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May 28, 2012
Vikings final approval, rising stadium costs, and other holiday weekend news
In honor of Memorial Day, here's a slew of bullets ... wait, no, that sounds terrible. Let's try that again: Since it's still the holiday weekend, let's catch up on the news in brief before going back to honoring our war dead by buying things on sale:
- Not that there was any doubt, but the Minneapolis city council gave final approval to the $1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium project on Friday, one day after the entire council voted for it in committee. "I feel in my gut a little bit like I imagine the Vikings feel after a win," Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said following the vote. You mean he can feel his brain cells dying?
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that "unrealistic revenue projections and the skyrocketing construction cost of sports stadiums, especially football behemoths, is making it increasingly hard for the facilities to generate enough cash to keep pace with expenses." (Yes, that should be "are." AJC copy editors, phone home.) This is contrasted with the Georgia Dome, which "could pay off its bonds two years early" — though all this means is that the state set taxes high enough for the dome that they've generated enough revenue to pay off stadium bonds, unlike in places like Cincinnati and Indianapolis where there have been shortfalls. In neither case is the facility itself actually generating the cash — maybe the AJC fact-checking department took off earlier for the holiday weekend along with the copy editors.
- Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff says he still wants to move to San Jose, he's not interested in a new stadium in Oakland or in selling the team, and he doesn't intend on suing MLB over its territorial rights rules. In other words, status quo.
- Residents of the neighborhood where the Atlanta Falcons want to build a new stadium say they don't hope to stop the project, but would like input on such things as access to construction jobs, traffic mitigation, and "a reduction in church attendance on game Sundays." Sounds like it's time for a community benefits agreement! Though requiring the team to compel people to go to church is going to make for an odd contract clause.