2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Minneapolis mayor touts stadium council majority

By PATRICK CONDON - Associated Press
    2012-03-26 18:40

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Vikings stadium bill, stalled for nearly two weeks at the Capitol, got a new push Monday when Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said he'd lined up a city council majority in support of the $975 million plan to rebuild on the site of the Metrodome.

Opposition on the Minneapolis City Council had been a major stumbling block for stadium supporters, and Rybak's announcement threw the issue back into the lap of state legislators who have been reluctant to embrace it. A Senate committee tabled the bill earlier this month when it appeared on the verge of getting voted down, but a key House committee chairman said Monday that he hoped to give the bill its first House hearing before the week is out.

``I think it helps to have the city of Minneapolis on board,'' said Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, chairman of the House Commerce Committee. Time is growing short for stadium supporters in their bid to secure the Vikings in Minnesota for another 30 years, with the legislative session likely to be over in a month's time or less.

For weeks, Rybak and Council President Barbara Johnson had worked to nail down a council majority and at times appeared to be falling short of the needed seven votes on the 13-member council. But at a Capitol news conference with Gov. Mark Dayton, they released signed letters from seven council members who say they'd vote in favor of the proposal and forgo a citywide referendum on the issue.

``Is it time to build it? I think it is,'' Rybak said.

The bill under consideration proposes a $975 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis, and taps an existing city sales tax to the tune of $150 million to cover a local cost share. Stadium critics point to a provision in the city's charter that requires a citywide vote before more than $10 million in city money can be spent for a professional sports stadium, but the bill under discussion was designed to bypass that requirement by making the state of Minnesota collect the sales tax instead of the city.

Rybak said the city attorney believes a citywide vote is not legally required, and that his council majority believes likewise. But Gary Schiff, a council member opposed to the proposal, said critics would likely sue to force a referendum if it comes to that.

``Given the very strong feelings by Minneapolis residents on this issue, I doubt they'll sit quietly and allow the city charter to be circumvented,'' Schiff said. He also questioned if Rybak's majority would hold: ``Some people apparently changed their minds, but people who change their minds have a tendency to change them back.''

Stadium supporters have made strong allies of leaders in Minneapolis business and labor circles, and council members have been lobbied in recent weeks by prominent downtown business owners and executives as well as union officials. The stadium bill allows Minneapolis latitude to use future sales tax revenues to relieve property taxpayers, and council members said they were swayed by that along with the promise of 7,500 construction jobs from building a new stadium.

``Make no mistake about it, this is a stimulus project for the city of Minneapolis,'' Council Members Don Samuels said.

Even with concerns about Minneapolis support at least temporarily sidelined, stadium supporters still have a tough climb at the Capitol. Chiefly, the Legislature must still work out wrinkles in a plan to cover the state's $398 million share of the stadium costs with tax revenue from a gambling expansion.

The plan calls for authorizing new, electronic versions of several paper-based games of chance now sold by charities at Minnesota bars. But the proposal has come under fire by leaders of groups that represent those very charities, for not sharing a bigger portion of projected new profits.

Dayton told the news conference Monday that members of his administration continue to work with the charities to address those concerns, both in giving them a bigger share of future profits and directing some of the new revenue to reform the taxes they pay on the games.

Some state lawmakers have also worried that gambling revenue is an unpredictable means of paying for a major construction project and could leave state taxpayers on the hook if it doesn't raise as much as projected. Rep. Hoppe said he has those concerns, but believes stadium bill sponsors are working on a backup funding source that would ``blink on'' only if gambling money falls short - most likely some type of user fee linked directly to pro football games.

``I have always liked suite taxes and ticket taxes,'' Hoppe said. ``People look at their tickets and know right what the money's for, and I think people are generally supportive of that.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dane FletcherMay 27 02:33a

Free-agent LB Dane Fletcher (Buccaneers) has returned to the New England Patriots on a one-year contract.

Devonta FreemanMay 26 09:53p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman worked with the first-team offense during organized team activities Tuesday, May 26.

Charles SimsMay 26 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims has a solid chance of beating out RB Doug Martin for Tampa Bay's starting running back gig, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com.

A.J. JenkinsMay 26 01:02p

Free-agent WR A.J. Jenkins (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, May 26, according to a source. Jenkins was the 30th overall pick by the San [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 26 08:43a

Updating an ongoing story, the Dallas Cowboys have moved on from the idea of trading for Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, despite persistent rumors, according to The Dallas Morning [ More ]

A.J. McCarronMay 25 10:37p

Cincinnati Bengals QB AJ McCarron (shoulder) is healthy and hoping to push QB Andy Dalton in 2015. 'We wanted him in our building so bad and it happened and [ More ]

Ray McDonaldMay 25 04:42p

Updating previous reports, Chicago Bears DE Ray McDonald has been released Monday, May 25, just hours after being arrested for alleged domestic violence and child endangerment.

Adrian PetersonMay 25 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson still wants to be traded, according to a source. Peterson intends to skip all organized team activities, which would cause him to lose $250,000 in workout bonuses.

Adrian PetersonMay 24 09:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has informed head coach Mike Zimmer that he will not attend the optional practices that begin Tuesday, May 26, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Tom BradyMay 22 04:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will have the appeal of his four-game suspension heard by commissioner Roger Goodell after the NFL rejected a motion by the NFL Players [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 22 03:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension has not been scheduled at this time.

Ray RiceMay 22 11:42a

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) could be a consideration for the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, speculates The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota. He cites Cowboys owner and general [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 22 09:52a

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains in pursuit of being traded or receiving a new contract and remains away from the organization during voluntary workouts. [ More ]

William BeattyMay 21 12:02p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty (chest) underwent successful surgery Thursday, May 21, to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Beatty will need approximately five to six months of recovery time.

Derek CarrMay 20 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) will not need surgery on his injured finger and may be able to throw again before the end of offseason workouts, according to his agent.

Joseph RandleMay 20 09:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle is the most likely option to lead the team's running back by committee approach in 2015. Randle has the most experience in the system, [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:53p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty's (pectoral) torn pectoral will require surgery and Beatty's recovery time is expected to be around five months. Beatty suffered the [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) tore his pectoral while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source, and will undergo surgery. One [ More ]

Josh HillMay 20 03:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is slated as the starting tight end this season with TE Jimmy Graham now in Seattle. TE Benjamin Watson could give Hill a run for his money, however.

William BeattyMay 20 03:13p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) suffered a potentially serious shoulder injury while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source. Surgery is a possibility.

Geno SmithMay 20 03:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith is the starting quarterback and will not see competition in training camp, according to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Tom BradyMay 20 03:03p

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal will not be affected by the team's decision to accept their sanctions. Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants to [ More ]

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group