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Continued: Hartman: Vikings will yet get their turn

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 17, 2011 - 9:59 AM
The imbecilic Legislature and stubborn Gov. Mark Dayton made many people suffer during the state's two-week government shutdown and took the easy way out when they finally did face their problems. So Vikings owner Zygi Wilf probably should have realized that he would not see a stadium bill passed when a special session is held to address the budget crisis.

Yes, politicians showed a lot of courage to get the job done with that proposed deal to deprive schools of $700 million and then borrow money on the tobacco fund.

Once a special session is called to end the shutdown and address the budget crisis, a Vikings stadium bill is not likely to be on the docket. Stadium backers say it's possible that Dayton will call a second session later this year to address the stadium issue.

Unfortunately, the Vikings never have worked harder or spent more money lobbying to get a stadium on their favored Arden Hills site, but the lobby for Indian tribes and their very profitable slot machines and other gambling devices continues to outspend everybody else.

It is amazing that even though the public is almost 100 percent in favor of some type of gambling bill that would earn millions of dollars to solve a lot of the problems facing the state, the geniuses over in St. Paul favored the Native American big lobby.

However, I believe the Vikings will get a stadium if a special session is called this fall, when the football season is on and the great force of Vikings fans, faced with the real possibility of losing the team, will have a different attitude about the need for a stadium.

The next big election comes in 2012. There's is a much better chance of getting a stadium bill passed with the current group in St. Paul than with a new group that would have to be lobbied all over again.

Fight for farmers market

However, before any special session focused on a stadium is held, don't be surprised if there is a big drive by downtown executives for a stadium in the Minneapolis farmers market area rather than Arden Hills. There will be a lot of money spent to get that done.

A number of the big wheels of downtown companies believe that prosperity in the loop would reach new heights with Target Field, Target Center and a new Vikings stadium all in the same area.

One of the factors that has impressed the Vikings about the Arden Hills site is the space it offers to park 21,000 cars. But the farmers market site's parking problems could be solved pretty easily. If you take a drive off Glenwood Avenue from the farmers market all the way to Penn Avenue N., you will find that you could develop thousands of parking spots on the empty lots and buildings that could be torn down.

However, the Vikings' owners would have to buy those properties if they were to profit like they would at Arden Hills.

The Vikings are presently profitable only because of the some $25 million they get each year in revenue sharing. They get that from the big moneymaking NFL teams such as Dallas, New England, the two New York squads, and Washington.

Then there's the problem that owners of some of those teams contributing the money for revenue sharing are fighting hard to eliminate it. And the word is that while the NFL might not eliminate profit sharing altogether, it will succeed in the near future in cutting down the amount of money that is distributed between the teams.

In a recent issue of Forbes magazine there was a list of the 50 most valuable sports franchises in the world, and while the Vikings made the list at No. 41, they were 30th out of all the NFL teams and dead last in the NFC North. A big reason for that is their lack of a new stadium.

The Wilf family is not going to keep the Vikings if it is a losing venture. Look for them to sell the team if a stadium is not built in the next three years. And then the new owner could move the team.

Help may not come

If the Twins are expecting better run production from Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau after the All-Star break than they produced in the first half, they shouldn't, based on previous years.

In his nine previous years, Morneau has hit .298 before the All-Star break and .260 post-break. The first baseman has driven in 420 runs before the break and only 280 post, although injuries have played a big part in the second half numbers falling off, with him playing 585 games before the break and just 418 after.

Mauer, amazingly, has hit .324 both pre- and post-break during his seven previous years with the team. He has driven in 265 runs before and 218 post.

Cuddyer has hit .268 pre-All-Star break in his 11-year career and .276 post while driving in 320 runs before and only 233 after.

The reason to bring this up is that the big problem this team has had this year is scoring runs.

An example was Friday's 2-1 loss, when they got great starting pitching from Nick Blackburn, who felt he had much better stuff than the righthander has had in several previous starts, but the team scored only one run.

So if the Twins are expected to repeat as division questions, the big three will have to get and/or stay healthy and produce more in the second half than they have in previous seasons.

Jottings

Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi has canceled plans to stage an outdoor college hockey game next year at TCF Bank Stadium because it would cost $350,000 to install the ice and because of other expenses, and an ill-timed snowstorm would result in the loss of a lot of money. "We don’t have the stadium seating capacity of Wisconsin [80,321] and Michigan State [75,005], who have staged games and have the capacity to make it work financially. I would have been satisfied to break even, but with only 50,000 seats, we can’t come out financially," Maturi said.The fact that the Gophers are recruiting four players from Miami Central High School brought a false Internet rumor that Central was going to play either Eden Prairie or Cretin-Derham Hall at TCF Bank Stadium. Maturi said he would welcome one or two big high school games at the Gophers stadium, but schools would have to pay the rights fees everyone pays, according to school rules.Even though Timberwolves President David Kahn has received permission from Portland to talk to Trail Blazers assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff about replacing Kurt Rambis, no contact has been made. J.B. Bickerstaff, son of Bernie and a Wolves assistant for four years, has signed on for two years as an assistant with Houston. Naturally, J.B. said he would prefer to work for his dad if Bernie got the Wolves job, but he doesn’t know if the Rockets would release him. Jordan Jess, a lefthander from Ripon, Wis., who has signed with the Gophers, was named Wisconsin high school baseball player of the year after going 10-0 with a 0.92 ERA as a senior. … The fundraising for a new U baseball stadium is stuck at $5.5 million, with $2 million more needed to start building.
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Atlanta 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Detroit 3
Philadelphia 1 Top 9th Inning
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 1 Top 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 1
NY Yankees 2 Top 8th Inning
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 0 Top 2nd Inning
San Francisco 0
Los Angeles 1 Top 4th Inning
Chicago WSox 0
San Diego 0 Top 3rd Inning
Seattle 1
Cleveland 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Cincinnati 1
Milwaukee 0 Top 3rd Inning
LA Angels 0
Oakland 0 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 0 Top 1st Inning
Kansas City 0
Colorado 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Arizona 1
NY Mets 4:05 PM
Washington
Boston 6:05 PM
Minnesota
Toronto 6:05 PM
Baltimore
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 6:00 PM
Boston
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
Florida
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Nashville
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 3:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Niagara 4:00 PM
Siena
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Bucknell
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Colgate
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American Univ 6:00 PM
Lehigh
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Saint Peters
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UT Martin
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SC State 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
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FIU
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Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
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NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
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ULM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Nicholls
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
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TX A&M-CC
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New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Arizona
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Belmont
Memphis 8:00 PM
Connecticut
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Davidson
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Marist 8:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Washington
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
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Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Massachusetts 61 2nd Half 0:20
Richmond 64
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Campbell 46 2nd Half 10:24
Winthrop 37
Oregon 44 2nd Half 15:59
Washington St 41
Indiana 28 2nd Half
(23) Rutgers 37
Pepperdine 27 2nd Half
Loyola Marymount 34
Auburn 8 1st Half 11:55
(18) Texas A&M 13
Morehead St 3:00 PM
Tennessee St
George Mason 3:30 PM
Saint Josephs
Western Carolina 3:30 PM
East Tenn St
Arizona 4:00 PM
UCLA
Texas State 4:00 PM
Appalachian St
TX-Arlington 4:00 PM
Georgia Southern
SC State 4:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 4:30 PM
Coppin State
Portland 4:30 PM
Santa Clara
Norfolk State 4:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 4:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Central Arkansas 5:00 PM
Nicholls
Houston Baptist 5:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Radford
Georgia 5:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
Marshall
Ark-Little Rock 5:00 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 5:15 PM
ULM
Sam Houston St 5:30 PM
Lamar
SE Louisiana 5:30 PM
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Stephen F Austin
Alabama A&M 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Grambling
Southern U 5:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 5:45 PM
Mercer
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word
La Salle 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Illinois 6:00 PM
Nebraska
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Rice
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
Oakland
Missouri State 6:05 PM
Indiana State
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
UAB
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Drake
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
USC
San Francisco 8:00 PM
Pacific
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Idaho
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
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UC Santa Barbara
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UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
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