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  1. #21
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    frickin right, (i censor myself here), zygi is a damn pimp


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    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

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  2. #22
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    And one must remember after Mr. Wilf's firing Mr. Tice that some people said they had no respect for the former.
    I Love Kerry Collins (and John Rocker).

  3. #23
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    "Redrouster" wrote:
    I think if they need some extra workers to get started, I will be right there with my shovel!
    If you had your tank there when they were still voting on it, it'd be a done deal already. :wink:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #24
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    "COJOMAY" wrote:
    [size=18px]Vikings, Anoka County close to stadium deal[/size]
    Paul Levy And Mike Kaszuba, Star Tribune

    http://www.startribune.com/510/story/435648.html
    It sounds promising, but there's too much last minute changes going on.

    Why all of a sudden, can they build a stadium with a retractable roof without the states help & without Wilf chipping in more?

    Also, this story appears to have been pulled from the Trib already. The link is no longer valid & I can't find it in the Trib.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  5. #25
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    Posted on Wed, May. 17, 2006

    [size=18px]Vikings scramble to clinch stadium[/size]

    Team, Anoka County amending plan as NFL hints at a Super Bowl

    BY ARON KAHN
    Pioneer Press


    As a potential Super Bowl dangled in front of state legislators, the Minnesota Vikings and Anoka County were hastily hatching an amended stadium plan late Tuesday in hopes the Legislature would agree to support the project in the fading hours of the 2006 session.

    The new plan, to be unveiled today, is expected to include a user fee, possibly for spectators or businesses that benefit from the stadium. But state funds, albeit at a lower level, would still be needed to help pay for a retractable roof.

    Lawmakers have not been friendly to the idea of state funds going into the project, but National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told the House-Senate conference committee that Minnesota likely would be the site of the high-profile, big-bucks Super Bowl if the Vikings win a new home address in Blaine.

    When asked by a committee member if a new stadium would entice a Super Bowl to Minnesota, Tagliabue said that based on past NFL practice, the answer is "probably yes."

    The commissioner tempered his prophesy, however, by pointing out that Super Bowl sites are chosen by a vote of team owners and that he won't have a say in the matter because he retires at the end of July. Minnesota hosted its only Super Bowl — at the Metrodome — in 1992.

    In a session with reporters later, Tagliabue emphasized a new stadium's importance in attracting a Super Bowl.

    "If you look at where we've played the games for the last 15 years, they've all been rotating around to many cities where new stadiums have been built."

    Tagliabue was asked to appear at the committee by the Vikings, who are marshalling forces to win stadium approval in a clearly uphill battle. The committee's sessions are the scene of the high-stakes negotiations that will determine whether the Vikings will win a new stadium or wait another year.

    The commissioner said that in retrospect, the Metrodome's multipurpose design — for football and baseball — was not a good idea in terms of team revenue and fan amenities.

    "This particular model was not the best choice," he said, adding that the Metrodome is now "inadequate."

    He encouraged the committee to find a way to approve a stadium plan offered by owner Zygi Wilf, who wants to connect the stadium to a commercial and entertainment complex.

    He called Wilf an "extremely sound owner," adding that the owner's financial pledge to the project is "probably the largest commitment" in NFL history.

    The commissioner counseled the committee not to wait another year before approving a Vikings plan, because the cost of building materials is rising rapidly.

    "There's a heavy price that goes with delay," he said.

    After Tagliabue left, committee members began serious discussion of a compromise measure that would be sent to the House, Senate and governor for approval.

    Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, expressed disappointment with the Vikings, who had been offering different plans to the Legislature in the past few days in hopes of striking a friendly accord.

    Lanning wanted the team to say what it wants and stick to it.

    "It's frustrating that they continue to spin their wheels," he said.

    The new Vikings-Anoka County plan will come in response to that concern.

    Lanning and other House members encouraged the Senate members of the committee to separate the Vikings bill from the Twins bill, and vote on them separately. The House passed a Twins-only bill, and its representatives said they don't want to jeopardize approval of a Twins ballpark by linking it to a Vikings measure.

    Sen. Steve Kelley, DFL-Hopkins, the committee co-chairman and sponsor of a bill that would build two stadiums and fund mass transit, is trying to find a way to keep the Vikings campaign alive in the last days of the session.

    But when he asked for a vote on a modification of the Senate plan, the committee turned it down on a voice vote.

    Then Rep. Brad Finstad, R-New Ulm, the committee's other co-chairman, told Vikings and Anoka County representatives to present their final plan today. He said the committee has spent 95 percent of its time on the Vikings, and it was time to move the more popular Twins plan ahead.

    Don Seeholzer contributed to this report.

    Aron Kahn can be reached at 651-228-5420 or [email protected] What's next


    Key votes on Minnesota Twins and Vikings stadium plans could come today in the House-Senate conference committee studying the proposals.

    Vikings scramble to clinch stadium

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  6. #26
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    Included in the previous article was a poll. If you care to participate in the poll, here is the link;

    Are you in favor of a new Vikings stadium if it means the Super Bowl might be played here?

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  7. #27
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    [size=18px]Foe of Vikings plan has bark and bite[/size]

    Harold Hamilton's work against the Anoka County plan and his clout make him a hero to some and a bane to others.

    Mike Kaszuba and Sarah McCann, Star Tribune
    Last update: May 17, 2006 – 12:06 AM


    One of the most influential critics of the Minnesota Vikings stadium proposal does not need to sit through a public hearing at the State Capitol to get his point across. Harold Hamilton operates at a higher level.

    President Bush spent two hours visiting Hamilton's small company in Fridley. When he needs information from Congress, Hamilton has the ability to get U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman on the phone. And, as he tells it, Hamilton and other leading Republicans took Gov. Tim Pawlenty "to the woodshed" last fall for straying from the conservative agenda.

    For the past half year, Hamilton's considerable influence has made him one of the most outspoken and visible opponents of the Vikings' plan to use a sales-tax increase -- either metrowide or in Anoka County -- to help pay for a new football stadium in Blaine. The fate of the proposed stadium hangs in the balance this week at the Minnesota Legislature, as lawmakers debate financial approval for it and two other stadiums.

    Hamilton's website, anokacountywatchdog.com, has railed against the Vikings project at every opportunity. He has swapped caustic letters with Anoka County officials, who complain he is single-handedly stirring up opposition. The Vikings' top spokesman said Hamilton has been personally funding "much of the opposition" in Anoka County.

    A straight shooter

    "I don't see any reason why the folks in Anoka County should have to pay even a part of a stadium for a billionaire sports owner," said Hamilton, who is in his 70s and said he contributes $50,000 every two years to political candidates.

    That attitude has made Hamilton a hero of the stadium's opponents. "I have a lot of respect for what he does," said Ron Holch of Taxpayers for an Anoka County Stadium Referendum, which wants any sales-tax increase to include a referendum.

    In the past week, Hamilton has been on the move again. True to his straight-to-the-point style, Hamilton sent a letter to Anoka County asking whether the county had investigated Vikings owner Zygi Wilf's financial ability to keep his promises.

    While many top Republicans in the state have sided with the need for new stadiums, Hamilton's views remain those of a Depression-era child who grew up in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. "My brother and I had to work," he said, thinking back. "Forget about good times.

    "I didn't say I'm a Republican," said Hamilton, who also sits on the executive committee of the Freedom Club, the influential lobbying group with ties to many of Minnesota's top Republicans. "I'm a conservative."

    At a meeting in March, in which he introduced Federal Reserve research director and stadium critic Art Rolnick, Hamilton talked about the need for federal tax cuts and described Social Security as a "huge liability."

    "He has some strong beliefs," said Ron Eibensteiner, the former state Republican Party chairman. Eibensteiner said that he played a role in recommending Bush visit Hamilton's 150-employee engineering company, Micro Control Co., in June 2003 and said that Hamilton -- because of his political clout -- can just as easily phone DFLers. "I'm not surprised that some politicians get rather emotional with him," he added.

    He has critics, too

    The Vikings in particular have been upset that Rep. Chris DeLaForest, R-Andover, has been a leading critic of the team's stadium plan at the Legislature while he also works for Hamilton's company as a public relations director. "It just seems curious that a state legislator is on the payroll of the anti-stadium organization," said Lester Bagley, the team's vice president for public affairs and stadium development.

    DeLaForest said he makes decisions at the Legislature independently. "Harold doesn't wield any influence over me," he said.

    Steve Novak, Anoka County's lead negotiator on the Vikings stadium project, has also been critical of Hamilton, accusing him of misstating key facts of the stadium proposal. "It's really only gotten heated and personal since the blog started," said Novak, referring to Hamilton's online opposition.

    John Hartinger, a former state legislator from Anoka County, said Hamilton's impact on the stadium issue may be less than officials fear. Hartinger said that Hamilton, whom he typically agrees with, has been "burning his bridges" with business leaders in the county, many of whom favor the Vikings stadium.

    "I think that's one of the things Harold has to learn. You just can't ramrod something," he said.

    But Rhonda Sivarajah, an Anoka County commissioner and a Hamilton supporter, said Hamilton can frustrate those, including her County Board colleagues, who are not used to having the details of a project examined closely. "He's looking out for the taxpayer," she said.

    [email protected] • 612-673-4388 [email protected] • 612-673-7512

    Foe of Vikings plan has bark and bite

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  8. #28
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    Posted on Tue, May. 16, 2006

    [size=18px]Vikings work to stay in game, but clock ticking down[/size]

    BRIAN BAKST
    Associated Press


    ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Twins remained spectators Tuesday to the Minnesota Vikings as legislative negotiators debated the fate of stadium plans for both teams. But the football franchise was put on notice that its time is expiring.

    The House-Senate conference committee working on the pro sports stadiums has spent most of its three meetings discussing how and whether to salvage a Vikings stadium project in Blaine. The Vikings were planning to make a new pitch - their second in three days - on Wednesday.

    "At some point we have to move on," said Republican Rep. Brad Finstad, the lead house negotiator.

    Finstad said he wants a straight up-or-down vote soon on a Twins-only plan, which would reflect the team's $522 million ballpark proposal. It relies on a higher Hennepin County sales tax enacted without a voter referendum. That plan passed the House in April.

    Finstad's counterpart, DFL Sen. Steve Kelley, said the door shouldn't be slammed on the Vikings just yet.

    Even so, a Senate proposal to spread a half-cent tax around the metropolitan area to pay for two retractable roof stadiums and transportation projects was voted down.

    Earlier in the day, the Vikings enlisted NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to personally appeal to skeptical lawmakers. Meanwhile, team owner Zygi Wilf told reporters he won't put more money into the project to get a deal done.

    And state highway construction officials threw in wrench as well, telling the committee that road work around the stadium would take $270 million - far above the $115 million estimate from the team and Anoka County.

    Tagliabue's 30-minute appearance before a House-Senate committee crafting a stadium compromise didn't seem to sway members seeking to sever Twins and Vikings plans.

    Tagliabue, who is retiring in July, didn't give lawmakers any firm commitments about league financial help or the possibility of having another Super Bowl in Minnesota. Super Bowls have been awarded through 2010, but the league could select host cities through 2013 in the next 12 months.

    The commissioner said there is urgency despite the fact the Vikings have a Metrodome lease that runs through 2011.

    "Right now there is a heavy price that goes with delay," he said, mentioning higher cost of materials, rising interest rates and the tenuous nature of an NFL loan program the Vikings are counting on.

    Wilf has pledged $280 million toward a new stadium, but roughly $100 million of that could come from the league's loan program paid for with television revenue contributed by all teams.

    Wilf's plan has run into trouble at the Capitol because it depended on $115 million in state help plus extra money for accelerated road projects.

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty had discouraging words about the Vikings chances.

    "The Vikings bill has some substantive challenges and problems," he said.

    On Monday, a team official suggested building the stadium in Blaine without a retractable roof to eliminate the need for the $115 million. But Anoka County, which has been willing to put in $280 million through a higher sales tax, wants a roof so the building can be used for concerts and other non-football events.

    Wilf said he won't up his contribution.

    "Our commitment of $280 million was risky from the start," Wilf said. "We are committed to that amount. It's a substantial amount."

    Tagliabue told the committee that Wilf's promise of $1 billion in private investment for the stadium and surrounding development is probably the largest the league has seen from one of its owners.

    Still, the unsettled nature of the Vikings plan might be working against them in the session's final hours.

    Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said time is running out on the Vikings and Anoka County.

    "It's been a little bit frustrating that they still seem to be spinning their wheels," he said.

    As Finstad put it before Tagliabue's testimony: "We're in the fourth quarter, have three seconds left and a 45-yard field goal to kick."

    Tagliabue, seated next to Vikings vice president Lester Bagley, had a witty reply.

    "I should have brought Adam Vinatieri with me instead of Mr. Bagley," Tagliabue said of the sure-footed Indianapolis Colts kicker.

    Brian Bakst can be reached at [email protected]

    Vikings work to stay in game, but clock ticking down

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  9. #29
    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    "singersp" wrote:
    "I don't see any reason why the folks in Anoka County should have to pay even a part of a stadium for a billionaire sports owner," said Hamilton, who is in his 70s and said he contributes $50,000 every two years to political candidates.
    I won't even try to pretend that I understand US/ Minnesota politics or the way that they work - so I'm looking at this as an outsider. However people like this make me mad when they make stupid comments like that. It is so easy to forget about the benefits that it brings to the area in terms of jobs, taxes,etc - or is it that it's convenient to forget that.
    No like all the others whiners he'll accept the extra revenue that comes into the county that helps offset his his state and local taxes each year. He'll happily see his family benefit from jobs and business opportunities that arise from this and yet he doesn't want to spend one dime towards it.
    Senile old fool, and I thought dinosaurs died out long ago.. ever heard of the phrase ' speculate to accumulate' ?
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


  10. #30
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    Re: Vikings, Anoka County Close To Stadium Deal

    "singersp" wrote:
    "Redrouster" wrote:
    I think if they need some extra workers to get started, I will be right there with my shovel!
    If you had your tank there when they were still voting on it, it'd be a done deal already. :wink:
    LOL, yes you are probably right. And when the the road got all tore up, they could bill Uncle Sam so that woulf fix the new road problem! See, you are always thinking!

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