Colts: Getting a stadium 101

September 22, 2008
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vikingBefore the Indianapolis Colts beat the Minnesota Vikings on the field Sept. 14, they were schooling them off the field.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and his top lieutenants spent two days the week before the game with the Colts’ top brass talking strategy about obtaining legislative approval and financing for a new stadium. They also toured Lucas Oil Stadium. Vikings officials said they came away with a plan to finance their own new stadium involving hotel, car rental, a multi-county restaurant tax and a sports event admission tax. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the formula local city and state officials used to fund LOS.

With their lease expiring in 2011, the Vikings hope to move into a new stadium for the 2012 season. Colts owner Jim Irsay said he would support awarding Minnesota its second Super Bowl if the new stadium gets built. The timing is right to for the Vikings to pursue a new stadium deal, and without it they won’t stay financially viable, Irsay said.

“Any negotiation is about leverage and I think this is a good situation because the Wilfs and the Vikings have tremendous leverage with the lease expiring,” Irsay told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. “At the end of the day, it needs to get done here.”

Without a new stadium, Irsay fears the Vikings will be forced to move. “The thing we have here in Minnesota, we have a great tradition, and I’m a traditionalist,” he told the Star Tribune. “I wish we never had to leave Baltimore. I grew up there as a kid and it’s a tough thing when a team leaves.”
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  • If Irsay said this, than he is a jacka**. This guy gets a new stadium, paid by the tax payers and then slaps us in the face by saying I wish the team was still in Baltimore. Somebody needs to drive up to Carmel and smack the taste out of his elitist mouth. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.....This former drug addict is a pompus jerk. next time he wants a free lunch, the public should remember this statement.
  • Irsay did not say I wish the team was STILL in Baltimore he said I wish we never HAD to leave Baltimore Those are two very different statements.
  • Still, not a very smart statement. Who are you IndyCarl, his accountant?
  • Amazing how someone has a differing opinion or view and Todd attacks him. I have no problem with what Irsay said. It tore the heart out of that City and as we have seen, they are still not over it. The same would happen in Minnesota, here in Indy or most any City. Franchise stability is best for the league and the fans. But sometimes it does not happen that way. Bmore refused to support the team so Bob moved them.
  • You guys keep drinking the grape kool-aid. Someday you might wake up and realize the Irsays of the world do not give a crap about their cities. It is just a business that makes them very rich. I think even if Irsay feels the way he stated, he should never have put himself in a position for his statements to be printed. After all the tax money put forth to keep the Colts. If you cannot see this point, I do not know what to tell you. The fact is I struck a nerve, because you know it is true.
  • So you're trashing Irsay saying he doesn't really care about his city, and your advice is for him to lie and keep his true feelings out of the press. I think Irsay cares about Indianapolis, but not more than his bottom line. I love Indianapolis, but if I had to chose between Indianapolis and a better business opportunity elsewhere, I would choose the opportunity. I don't think that's a bad thing, it's just how it is.

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