In St. Paul, Doug Belden noted while the focus of Vikings stadium efforts "remains on trying to close a deal for a facility at the Metrodome site, alternative ideas keep coming." State Rep. Tom Hackbarth introduced a racino bill yesterday that would spend some of the estimated $132M in annual revenue on a stadium in Arden Hills, "eliminating the need for a local contribution." It would also "contribute to a St. Paul Saints baseball stadium proposed for Lowertown." Meanwhile, an announcement "on an agreement for a stadium at the Metrodome site is expected this week" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/27).
BUILDING IT SAFE: In Green Bay, Richard Ryman notes Miron Construction Co., the Packers and subcontractors, suppliers and labor union representatives yesterday "signed a strategic partnership agreement with OSHA and state regulators to reduce safety hazards during the Lambeau Field expansion project." OSHA said that the "voluntary program is focused on identifying and controlling safety hazards, improving safety and health programs, promoting a cooperative relationship between labor and management, and encouraging employee participation in safety" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 2/28).
FACILITY UPGRADE: In Tacoma, Don Ruiz notes CenturyLink Field in the coming seasons is getting a "new artificial turf on the field and new video boards in the end zones." MLS Sounders Senior VP/Business Operations Gary Wright said, "It’s an ongoing process of making sure we have a first-class stadium and all the latest enhancements. From a soccer side, it was important to upgrade the turf and get the best playable field possible." Work was "still being done on the video boards" yesterday, but players and coaches said that the new FieldTurf playing surface was a "major upgrade" (Tacoma NEW TRIBUNE, 2/28).
CITY CLEAN UP: In Louisville, Marcus Green notes "hundreds of downtown property owners pay fees to help clean, maintain and promote the city’s business district," but KFC Yum! Center's owner has "resisted making its payment for more than a year, arguing that the city law establishing the fees doesn’t apply to the arena." Though an agreement "may be in the offing," the dispute "may yet result in an ordinance that would exempt the authority from an annual contribution, which was more than" $211,000 based on last year’s value of its property. Arena authority General Counsel Ed Glasscock said that he "hopes to resolve the matter in the next week" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 2/28).