Canterbury Wants All-In On Stadium Talk

The president and CEO of Canterbury Park in Shakopee is interested in talking with the Vikings about putting together a stadium plan on the site of the racetrack and card club.

The president and CEO of Canterbury Park, a racetrack and card club in Shakopee, hopes to encourage the Vikings to build a new stadium on the Canterbury site, according to the Pioneer Press.

"I saw the development that was envisioned for Anoka County, and that's an exciting prospect to look at something like that, with retail, residential and offices, and development surrounding the stadium," Canterbury's Ralph Sampson told the Pioneer Press. "The Wilfs are experts in that field, and we would welcome an opportunity to work with them. For years, we talked about how a football stadium could work here."

The Vikings' proposed stadium project in Anoka County has been meeting increasing hurdles since the Minnesota legislature declined to approve funding for that stadium project in last spring's session, one that saw the approval of funding for a Minnesota Gophers on-campus stadium and a Minnesota Twins ballpark in Minneapolis.

The Anoka County project proposed a 0.75 percent sales tax increase in the county without that going to a referendum, but there has been increasing pressure in the last few months to put that proposed tax increase to the voters of Anoka County. It's uncertain if the residents would approve that increase, which would all but end that proposal if a referendum failed.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has also allowed options to purchase land for the project to expire when the state didn't approve the public portion of the funding of the stadium proposal, which would be roughly one-third of the one-time $675 million stadium. That number likely will continue to increase the longer the project is delayed.

Shakopee and Eagan have been mentioned as possible sites in the past, along with Minneapolis, but it has been unclear if those regions would support financing proposals to fund about one-third of the project.

For now, the Vikings are still trying to make their partnership with Anoka County work, but with elections and a possible referendum on the horizon, just about anything is possible for the future home of the Vikings.

GAME IN LATE LIMBO

The Vikings announced that they will play their game against the Lions Sunday at the Metrodome unless the Twins-A's playoff series goes to Game 5, which would be played Sunday in the Metrodome. That best-of-five series starts at noon Central Tuesday, with a potentially deciding Game 4 not until Saturday. The time for Saturday's game has not been announced, which means it could be late Saturday night before the Vikings know if they will be playing in the Metrodome on Sunday or have that game delayed until Monday night.

Lester Bagley, vice president of public affairs and stadium development, said several options were being considered Monday afternoon, including potentially trying to play both games on Sunday if needed. That plan, however, was scrapped later in the day, so the Vikings will either play at noon Sunday (if the Twins-A's series doesn't go five games) or Monday night if the Twins need the Metrodome on Sunday for their final game of the series.

"We'd like to have it Sunday, whatever time it might be Sunday," head coach Brad Childress said before a decision was made.

NOTES

  • Although Childress declined to make any predictions, it is sounding like safety Darren Sharper and linebacker Ben Leber should both be available for the Lions game. Sharper suffered a quad contusion against Buffalo, but Childress said Sharper was "much improved" on Monday after leaving the Ralph Wilson Stadium on crutches Sunday. Leber was held out of the Bills game with a sprained knee.

  • Childress said linebacker Dontarrious Thomas "did fine" in the approximately 40 defensive snaps he had in place of Leber.

  • Childress admitted the Vikings could have done a better job of managing the final seconds of their loss to Buffalo, a loss that ended as time ran out following a pass in the middle of the field to Billy McMullen 16 yards away from the Bills end zone.

    "At 14 seconds, we could have taken a shot at the end zone," Childress said. "We could have done that. Whether or not you had 14 seconds to get that done, probably could have done a better job of calling a play there, whether it'd be a shot in the end zone, whether it'd be one that was closer to the sideline to help that guy get out of bounds. Whether or not he could have turned and made it out of bounds probably is up to conjecture, but I probably could have done a better job there."

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