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  1. #1
    nephilimstorm's Avatar
    nephilimstorm is offline Star Spokesman
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    Gophers Get new stadium, Star Tribune Sunday May 21, 2006

    I just read on Star Tribune Morning...the Gophers where approved and the Twins seem ready to be, will this help the Vikes or will it not?

  2. #2
    Mr-holland's Avatar
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    Re: Gophers Get new stadium, Star Tribune Sunday May 21, 2006

    i like the design, but i think alot of the stadiums look like this!.
    it would be totally cool to play ball when the cold comes down.
    Rosie O'Donnell is a dude!

  3. #3
    sirweeze's Avatar
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    Re: Gophers Get new stadium, Star Tribune Sunday May 21, 200

    U field in Pawlenty's hands after easy win
    Pioneer Press

    The Minnesota Legislature brought the University of Minnesota football team back to campus late Saturday when the House and Senate passed a bill for a $248 million outdoor stadium that will be built merely a long throw from a dearly missed stadium of another era.

    The House also passed a bill for a $522 million Minnesota Twins ballpark on a 71-61 vote, after a long, emotional debate. The Senate had not yet deliberated the plan for the outdoor stadium in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis as of midnight. Senate leaders were unsure, early this morning, they had enough votes to pass the measure as negotiations continued.

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty is expected to sign the Gopher bill into law, and also give his blessing to the Twins bill in the event of Senate passage. Twins backers were optimistic early Saturday. But it was the Gophers who scored first.

    "Coach, you're going to be playing football on campus!' a giddy university athletics director Joel Maturi said emotionally into his cell phone after the House vote.

    Maturi, who sat in the gallery as House members gave final approval to the university bill, had dialed head football coach Glen Mason after the 96-37 vote. The Senate passed the bill 43-24.

    Despite opponents' contentions that the Gopher stadium subsidy is a bad idea, in the light of academic needs and rising tuition, Rep. Ron Abrams, R-Minnetonka, the measure's sponsor, said passage of the bill will be considered "a defining issue' for years to come.

    Abrams said academics and athletics go hand in hand, and the stadium would return lost color and tradition to campus. That would bring more attention to the university and, in turn, benefit academics, he said.

    Backers for years have been trying to return the football team to campus. The team now plays in the multipurpose Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis, sharing the space with the Twins and the Minnesota Vikings football team.

    In the Senate earlier, Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, one of the bill's sponsors, said the plan is simply the right thing to do.

    "Big Ten football should be played outside,' he said. "Big Ten football should be played on campus.'

    The U will raise 45 percent of the cost, or $110.8 million, from donations, corporate sponsorships, parking revenues and student fees. The state will provide $10.3 million a year for 25 years to pay its share of principal and interest on money borrowed for construction.

    The stadium will be called TCF Bank Stadium, based on a deal in which the bank will pay the university $35 million toward construction, in return for certain exclusive banking rights on campus and a name on the stadium. The bill also calls for a land swap that gives the state a huge university parcel in Rosemount that would be used as recreational land.


    The Twins bill survived two dramatic moments in the House, and was facing another in the Senate early this morning. During the floor debate, Rep. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake, offered a motion to send the bill back to a House-Senate conference committee, because he didn't like a provision that called for the Vikings and Anoka County to agree on a plan funded by a county sales tax. After the bill's supporters said the plan could not go forward without approval at a future legislative session, Vandeveer's motion was beaten back.

    Earlier in the day, in a tax conference committee not intended for stadium deliberation. Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, offered a tax bill amendment that would permit a voter petition to put a referendum on the Hennepin County ballot in the fall. His motion appeared to pass until Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul, changed her vote at the last moment, defeating the amendment on a 5-4 vote.

    The entire House debate on the Twins bill was a fiery one. Opponents said sidestepping a referendum on the county sales tax was an underhanded scheme. The bill grants an exemption from a state law requiring a vote of residents on any proposed local sales tax. Without that waiver, the Twins and their ballpark partner, the Hennepin County Board, said they'd drop the ballpark plan.

    The supporters argued a ballot issue would create delays and greater expense, while their opponents contended the real fear of backers was that the tax would be voted down.

    The sales tax — 3 cents on a $20 purchase — is intended to pay for three-quarters of the ballpark and infrastructure.

    "The only reason it's passing this year is that a whole bunch of people can say, 'I'm not imposing a tax on my people,' " said Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, referring to the fact that the tax would be imposed only in one county. Hausman voted against the bill.

    But others, like Laura Brod, R-New Prague, said the bill was a fair solution to a perennial stadium problem that she feared would force the Twins to leave Minnesota.

    Meanwhile, pro-Twins ballpark leaders in the Senate were holding up a vote this morning because of a fear that northern Minnesota DFLers would oppose the bill. Northern Minnesota lawmakers have expressed concerned the renovation of a Duluth convention center and hockey arena, has not been funded.

    OPENING IN 2009

    The 50,000-seat U stadium will be built across Oak Street from Williams and Mariucci arenas. The 32-acre site, currently surface parking, is merely a long throw from where Memorial Stadium sat for 68 years. Regents voted to demolish that football stadium after the Gophers began playing in the Metrodome in 1982.

    Maturi said the university will hire an architect to design the stadium as early as next week, and that he hopes to break ground on the site by next spring or summer. He anticipates construction on roads necessary for the project to start this summer.

    If all goes according to plan, the Gophers' first game in their new stadium will be Sept. 5, 2009, against the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

    For Coach Mason, who is entering his 10th season at the U, a new stadium had seemed only a dream.

    "Frankly, I never thought it would be a reality during my tenure at the University of Minnesota," he said.

    The team has had scheduling conflicts in the Dome in the past, rescheduling the annual homecoming game a few years ago to accommodate the Twins. And Mason sometimes has run into conflicts getting recruits into the Dome to see the facility.

    "It's obviously great for the football team and the fans," said Owen Tucker, a freshman at the university and member of the school's marching band. He added, though, that he's not a fan of the fee that students will pay to help finance the stadium.

    As for the Twins, critics of the bill got in some swipes during a small protest outside Pawlenty's official state residence in St. Paul, before lawmakers took up the issue late Saturday.

    Some held signs warning supportive lawmakers that their votes would haunt them in November's elections. "Your Next Office — Unemployment," read one.

    Minneapolis auto mechanic Dave Bicking said the 0.15 percent sales tax in Hennepin County should have at least been subject to a referendum. "It's not the end," Bicking said. "It's the beginning of a new stage where we hold some of them accountable."

    Passions run high on the other side, too. St. Paul resident Dave Baker interrupted his jog to criticize the protesters, provoking a brief shouting match.

    "If we would have built it 10 years ago, it would have been half the cost," he said.

    If approved, the 42,000-seat Twins outdoor ballpark would be ready for the 2010 season.

    John Welbes, John Shipley, Bill Salisbury and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Aron Kahn can be reached at [email protected] or 651-228-5420.

  4. #4
    PurplePeopleEaters's Avatar
    PurplePeopleEaters is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Gophers Get new stadium, Star Tribune Sunday May 21, 2006

    WTF where is ours?

  5. #5
    Benet's Avatar
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    Re: Gophers Get new stadium, Star Tribune Sunday May 21, 200

    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:
    WTF where is ours?

    Trust me.

  6. #6
    YogidAbEAR's Avatar
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    Re: Gophers Get new stadium, Star Tribune Sunday May 21, 2006

    "Mr-holland" wrote:

    i like the design, but i think alot of the stadiums look like this!.
    it would be totally cool to play ball when the cold comes down.

    where's the spam wall?

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