SBD/Issue 135/Facilities & Venues

One Of Minny: Tagliabue Endorses New Vikings Stadium

Tagliabue In Minnesota To Drum Up
Support For New Vikings Stadium
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue “endorsed the concept of a new Vikings stadium development” during a news conference yesterday at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota, according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. His visit was organized by “the leaders of Anoka County’s efforts to build a $1.6[B], 740-acre development” in Blaine that would include a stadium. Tagliabue: “I’m confident we’ll get something done here. ... I don’t think the [Vikings] are going to move out of the state.” Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said that he told Tagliabue that “having ‘a gun to your head’ undermines efforts to build strong relationships between Minnesota’s political, business and community leaders” and the franchise. Weiner writes Tagliabue “dismissed the idea that the Metrodome could be refurbished to the NFL’s satisfaction.” Tagliabue said that the NFL’s G-3 stadium lending plan “could be expected to be extended” to the Vikings’ effort (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/7). Tagliabue said Anoka County and Blaine “have an understanding of what can be done financially to make this a reality. ... This is one site that would be more than satisfactory” (AP, 4/6).

POLITICAL OBSTACLES: In St. Paul, Sid Hartman reports Minnesota House Majority Leader Steve Swiggum and Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson said that there “was no chance the State Legislature would offer the Vikings” the same $7M per year they are going to contribute toward a Univ. of Minnesota football stadium, “which has priority because the university is owned by the state.” Swiggum and Johnson added that the school’s football stadium “currently was the No. 1 priority, followed by the Twins. And they didn’t give much hope of a Vikings stadium bill this year” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/7). NFL Network’s Derrin Horton noted Pawlenty said that “the chances for a Vikings stadium bill to pass this year are remote.” Horton quoted Pawlenty as saying, “Don’t plan on the state helping, ... at least not soon” (“NFL Total Access,” 4/6).
Politicians Do Not Have Much Hope For Vikings Funding Passing This Year

FOWLED UP: The STAR TRIBUNE’s Weiner reports Tagliabue spoke “in vague terms” about Reggie Fowler bid to buy the Vikings. Tagliabue: “We’re not looking at whether the person is qualified. We’re looking at whether the committed financial arrangements can be concluded or not.” Tagliabue added of the stadium situation, “We’re in a bit of limbo until we determine who is the owner going forward” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/7). More Tagliabue: “I believe that Fowler might have the assets, but he hasn’t done a very good job of putting it all together” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/7). Tagliabue added of Fowler’s bid, “We said at the outset when this was announced in mid-February that we expected the approval process to take 60 to 90 days, and I think we’re still well within those parameters” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/7).

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