Don’t you just feel like you’re a part of this? In Forbes today, the annual list of professional sports team market value has our soon-to-be-Super Bowl-champion Minnesota Vikings cracking the … $1 billion mark. “The Vikings are getting a new $975 million stadium that will be financed with $477 million from the team and NFL, $348 million from the state and $150 million from the city of Minneapolis.”
Points for candor, I guess. Duluth’s Northland News Center reports, “During a previous Tea Party rally, [GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff] Johnson told an audience member that, ‘My plan would be to go all Scott Walker on Minnesota.’ ‘The question was will you do all the things that Scott Walker did in respect to public employee unions,’ Johnson said. ‘My answer was I won’t be able to do all of that because we are going to have a divided government, we are still guaranteed to have a DFL Senate.’ Johnson added, ‘If we had a Republican Senate and Republican House, then we can go all Scott Walker.’ ” No doubt someone will ask him to explain how … “It’s working” over in Cheeseheadistan.
He’s a guy full of ideas … The AP reports, “The suburban city of Farmington is offering itself up as a temporary fill-in for the state Capitol. State Rep. Pat Garofalo says his city would be perfect to host a special legislative session to address spring flooding damage. Garofalo says the city’s high school has the space, technology and volunteers necessary to host 201 legislators.”
Since we are beginning campaign season, I’m certain there’s a way to describe this as bad news. But the Strib’s Adam Belz writes, “Minnesota employers added 8,500 jobs in June, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. It was the second straight month of solid job growth after a slower-than-usual spring.”
Woo hoo! In the PiPress, Bob Shaw writes, “The Minnesota State Fair has a new main entrance. The new transit hub, unveiled Thursday by Fair officials, will handle about one-third of the annual 1.8 million visitors — more than any other single entrance. The $15 million project also includes the West End Marketplace, with a museum, amphitheater, two restaurants — one with the Fair’s first rooftop patio … .” You can almost hear the grease sizzling and popping from here.
Keller is back … Also in the PiPress, Dave Orrick writes, “To its most loyal fans, Keller Golf Course in Maplewood is hallowed ground, an 85-year-old gem where the world’s greatest golfers once strode and where regular folks can play, too. It’s been off-limits for nearly two years, while contractors ripped up and rebuilt the course, pro shop, clubhouse and parking lots. That’s now over. Keller will reopen to the public Saturday amid several days of media events, tours and ribbon-cuttings.”
“I’ve Been Defamed!” watch … day … oh heck, I’ve lost track. Says Randy Furst for the Strib, “An editor of ‘American Sniper’ worried that the book’s description of Chris Kyle punching a man later identified as Jesse Ventura could provoke a lawsuit, according to notes shown to the jury Thursday at Ventura’s defamation trial in U.S. District Court in St. Paul. … Court Anderson, one of Ventura’s attorneys, asked DeFelice why he did not contact Ventura about the section when he was researching the book. ‘It was not Jesse’s book,’ DeFelice responded. Anderson noted that DeFelice had worked as a news reporter before he began writing books. ‘This was not a news story,’ DeFelice said.” So what … nothing you write has to be true?
The (very) long-time president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has died. The Strib story, by Neal St. Anthony, says, “David Olson, who led the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce for 23 years, died late Wednesday after the sudden return of cancer that had appeared to be in remission. Olson, 57 years old, had been president of the Minnesota Chamber since August 1991.”
The Twitter post of an All Star Home Run Derby fan’s bruised hand? A hoax. Paul Tosto at MPR says, “A fan up in the Target Field nosebleed seats gets an unlikely chance to catch a baseball during the All-Star Game Home Run Derby after Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton hits a moonshot into the stands. But the ball hits off the kid’s hand, leaving him with nothing more than a massive bruise. Then some national sports media pick up the story and before you know it, Stanton is tweeting an apology and offering to send the kid some sweet souvenirs. Stanton’s home run did not cause the discoloration on Jordan Jacobson’s hand.”