Sports Authority

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Mayor-elect looks ahead to new job: ‘I’m very, very excited’

First order of business: addressing the racial achievement gap

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Betsy Hodges remarked last week that she doesn’t recall ever before meeting in the small den-like room on the third floor of City Hall. However, the room and the area it’s located in will become hers in a couple of weeks. The soon-to-be-former city council member will be sworn in on January 2, 2014 as the city’s second-ever female mayor. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to talk to you and the community through your newspaper,” said Hodges during a December 10 interview with the MSR. “I campaigned consistently on two main things. One of them is building this city, and the second is closing the gaps that divide us racially and economically.”

Hodges said her “two main pieces of business” include the seemingly widening achievement gap between Blacks and other students in the city’s public schools. Continue Reading →

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The Wilfs prevail

Vikings owners make clean sweep
The Vikings and Sports Authority signed their new stadium agreement on October 3rd, resulting in Vikings ownership prevailing on their stated goals regarding the lease agreement, licensing, naming rights, concession ownership, and development package. The day before the Vikings-Sports Authority deal was signed, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder ran my column (written eight days earlier), repeating 18 months of warning: “the Vikings will have to be given everything they want in order to stay.”

At signing the next day, Governor Dayton admitted “yes: failure to satisfy Vikings ownership demands would guarantee losing the team… The economics of professional sports are highly questionable all over this country… We wouldn’t have an agreement here and we wouldn’t have a team staying here if we hadn’t been willing to accede to demand[s] on the team’s part from the very beginning of the process.”

Experts estimate Vikings can generate at least $100 million more a year. Will they put it in their pockets or use it to sign/hold better players? Minnesota ticket holders and taxpayers alike: is it all worth 10 games a year that most can’t attend but can watch only from TV? Yes, there will be temporary jobs during construction (but many to workers from outside Minnesota). Continue Reading →

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White professionals already cashing in on ‘People’s Stadium’ — But promises that construction will benefit communities of color remain unkept as deadlines approach




By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer


While there is much talk about possible delays in the construction of the “People’s Stadium,” it appears that the Vikings and MSFA are still confident it will be built. And according to a recent Associated Press (AP) article entitled, “Many already cashing in on Vikings stadium,” lots of white collar professionals have already profited from the proposed stadium. Incidentally, it appears at this point that the only people who may be left out of the benefits are people of color. Despite lots of compelling testimony last Friday at the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) meeting by several prominent African Americans and Somali leaders, it was all but ignored. Practically all of the media outlets in the Twin Cities were in attendance, but none reported [as of yet] or followed up with the testimony of the Black folks who were complaining that it appears that Blacks may yet again be left out of a major development project. MSFA Board Chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen, who seemed a bit annoyed by the testimony, did respond. Continue Reading →

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White unions get $1 million to train workers of color to build stadiums? — It’s time for the B.S. to end



Which legacy for the Vikings Stadium? Only qualified White workers or qualified workers regardless of color? Employment apartheid or inclusiveness? Employment inclusiveness and fairness, or employment apartheid and unfairness? The 100 qualified Gentlemen of the Roundtable of Kansas City, Missouri, journeymen construction workers introduced in a previous column, have since talked with the Vikings. Continue Reading →

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