Wednesday, May 5, 2010
B & B all over: Stadium bill altered
By Kevin Seifert
I was too busy watching LOST and then sleeping, but Minnesota's stadium bill made it through a state House committee late -- and, I mean, at almost midnight Wednesday -- but not without major reconstruction that could hinder its progress.
According to this dispatch form Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune, supporters removed most of the public financing options in order to get it approved. That includes all so-called user fees originally put in the bill, including taxes on hotels, rental cars and sports memorabilia. Those taxes had come under fire because they would include people who don't use the stadium.
The remaining financing mechanism would divert a sales tax used for paying off the Minneapolis Convention Center, one that has drawn criticism from Minneapolis city leaders who say the sales tax will be needed for convention center upkeep.
The new bill essentially requires the stadium to be built in Minneapolis, as opposed to the site-neutral approach the team originally took.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson on Sirius NFL radio via Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune: "Honestly, it crossed my mind and I've wanted change, but change is not always good."
- Detroit claimed receiver Marko Mitchell off waivers from Washington, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News. Mitchell was a preseason sensation last summer for the Redskins.
- The Lions never seemed to pursue Adam "Pacman" Jones after attending one of his workouts last month, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
- Also from Niyo: Five players who will make or break the Lions in 2010.
- In case you hadn't seen it yet: Former Chicago running back Gale Sayers criticized Bears coach Lovie Smith, quarterback Jay Cutler and the front office. That about covers it.
- For Bears fans who wanted the team to sign receiver Torry Holt, Michael Wright of ESPNChicago.com writes Holt was "not even close to being the guy he used to be" last year in Jacksonville.
- In a chat on the Green Bay Press-Gazette website, Mike Vandermause writes: "I don't see [Brian] Westbrook signing with the Packers, either now or in the future. Why take a chance on someone who is one hard hit away from retirement?