Hennepin County (Minn.) remains on track to "pay off its Target Field debt a decade earlier than expected," according to sources cited by David Chanen of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Construction of the $555M ballpark included $350M in "funding from the county." The county "planned to pay it off over 30 years," or by '37, but "now expects to pay the debt" by '27. Excess revenue from the ballpark sales tax, plus lower interest rates, have "helped the county save money and pay off bonds sooner than expected." An early payoff on the debt would mean that taxpayers "could see an early end to the sales tax, which amounts to 3 cents on every $20 spent." The county "paid off one of three series of bonds in November, 21 years sooner" than the $75M bond was initially due. And last week, the county refinanced $150M in bonds, which "could be paid off" by '32 -- five years early (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/12).
Colts COO Pete Ward said that the team is "seeking to expand" its 32,000-square-foot training complex. In Indianapolis, VanTryon & Holder note the team "seeks to expand the player areas, including the locker room, training room, equipment room and strength and conditioning area." It is "looking to build a new pavilion/cafeteria, since the expansion will use some of the space the current one is in." It also "seeks to add an outdoor turf field and a partial natural turf field to the two full-size natural grass fields and the indoor turf field." Work would "start after this season." The Colts would "pay for the expansion but would not provide a dollar figure or a timeline for construction" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/12).
SAFETY FIRST: In Chicago, John Byrne noted Chicago aldermen on Tuesday "urged the Cubs and White Sox to 'be at the forefront'" of efforts to expand safety netting at MLB ballparks. The resolution "passed by the City Council Finance Committee is symbolic, and the teams are under no obligation to heed its suggestions." Aldermen "advanced the measure" a day after a man "sued the Cubs" and MLB. He "alleges the Cubs organization was negligent because Wrigley Field does not have enough spectator netting, something that could have prevented a foul ball from hitting him" at a game in August (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/11).
SLOWING THINGS DOWN: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's office said Tuesday that the vote on a $30M bond to "help build a soccer stadium for Louisville City FC is being delayed to later this month." In Louisville, Bailey & Lerner noted the decision comes after some Metro Council members and a conservative-leaning think tank "expressed concern about the measure being rushed." The city is "proposing to use" $25M to buy the land and the remaining $5M "going toward public infrastructure." Private investors say they "expect to raise" $185M for the total project, which "besides a 10,000-seat stadium includes plans to develop restaurants, hotels and office buildings" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/11).