Saturday, August 29, 2015

wilf family

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As expected, an announcement was made this morning at the Minnesota Capitol that formally introduces a Vikings stadium bill to Legislature, which marks the farthest point the Wilf’s have reached in this process since they bought the franchise in 2005.

The bill’s main talking points are pretty much exactly what I had laid out last night: 

  • A total price tag of $975 million.
  • The Vikings (and NFL) would pay $427 million.
  • The State would pay $398 million.
  • The State would primarily raise funds using electronic pull tabs.
  • Minneapolis would pay $150 million using an existing sales tax.
  • The stadium would have a fixed, covered roof.
  • A three to four year construction process would be expected.
  • The final year of construction would have the Vikings playing at TCF Bank Stadium

Governor Mark Dayton cautioned enthusiasts that “now the real work begins” as the plan must be approved by the State Legislature and the Minneapolis City Council.  There is sure to be some opposition at those levels, but what the strength of that opposition is remains to be seen.

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I’m not about to gush over the perceived kindness of a very, very, very rich family and the patience they are showing in their quest for public funds to be spent on a new stadium which houses their football team and maximizes their profits.

Still, it is impressive that Wednesday represents what could have been such a crucial date in this ongoing stadium fiasco, and yet the Vikings are at least putting forth the appearance that they are willing to take the high road.

February 15th represents the Vikings deadline for notifying the NFL that they would like to explore relocation options.  The date is expected to come and go with very little drama.  Instead of raising the stress level, they seem content to put their focus on continued progress revolving around Minnesota-based solutions.

P.R. guru for the team, Lester Bagley, stated on Tuesday that the Vikings will not request permission to seek relocation.  They will, however, continue to push for a financing package to be settled on during this legislative session.

Bagley said that the team hopes to have a financing plan in front of legislators within the next few days.

“There’s nothing to announce yet,” Bagley said, “but we’re all working hard. I think there’s opportunity and appetite to resolve that this session.”

Just imagine, for a second, how different this article would be had the Wilf family requested permission from the NFL to explore relocation options.

That’s an article I hope to never write.

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