SBD/January 25, 2012/Facilities

NFL Facility Notes: Sources Say Vikes Will Accept Metrodome Site For New Stadium

Sources say that Wilf will "reluctantly" accept Metrodome site for new stadium
In St. Paul, Charley Waters cites sources as saying that Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf “reluctantly will accept the Metrodome site for a newly constructed stadium, although nothing is final” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/25). In Minneapolis, Kaszuba & Roper note negotiators for a new Vikings stadium are “working to sweep aside two major legal obstacles to building the project in Minneapolis, moves that are raising objections from stadium funding critics and supporters of an Arden Hills site.” Metropolitan Sports Commissioner Chair Ted Mondale said that stadium legislation “will seek to nullify a Minneapolis charter provision that requires voter approval if the city pays $10 million or more for a sports facility.” Mondale said that lawyers “were also confronting another obstacle: how to get around a charter requirement for nine City Council votes to sell city land” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/25).

TALKING THE TALK: In Atlanta, Tim Tucker notes the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the Falcons eleven months ago “agreed to enter negotiations about a potential new open-air football stadium downtown,” and both parties said that they are “still negotiating.” GWCC Authority Exec Dir Frank Poe said of how far along the process has moved, "It would be hard to say we're 10 percent or 50 percent or 60 percent there. There are some areas where there is common acceptance of positions, but there also are a lot of areas in which we still have work to be done. It's not going to be something that will be resolved real quickly." The Falcons in a statement said, "There are no further developments to discuss at this point out of respect for the negotiation process." Poe described the negotiations as "amiable, collaborative and cooperative." He added that there “is no timetable for a resolution” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/25).

GAINING STEAM: In San Diego, Matthew Hall reported a proposal by San Diego Union-Tribune’s ownership and opinion arm that “champions a football stadium, a sports arena and an expanded convention center along San Diego’s waterfront has revived a public debate over 96 acres of land long coveted by developers.” Padres Chair John Moores “first suggested a stadium at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal in 2004, but the idea has been rebuffed so often by labor officials and the Port of San Diego that the Chargers always discounted the option.” Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani on Monday “called a waterfront stadium viable, but emphasized the team remains committed to pursuing a $1 billion stadium at the Metropolitan Transit System bus yard in East Village.” Fabiani: “If we can, obviously, that will be the direction everyone heads off in. If we can’t, I presume that discussions about 10th Avenue will continue and even intensify” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/23).

GRASS IS GREENER: In Cincinnati, Sharon Coolidge reported Hamilton County taxpayers “are buying the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals new playing fields.” Hamilton County Stadium Dir Joseph Feldkamp said that the total cost is $1.53M with the county to pay “$3.6 million in 2012 for the fields, repairs and equipment replacement at Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium.” The Bengals have “agreed to pay the $850,000 cost of replacing two of its three practice fields” (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/24).
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