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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Stadiums and jobs

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf is ramping up efforts to sell his stadium plan as a way to spur job growth and stimulate the local economy, according to reports in the Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Wilf hosted a meeting of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council on Tuesday, hoping to gain its leaders' support in spreading the message. Dick Anfang, the council's president, estimates the project could net $500 million for local contractors and at various times provide jobs to as many as 5,500 people during the four-year construction period.

There are many questions left to be answered about those figures, including whether any of the jobs would be permanent and if the stimulus would compensate for the taxpayer contribution -- expected to be $700 million or more -- the project would require.

Every indication from Minnesota state leaders has suggested the Vikings won't get serious consideration during this year's session of the state legislature. But it's clear Wilf will not go quietly. His stadium point man is already elevating the rhetoric, noting the Vikings have 30 games left on their Metrodome lease (which expires after the 2011 season).

Continuing around the NFC North: