New Stadium Plan Coming

The Vikings no longer have Anoka County to act as a partner in getting a new stadium deal and, barring a financial backslide that would reunite the two, the Vikings are expected to ask the State Legislature for a proposal that will have a very difficult time of passing.

The Vikings may have a hard sell when it comes to getting state funding for a stadium proposal during this Legislative session. After seeing a deal with Anoka County fall through in which the county would have pledged $275 million in funding for the project, the Vikings are currently without a financial dance partner and the new price tag of a stadium with a retractable roof has climbed to $900 million.

The Vikings plan would call for a seven-county sales tax that would include all of the counties surrounding the Twin Cities. Ironically, it would also include Anoka County, which, at this point, are no strong supporters of anything Vikings-related – much less a stadium that wouldn't be in their county, but the residents might still be asked to participate in the funding.

In addition, there likely wouldn't be a ton of support from Hennepin County. When the Legislature failed to get a Twins stadium deal done in previous sessions, county officials went off on their own and agreed to a .015 percent sales tax (three cents on every $20 spent). The likelihood of legislators from that county being willing to pay up for another stadium – despite being within its borders – is also going to be a difficult sell.

The Vikings stadium plan was expected to be unveiled Feb. 15, but without a financial plan in place or a partner ready to step up, that might be delayed by at least a few weeks, if not longer.

* Nebraska assistant coach Kevin Cosgrove said that there is no truth to rumors that he is in line to become the Vikings defensive coordinator. Cosgrove, who holds the same position with the Cornhuskers, said he hasn't been in contract talks with the Vikings and intends to stay put.
* Former Viking and current Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and current Viking Erasmus James will participate in an African American Read-In event this Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. The event is part of the 18th annual AARI program that kicks off nationally today. It is part of Black History Month and this year's local will be held at Nelly Stone Johnson School, 807 27th Ave. N. in Minneapolis.
* A federal judge ruled that the family of Korey Stringer could proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit against the Ridell Company, which makes football equipment for NFL players. The Stringers had attempted to sue the Vikings and the NFL for wrongful death, but were unable to prove intentional negligence.
* Rumors out of the Bay Area say that the Packers have inquired about the potential for a trade with the Raiders for Randy Moss.
* The Hall of Fame inductees were announced Saturday. The list is headed up by running back Thurman Thomas and wide receiver Michael Irvin and also includes offensive linemen Bruce Matthews and Gene Hickerson, tight end Charlie Sanders and defensive back Roger Wehrli.
* The Saints and Steelers were selected to play in the annual Hall of Fame Game Aug. 5. The game, which had been a staple on ABC, will be broadcast on the NFL Network.

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