SBD/February 15, 2011/Facilities

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  • Wild Ask Minnesota Legislature To Forgive Xcel Energy Center Loans

    Wild would put money toward enhancements for Xcel Energy Center

    Wild officials will ask Minnesota to "forgive the remaining $36.75 million the team owes on interest-free loans issued to help build Xcel Energy Center" in '00, according to John Vomhof Jr. of the MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL BUSINESS JOURNAL. The state Legislature "has voted twice in the past five years to approve some debt relief for Xcel Energy Center, but former Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed both of those bills." The Wild have hired Minneapolis-based law firm Faegre & Benson and lobbyist Maureen Shaver "to represent the team at the Capitol." Wild officials in the past said that they "wanted to put the money toward the construction of a new practice facility adjacent to Xcel Energy Center." But now, the team says that the money would be put "toward enhancing the arena itself," and the practice facility "would move to the back burner." Plans "haven't yet been finalized," but the enhancements to Xcel Energy Center "could include the addition of high-definition video for the scoreboard, an expansion of the arena's north side and the establishment of a reserve fund to recruit high-profile, national events." Wild officials "haven't decided yet whether they will replace the four video panels or the entire scoreboard." Vomhof Jr. notes the team wants to expand the north side to "improve fan movement between the upper and lower levels on that side" (MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/11 issue).

    BE ON THE LOOKOUT: In Minneapolis, Chao Xiong reports Wild officials are "warning fans to only buy tickets from authorized agents after about 50 counterfeit tickets were sold in the past month." Wild VP/Communications & Broadcasting Bill Robertson said that the "fraudulent sales are taking place 'all over,' in and outside the metro area." Robertson: "We don't know exactly how it's happening. This is happening more and more often" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/15).

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