of quality or details. Pride means you recognize this has to happen but you're also willing to make sure it gets done right (or at the very least, gets done in a better way).

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 108

That's how I realized how prevalent fear was in this process. Rational fans I discussed this with would agree with every point about how a bill could be improved and why a move in the next year was unlikely but would then end their response with "but we can't take that chance" or something similar.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 109

Rick using your logic for a moment the future of the Vikings looks like this. There will be here for the 2012 season because of the stupid clause in the recently expired lease. Lets see after that they are FREE to go play anyplace they can strike a deal. Next year the state is in a budget year if I am not mistaken. Can you hear the politicians now "we can't consider a Viking stadium this year it is a budget year, they will have to wait another year and also find a local partner to help out".

The team follows the rules as they did this year, they wait a year find a new local partner but the politicians after waiting a year say they can't do it now it's an election year. Does this all sound familiar? So you see that is why alot of people believe that this year is get it done or give it up!

People think that LA is the only alternative. How Portland? How about Vancover who already has a stadium ready to go? How about Oklahoma City? Thinking LA is the only possible landing site had better remove the blinders!

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 1:05 PM by Bigdog Highlight this comment 110

Agree with BigDog. there may in fact be a pie in the sky deal out there but it may never see the light of day. that's the way it goes sometimes.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 1:13 PM by moda Highlight this comment 111

Bigdog, this is an election year...

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM by tk Highlight this comment 112

As for those who say "let them leave", that is about the most ridiculous thing in this whole debate. Ok, we let them leave, and then spend millions getting a new team. See Lakers/Timberwolves and North Starts/Wild for recent (relatively) examples. My thought it let's spend those millions to keep the team and traditions we have, and save the angst and hand-wringing and finger pointing in the process. "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." But I know politicians are famous for their short memories.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 113

Dont' worry Antfire that's just the folks that are happy that they got their toy on the backs of the taxpayers. Now they don't want others to get what they want as well.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 1:41 PM by moda Highlight this comment 114

The legislator has been fumbling around with a Vikings stadium deal for years. In the meantime they have also acutally created and passed stadium deals for the Twins and Gophers. Yet some on this board seem to think they are still learning how to do stadium bills and will somehow have a light bulb go off in their heads and create the perfect stadium bill next year. It's actually kind of amusing listening to that line of logic.

If it does go into next year the whole muddled process will start all over.

Next year there will be new legislators involved, some will get voted out, some won't rerun, district areas are being rearranged, key positions in the house/senate may change, etc. The whole muddled process will start all over with different players invovled.

And lets not forget the Vikings will have even more negotiating (fear) powers next year. So the idea to totally ignore the (fear) factor now is in and of itself illogical.

It just goes to show that hardly no one on this board has actually sat down and thought out what all the true advantages and disadvantages to waiting are.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 115

People think that LA is the only alternative. How Portland? How about Vancover who already has a stadium ready to go? How about Oklahoma City? Thinking LA is the only possible landing site had better remove the blinders!
None of those places are anywhere close to being ready to land a team. Could they be a landing spot? Sure, anything is possible. The only way any of those spots become viable is if the owners of the Vikings (be it Zygi or someone else after a sale by Zygi) are willing to wait. At least LA has the threat of the Vikings playing in a facility that is worse than the Dome (Coliseum or Rose Bowl) while the final spot gets worked out.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 1:59 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 116

"The highlights are the team has to kick in $105 million more, and both the builder and the team are on the hook for any cost overruns, instead of the public. Also, the lease is extended to 40 years from 30; Hennepin County taxes will no longer be used as a backup funding source; and if the team is sold the state has the option of increasing their ownership share."
This is what gets the legislators on the fence to vote yes. IMHO

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:03 PM by WI' ite Highlight this comment 117

The legislator has been fumbling around with a Vikings stadium deal for years. In the meantime they have also acutally created and passed stadium deals for the Twins and Gophers. Yet some on this board seem to think they are still learning how to do stadium bills and will somehow have a light bulb go off in their heads and create the perfect stadium bill next year. It's actually kind of amusing listening to that line of logic.

The problem with this is that you are treating all Legislatures like they are the same. This isn't the same Legislature that passed those other bills. Many of the legislators are new since those bills happened. Which means the process is new to them. It also means a new ideological makeup to contend with.

If it does go into next year the whole muddled process will start all over.

Yes and no. The overall makeup of the Legislature prob won't change too drastically. Which means the players will remain mostly the same. There are clear baselines that the Vikings have agreed to in terms of contribution and location that can be used as a better starting point. They won't be starting from scratch like they did after the Anoka plan died.

And lets not forget the Vikings will have even more negotiating (fear) powers next year. So the idea to totally ignore the (fear) factor now is in and of itself illogical.

Sure, but they've already played some big cards this session and put down their markers. So long as the new plan doesn't stray too far from those details then things will be fine. The Vikings won't have any success if they try to push for more state money than was already agreed to. The remaining issues for the bill becomes 1) funding source (most important) and location (wherever in the City the selected funding source is ok with. Location only becomes an issue if the Vikings want to blow the deal up over it (which I doubt).

It just goes to show that hardly no one on this board has actually sat down and thought out what all the true advantages and disadvantages to waiting are.

LMAO. It means they have and they don't agree with you.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:07 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 118

I don't often like to do tomorrow what I could get done today.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM by moda Highlight this comment 119

In regards to my statement about letting them leave, is in regards to how this bill was written (and still appears to be written, pending it being flushed out in committee).

In regards to getting a new team should the Vikings leave, I too, would be opposed to that.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM by TK Highlight this comment 120

GoAUpher,

Next year it will be a totally new bill with a different location and new funding at both the state and local levels. It's basically starting from scratch. If not, what in the current Bill are you proposing they will keep?

Many seats can change in a single election, especially when some incumbents are being forced out due to redistricting. The entire balance of the legislator can change in a single election. The only for sure thing is the Governor will be the same next year.

I'm sure many don't agree with me. That does not mean they have thought through all the advantages and disadvantages. It's a pretty safe bet to say no one on this board has, including myself.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 121

Next year it will be a totally new bill with a different location and new funding at both the state and local levels. It's basically starting from scratch. If not, what in the current Bill are you proposing they will keep?

Just because it is literally a new bill doesn't mean they are starting from scratch functionally. The Vikings aren't suddenly going to be able to go "well, we feel like paying $300 million this time" and be taken seriously. They've set the bar for their contribution (actually, they've already shifted it as the money they are willing to pay now was originally only OK if the location was in Arden Hills). Sure, the location changes but the key is that that Vikings have said that Minneapolis is ok (something they weren't keen on admitting while Arden Hill was in play). There is no logical reason to oppose the Stadium District location and the Vikes haven't raised one (their opposition this session was based on "grade issues"...something easily solved by a tool called a bulldozer).

Many seats can change in a single election, especially when some incumbents are being forced out due to redistricting. The entire balance of the legislator can change in a single election. The only for sure thing is the Governor will be the same next year.

Now you're playing the "possible" card again. Anything is possible. I'm talking about what is likely. And I've yet to read any analysis that suggests widespread changes in the makeup of the Legislature. I will admit that as a MN expat I can't follow MN politics as closely so I'm willing to admit that I might be wrong here. If you have a link to any analysis that suggests a "wave" election (or an election where redistricting plays a large role) at the MN state level I'd appreciate it as I'd like to read it. But if you are simply saying that it's possible? That's not really an argument.

That does not mean they have thought through all the advantages and disadvantages.

True. But thus far you're argument consists of what "might" happen without showing why it is likely or worth worrying about. I've been very specific about why I feel the way I do and you haven't really rebutted my points (many of which have already been raised by Rick multiple times) with any competing thoughts besides "the opposite of what you think is possible."

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:48 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 122

rock bottom baby...how times have changed! Tickets on stubhub for tonight as low as $0.59! Legends Club tickets for $12.00! How much longer before the Twins are putting free tickets on parked cars around town?

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:59 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 123

The overall make-up of the Legislature WILL change dramatically. Every seat is up for election, and there will be at least 14 Senators (out of 67) who won't return (according to MPR, which is tracking retirements and such).

In the House, at least 20 members will not return to the House (although some will be elected to the Senate).

Plus there are completely new districts, and the dynamics of a presidential election year will be much different than what happened in low-turnout 2010. I think it's safe to say there will be a lot of turnover.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM by Jerry Highlight this comment 124

Mike~
At this pace I might be able to sit in the Legends club for a fiver by the next time I'm in MN later this summer. I'd suffer through a game for that price in exchange for sitting in a new spot. ;o)

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:02 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 125

Jerry~
Thanks. The retirements and running for higher office were the two big pieces I wasn't aware of (in terms of scope). Can anyone speak to how those open seats look as far as likelihood to change in terms party/ideological makeup? Because more important than new legislators is what they represent in terms of party ideals/ideological points (though the newness thing can be a big thorn too). A Legislature with a bunch of newbies who hold views that are compatible with the push for a new stadium is a much different proposition than newbies who are "no new taxes" or "no stadium funding ever" ideologues.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 126

The senate unanimously approved raising the Vikings' share by $25,000,000. The key to this is this increase creates a negotating window of $85,000,000 between it and and the house's proposed increase of $105,000,000, assuming the bill makes it to conference committee. So the Vikes will pay more than $25,000,000 in addition, but probably not $105,000,000 either, if the bill were to pass.

The house version of the bill still has a green light for the Minneapolis referendum. That needs to stay off the senate bill and, if it passes, get 86ed at the conference commmittee. If that provision gets out of both chambers and makes it to the final version of the bill, this thing is as good as dead.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 127

Make that an $80,000,000 negotiating window.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 128

Why are tickets on Stubhub for $.59? Who would rationally sell their tickets for that, rather than donate them to a charity (and take the tax deduction) or simply give them to someone else and build a little good will for a coupla bucks? My guess - it's the team! They stand to benefit from people coming to the game and buying concessions, even if they get not ticket revenue. Is that too cynical?

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM by BR Highlight this comment 129

BR - I was thinking the same thing...I have donated a lot of tickets this year to the Tix for Tots program. I would rather take a $10/ticket hit and donate them to a good charity rather than sell them for a whopping $5.00 (and less) on stubhub, which is clearly where the market is going.

I am just glad I downgraded to the field view seats this year so I am not taking as big of a hit on my tickets. I can't even get the season ticket holder price of $11.00 this year. All I want when selling is to break-even and get rid of my tickets. No need to even renew next year at this point.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 130

Champions Club at $120... still too rich for my blood, but it's tempting...

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 131

GoAUpher,

There are many articles that discuss the redistricting impact. Just do a quick google with something like "Minnesota redistricting".

One quick link with kind of a concise breakdown of upcoming contested areas is: MinnPost Redistricting

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 132

Really wish I was able to go to the game tonight. $120/ticket is not bad at all for Champions Club, especially low row, but I have seen it go as low as $75. Still waiting to take my spouse to a game in those seats.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM by tk Highlight this comment 133

Section: Skyline View 324
Seats: Row 9 | Seats 17, 18

Electronic - Instant Download ($5.45 USD)

Price per ticket:
$0.01 USD

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:04 PM by tk Highlight this comment 134


Sucky team + chance of rain = $.01 tix

Meanwhile, the Senate left the Minneapolis referendum in for now.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM by Rick 135

I don't understand all the talk of the Vikings lease at the Dome. A lease isn't a prison sentence -- either party can break it at any time, assuming they are willing to pay the penalties. From reading the lease (linked at my user name, see section 18.3 on page 41), it looks like the Vikings could cease to play their games at Dome anytime, as long as they were willing to keep paying rent and the average MSFC take from the ticket tax, concessions, and parking for each game missed. Not sure of the numbers, but that doesn't appear to be a huge obstacle if the Vikings really have a $1 billion stadium deal waiting for them elsewhere.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:17 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 136

tk:

When have you seen Champions Club at $75? I think I would bite around that price, so I'm curious what days/times to watch for the best value.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:19 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 137

Forgot to include the Metrodome lease link in my last post!

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 138

Thanks Dave! That's exactly what I'm looking for.

A quick review of the link you suggests a rationale for why Mike Opat and Hennepin County want to wait until next session to have their proposal acted upon. If the data that MinnPost gives is accurate, there are WAY more pickup opportunities in both the House and Senate for the DFL then there are for the GOP. This means that next session there is a decent chance that the DFL could regain power in both houses and control the Legislative agenda. This makes the rumored HC plan (handle funding via an increase in the county sales tax) more palatable.

Obviously MinnPosts analysis isn't the same as polling models predicting what the outcomes might be in each district (and I'm sure no great models like that exist given the paucity of polling data in many districts, etc) but it suggests that if there is a drastic change in party/ideological affiliations in the Legislature that it would more than likely tilt in the favor of the DFL. That's good for a stadium's chances next session, unless a lot of those DFL'ers are "no public funding" folks.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 139

Also, I wonder if it would be worth buying a Champions Club ticket (or any ticket) for a likely rainout, presuming that the rescheduled game would be more valuable (likely sometime during the prime summer months).

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:23 PM by spycake Highlight this comment 140

I saw a couple September games last year to where the CC was going for $75. I was going to buy it during the KC game for $120, but decided against doing so, as it was a National TV game and people were certain they would have waited it out. Turns out I should have!

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:27 PM by tk Highlight this comment 141

The Champions Club seats that are on Stub Hub for $120 are on Craigslist for $100

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM by tk Highlight this comment 142

If tonight's game is postponed, it will be made up tomorrow at 12pm as part of a day-night doubleheader since the Twins do not have any other games against the Angels this year.

Kind of sad, tomorrow is May 9 and the Twins will have faced the Angels 9 times and will not see them again in 2012. Yet, we have not even played the White Sox, Tigers or Indians one single game.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:37 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 143

Right now, Legends Club at $19 for tonight. Dugout Box at $16.50!

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 4:40 PM by BR Highlight this comment 144

If the bill actually passes this year in it's current form (electric pulltabs, etc), is there any reason a DFL majority Legislature couldn't replace the funding source next year? Could they retroactively use a drink fee or Henn Co sales taxes?

Or would that be reopening barely healed wounds?

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM by Mr Bandgeek Highlight this comment 145

Rick,

Oh no! The Senate left the referendum in the bill is doomed just like the bill was doomed in 2006 when the senate put in a referendumm for Target Field and The Twins lef... got contracte..... Oh wait, funny thing how the conference committee and and the whole lawmaking process in Minnesota works..

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 6:21 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 146

I just finished an email to my Senator, Linda Higgins, and suggested that she maybe propose the following amendments to the SF that is up for debate as we speak. Here's the two amendment proposals I sent to her, take it or shove it:

1) Similar to the requirements set forth by the legislation that got TCF Bank Stadium built, I suggest that BEFORE the Vikings receive any allotted taxpayer and/or General Fund money to construct the new Minneapolis stadium, the Vikings be required to raise a certain percentage of private funding, whether it be through naming rights agreements or any other private funding. The Vikings should raise no less than 10% of the overall stadium cost in private funding before receiving any State taxpayer and/or General Fund money.

2) Many have constructed the argument that events like the Super Bowl and Final Four bring in millions of dollars to the state economy, and those events do create a boost for the local economy. Therefore, to this end, I suggest that the NFL be required to award a Super Bowl to the new Minneapolis stadium within five years after the stadium's initial opening, and no less than three Super Bowls subsequently during the life of the stadium. I also suggest that the NCAA be required to award a Regional round and a Final Four within five years after the stadium's initial opening, and no less than five Final Fours and Regional rounds subsequently during the life of the stadium.

Oh, and I have to say, the amendment that would prohibit the NFL from imposing blackout rules to this area is AMAZING. The NFL probably won't go for that though.

Peace out.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 6:36 PM by luke Highlight this comment 147

Anyone by chance have the original lease the Twins signed for the dome?

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 6:45 PM by WI' ite Highlight this comment 148

No love for Senator Sean Nienow anywhere, was this arrogant d-bag in the legislature when they were voting for Target Field?

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 8:16 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 149

I have difficult leveraging any credibility to somebody with 7 nicknames.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 8:35 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 150

luke~
You actually suggested that the MN Legislature enact amendments that they have no way of enforcing (see your #2)?

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 8:37 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 151

Or is my sarcasm meter just totally broken and this senator is currently proposing similarly ridiculous things? =)

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 152

We have field view seats and can't get rid of them at $5 this year.
Have a 20 game pack but with our kids activities just can't make it to some of the games. Sold some games in the past couple years ($10-$20) on craigslist to "kids" in their 20s who just wanted to get in the game.
Not the place to be this year. Our youth baseball night against the Cubs in June didn't even sell that well.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM by gogotwins Highlight this comment 153

Indeed I did propose such an amendment.

In my defense, there was another amendment to the bill (not mine of course) which suggested that the NFL blackout rules be rescinded in this area...lol. Now I thought THAT was a preposterous idea.

Well, maybe it should have been that Minnesota should be required to submit bids for the respective events in the aforementioned timeframe. But, you know that the Vikings will bid for a Super Bowl and the U will bid for a Final Four shortly after the new stadium opens in 2016...it was a little more incentive to actually convince the respective organizations within the confines of the legislation to actually AWARD those events to us.

The NCAA hates the Dome so much, they won't even dare have the National Ping-Pong Championship there, let alone a revenue-generating event like the Final Four.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM by luke Highlight this comment 154

sen. john marty (d-roseville) is such an annoying putz. losing respect for the voters of roseville who keep voting this self-important fool into office over the years. the guy is a joke. as is sen. dave hann (r-eden prairie). that is all. carry on.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 155

If I'm not mistaken, the NCAA commited to putting a Final Four in Lucas Oil Stadium every fifth year for a stretch. Has anyone else heard this?

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 9:58 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 156

I remain more committed than ever to my belief that the 2012 Legislature is incapable of passing a decent Viking bill. This also applies to the 2013, 2014, 2015 Legislature and beyond. They are largely inept, with a few exceptions. And Betaband, you are 100% correct about John Marty. I literally cannot listen to the man speak anymore. It's bad for my health.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 10:14 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 157

Don't really see how the legislation is any kind of incentive and it's not a punishment either since it's not enforceable.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 10:16 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 158

Ugh...should have said "would be" instead of "is". Unless this thing slipped in already. Too many amendments to count on this thing as is.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 10:18 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 159

Y'all know that the boys won tonight, right? Weird feeling, huh?

And, gogotwins, if you still have unsold Cubs tickets, send me a note (rick at...). I'm trying to take my kids to either the Saturday or Sunday game but Stubhub prices for these games seem to be stuck in 2010...

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 11:04 PM by Rick 160

Winona Mike, the NCAA a committment to Indianapolis to bring the Final Four to town around every five years or so. The city earned such favor because it is home to the NCAA's HQ, the stadium is adjacent to the convention center while being within a half dozen block walk of no less than 20 hotels (that's not chamber of commerce hype, I went to Google Maps and counted), the state is a hoops hotbed, and its location is in decent proximity to a large portion of the country's population.

The new and old stadiums have held the Final Four in 1991, 1997, 2000, 2006, and 2010, and will host again in 2015. Both stadiums also hosted or will host early or regional round action in 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2009, and 2013. It's unreasonable for anyone to expect a Minnesota stadium to get that kind of action, but it would be a frequent stop in the Final Four rotation with a chance to get some early and regional round action too.

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 11:20 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 161

Wearying debate. Legislating is, if nothing else, a withering process. (I had to tune out for a while. It got to be just too much.)

So I'm not clear on what is in and out of this bill right now, but it's sort of a moot point. The conference committee will certainly come out with something which resembles neither of the ones which have been passed.

There is some hope that a deal agreeable to all can be struck, but it is very unclear whether even that could survive the politics between the House/Senate and Governor. The Senate Republicans seem primed to stick it to the Governor after he vetoed their tax bill. (I continued watching for about half an hour after the vote was taken, and the hints were loud and clear.)

And it also looks like most of the lawsuit honeypots remain in both versions of the bill, meaning they are also likely to survive to the final bill.

But I'm sure there was a rousing chorus of "Skol Vikings" at the capitol again tonight. I bet it was a fun party.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 12:19 AM by Rick 162

Rick-Could you explain again how a final bill that gets signed into law could possibly not get a stadium to be built? What are the possible scenarios in your mind that you think would prevent the shovel from going into the ground? It seems like a lot of work was done by a lot of people, and then to see no action taken seems weird.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 07:31 AM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 163

I can't speak for Rick or anyone else but I'm going to guess this whole thing could get tied up in court. That is one way for this to die after it is signed...

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 08:17 AM by James1979 Highlight this comment 164

Anyone read Jon Tevlin's column in the Strib this morning? A slightly humorous look at the absurdity of our politics. The posturing of the legislators from all points on the political spectrum gave him plenty of fodder, as did the Vikings fans who were there. Called the face-painted fraternity "a zoo-full of the craziest political activists ever to gather..."

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 08:34 AM by terry Highlight this comment 165

Hey we are now on pace for 45 wins! Can we make it 2 in a row? Diamonds are forever?

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 08:48 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 166

Can someone explain to me how a "Vikings fan" could show up at the legislature to support the stadium effort wearing a purple #4 jersey? Seriously, I'm having trouble understanding this.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 09:07 AM by BR Highlight this comment 167

The questions now are: (1) How many legislators who voted "yes" did so due to specific ammendments being attached to the bill? and (2) How many "yes" votes will turn to "no" if and when some of these ammendments get stripped from the final bill during today's conference committee?

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 09:19 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 168

I don't think there are too many amendments that need to be stripped actually. The 105 will be negotiated somewhere between the house's 105 and the senates 25. No biggie there. User fees got taken out and the provision for referendum got taken out as well.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 09:28 AM by moda Highlight this comment 169

Not all user fees were removed...still a tax on the luxury suites, team memorabillia, and parking. You also have money for St Paul and tax breaks for the MOA. I don't think these were technically ammendments, as they were part of Sen Rosen's bill, but these items aren't in the House version.

I'm guessing that when push comes to shove, there will be enough votes in both the Senate and House to get this done.....but there has been way too many twists and turns in this saga from me to be anywhere near totally confident in the outcome.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 09:38 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 170

The 10% tax on suites and the parking on game day tax are only projected to bring in about 1.1 million a year. Certainly not chump change to most of us, but in the context of a one billion dollar project it is. These taxes are in the bill for "window dressing" more than for financing.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 09:47 AM by terry Highlight this comment 171

It is feeling right now like this has enough solid (i.e. non-conditional) votes to get through after conference committee. The exception might be in the Senate, where they are pretty pissed at the Governor and may kill it just for spite.

But I think waiving the Minneapolis referendum invites at least one lawsuit (for the Vikings stadium), and perhaps two (another for Target Center). The tip board provision is apparently illegal according to federal law, which invites delaying legal action of some sort. I think there are other potential lawsuits among the back-up funding mechanisms, including Hennepin County (which I think came out of the House version but may still be in the Senate version).

Of these, I think the one with the most potential to derail the whole project is the Minneapolis referendum one. Regardless of which way it ultimately goes, it could put everything on hold for months -- perhaps even long enough to get to the next legislative session, in which the funding mechanism could simply be swapped out to settle the suit. (For the record, I would be among those who think the charter amendment clearly applies, and would vote against the project if given the opportunity.)

And for those who don't remember, it is not unprecedented for a bill to be passed and not result in a stadium. It happened a couple of times to the Twins. One required a referendum in St. Paul (which failed), and another set parameters which caused the Twins to basically walk away.

This process requires careful threading of the political needle, and thus relies on the skills of the legislators involved. I have to say that I'm very impressed with the abilities and determination of Sen. Rosen. If this squeezes through, she should get a lot of the credit.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:01 AM by Rick 172

I almost forgot to mention the Minneapolis City Council, which will have to approve this deal within 30 days, and currently has a razor-thin margin of support. If something in the final bill rubs even one of the council members the wrong way, the deal will be dead.

Right now they (the Mpls Council) are awaiting an opinion about whether the charter amendment applies, and that opinion has at least one council member's vote (sorry, can't remember this minute which one) hanging on the outcome.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM by Rick 173

Is it just me? Doesn't a 13 person city council seem like overkill for a city the size of Minneapolis?

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 174

I grew up in a town of 21K and we had 6.

St. Cloud 67K has 7.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM by tk Highlight this comment 175

It does make for unwieldy government...

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:36 AM by Rick 176

Where I grew up, we had 4 wards. 1 member for each ward and 2 members that covered dual wards (1&2, 3&4)

In St. Cloud, there are 4 wards, and 3 at-large members.

The City of Minneapolis has 13 wards, and I feel it is very important to ensure you have representative from voices from all over the city. So I do not think 13 is overkill by any means.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:38 AM by tk Highlight this comment 177

I live in St. Paul and believe the 7 here is too many. 5 seems better, 1 each, northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest and downtown.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 178

With a population just short of 400K, each council member represents around 30K people. That's not exactly ideal, but having more council members would make the government even less efficient than it already is, so it's hard to think that would be an improvement.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:45 AM by Rick 179

Does anyone have a link to the actual text of the final Senate version of the bill? I couldn't seem to find it on the legislative website. (The links I clicked took my to a different bill!)

The charter amendment issue is certainly problematic, but there were two ways they've talked about avoiding it. One was to claim the extension of the convention center tax was not a local tax, and that the ahjrter amendment's restrictions were therefore inapplicable. This argument seems weak to me. The other was to more directly override the city charter itself, which the legislature has the general authority to do.

That's more direct, and more offensive to local officials, but likely legal. If they're taking the latter approach, then a lawsuit challenging the law on that ground could probably be dealt with quickly, and might not result in any interim restraining order or injunction anyway (meaning that the project could commence even while the lawsuit was pending).

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:20 AM by BR Highlight this comment 180

What was Minneapolis' peak population? The 13 wards are a hold over from when there were many more people in the city and the structure of local government years ago gave Minneapolis more control over its own affairs in comparison to what the State and things like the Met Council have.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 181

Minneapolis topped out at about 521K in 1950.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:48 AM by Rick 182

Don't know, but don't get me started on my hatred of the Met Council.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:49 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 183

Wow support no referendum for the Twins but not for the Vikings. Lovely. Just lovely.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM by moda Highlight this comment 184

moda, you've been paying attention long enough to know better than that. These two referendum waivers are so totally different that a comparison is completely meaningless.

The 2006 law which built Target Field bypassed a generic referendum requirement which had been on the books for decades, was not created to stop any particular project, and represented antiquated legislation. But if there had been a referendum back then, I would have certainly voted yes because the deal was rock solid.

The current waiver would bypass a referendum requirement enacted very recently specifically to prevent what the current law is trying to do. In other words, the people of Minneapolis said, "If you want to commit more than $10M to a sports facility project, we require you to get our approval."

Bypassing that essentially says, "We know that you told us you want to vote, but we're not going to let you." That's a very different situation.

And I'd vote no not because it's the Vikings versus the Twins, or football versus baseball, or anything like that. Even wanting to solve the stadium problem, this deal is a bad one, especially for the city of Minneapolis. (By the way, it would probably lower my property taxes, so it would be good for me personally. Sometimes, however, the common good is more important than my own. Wait, not sometimes -- always.)

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 1:35 PM by Rick 185

Time for some trades to shake up this team. Get whatever you can for any of the following. Pavano, Fransissco, Valencia, Cassila, Mad Crapper, Span (will cry like a baby if told to play rf) Get as many draft picks or pitching prospects as possible.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 186

The Purple panzies will look as good on my 55" HDTV playing from LA as here! It's football! Going with 5 wins this year. Ponder is not a big time QB.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 1:45 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 187

The Minneapolis referendum charter came into being in the November 1997 election. It can be directly traced to the Twins monumentally butchering their 1997 stadium quest which included the infamous contribution from the Twins/Pohlads that was painted as a gift but turned out to be a loan for which the team and family expected to be repaid with interest. That foolishness cost the Twins many years in their own stadium quest and now hinders the Vikings. Minus the ill will the Twins and Pohlads created that year with this stunt, I don't see how the referendum charter would even have appeared as a ballot option that year or later, let alone making it to law and being a factor 15 years later.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 188

Last night during the debate one of the Senators stood up and talked about the referendum and said it was enacted after the City purchased the Target Center and the main reason was to prevent the City from doing a deal like that in the future. Is the referendum that would possible apply in this case or was a newer one recently enacted?

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM by Bigdog Highlight this comment 189

Sorry Rick the hypocrisy is just too fun to watch. We can't use gambling. gambling BAD... Let's tax alcohol consumption instead!

The charter talks about raising new taxes. I don't see any new taxes and this isn't even a city tax. Basically Minneapolis is a partner in this in name only.

Prediction: If this passes there won't be any lawsuits. There will be rumbling about it but it won't happen.

I'm not crazy about the funding option, but not because your mom might gamble every now and again. I'm not crazy about it because I don't think it's stable enough. Sucks that Opat will be stuck on the sidelines. He had a good plan but it will go by the wayside.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 1:55 PM by moda Highlight this comment 190

Not sure how a new tax on a massive gambling expansion is equivalent to a tiny sales tax expansion on an existing market. But, whatever. (For the 1000th time: I don't have a moral objection to gambling -- or drinking, for that matter.)

My understanding is that they added something to one version of this bill which expands funding for gambling addiction treatment. That addresses one part of my objection nicely. The other part, "fairy dust numbers", which I think is the same as yours, hasn't been addressed at all.

And the whole "not a city tax" thing is a dodge, and everybody knows it. It seems to work in letter, but not in spirit. It's legal mumbo jumbo which simply begs for clarification by a court. The intent of the charter amendment will be violated by the referendum waiver. That's all that matters.

And it only takes one passionate individual out there to start a lawsuit. As far as I can tell, there are a whole lot of passionate anti-stadium types living in Minneapolis.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM by Rick 191

The Charter provision has been circumvented 23 times. 23. The City Attorney views the tax as state controlled. There is WAY more muscle behind the project than what you will find in opposition.

Someone can bring a legal challenge and it's going to get fast tracked and defeated rather quickly. this is going to be like the people along University trying to file injunctions against CCLRT. Way too much momentum and money behind this project. That lawsuit will barely be a bump in the road. IF the bill is signed into law.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:22 PM by moda Highlight this comment 192

Moda - don't underestimate a lawsuit and what it can do to a project like this. Even if it gets thrown out by a judge, a lawsuit can be very damaging for the process. Not to mention, there could be several lawsuits filed by the time the dust clears. Opponents will find any way possible to slow this project (or any other controversial project) and its sad.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 193

Geez Opat must wear his underwear over his tights.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM by moda Highlight this comment 194

Bigdog, there was definitely residual anger among some people in Minneapolis due to the Target Center buyout that took place in 1994. However, it the referendum charter was approved in the 1997 election and it was angry reaction to the Twins' stadium botchery earlier in the year that pushed people over the edge. Without the Twins situation, this referendum charter isn't on the books. For most people the Target Center buyout debate was old news by 1997 until the Twins thing stirred it back to the top of the collective memory.

Looking back at the Target Center and early Twins stadium debates, it occurs to me that there are some roles in those productions that have as yet gone unfilled in this one. Remember the Reverend Ricky Rask and others playing the social services instead of stadium angles? Are people from that sphere of influence sitting out the Vikings stadium debate or are they simply being ignored this time around?

Who gets the Joe Marble role? Joe was a Twins fan who pushed hard for a stadium, got some media publicity, and minor support from the team, but whose effectiveness can be called into question. At some point he and the Twins badly fell out. I think it was him overestimating his importance and the Twins tiring of him. At any rate, it was an ill parting of ways. Joe had a partner in crime so to speak who felt similarly tossed aside. His name escapes me.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 195

I feel the threat of a lawsuit(s) are way overblown. As Moda said, any challenge will be heard quickly and summarily thrown aside.

If this bill gets to Dayton, he will sign it and the first shovels will be scooping dirt before the end of the year.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 196

Follow the money folks. look who stands to gain on this. Hell the U of M alone will pull strings on the back end with what they stand to gain. Corporate muscle, government muscle. Not to mention the fact that they've disregarded the charter so many times...... A lawsuit doesn't stand a chance.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM by moda Highlight this comment 197

Wow, what one win can do to ticket prices on StubHub, So much for $.65 tickets. You are going to have to pay $3.00 (460% more tonight) for a ticket.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:59 PM by tk Highlight this comment 198

I'd have to agree that a lawsuit gets tossed relatively quickly. I can see why people might be concerned for it, but in the end I suspect it ends up being a small sideshow at worst. If it did cause a few month delay what would the real harm be? Unless the Vikings were to pull out because of it (can't see why they would) then all you're talking about is a small delay in time which might add slightly to the overall cost.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 199

I also think that a lawsuit is prob guaranteed to happen given the anti-stadium slant of many residents in Minneapolis. So if that is a landmine to be concerned about hopefully someone is figuring out how to defuse it.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 200

Amazing how many seem to be making this about whether Rick is "right" or "wrong" based on how this bill ends up. Even if it passes and the stadium is built, I don't see Rick as being wrong. You can build a warship, but even a turd floats.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 201

Sent an e-mail to my ticket representative this week laying out frustrations from our ticket group and the all likely hood of our 2 groups disbanding, as 3 have already relinquished their offers for next year.

I have been asked to meet up with my representative at tonight's game, as he will be stopping by our seats. We'll see how this conversation goes...

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 3:18 PM by tk Highlight this comment 202

Most Vikings fans want a stadium so badly, and, after Monday and Tuesday's bogus amendment-a-thons, have so little faith in elected officials, that they are badly hoping the bill passes and stadium becomes a reality just to get it over with. Later on the issues about the location and its very limited development scope may come to the forefront. However, right now, a stadium feels so close that the bill failing will crush a lot of hopes, even if the situation may not really be hopeless.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 3:33 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 203

tk just tell him the beer and food is cheaper at home! Get yourself a nice big HD tv and enjoy. Can even turn down the sound on Bert and Ernie. Went from 15 games a year down to about 5! Buyers market man.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 4:34 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 204

So that we know what we're discussing... From the Minneapolis city charter (emphasis mine):

CHAPTER 15. - BOARD OF ESTIMATE AND TAXATION

Section 13. - Putting Professional Sports Facility Financing Before the Voters.

The City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Community Development Agency, or any city department, agency, commission, or board, shall use no city resources over $10 million dollars for the financing of professional sports facilities without the approval of a simple majority of the votes cast on the question, in a ballot question put to the public at the next regularly scheduled election. City resources are defined for these purposes as: Tax increment financing, bonds, loans, land purchase or procurement, land or site preparation, including necessary infrastructure such as roads, parking development, sewer and water, or other infrastructure development, general fund expenditures, sales tax or other taxes, deferred payments, interest free or below market interest rate loans, the donation or below market value sale of any city resources or holdings or any other free or below cost city services. The ballot question shall not be put before the public in a special election, in order to prevent the costs associated with special elections. (11-4-97)

The questions:

Is the funding in question a "city resource over $10 million dollars"? Undoubtedly.

Is it a type of tax (sales or otherwise)? Absolutely.

The only way around this is for the bill to simply override the Minneapolis city charter. Yes, they've done it before. But it is, at best, politically risky.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM by Rick 205

rick - at least be forthright when you say some of this stuff and tell BOTH sides of the story.

the dollars in question that minneapolis officials want to use for their share of stadium funding is actually something that the city collects on behalf of the state. not on behalf of the city. the state in turn is just allowing them to use these dollars that are collected on behalf of the state for another purpose. in this case towards stadium construction debt. therefore the minneapolis charter amendment about stadium financing does not apply in this instance.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 206

Hi BallparkMagic bloggers,

Rick's wife here. OK - please enlighten me.

Who cleans the ballpark after every game? How in the world do they do it? And how long does it take, start to finish?

I can't imagine the mountains of trash, peanut shells, half-eaten hot dog buns, soda cups, cotton candy spools ....

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, right?

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 9:16 PM by Victoria (aka Rick) Highlight this comment 207

victoria (rick's wife): ha! a good question. they actually send a giant pack of raccoons loose in the park. the little critters usually gather up all of the trash and food within an hour or so. depending on what kinds of goodies have been left behind. ;-)

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 9:50 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 208

My brother did that last year. The cleaning crew is outsourced and there is a team of about 35-40. The full, breakdown, not a speck of dust remaining cleaning takes about 7 hours.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:04 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 209

Betaband,

That's what Rybak is selling but it's a dodge, to say the least.

Look at it this way: I collect sales tax from my customers. Once a year I make a payment to the state for all of the sales taxes I've collected over the previous year (some businesses are required to do this quarterly). The state takes my payment and distributes it to the various governmental entities for whom it was collected.

For example, I collect state sales taxes (6.5%), city of Minneapolis taxes (0.5%), the Hennepin County tax (0.15%), and a couple of other things. But I pay it all to the state, who sends the money on to where it actually belongs.

The exact same mechanism is at work with the taxes in question for the Convention Center. Whoever collects the taxes (businesses like mine) sends them to the state, and the state forwards them to the city of Minneapolis.

The state may receive the money, but this does not make it in an way state-controlled. The state is simply serving as a convenient collector to save all of the other governmental entities from having to set up their own collection points.

In fact, I have the actual statues where the city of Minneapolis got authority from the state to impose the Convention Center tax (in other words, they were authorized by the state to levy the tax, but the tax was not actually levied by that legislation). Then I also have the city legislation which actually levied it. Legally, and there is no question about this, it is a city-imposed tax.

The city levies the tax, plain and simple, and the state has nothing whatsoever to do with it. The mechanism by which it is paid is irrelevant to the discussion.

Rybak, Johnson and their lawyer are lying, plain and simple. And I know it's not politically correct to put it so bluntly, but there it is.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:09 PM by Rick 210

I'm going to show Vic the time-lapse video of the clean-up that somebody (Jared?) linked last week.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM by Rick 211

It's funny because I forget that my spouse doesn't have the same quasi-obsessive interest in these things that I do.

The other day she asked an innocent question about the Vikings stadium and I wound up giving her a 45-minute lecture about stadium politics...

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM by Rick 212

Im going to go with the City's lawyer on this one. Oh and the team of legal experts that the team, the city, the state, and all those that stand to gain are going to put together. Sorry Rick but I'm not buying your legal opinion on this one.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM by moda Highlight this comment 213

The lads were 0 for 8 with RISP tonight. Meanwhile, the Halos were 7 for 14 in those situations. The only surprise is that the final score was as close as it was.

Now tell the truth, aren't you glad to see a routine post about the Twins game rather than another one of those hysterical, rude/crude rants about the Vikings stadium? Is there something in face paint that causes those rants?

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM by terry Highlight this comment 214

Valencia sent to Rochester!!

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:27 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 215

I'm not a lawyer, but the people I've talked to (who are) say this is cut and dry. There is no wiggle room. It's a deception -- political, of course, but a deception nonetheless.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:31 PM by Rick 216

Oh, and it's moot, of course, if the bill just plain overrides the city charter.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:33 PM by Rick 217

You can read the city code regarding the tax in question and decide for yourself here.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM by Rick 218

rick I am surrounded by lawyers in my family and while that far from makes me an expert I've learned to trust a lot of what they have to say. My immediate inlaws are all lawyers.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:11 PM by moda Highlight this comment 219

Here is the state law which authorized Minneapolis to levy the sales tax (see section 4).

Note that this section does not levy a tax, it merely authorizes the city of Minneapolis to do so.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:21 PM by Rick 220

Have them look at these links and give an off-the-record opinion. (That, by the way, is all that the city attorney is willing to give. She has not issued a formal written opinion.)

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:22 PM by Rick 221

8-22...worst team in MLB by far. Gotta love that -63 run differential

The Twins would need to win 14 in a row just to reach .500 Hard to believe the home opener was just one month ago today. Seems so long ago...

You gotta hope Valencia gets things turned around in Rochester but they had no choice with the Liriano move to the bullpen. He is a FA after the season and it makes no difference at this point because his stock is at an all-time low. All I can say is what a disaster this roster is and where do you even begin? Hopefully Ryan makes some trades because the only hope right now is to stock up the minor leagues.

Will be a long summer at Target Field...they will draw well for the Phillies, Cubs and Brewers in June but other than that, its going to be a buyer's market for tickets. I wouldn't mind snapping up some $20 Legends Club tickets for a game this summer. There is at least one advantage to losing...

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:44 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 222

Here is the section in the Senate version of the bill dealing with the charter amendment:

Sec. 4. CHARTER LIMITATIONS NOT TO APPLY.
Nothing in this act shall be construed to preempt, override, or waive any charter provision, including any provisions requiring a referendum on professional NFL facility financing. Any amounts expended, indebtedness or obligation incurred including, but not limited to, the issuance of bonds, or actions taken by the city under this article for the Target Center are not deemed an expenditure or other use of city resources within the meaning of any law or charter limitation. The city may exercise any of its powers under this article regarding the Target Center to spend, borrow, tax, or incur any form of indebtedness or other obligation, for the improvement, including, but not limited to, acquisition, development, construction, or betterment, of any public building, stadium, or other capital improvement project, without regard to any charter limitation or provision. Any tax exemption regarding the Target Center established under this article shall not be deemed an expenditure or other use of city resources within the meaning of any charter limitation.

Note that there is no corresponding language in the house version, so it's likely this language (perhaps modified by the conference committee) will be in the final bill.

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:47 PM by Rick 223

The post conference committee bill passed the house in the middle of the night. The senate should get it this afternoon. Should it pass there, and you have to figure that won't be a snap, it goes to Dayton for a signature.

The Vikes contribution is now $477,000,000, 49% of the cost, a little more than halfway between the house and senate's proposed additional team amounts.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 06:53 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 224

I'm also reading that a retractable roof is in the plan....Is it possible to get one and still keep the cost at $975 million?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 07:39 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 225

Our Twins are so inept in every category, you need to laugh. clicky...

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 07:39 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 226

Fred,

I do not know all the details of the bill that was passed by the House, but if the Vikings are responsible for all cost overruns and have their eyes dead set on a retractable roof stadium, then I would guess that it will have one. Maybe thats the only way they can get a MLS team here.

Does anyone know if an open air stadium is a requirement for having a MLS team?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 08:19 AM by Jeff Highlight this comment 227

Maybe at AAA Valencia won't spend half the game looking at himself on the scoreboard.

Seriously, after every single play (or attempted play) he's watching the replay on the big screen. I don't know if he's just so vain, or if he's trying to remember what happened, or what... It drives me nuts.

Got tickets to Saturday's game against the Jays. Weather is supposed to be lovely, hopefully we can at least see a competitive game.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 08:22 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 228

Danny Boy is a royal pain in the ass. I would try and trade him for a bag of balls or something. I think he is a free agent next year? See ya latter.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 08:43 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 229

It seems as if St Paul may get their $$ as well.....I've read that might go towards building a new Saints Ballpark in Lowertown.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 09:46 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 230

Danny Valencia loves him some Danny Valencia.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 09:56 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 231

I took the comment about the retractable roof as a way for the state and city to comprehensively shut the door on their participation in that part of the project. At this stage the Vikings seem to have long since abandoned that aspect of their desired stadium in favor of a fixed roof. Due to the expense, desired timeframe in which to occupy the stadium, and the site constraints, a retractable roof looks done and buried.

As for MLS, I hope local officials and soccer fans aren't holding the Wilfs to obtaining a team. MLS talk was mainly lip service to make the stadium seem more appealing to people. There are several obstacles that make such an Minnesota MLS team very unlikely. For starters, the league's stated goal is for each team to occupy a stadium with a capacity in the 20,000 to 30,000 range in which it is the primary tenant. Of the 19 teams, 15 fit this description. Of the other four, two are actively trying to get stadiums that fit the MLS model, one has a unique method of reducing capacity that likely won't be available to here, and the last, Seattle, was an exception to ensure Paul Allen of Microsoft fame would come in as an owner.

The local Minnesota minor league teams have struggled for fan support and financial stability. If that team had a groundswell and a 22,000 seat stadium could be put somewhere in the area, I think there would be a shot. However, there are enough other viable markets for an MLS nearing the limit of reasonable expansion that I doubt the league would accept having a Minnesota team rattling around in a gigantic stadium whose capacity, tarped off areas or not, would prevent the games from having atmosphere or a proper supply/demand model (the main reason for the smallish stadiums).

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 232

Maybe St Paul could get creative and build a facility that would house both the Saints AND a MLS team using the $2.6 million annual payment included in this bill as a major source of revenue for that project. If something like that happened, we could see some truly unique and original ideas when it comes to the building of ballparks and stadiums in the era of single-purpose facilities.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 233

I think the Saints fever is on its way out. They don't draw squat over there now. Plus if they get a new ballpark they will jack up ticket prices. Twins might be a cheaper option by then when they start dropping prices to th $5.00-$8.00 range to get in.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:24 AM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 234

did anyone go to the game last night and meet their ticket rep? I'd be anxious to hear about those discussions.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:26 AM by terry Highlight this comment 235

Baseball and soccer no more go together for field shape and sightlines than baseball and football. I seriously doubt MLS would be interested in a multipurpose stadium of that sort. Side by side stadiums in a greater development would be a different matter, however. The other issue is the price tag. That $2,600,000 would be a drop in the bucket for what an MLS team would need. That league's stadiums are costing in the $100,000,000 range although that often includes other development apart from the stadium itself.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:26 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 236

Lots to digest from overnight...

For example, did the conference committee ever actually meet? The whole process of creating the final bill seems pretty sleazy to me, but I recognize that it may just be business-as usual.

The Strib report this morning made it sound like the bill allows a retractable roof, but provides no specific funding for it. That suggests that the Vikes can pay for it themselves if they want it.

But that certainly begs the question of just how much of the Wilfs' money has been left on the table by this process. They barely blinked at the House's $105M addition, and were probably pretty happy that the numbers ultimately came in where they did.

I've thought all along that they needed to get to about $500M, and they are still short of that, and actually seem (from Bagley's comments and the speed with which they agreed) pretty content with where it came out.

Reading this coverage this morning is unnerving, to say the least. The reality is that legislators likely have little or no idea what is in and out of this bill right now. How the House could have passed it in so short a time is mystifying. At least some of those legislators who voted for it will probably one day wish they hadn't.

But with that as the model, passage by the Senate now seems like all but a foregone conclusion.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM by Rick 237

twinkfan,

I disagree...I think the Saints will continue to be 'successful' filling a certain niche for those fans of baseball outside of MLB.

Actually, come to think about it...Maybe Ziggy could partner with St Paul to build a baseball/soccer stadium. Obviously due to the smaller capacity, it would be much cheaper than an NFL stadium. It could be built for $60-$80 million tops.

I think that area of St Paul would benefit greatly from a project like that. Lowertown is in the midst of a major revival. Similar, sort of, to the North Loop area....just on a smaller scale.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 238

John Marty, as big a stadium opponent as you'll ever know, stated he thinks the bill has a 99.9995% chance of passing in the senate. That he'd say that speaks volumes although he'll still fight it to the end. If it passes and then gets Dayton's signature, the Minneapolis city council must vote to approve its participation within 30 days. Although it's doubtful, I truly wouldn't put it past a council member who has previously been a "yes" to turn around and say "no" when it really counted.

Put me in the category of thinking the location by Target Field made more sense and that the county had a funding source that was more airtight to the inevitable lawsuits. I also believed the Vikings, to a certain extent, may wind up succeeding in spite of themselves when all is said and done. They certainly made some avoidable gaffes that needlessly prolonged their agony. However, I'm a Vikings season ticket holder and more a fan of that team than any other in this area, so if this stadium goes through and gets built, I'll be happy.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 239

Jorge-

When I'm talking about a 'dual purpose' baseball/soccer facility, I don't mean an "open-air Metrodome". It would be interesting to see if stadium/ballpark designers could rise to the challenge of creating something interesting and original.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 240

One interesting development that I meant to mention is that the Senate apparently passed the final version of a stripped-down tax bill last night which has now been delivered to the Governor. (You'll recall that he vetoed their original version.)

With that in the hopper, the Senate may just wait to see what the Governor does with this new version before they take up the stadium bill. If the Governor signs the tax bill, he gets his stadium. If he vetoes, he may have to kiss the stadium goodbye.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM by Rick 241

Since the City of Minneapolis was heavily involved in the drafting of this final bill, I see the City Council vote as only a formality.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM by Fred Highlight this comment 242

You'd think so, but some city council members who seemed almost certain no voters turned around and said yes. It makes me wonder if a person or two never thought it would get this far and now has to make a real choice. I'm not saying this is even likely, just not beyond the realm of possibility.

If the senators were to vote down the stadium as part of their long running feud with Dayton, all I can say is I pity them and their staffers for the deluge of angry emails, tweets, and phone calls they'll receive. It'll make what went down with Zellers after his KFAN fiasco look minor by comparison.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 243

The Strib is reporting that the language in the final bill nullifies the city charter amendment, making it essentially unchallengeable in court.

I'm skeptical of that argument. The language (which is quoted in the article) appears to actually invite a court challenge, even though it might be unsuccessful.

But Jorge is right in that some of those yes votes on the city council which were already shaky now get a little shakier. A lot will ride on the report from the city charter commission (see this article for background).

I also read this morning in the Downtown Journal that staunch stadium opponent Gary Schiff has been strategizing, though it's unclear if he can actually force any of the procedural things he plans to try. (He may be to the City Council what John Marty is to the Senate, for better or worse.)

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM by Rick 244

Senate debate has started.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM by Rick 245

So the Twins, who continue to say no shake up in the General Manager, Manager, and Coaching is needed, decide to start shaking up their entire line-up? If players, who are known to play well I.e. Valencia last year and Liriano in previous years, are now not performing, is it the player or the way they are being coached?

Why is it the Twins are perfectly fine shaking up their roster but not the coaching, who have shaped the roster?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 246

This senator Goodwinn (sp?) is a pain in the ass. Can't she read?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 247

That's a good question, Duffman. I have this nagging anxiety that Valencia will end up as a productive major leaguer in somebody else's organization...

(Liriano and Casilla, not so much.)

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM by Rick 248

I do believe Liriano, who we all know has talent, could be good, maybe not great, somewhere else aswell, or with a different (My opinion better coaching staff).

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 249

Chamberlain is a pain too, he could easily have checked this all with an aide, but instead is wasting everyone's time on the floor. I feel bad for Rosen.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 250

I'm unable to view the proceedings and so far Twitter isn't giving much detail. What is going with Chamberlain and Goodwin?

Goodwin the other night covered herself in glory by demanding concession money from the new stadium go to charity, unaware that the concession stands at all local stadiums employ non-profit volunteer fund raisers. If she'd ever stood in line while a deer in the headlights vendor tried and failed to operate the cash register and kept forgetting the order, she'd no this.

Goodwin also in either consecutive sentences or one long run on sentence first stated the Vikings couldn't move because no public body in California or the LA area could afford to fund a stadium and then said there were private interests there ready to do so.

She's very out of her league on this topic.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 251

"she'd "know" this", sigh...

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:38 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 252

The timeline from last night is interesting to me because I stayed up with the specific intention of watching the conference committee and it just never appeared.

I didn't find out until this morning that the committee met last night while I was still awake and actually watching. During the time the conference committee was meeting, the TPT-MN feed showed only a shot of the House chambers with the notation that the House was "under call".

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM by Rick 253

Sorry, Goodwin was continuing on about there the money from the Vikings is going to be used and then the structure of the of way the money is used. Chamberlain was badgering her about what time the conference committee took place, and when the public was notified. Then added the caviate that he was not impling anything nefarious took place. It seemed like a waste of time.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 254

Now Senator Wolf is worried about the 5 year exclusivity of an MLS team. Rosen has for the most part explained it very well saying for the last 19 years everyone has had a chance to bring it in, but no one has so who cares if the Wilfs have 5 year exclusivity. Plus if it means the Wilfs are goingto bring it in it would be good for the state with the payroll and ticket taxes.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 255

Here is a link to the online video.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM by Duffman Highlight this comment 256

I'd also think that if the Wilfs decide they don't want an MLS team during that five year period, then they could relinquish the rights to someone willing to make that effort. Of course, it's all for naught because the chances of an MLS team playing in a new Vikings stadium in any timeframe on a permanent basis are up there with Liriano's 2012 Cy Young Award hopes.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM by Jorge Highlight this comment 257

I think that questioning the timeline is useful.

To say that this bill has been well-vetted is untrue. The version of the bill currently in front of the Senate didn't exist 12 hours ago. And the changes are not inconsequential.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM by Rick 258

Also, I've read the sections about who pays what when and it's not clear at all just when the Vikings' second $50M payment is due.

The question is important because construction companies and material suppliers generally don't take IOUs.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM by Rick 259

That was some nifty legislative drafting in the final version regarding the charter amendment. The first version had this important and seriously confusing language at the beginning:

Sec. 4. CHARTER LIMITATIONS NOT TO APPLY.
Nothing in this act shall be construed to preempt, override, or waive any charter provision, including any provisions requiring a referendum on professional NFL facility financing. ...

See the problem? The section's title suggests that "charter limitations" won't apply to this deal, but then the very first sentence says that the legislation is NOT preempting or waiving any charter provision. That kind of language - doublespeak, to all the lay people out there - is exactly the sort of provision that begs for a lawsuit. It begs the essential question. "Punts" on it, if you prefer.

But I think it was deliberately drafted like that, to build voting momentum, with the ultimate intent to "clean it up" in conference committee - i.e. CHANGE it - to the newer version. The current version deletes that first sentence and now includes this specific language:

...The city may exercise any of its powers under this act to spend, borrow, tax, or incur any form of indebtedness or other obligation for the improvement, including, but not limited to, acquisition, development, construction, or betterment of any public building, stadium, or other capital improvement project, without regard to any charter limitation, requirement, or provision, including any referendum requirement.

See that last part? That's the legislaive hammer, folks. It's the state saying, we don't care what the Minneapolis charter might say, it does not apply to this deal. Period. Not to the Vikes stadium. Not to Target Center. Not to anything spent on "any public building, stadium, or other capital improvement project." Game over on the referendum.

Sure, someone could sue, but the issue would be, does the Legislature really have the authority to do this? And the answer would quickly and simply be, yes.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:05 PM by BR Highlight this comment 260

BR,

I think you're right. That is, at least, the Strib's conclusion.

So the question may have just shifted forward: How does this language impact the City Council support? It certainly could change one of those yes votes to a no.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM by Rick 261

If Federal law trumps State law, then wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that State law trumps Local law?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 262

I can never get the video on the STrib's imbedded player to keep up. Audio is fine, but (clicky) for the direct link from the Senate's media page then hit the image under 'LIVE Coverage' at the right.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 263

I believe that is the argument.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM by Rick 264

You never know, but one would assume (hope?) that the legislature was communicating with the city, the council, and Rybak in some fashion about how the amendment charter would be worked around. For that matter it would figure that the work around didn't appear in the conference committee over the past few days, but was actually in the works long before we ever saw the finished article. Long story short, if they kept everyone in the loop going back to the council vote many weeks ago, no one on the city council should be able to say they were left in the dark.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:22 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 265

John Marty is an angry little man. Good thing he lost his DFL nomination.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 266

Marty does not seem angry at all to me.

He's passionate, and I believe he's right. And I believe that pretty much everybody, including all who are about to vote for this bill, and all of us who want a stadium, know deep in our hearts that stadiums aren't as important as, say, schools.

That's all he's saying. He's lamenting that the real world doesn't work anything like our ideal world.

It's true, but unlikely to ever change.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM by Rick 267

I've never thought of John Marty as angry and he deserves credit for being consistent on this topic going back to the 1994 Target Center debate. However, and I realize this has nothing to do with the merits or demerits of this bill, he always comes off as a humorless killjoy who's never had a good day in his life, the sort you wouldn't want to share the car with during an eight hour road trip. He's also a bit of a moralist and, like too many moralists, seems to hold in contempt those who don't share the same values.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 268

John Marty is a broken wet blanket.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM by ace Highlight this comment 269

broken record* derp

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM by ace Highlight this comment 270

The thing that bothers me is that this stadium issue has been on the table each and every year over the past 10+ years and they fail to address it each year, simply kicking the can down the road for another year and another year using excuses such as Twins/Gophers first, bad economy, roads/bridges, budget and so on.

Education, health care, jobs, economy, roads/bridges are issues that need to be dealt with each and every year.

In fact, last year, the #1 priority was the budget and they FAILED at that. They had over four months to resolve the budget and failed the people of Minnesota by shutting down the state government on July 1.

And the saddest thing is the cost only goes higher and higher with each passing year.

Whether for or against the stadium, the issue needs to be addressed and given a up or down vote so everyone can move forward. Hopefully that vote comes shortly in the senate.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 271

Yes, Jorge, I think that's why most people just tune out when he starts to talk.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:32 PM by Rick 272

Ok how many people are gonna fork over $5,000 per seat for a seat licence? What did the twins charge $2000 per seat? I bet there are lots of people that wished they didn't!

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 273

That contempt is what makes him an angry little man. They started voting.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 274

It passed.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:52 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 275

I'm sorry that was just the conference committee report, jumped the gun a little.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 276

I thought there was no way it would pass this legislative session. i was told there was no way it would pass. there was so much sureness that it wouldn't pass. It wouldn't even have to get to lawsuits, or referendums or MPLS committee decisions because it would never pass teh legislature.

Wha happen?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM by moda Highlight this comment 277

I think they did the impossible, and you have to give a lot of credit to Sen. Rosen (and the Gov, and the Mayor, and a bunch of others).

There are, of course, a couple of things that still have to happen before they can schedule a groundbreaking.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM by Rick 278

John Marty is not angry; he is very moralistic. He is the son of a world renowned theologian. I think he sees stadium politics in a moralistic light, hence his uncompromising stance on the issue. I favored public invovlement in TF and the Vikings stadium because I know that is how the game is played these days, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. In the Vikings first year, 1961, the NFL bore no resemblance to the economic behemoth it is today. Teams played in old baseball parks and many - including the Dallas Cowboys - averaged attendance of less than 25,000 per game (Dallas 24,500; Pittsburgh 22,500; Washington 29,000; St. Louis 20,000). Should the multi-billion dollar industry the NFL is today not be required to build their own facilities? Even though I favored it THIS time, I admire Sen. Marty for having the guts to oppose it.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:05 PM by terry Highlight this comment 279

I have only half watched all of this. Is there a site attached to this legislation? If yes, what site (Half of Metrodome site)? Could the site change under this same legislation? Thanks in advance for saving me a lot of reading time.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM by jctwins Highlight this comment 280

Just because he is "moralistic" doesn't mean he gets to be a condesending prick to everyone. I re-assert that he is an angry, probably because he is little, man.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:08 PM by Duffman Highlight this comment 281

Take a look at your posts Duffman and then ask yourself who it is who is angry.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM by terry Highlight this comment 282

By the way, did I hear correctly that this bill includes funds for a new Saints stadium in downtown St. Paul? That would be some serious good news.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM by Rick 283

Rick, I believe the 2.6 million annually allocated to St. Paul for 20 years is to be used towards a new Saints ballpark.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM by ace Highlight this comment 284

Rick, Thank you again for continuing to allow us to utilize this forum and providing your insight to the process. I know there is much more to discuss in the coming days/weeks/months, but I definitely appreciate it, as I try and update people who I speak to about the stadium and I have used your insight, as well as other posters information to grapple the issues.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM by tk Highlight this comment 285

You heard correct, Rick...I'm looking forward to see what they have planned, I've seen the conceptuals and love the Lowertown area. I think the options are many and I hope they go for an original and innovative design. I love the Twins ballpark, but don't want a "Mini Target Field" in St Paul.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 286

According to Pioneer Press the St. Paul money gets allocated to RiverCentre, not the Saints ballpark.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 287

Pioneer Press reporting the St Paul money can't be used for the Saints ballpark, but instead to pay off some debt regarding the RiverCentre....but St Paul officials are confident that this can indirectly help raise the funds needed for a Saints ballpark.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 288

Pioneer Press say the 2.7 million/year will pay off River Center debt BUT says that there are other possibilities for Saints Ballpark.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM by Dust Highlight this comment 289

Passed the senate 36-30, so last major hurdle cleared. Dayton will surely sign. Would be almost unthinkable if Mpls votes against, you can rest assured there will be pressure, back-room deals, and arm-twisting to make sure it does pass. Some ingenuitive council members will probably end up with a little extra cash in their pockets or nicer sidewalks in thier neighborhood.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 290

Did the state just buy a monorail? (click name)

I hope not

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM by Stevie B Highlight this comment 291

I still miss Phil Hartman...

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM by Rick 292

Now we can get on to more pressing matters regarding the Vikings stadium: paper towels or hand dryers?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM by TheTruthHurts Highlight this comment 293

Troughs or urinals?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM by Rick 294

What kind of support does this have on the Minneapolis City Council?

How confident are folks that the city council will vote for this?

Does the Target Center renovation help or hurt the chances?

I am just curious where this stands as far as support on the Minneapolis City Council.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM by Mike (aka Mike) Highlight this comment 295

How long before the Vikings release some "real" conceptual drawings of the new stadium?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 296

They already have agreed but they need to vote. DO you want to be the City council member that turns down a billion dollar development? No way they turn this down.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM by moda Highlight this comment 297

My precious stadium cash has arrived at last.. My precioussssssssss!

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM by Piggy Wilf Highlight this comment 298

I think that support on the City Council is a wild card. There will be intense pressure on all seven members who have indicated support in the past to stick with their word. That's serious pressure from the Mayor, Governor, and legislators.

I think there will also be intense pressure from constituents to vote against it.

But it's just too close to call right now.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM by Rick 299

Time for you to get another domain name Rick, unless you will be piggy backing Target Stadium Updates right here on good ol' ballparkmagic!

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM by JoJo Highlight this comment 300

IMO, Target Center funds helps get it passed by the City Council. Gives members cover - the deal provides needed tax relief for city residents, etc. That's how RT recruited a couple of them...

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM by BR Highlight this comment 301

I say troughs, just for nostalgic reasons.

Hopefully, they plan the entrance/exit flow to the bathrooms better than at TF.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 302

Seriously! What is the deal with the bathroom entrances at TF?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM by moda Highlight this comment 303

Rick, I'll give you this, you are a stubborn hopeful that SOMEBODY will vote this down. Not a chance Mpls says no, 0. As to your comments that many legislators didn't know what was in the bill, that's politics as usual. You think most of them know what is the bills they pass? They don't read them, I'll guarantee you that. And again, there is nothing wrong with this bill, I think the conference committee did a good job. 50M more from Vikes, reasonable expansion of gambling (although would have liked to see the racino), reasonable use of user fees to cover any shortfall, reasonable contributions from state and MPLS, no new/increased taxes on the average Joe, Vikings Stay for years to come in a nice new stadium for the fans, future SB, NCAA F4, etc. Win, win, win, win, win.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 304

Why is there a picture of Oaklands stadium and not Target Field on the top of the page?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:52 PM by twinkfan Highlight this comment 305

This is completely out of the whole current discussion, but can I just say how much I hate how they changed the SRO behind the Batter's Eye? I'm 6'1" and used to be able to stand back there and watch a few innings, but now they built out the wall so it angles in from the top. It's now impossible to see the wall in center field when looking down.

What a waste of space.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM by Chad Highlight this comment 306

Any ideas on who gets the naming rights to the stadium? Bud Grant Field at Best Buy Stadium? Field of Champions at General Mills Place?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:04 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 307

Electric Fetus Stadium.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 308

Like Nancy Pelosi said,"We have to pass our bill, so that you can find out what is in it."....Only then will all concerned citizens understand our stadium bill details. Sheesh...don't sweat the details. Just trust the system. They know better than the rest of us.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM by unknowntwinsfan Highlight this comment 309

The Stadium formerly known as the Metrodome?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:20 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 310

Lovin it antfire

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM by moda Highlight this comment 311

No offense to fans of Mr Humphrey, but I would prefer they don't name it after a politician again. That is about as unimaginative as it comes.

It fit "aura" the dome quite well, on second thought.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:09 PM by DreDogg Highlight this comment 312

A) when will we experience StadiuMagic?
B) when will the Vikings break ground?

Like it or not, it's done.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 313

Excel Energy Field? Why not? Twins and Wolves get Target, Wild and Vikings get Xcel Energy.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 314

luke

Sounds like 2013 is when ground will break, according Fox 9.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:11 PM by Gus Munger (aka Dr. Michael Savage / Greet Machine Imposter / Blurch / skol purple / FoSheezy / Ramsey Co. Purple) Highlight this comment 315

They better pray the economy improves quickly. Otherwise, they’re likely to go for a while without being able to sell the naming rights. Cowboys Stadium still hasn’t secured a buyer for the naming rights, so why would the Vikings find it any easier than “America’s Team?”
And the ballpark at the top of the page is in San Francisco, not Oakland.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 316

Cool, good to know.

I posted a new "Cover Pic" on my Facebook of our glorious new stadium. Of course, it's not the final design. I jokingly put a name for it on there: Target Stadium at Mall of America Field at the Ex-Site of the Hubert Horatio Humphrey Metrodome.

I think the Vikings should go after another company for naming rights. Cargill, 3M, General Mills, Lawson Software, Best Buy, Hormel (not the tastiest hot dogs on the planet, but a MN based company)...I just hope it's not Target for a third time...lol.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM by luke Highlight this comment 317

Winona, I think it could depend on where you're viewing the site: on my PC, I get the TF night shot. on my Android devices, I also get a pic of Whatever-it's-called Coliseum in Oakland. Some of the previous articles from BPM, I get the shot of ATT Park in Frisco.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:03 PM by luke Highlight this comment 318

We know the final Stadium bill allows for a retractable roof to be added at the expense of the Vikings,but somebody at my work today said the cost to add a roof would be only 25 million dollars extra. I just read that the Vikings have not decided yet if the will spring for this "enhancement". If the cost to do this is a correct number what to you guys think the odds are that the Vikings do this. We also know that Zyggi prefers the outdoor game experience,but I wonder if the Stadium will end up with a retractable top or not.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:13 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 319

Infield has checkerboard cut.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM by tk Highlight this comment 320

Tom D....

I've heard from a couple of different news sources that the Vikings are seriously considering covering the additional cost of a retractable roof. The Wilfs have stated multiple times that they would like to see the Vikings play under an open sky. They also seem hell bent on bringing in a MLS team and, for some reason, having an retractable seems to be a requirement for that.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:27 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 321

As a Vikings fan, I still don't believe the bill passed. I'm cautiously optimistic the city council will vote yes, but have been burned too many times to fully celebrate just yet, although I'm still thrilled. As a good friend said during the Twins stadium saga, I'll believe it when there's a stadium rising out of the ground. That said, I think the help for Target Center will go far in keeping the previous yes votes onside. It gives them justification for saying yes.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:52 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 322

OK. I hereby apologize for all of the bad things that I said about the Legislature and their ineptness and inability to pass a stadium bill. I was wrong, and am man enough to admit it.

Except for John Marty.

And, by they way, I have always been a big fan of the Minneapolis City Council. Good people. I am sure they will do the right thing. Right?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:59 PM by Jeff T. Highlight this comment 323

No need to worry about the City Council vote...everything I'm hearing and reading is that this vote is a mere formality. I'm sure the dissenters on the Council will create a lot of ruckus before the vote which could create some nervousness among the Vikings faithful, but the votes are there for passage.

If there was ANY thought that the support was shaky, we would've heard about it....and I also doubt you would've seen the spectacle of the press conference jubilation a few hours ago.

The deal is done...now let's get to the fun stuff: the design and building of the new facility.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:19 PM by Fred Highlight this comment 324

Just read on the internet that the Rams want to spend 300 million dollars on tearing off their fixed roof and building a retractable one instead because its not up to modern standards. The Falcons are now saying they want a retractable roof as well, not an open air venue. Also just read a 2010 article by the Uni-Systems Co. that said a retractable roof can be built on a completely new stadium for only about 25 million dollars. If the Vikings are smart they will invest now instead of being sorry later.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:24 PM by Tom D. Highlight this comment 325

give it up ricky. this deal is done.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:30 PM by SHackleford Highlight this comment 326

Don't forget about the outraged residents of MPLS... oh wait this bill provides property tax relief to MPLS residents???? Oh never mind.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:43 PM by moda Highlight this comment 327

glad you lost Rick, even though you will claim victory some how.
Big words, not so sound logic.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:01 PM by bmjundt Highlight this comment 328

Apparently the stadium will seat 65,000 with capability to expand to 72,000. Hmmm...should we try for Super Bowl LII?

Does anyone think MOA will retain naming rights and slap their name on the WHOLE stadium this time and not just the playing surface? Also, do the Vikings plan artificial or natural turf?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:31 PM by luke (aka 3-159) Highlight this comment 329

Infield has checkerboard cut.
So, how can we be losing???

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:32 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 330

Rick didn't lose anything. I believe that Opat had a great plan and if it ever came to fruition it would have been great. I think Rick was also right all along in the the Vikes would have never left.... Unfortunately it was high stakes poker and there was no way to know if Opat could come through or not in the end. I trust that Rick had the pulse of exactly what he was looking at, but a damn near miracle happened at the capitol. I mean it is incredible what they accomplished and you don't have to like the deal in order to understand that they sort of threaded the needle in the dark. So much political mistrust and bad will. Rick has always been dead on with things and I have no doubt that he knew exactly what would have happened IF it came to that and by all accounts it was looking like that's the way it was going to go. Hell it still could though it's looking like it won't.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:40 PM by moda Highlight this comment 331

This isn't rocket science people. Even if the governor does sign the bill,(which will never happen), and the city council signs off,(impossible), this has ZERO CHANCE OF HAPPENING. All you have to do is pay attention and understand how stadium politics work. The legislators have no idea what they just did, they are clueless and this will obviously never happen.clearly to anyone with half a brain, (thats the thing you think with). opat will come up with a plan that works. I've been following stadium politics for a long time and have learned that this will never ever in a million years come to fruition.Again not rocket science people..

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:48 PM by long time listener c Highlight this comment 332

TTH - if they go with hand dryers, towels seem like such a waste, then they HAVE to go with one of those high speed brands. either dyson or the excel brand hand dryers that do the job in about 5 seconds.

towels seem like a waste.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:53 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 333

apparently i managed to write twice that towels seem like a waste. well....they are.

i'm done.

;-)

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:57 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 334

Funny long time. I like that humor, little bit of a dig at our gracious site host. For another good laugh, go back and read the "Stadium EndGame 2012" post below. I don't think I've ever seen someone be so wrong about almost every point. And it was a post I felt was particularly sarcastic and snooty, like a preacher who knows best lecturing the children about how the legislature works. Just goes to show that watching politics does not make one a politician any more than watching sports makes one an athlete.

I've been needling you Rick, but I give you credit, it takes guts to go "all in" and put yourself out there so boldly. Just thought you got a little too big for your britches. I thought it was pretty clear your biases against gambling, no referendums, and the Metrodome site got the best of your judgment. Also your underestimation of the desire of the pols to just get this over with, and also the fact the Vikes no longer had a lease, which was their biggest handicap in "negotiating" over the last 10 years.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:57 PM by antifire Highlight this comment 335

Mall of America field most likely

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 336

Well, as long as we all know who was 'right' and who was 'wrong.' Because in the end, that's all that will matter, right?

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:43 PM by Winona Mike Highlight this comment 337

Moda, I think the gamble wasn't so much about whether Hennepin County would offer a deal. The county said it was going to do so if the approved deal had fallen through and it has a successful track record. There's no Target Field without the county. The real gamble was if a legislative consensus for the state's portion of the kind we saw this week could come together again any time soon. It seemed impossible as recently as a couple of weeks ago, but the right pieces fell into place at the right time for it to happen now instead of possibly much later.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:33 PM by Jorge Highlight this comment 338

The stadium bill does not show a sight selection. My guess is as good as picking the Twins to go at least .500 this year, but I doubt the stadium will be built on the ground of the Dump.

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:52 PM by tk Highlight this comment 339

For another good laugh, go back and read the "Stadium EndGame 2012" post below. I don't think I've ever seen someone be so wrong about almost every point.

Yes sir. And you were so utterly convinced at the time that his "every point" was "wrong," that after summoning up all erudition and wit, you came up with the following comment on that thread, the only one you made:

"As for the hot dogs, I think the "Big Dog" is pretty tasty. Never tried anything else."

Easy to take digs after the fact, isn't it?

I digress - Vikings and U of M reach tentative agreement for use of TCF (click). Will one of the required changes be installing heating coils for the field? Can't imagine that could be done without totally replacing the FieldTurf. Getting expensive....

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:04 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 340

The site language in the final bill did change significantly, but it still looks like they are limited to the Dome site and its surroundings:

Subd. 12. Stadium site. "Stadium site" means all or portions of the current site of the existing football stadium and adjacent areas, bounded generally by Park and Eleventh Avenues and Third and Sixth Streets in the city of Minneapolis, the definitive boundaries of which shall be determined by the authority and agreed to by the NFL team.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM by Rick 341

Oh for sure Jorge..... Absolutely that was a gamble. But it would be a gamble that the Vikings would take an offer that Henn Co would give. Though I think they would.

TK it will be built on the metrodome site. The U of M is already counting the rent money and the upgrades.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:25 AM by moda Highlight this comment 342

yes, they will be putting that heating coil technology under the field at tcf stadium on the U of M campus. and the vikings will be paying for it. a smart strategy on the part of the U of M to not install them in the first place. as they are not really even needed in the months of the big ten football regular season. now the U of M gets them for future use just in case (although would guess they won't be needed that often) and they don't have to pay for them either. booya.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:45 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 343

Damn straight - the U's going to come out of this just fine...

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 02:11 AM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 344

For what it's worth, the Vikes are getting a deal on TCF. They are paying less in rent (by alsmot 2 million per year) to the U then they were paying to the MSFC.

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 08:24 AM by GoAUpher Highlight this comment 345

I thought the Vikings have had their annual rent waived by MSFC for some time now?

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM by spycake Highlight this comment 346


This page was last modified on May 5, 2012.



"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."

– Bernie Williams

Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


8:12 PM It is now in the area where, if it gets down far enough, it will shine into the eyes of a right-handed hitter.


















LRT at the ballpark



From the revised site plan, this is the configuration of Gate 34 Puckett.






Dugout Box and Champion's Club sections are sequestered by separate moats






This is the view from the Seventh Street circulation ramp. It will eventually be covered by the wood louvers.



The right field overhang is in place, and the first base stands are starting to go in.





















Looking from near the entry doors toward the center, the atrium is just visible at the far right.






The view from the corner of Ford Centre. (Feel free to tie up your boats here.)






The rules were clearly posted next to this new entry point on the Seventh Street side. I have no problem with the rules!



Compare this picture, from the open house in March, with the one above and you'll see that some furniture reconfiguration has taken place.






The view down Sixth Street toward the ballpark site. A pedestrian bridge will extend this street right into the main entrance of the park. The regrettable facade of Target Center is on the left. Butler Square is on the right. Click on the image to see what it looked like on this very spot about 100 years ago.



For those not wishing to suffer through my media rant, please enjoy this picture of my lilacs in full bloom.















Upper deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.



Photo by Tyler Wycoff



That group was working on something very carefully, but I couldn't tell just what it was.






These outfield stands will likely remain visible to passersby.









Looking from the doorway to the south, across Seventh Street









Another view of the escalator, which apparently comes preassembled!






This is the HERC Premonade with railroad tracks snaking beneath. (I think this should be named the Halsey Hall Premonade. Seriously.)



Photo by Tyler Wycoff



The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!






Freight trains run in very close proximity (Jerry Bell was standing at my left elbow when I took this picture)





Glossary

BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

FSE - Full Season Equivalent

FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)

HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)

HPB - Home Plate Box

HRP - Home Run Porch

LC - Legends Club

LRT - Light Rail Transit

MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)

MOA - Mall of America

MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)

NYS - New Yankee Stadium

SRO - Standing Room Only

STH - Season Ticket Holder

TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium

TF - Target Field

Selected Bibliography - Analysis
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(2000, large coffee table)
 


Original edition (2000, round)
 


Revised edition (2006, round)
 


(2001, medium coffee table)
 


(2002, small coffee table)
 


(2003, medium coffee table)
 


(2004, very large coffee table)
 


(2006, very large coffee table)
 


Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
 

Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

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