Asked about the progress, and some concern in the Legislature about raising the money to pay for the stadium, Mark Wilf was optimistic everything will work out.
“I think we’re working through things with the stadium authority and there are going to be ups and downs to the process,” he said. “But I think as a whole, the public is going to be very pleased. Our Vikings fans and Minnesota, it’s going to be a great facility and one that will be used for many years to come. I think we’re making good progress. I can’t speak for the authority, but I can tell you that we’re working very hard to get the building designed, completed and on budget and on time. We’re looking forward to 2016 [and] moving into a great building.”
Mark Wilf also was asked if signing three first-round draft choices will cost the Vikings a lot of money.
“Doesn’t bother us at all,” he said. “We want to win, we want to win a Super Bowl, and we’ll do what it takes to get there. We have great faith in our football staff to put the right group together. We want talented players here that can make a difference for us.”
• It’s no secret Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and special teams coach Mike Priefer didn’t have the greatest of relationships last season, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Vikings drafted punter Jeff Locke of UCLA in the fifth round. The Vikings brought in punter Brian Stahovich for a tryout in late October.
• If you were at the Gophers spring football game Saturday, you saw something I have never seen before: the president of the University of Minnesota, Eric Kaler, watching the action from the TCF Bank Stadium sidelines wearing a Gophers hat and jacket. Incidentally, the crowd of 8,400 was the largest attendance for a spring game since the days of Lou Holtz.
• While Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks has struggled at the plate, Joe Benson — who is ranked with the team’s better prospects — is hitting .270 in his past 10 games after getting off to a bad start. But for the present, the Twins are going to stick with Hicks and see if he can regain the hitting stroke he displayed in spring training. Said Hicks, who extended his hitting streak to five games Sunday: “I’m sticking to what worked in spring training and what works for me as a hitter. I’m still attacking fastballs and getting good pitches to hit.”
• The Howard Pulley Panthers AAU squad went 5-0 this weekend at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball tournament in Hampton, Va. Apple Valley’s Tyus Jones and DeLaSalle’s Reid Travis continued their dominant play. Jones averaged 23.8 points on 51 percent shooting from the field and 5.3 assists. Travis averaged 18.8 points on 50 percent shooting and 8.2 rebounds, including a 34-point game on 11-for-17 shooting in their 85-75 victory Sunday over Nike Team Louisiana.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org