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Volume 24 No. 156


Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf in a letter to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton Friday emphasized that he is "committed to building a football stadium in Arden Hills -- and only in Arden Hills," according to Frederick Melo of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Wilf said that the $400M or more that he and the NFL "are willing to dedicate to a $1.1 billion stadium is site-specific." If the state "chooses Minneapolis or another location for the new stadium, the money won't follow." Wilf "isn't considering the 430 acres in Arden Hills only for a 65,000-seat, state-owned stadium and upward of 20,000 parking spots; he wants 170 of those acres for commercial development" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/12). Along with their letter to Dayton, the Wilfs "attached color illustrations of a tailgating scene outside a stadium labeled 'Minnesota Sports Complex,' and an aerial view of the stadium at night with the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the distance." The Wilfs Friday said that they were "disappointed that Ramsey County's proposed half-cent sales tax has been dropped" as a funding option. But they added that they are "'encouraged' by recent meetings of legislative leaders about the stadium" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/12).

MAKING UP THE DIFFERENCE: In Minneapolis, Mike Kaszuba noted the team has "pledged at least $407 million toward a new football stadium, but calculations by state officials show that the team would bring roughly $225 million of its own money to the deal and possibly less." The rest "could be made up through a National Football League loan that would be repaid by visiting teams and the sale of personal seat licenses." Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Ted Mondale said, "They keep their stuff extremely close to the vest." The Vikings have "resisted attempts to break down how much their organizations would bring to a stadium deal" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/13).

Santa Clara and the 49ers are "finally ready to start spending serious money toward building a new stadium," according to Mike Rosenberg of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. City leaders tomorrow "expect to approve $10 million in current and future tax funds" that "will support a five-month project to begin in January that will include everything from moving utilities to installing sidewalks -- all the work required to make the site next to Great America set for stadium construction at the start of 2013." Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews said, "Although it's not the big grand opening, it's sort of a soft groundbreaking. This is the first step toward getting that stadium built." The city "has to borrow at least $6 million from the team since it doesn't have enough tax funds to complete the work on its own." It is "still unclear whether the team would charge interest on the loan, or how the city would pay it back, as the two sides are still negotiating a detailed financing plan for the project, which is due out next month." Rosenberg noted beginning work at the site is the "most tangible proof yet that the city and team are close to actually building the stadium, which has seen its share of delays and doubters" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/13).