Minnesota lawmakers raise team payment
Minnesota lawmakers working out the final version of a bill for a new Vikings stadium Wednesday raised the amount the team would pay by $50 million, a calculated move that could soon put the team in the new facility it has long coveted – if it’s willing to ante up.
The reworked bill has the Vikings paying $477 million, a significant cut above the figure team officials had once described as “set in stone.” But though the package was tougher, it also is the closest the team has come to winning a replacement for the Metrodome, a 30-year-old facility that the team says has outlived its usefulness.
There was no immediate word from the Vikings if the deal was acceptable to them. For weeks team executives insisted they wouldn’t up their contribution.
As revised, the $975 million stadium would draw on $348 million in state money, plus $150 million from the city of Minneapolis. The new stadium would be built on the site of the Metrodome near downtown Minneapolis.
The deal isn’t final. It’s subject to approval by the House and Senate, and would then go to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature, a near certainty given the months he has pressed legislators to come up with a stadium deal that would guarantee the Vikings don’t leave the state.
Around the league
Suspended former Saints defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove says he is disappointed his sworn statement regarding the NFL’s bounty investigation was leaked and also that the league has “grossly mischaracterized” his words. Hargrove’s declaration explains how ex-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and current assistant head coach Joe Vitt instructed him to deny the existence of a bounty program in New Orleans when he was interviewed by NFL investigators in March of 2010. … The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed second-round draft pick Mike Adams and seventh-round picks David Paulson and Terrence Frederick. … The Chicago Bears have agreed to a four-year contract with sixth-round draft pick Isaiah Frey. … A person familiar with the decision says Jets vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales is leaving New York to take a position with the Oakland Raiders. Clinkscales has been with the Jets for 17 years.