The Downtown East terms require the Vikings or the commission, whichever exercises the option, to come up with a development plan within six months of that, start work within 18 months of the acquisition and finish it 18 months later. If Alatus retains the land, it faces similar deadlines. The penalty would be $826,226.
This means whatever Zygi builds there won't be the stadium, because he has to start it within 18 months & complete it within 3 years.
So what's he going to build there?
He is going to use those penalties as motivation for speeding up the stadium bill.
In another article, it mentioned that Alatus and the Vikings had a handshake deal in place for some of their land too.
Most likely, they will use these approaching deadlines as fuel when lobbying for the stadium (both the Vikes and Alatus), and once the bill has been passed apply for an extension in the development contracts.
Zygi is on top of things.
I don't think it's going to happen quite that smoothly or within 18 months. Especially with the Twins ballpark land debacle going on & 2008 being an election year.
You can bet the taxpayers are going to end up taking it in the shorts over that one & the legislature won't be too quick to pass yet another Stadium Bill.
Probably won't go that smoothly, but I am sure that that angle will be worked.
18 months will let us span two legislative sessions, which is plenty of time to spin up the campaign.
And that shows me that Zygi isn't just sitting on his hands in regard to the stadium.
I think he is preparing for a big stadium run on the heels of a successful season.
The successful season is a requirement though, and I don't see him going forward without one.
As I gaze into my crystal ball, here is what I see:
The Vikings are the surprise of the league this year, rushing (literally) to an 11-5 record and narrowly loosing to the NFC number 1 seed New Orleans in the NFC championship game.
Riding on the coattails of the rekindled Purple Fever, Wilf begins an intense media campaign for the Vikings, with ROY AD as his poster child.
One week before the legislative session, Wilf releases the financial plans for his new stadium, the cost split three ways with Wilf, the newly announced financial partner (Helloooo 3M Stadium), and the public each taking approximately $350 million.
A bill to impose a metro wide entertainment tax is introduced early in the legislative session, backed by bipartisan representatives whom Wilf has been working closely with for the past 10 months.
The bill quickly makes it through the Senate and goes to the House, where it lands in a debate.
Typical pork barrel politics ensure, and the bill gets pushed through with amendments for another "health fee" on cigarettes, a contract cause to develop the indoor rail hub Wilf has proposed, and a fraction of the entertainment tax going toward further development of the light rail.
Pawlenty threatens to veto the bill, but after public and leglisative backlash he backs off, and the bill goes through.
Wilf exercises his option to purchase the additional land from Alatus, and the minimum amount of work needed to satisfy the development takes place, and then is put on hold until the stadium construction begins in earnest.
The final game in the Metrodome takes place on Sunday, January 25, 2009, as the NO Saints come into town for an NFC Championship game rematch.
This time, the Vikes are on their home turf, win the game handily, and are launched to their first Superbowl in 22 years.
As the final seconds tick off the clock, thousands of drunken fans swarm the field, tearing off pieces of the stadium as collector's items, despite a lackluster effort by the Minneapolis police who are on scene for just that eventuality...
Sound good to anyone else? ;D