Vikings not pushing stadium in shutdown

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 30, 2011 - 11:34 PM

Team ownership realizes the budget deadlock will affect many people and will ease its campaign for now.

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Owner Zygi Wilf (right) and the Vikings won't push for a new stadium bill while Gov. Mark Dayton (left) and the Legislature are trying to resolve their budget impasse.

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

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The Vikings ownership, sympathetic to the state government shutdown because of the failure of the Legislature and governor to agree on a budget, has called a recess on their drive to get an Arden Hills stadium bill passed.

The Vikings ownership believes this is not the time to be campaigning for a stadium when so many people are going to lose their jobs and a lot of citizens will be affected because of the shutdown.

No members of the Wilf family or vice president of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley were available to comment on the current status of the stadium bill in the Legislature.

However, a source familiar with the Vikings stadium push reported that there is still a long way to go before an agreement can be reached.

The source also said the cost of the stadium, as figured by Mortenson Construction, is still at $1 billion, not $800 million. While the Wilf family has agreed to furnish the $407 million they originally agreed to contribute, plus additional money they pledged in a recent meeting with the governor, there has been no agreement on spending less than $1 billion on the stadium. But this is something that could be negotiated.

Meanwhile, the word is that some people connected with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, operators of the Metrodome, still were campaigning behind the scenes for the stadium to be built on the Farmer Market site.

NFL wedding

There was a wedding at the Minneapolis Club on Saturday with NFL connections. Former Vikings defensive line coach John Teerlinck, wearing his four Super Bowl rings [two winners with the Broncos and one win and one loss with the Colts], marched down the aisle for the marriage of his son, Bill, the Colts defensive ends coach, to Melanie Busch. Bill and Melanie met as students at Benilde-St. Margaret's in 1992, when John was an assistant for Denny Green.

John introduced Vikings great John Randle at his Hall of Fame induction and pointed out that five head coaches were produced from the players and coaching staff under Green: Tony Dungy, Brian Billick, Jack Del Rio, Ty Willingham and Mike Tice.

Attending the wedding was former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore, who had been on various NFL coaching staffs with Teerlinck for 14 years. Moore is taking the year off to have his knees operated on, but he will serve as adviser to the Jets coaching staff this year.

Jottings

• All members of the Twins' 1991 World Series team except Shane Mack and Chuck Knoblauch have accepted invitations to the team's 20-year reunion on Aug. 5-7 at Target Field.

• Look for an official announcement in the next 10 days that Mike Guentzel will replace John Hill as an assistant to Gophers hockey coach Don Lucia.

• Gophers shortstop Adam Pettersen, who was drafted in the 25th round by the Twins, was hit in the face by a 90 miles-per-hour fastball while playing for the Twins' Elizabethton (Tenn.) farm team and is out for the season.

• Gophers football fans buying individual tickets for the Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa game will pay $70 per seat. The charge for individual tickets to the New Mexico State and Miami (Ohio) games will be $35, and $50 for the North Dakota State and Illinois games. You can buy a combination of either the Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska games with either New Mexico State or the Miami games for $95. ... Approximately 3,500 public season tickets will go on sale July 22, with single-game tickets on sale at a later date.

Gophers hockey tickets will remain at $22 next year and basketball tickets at $21 despite the fact there will be two more games this season than last.

• Quarterback MarQueis Gray, running back Duane Bennett and linebacker Mike Rallis will represent the Gophers football team at the Big Ten kickoff in Chicago on July 28-29.

• Mitch Leidner, a quarterback at Lakeville South, has accepted a scholarship offer from Jerry Kill to play for the Gophers. Leidner led the Cougars to a 8-4 record last season, throwing for 2,096 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He completed 54.7 percent of his passes.

• Devon Wright was the Broward County (Fla.) Player of the Year during the 2009 high school football season. The Coral Springs Taravella running back wasn't scholastically eligible to play for the Gophers last fall, but he will be eligible this season and compete for a starting position.

• Receiver Andre McDonald of Hopkins, who backed off his early commitment to the Gophers, indicated interest in recommitting after he spent three days at Kill's football camp. McDonald, who will be a senior this year, caught 64 passes last season and scored 19 touchdowns. Rivals.com lists McDonald as a four-star player.

• Josh Tauaefa, a defensive tackle from Corinth, Texas, has been granted his release by the Gophers, the university confirmed Thursday. Tauaefa, who sat out a redshirt season last fall as a freshman, is the third player to leave the program this month, following running back DeLeon Eskridge and tight end Tiree Eure.

• The MLB free agent market is so sparse right now that the Yankees have signed former Twins Mike Lamb and Terry Tiffee to minor-league deals, reports Donnie Collins of The Scranton (N.Y.) Times-Tribune. Both infielders were playing in the independent Atlantic League, Lamb with the Camden River Sharks and Tiffee with the Lancaster Barnstormers. Lamb and Tiffee were both sent to Class AAA Scranton.

• Toby Gardenhire, son of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, is playing well at Class AAA Rochester, hitting .265 with 19 RBI, 15 runs scored and two home runs. Twins General Manager Bill Smith had this to say about Toby: "Gardenhire has come through our system and he's been an overachiever at every level. He's one of those guys, when he gets there, his raw physical skills may not knock you out, but he's a great team player. He can play any position on the field, including he's the third catcher over there. Last year they got banged up with catchers in Triple-A and Toby caught a full game, not just a couple of innings. He can go back there and handle himself well. He's a great kid and a great baseball player. We're certainly glad to have him in the organization."

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

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