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

Ryan TannehillSep 15 04:15p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill struggled to deliver accurate passes in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills, and TE Charles Clay had several dropped passes. Tannehill was 5-for-16 (31 [ More ]

Chris IvorySep 15 04:11p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson played 27 snaps in Week 2, while RB Chris Ivory played 27 and RB Bilal Powell played 17 snaps Sunday, Sept. 14.

John AbrahamSep 15 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) will return to the team, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Abraham had been mulling retirement.

Keith RiversSep 15 04:02p

Buffalo Bills LB Keith Rivers (groin) will be tested this week to gauge how close he is to returning from a groin injury. Rivers did not practice last week [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 15 03:32p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) is undergoing an MRI on his injured left ankle, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Charles TillmanSep 15 03:32p

Chicago Bears CB Charles Tillman (triceps) will likely be placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIISep 15 03:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will not be placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

DeSean JacksonSep 15 03:12p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is day-to-day with a shoulder sprain. His status for this week's game is yet to be determined.

Jerrel JerniganSep 15 02:42p

New York Giants WR Jerrel Jernigan (foot) has a mid-foot sprain and is being evaluated. There is no timetable yet on his return.

Kelvin BenjaminSep 15 02:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) had his right knee taped Monday, Sept. 15, but appeared to be walking fine.

Rod StreaterSep 15 02:32p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (hip) suffered a hip flexor injury Week 2.

Marques ColstonSep 15 02:32p

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston, who didn't catch a pass in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns for the first time in 87 games, wasn't even targeted a [ More ]

Walter ThurmondSep 15 02:32p

New York Giants CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) is out for the season as he will undergo surgery for a torn pectoral Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Justin JonesSep 15 02:22p

Free-agent WR LaQuan Williams (Ravens) and TE Justin Jones (Patriots) are scheduled to work out for the Kansas City Chiefs Tuesday, Sept. 16, according to a source.

Donald BrownSep 15 02:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown is likely to fill the void as the team's every-down running back with RB Ryan Mathews (knee) sidelined.

Nevin LawsonSep 15 02:22p

Detroit Lions CB Nevin Lawson (toes) could very well be out for the season after undergoing surgery on his dislocated toes, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Lawson suffered [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 15 02:12p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is scheduled to work out Tuesday, Sept. 16, in order to test his injured thigh.

Marcedes LewisSep 15 02:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis (ankle) is a candidate to be placed on the Active/Reserve/Injured list because of his high ankle sprain, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Tavon AustinSep 15 01:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) has been diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament and is expected to miss around two weeks, according to a source.

Chad HenneSep 15 01:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne is still the starting quarterback for now, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Mark IngramSep 15 01:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram (hand) suffered a broken hand in the team's Week 2 game and will miss at least four weeks, according to a source.

Carson PalmerSep 15 01:42p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) said he wasn't close to playing in Week 2 against the New York Giants. He described his injury as a nerve in his [ More ]

Tyrann MathieuSep 15 01:42p

Arizona Cardinals FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) played for the first time in Week 2 against the New York Giants since suffering two torn knee ligaments last December. He was [ More ]

Lamar MillerSep 15 01:32p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) left the Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills in a walking boot Sunday, Sept. 14, and his status for Week 3 against [ More ]

Allen HurnsSep 15 01:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (ankle) is considered day-to-day because of the ankle injury he suffered Week 2.

Ryan MathewsSep 15 01:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, according to a source. Mathews could [ More ]

Jamaal CharlesSep 15 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) is dealing with a high ankle sprain, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Chris McCainSep 15 01:22p

Miami Dolphins LB Chris McCain (illness) hardly played at all in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills after being a big contributor in the Week 1 victory. McCain missed [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 15 01:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was reinstated after being deactivated in Week 2 against the New England Patriots following his arrest on a charge of causing injury to his [ More ]

Marcedes LewisSep 15 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis (ankle) will be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a high ankle sprain.

DeSean JacksonSep 15 01:02p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is listed as day-to-day after being diagnosed with an AC joint sprain in Week 2. Jackson left the game in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

R. Griffin IIISep 15 01:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) isn't dealing with a fractured ankle, according to an MRI exam, and he doesn't think surgery is necessary. The best-case scenario for [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group