SBD/July 14, 2011/Facilities

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  • Supporters, Opponents Of Proposed Vikings Stadium Express Opinions At Public Forum

    Some still concerned about funding strategy for proposed Vikings stadium

    A public discussion last night on the Vikings' proposed $1.1B stadium in Arden Hills "drew dozens of stadium fans and opponents," according to Frederick Melo of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Stadium supporters said that "no other developer would touch the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant," which is where the stadium would be built. They also said that the suburbs have "supported stadiums in the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis for 30 years." But Minnesota state Rep. Katie Knuth, who organized the "listening session," said that she "had concerns about the proposed funding strategy for the stadium, which would rely on a half-cent countywide sales tax to raise Ramsey County's contribution" of $350M. Knuth: "I'm actually leaning toward voting against the bill because of the half-cent sales tax." Melo notes St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the city council "have opposed the half-cent tax" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/14). Minnesota state Sen. John Marty said that the Vikings proposal "would hit taxpayers in Ramsey County more than three times as hard as taxpayers were hit in Hennepin County" when Target Field was built (STARTRIBUNE.com, 7/13).

    RAISING THE ROOF: In Minneapolis, Kevin Duchschere notes the Metrodome's new roof was inflated yesterday, and "about 45 minutes after liftoff, a slimmed-down, $18 million roof -- speckled with colorful air pillows to cut the wind -- resumed its marquee spot on the Minneapolis skyline." Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Ted Mondale said, "The inflation went without a hitch. We'll be ready for the Vikings, if they're ready." The team's first home preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 27 (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/14).

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  • NFL Lockout Watch, Day 125: Jets Quiet Nassau's Training Camp Pursuit

    Jets moved camp in '08 after training at Hofstra Univ. for 40 years

    Nassau County officials want the Jets to "bring the team's summer training camp back to Long Island, though the team says it's currently not interested in returning," according to Robert Brodsky of NEWSDAY. The Jets, who trained at Hofstra Univ. for 40 years, "moved their camp" to Florham Park, N.J., in '08 and now conduct their "three-week offseason practice at SUNY Cortland." Nassau Deputy County Exec Rob Walker "wants the Jets to move their camp to Mitchel Field in Uniondale when their deal with Cortland expires." But Jets Exec VP/Business Operations Matt Higgins "splashed water on the county's plan, noting that the team has 'no plans in the foreseeable future' to relocate its training camp." The Jets "have committed to practice at Cortland through 2013 and the team has an option for two additional years" (NEWSDAY, 7/14).

    COWBOYS: San Antonio Dir of Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Michael Sawaya "dismissed an Internet report Tuesday that cast a pessimistic light on the chances" of the Cowboys hosting training camp at the Alamodome this year. FS Southwest had reported that the NFL lockout likely "would force the team to hold training camp at club headquarters in Irving." But Sawaya said, "Our discussions are with those (Cowboys officials) in charge of making plans for the camp. Until we hear differently, (plans for camp will continue). The Cowboys staff has told us they are still planning to hold camp in San Antonio this year if a (collective bargaining agreement) is reached soon" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/13).

    COLTS: In Indianapolis, Mike Chappell reported the city of Anderson, Ind., and Anderson Univ. still "anticipate the arrival" of the Colts for training camp later this month. Anderson City Council member Art Pepelea on Tuesday said, "At this point in time, the city of Anderson is planning on them being here July 31. Everything is moving forward. Everything is a go on our end." The "only roadblock to holding camp at Anderson would be a failure of the owners and players to finalize a collective bargaining agreement in time to save the preseason." It is believed that the Colts and Anderson "have finalized a contract that will have the team training at Anderson University for at least the next five years" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/13).

    STEELERS: Steelers President Art Rooney II on Monday said that team officials are "still planning to have training camp" at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. While at least three NFL teams "have already canceled plans to stage training camp at their usual off-site locations, the Steelers continue to hold out hope they will be able to report on time for the start of their 46th consecutive year at Saint Vincent." Rooney said, "We are still planning to go." The Steelers "have not scheduled a starting date for the official opening of camp, but it likely will be the weekend of July 29-31, which would be two weeks before their first preseason game" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/12).

    VIKINGS: In Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad reported the Vikings have told Minnesota State Univ. officials that "they will let them know by Monday whether they will conduct training camp in Mankato this summer." There might be "some leeway available for that decision to be pushed back a few days if it appears the NFL lockout is going to be resolved next week." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that the team "has been in contact with Minnesota State leaders on a daily basis" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 7/13).

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  • Cold Beer Here, For Now: State Shutdown Could Pull MillerCoors From Target Field

    MillerCoors products "will still be sold" at Target Field when the Twins take on the Royals tonight despite the Minnesota state government's shutdown forcing the brewer "to pull its beer from Minnesota liquor stores, bars and restaurants," according to Michael Rand of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Twins Exec Dir of Public Affairs Kevin Smith said, "We have plenty of inventory in-house and we have plans to start selling it at our game until we hear further notice that we can't. We've received no notice that it can't be sold at the ballpark." An unnamed state official indicated that a state law requires MillerCoors to "stop selling products ... imminently because their brand licenses expired" due to the shutdown (STARTRIBUNE.com, 7/13).

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  • Facility Notes

    Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach yesterday reiterated that the province "will not contribute direct cash to help build a new downtown arena" in Edmonton for the Oilers. The team had "cleared a major hurdle toward getting a new arena by working out a framework deal with the City of Edmonton," but the C$450M project "hinges on either the Alberta or federal governments coming up with" C$100M. Stelmach said, "There won't be any direct dollars flowing to the arena. It's a private sector business" (CP, 7/13).

    AFTER FURTHER REVIEW: In Cincinnati, Sharon Coolidge reports Hamilton County Commissioners yesterday "balked" at using taxpayer money to "pay for new instant replay equipment for the Bengals, delaying their vote on the contract that approves the $300,000 purchase." The county is "asking their lawyer ... whether buying the equipment is actually something" the team's Paul Brown Stadium lease requires the county to pay for. But the Bengals said that the lease "is clear -- it is a county obligation." Hamilton County Commission President Greg Hartmann said that he is "worried that refusing to pay for the repair could land the county in court" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/14).

    RUNNING UP THE SCORE: Michigan State Univ. Deputy AD for Facilities & Sport Management Greg Ianni confirmed that the school is "in the 'exploratory stage' of deciding on a new football scoreboard." Ianni: "We need to figure what we're going to put in, how much it's going to cost us, and how we're going to pay for it." Ianni added that the installation of a new scoreboard in the Breslin Center "will be completed the first week in August" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/14).

    FRIDAY NIGHT RACING: Kansas Speedway confirmed that it will "stage its first night race" with the ARCA Racing Series Kansas Lottery 98.9 on Oct. 7. The price of admission for the race is "set at $9.89" as part of local radio station 98.9 The Rock's title sponsorship of the event. The track is hosting NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races Oct. 8 and 9, respectively, and the $9.89 price of admission also "will be good for all of the Oct. 7 NASCAR activities" (K.C. STAR, 7/13).

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