Unlike the Twins and Gophers stadiums that had few minority workers, it was promised that this time there would be significant hiring of Twin Cities African Americans and the legislature would audit it, providing an annual review, audit, and certification. Instead, the Legislative auditor is not doing the equity category employment audits… Continue Reading
Former KQ Morning Show reality check and sports guru Mike Gelfand takes a cynic’s aim at the new Viking Stadium on the current edition of Democratic Visions. The Crystal Cathedral like monument to men who play football and their corporate patrons and politicians (who play games with public wisdom, dollars and common sense) is a major irritant to Audubon Society types who view it as a wall of death for birds. Our feathered friends, they correctly claim, will crash into the stadium’s glass sheeting and die. During the course of his comment, Gelfand reminds us that during the construction of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1981 (recently deflated and leveled to make way for the new stadium), KSTP-TV’s news magazine Sunday Extra featured “The Dome Report” updates. These were parodies of, highly hyped, local TV investigative units such as WCCO-TV’s The I-Team, KSTP’s own On Your Behalf with Neil Murray and ABC’s Nightline with Ted Koppel. “The Dome Reports” were fronted by KUOM Radio personality John Barnier. Steve Sanger and I produced them. Continue Reading
Last week while driving home from work on Interstate 35E, I noticed the progress of the new Vikings Stadium. Well at least the massive piles of steel that it will be built from. As reported by Craig Peters in his article, “New Vikings Stadium Nearly a Quarter Complete through Symphony of Work”, the new Vikings stadium is ahead of schedule and was 23 percent complete at the end of September. I am excited to know the stadium is set to open in July 2016.This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.Controversy about whether or not there should be a new stadium, where it should be and who will pay has faded. Continue Reading
Minnesota Vikings Executive Vice President Lester Bagley says the team is in a “difficult position”. There is pressure on the team and other NFL teams to not use the Washington Redskins name when promoting the game because the name is racist. Bagley says the Vikings are “obligated” to promote the Redskins, but is going to provide opportunities the week of the game for opponents of the name to be heard.
Sharing public amenities is only slightly less controversial than funding public amenities. The new Vikings stadium adjoins an equally new Minneapolis public park. The Minnesota Vikings and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission retain exclusive use for 80-100 days per year. The park represents a new economic development direction that presents itself as one thing, a park, while behaving as another, an athletic performance venue.
How could a progressive have supported building the stadium? This question is asked by Professor David Schultz and others. What Schultz does not know is that the issue was not enthusiastically supported, it was accepted with great pain. Schultz, being an outside commentator, could not know this. I was in the middle of the discussion. Continue Reading
On July 16, 2013, I filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court to enforce a provision of the Minneapolis City Charter that requires a referendum for the use of more than $10 million in “city resources” to build and operate a professional sports facility. In May 2012, the Minneapolis City Council, on a 7 to 6 vote approved Article 3 of the Stadium Act, a piece of special legislation which authorized the City to impose local option sales taxes to raise money for the Vikings Stadium project. The local sales tax revenues will be used to repay $150 million in state issued appropriation bonds for construction of the stadium, plus at least $7.5 million dollars per year for capital and operating funds. The City attorney argued that the sales tax revenues were not “city resources,” and even if they are, the legislature can enact laws that over-ride the City Charter. The Stadium Act, Article 3, section 4, states that the sales tax revenues are deemed to not be “city resources” within the meaning of any law or charter provision that requires a referendum. Continue Reading
The stadium formerly known as the “Hubert H. Humphrey III Metrodome at Mall of America Field” (HHH3M@MOAF) “Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome” (MOAF@HHHM) obviously screamed out for shorthand, or a nickname. So most of us just called it “The Dome,” much to the chagrin of the HHH3M@MOMAF MOAF@HHHM brand managers. Continue Reading
Some huge questions about The Yard remain unanswered (the latest stadium legal challenge notwithstanding). The Park Committee met on January 9 to begin fleshing out a vision for The Yard. The committee has made a good start by identifying prioritization of year-round activities (note, activities year round is different than year-round activities – a skating rink, for example is seasonal), the idea that active uses attract passive, and balancing daily uses with major events. This is all well and good, but I can’t help but think that now more than ever is the time to engage more professional assistance in thinking about this vision – I’m looking at you, PPS! (Actually, I’m looking at you, Park Committee, to commit some funds to pay for this.) Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has done this numerous times across the country. They could be of tremendous assistance. Continue Reading