Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Vikings officials confirmed that they met Friday “to discuss the team's future as it seeks a plan for a new home.” It was the “first such meeting between the team and Rybak since last year's legislative session, when a stadium bill failed to gain traction.” It is also the “first such meeting since Ramsey County last week made official its desire to explore a stadium in Arden Hills.” In addition, it is the “first substantive discussion with Rybak over a new stadium since the Dome's roof collapsed under the weight of a 17-inch snowfall in December” (TWINCITIES.com, 2/22).
HOUSE WORK: In Buffalo, James Fink reports Erie County, N.Y., is “seeking bids to replace the AstroPlay surface that was installed” at Ralph Wilson Stadium in ’03. The upgrade is the “centerpiece of $2.8 million in repairs and renovations to take place in the coming months.” Erie County, under terms of a ’98 lease signed with the Bills, will “foot the bill for the bulk of the routine, annual improvements at the stadium.” Bids are due Feb. 28, and Erie County Dir of Real Estate Michelle Mazzone estimated that the renovations will cost $1.6-1.9M (BUSINESS FIRST OF BUFFALO, 2/18 issue).
GRAND OPENING: In North Carolina, Amanda Lehmert reports the ACC Hall of Champions next week “will debut at the Greensboro Coliseum, just in time for the 2011 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament.” The $2.3M facility and a $1.6M “VIP lounge called The Terrace” will be “the first major public debuts in a year of what will be coliseum ribbon-cuttings.” By the end of the year, the “city-run entertainment and event complex will see about $23 million worth of upgrades and additions, including a new aquatics center and an amphitheater” (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 2/23).
POLITICAL FOOTBALL: The CP’s Jennifer Graham noted Saskatchewan “has tossed a political football to Ottawa, saying it will be forced to abandon plans for a new domed stadium in Regina unless the federal government kicks in cash by the end of the month.” The proposed “multi-purpose facility would replace Mosaic Stadium, the aging home” of the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders (CP, 2/22).