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Volume 24 No. 112


Minnesota legislators “appeared to be making little immediate headway on a special legislative session needed to approve” a proposed Vikings stadium project one day after a “crucial report on a new” stadium in Arden Hills, according to Kaszuba & Stassen-Berger of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said team owners, who have offered $407M, are “going to be required to put up ... probably close to a half-billion dollars when all is said and done." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley on Thursday said that the team “hopes to meet with the governor next week but that no date has been set.” The team has “made clear it wants a special session approving the Arden Hills project by the end of this year, but significant hurdles remain.” There is “still no state funding plan, no clear political roadmap to getting the needed 102 votes at the State Capitol and continued doubts about the sprawling suburban site the Vikings have chosen for a 65,000-seat stadium.” Dayton said that he “will begin meeting with legislators and others next week.” Meanwhile, state Rep. Greg Davids said that he “would insist on public hearings for any stadium subsidy plan before a special session.” Davids: "There's a lot of tax implications here. I want to hear from the public." Kaszuba & Stassen-Berger note the '12 legislative session “comes in an election year, making it unlikely legislators would take up an issue with such little popular support.” Minnesota Business Exec Dir Charlie Weaver said, "What you don't want is to call it and fail. The Twins did that (and) it cost them five years" in their attempt to get a new stadium (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/14).

In Pittsburgh, Alex Nixon reports the Steelers "must pay 'fair market value' on all future purchases of North Shore land owned by the city Stadium Authority, under amendments to an option agreement approved on Wednesday by the authority board." Alco Parking Corp. Owner Merrill Stabile said that fair market value "should be between $60 and $100 a square foot for the area between Heinz Field and PNC Park." Alco Parking Corp. owns or manages "much of the parking lots and garages on the North Shore and Downtown and had challenged the Steelers' previous deal." Under an '03 development agreement, which expired Wednesday, the Steelers "were required to pay $8 a square foot" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/14).

OUT WITH THE OLD: The Univ. of Washington will sell items used throughout the tenure of Husky Stadium online. The sale will begin at 6:00pm PT on Oct. 19, and close at 8:00pm on Nov. 2. All purchased items must be picked up from Husky Stadium between 2:00-6:00pm on Sunday, Nov. 6 (UW).

IN WITH THE NEW: In New Orleans, Tammy Nunez notes Tulane Univ.'s Hertz Practice Facility is a "43,000-square-foot, $14 million marvel that is expected to be ready for a November ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony." The facility is "still being trimmed out, but what is completed is a glistening multiple-court venue that has 12 basketball goals." The women’s basketball team "practiced there Wednesday, and the men’s team will open practice in the facility" Friday (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 10/14).