Target Field

Recent Articles

How to be a community activist: just show up

While speaking at a local college, I was recently asked a question by a student that I felt I would answer publicly. I was asked what does one have to do to become a community activist and how do you maintain your integrity once you become a community activist. The student also reminded me that this column is 10 years old this year — boy how time flies. The next column will showcase the highlights and history of this column over the last 10 years. Now, onto the question. Continue Reading →

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M.A. Mortenson not up to the task for an NFL stadium

Construction manager track record in construction: junior varsity

 
In these columns a year ago, I called attention to the concerns making the Minnesota Vikings uncomfortable with the selection of M.A. Mortenson as construction manager for the now over $1 billion Vikings stadium, concerns shared also with the NFL. Nothing against Mortenson. It’s a really nice square peg, but they are trying to fit it into a round hole and it doesn’t fit. Mortenson, great at smaller venues (see below), is out of its league with the Vikings, lacking the expertise, experience, and success history with projects of this size and magnitude. Contrast this with those the Star Tribune reported as rejected (January 21, 2013): Hunt Construction, of Scottsdale, AZ, builder of nearly 50 professional sports venues, including NFL stadiums (two with retractable roofs), and Skanska, the international firm that has also built NFL stadiums. Mortenson has built none. Continue Reading →

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Again, the Twins are not getting it done

 

 

We have reached the All-Star Break in the Major League Baseball season, and usually the All-Star Game is about recognizing the great individual achievements of the many star players. Although there are many such individual achievements, I am going to focus on the teams.

Locally, the Twins continue to disappoint with a 39-53 record, 12 games back of Detroit in the American Central. The Twins are hoping to avoid losing 90 or more games for the third straight year. The Twins do have two All-Stars, catcher Joe Mauer hitting .320 and closer Glen Perkins with 21 saves, who have been outstanding. It’s been hit and miss for the most part over the last decade with the Twins, who have allowed so much talent to escape either by trades or bad decisions in free agency that it has to frustrate loyal, supportive fans. Continue Reading →

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Will the Vikings stadium be a repeat of Target Field?

 

 

Will the State/City and Vikings/NFL allow the “Blacks need not apply” motto of Twins Field be applied to the Vikings stadium? Recall my columns:

• “Stadiums go up while compliance system breaks down” (June 4, 2008). • “City failed to monitor hiring during Twins stadium construction” (May 12, 2010). • “MN attorney general was supposed to monitor Twins stadium hiring” (June 16, 2010). • “‘The Plan’ revealed: no more jobs for Black Minnesotans in 2011 and beyond” (March 9, 2011)

• “Black jobs promised on Vikings stadium construction. Continue Reading →

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When will MN’s ‘no Black workers need apply’ policy end?

 
Who will monitor and enforce Black participation on the so-called ‘People’s Stadium’ project?  

 

My concern is for the ending of the discrimination patterns and practices that prevent access for Black men and women to the opportunities of Minnesota (education, jobs, housing), with discrimination led by White and Black elites (City agencies, nonprofits, foundations, churches, corporations, the NAACP, Urban League). My Solution Paper #46, on my website (www.TheMinneapolis Story.com) lists my columns providing details, enough to launch a dozen lawsuits. Minnesota’s discrimination molehills have been easy to sweep under the rug. But the discrimination mountain looming on the horizon, the billion-dollar stadium, will take the “easy” away. Continue Reading →

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Gentlemen of the Round Table ready to work on People’s Stadium

 

 

Sometime in late March of 2013, an African American construction trade association, Gentlemen of the Round Table, will be looking forward to its meeting with the Sports Facilities Authority to present its members’ credentials qualifying them to work on the Viking’s People’s Stadium. What a difference a plan makes to enable meeting a dream and vision of minority inclusion. This group of 100 Black men in the construction trades, based in Kansas City, Missouri, was formed seven years ago. All are journeymen. Over half own their own businesses. Continue Reading →

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Decision announcement days: January 15 & 18, February 1, 2013

Sports Facility Authority and the Minnesota Vikings
 

Will the “Stadium Powers” (Minnesota Legislature, Minneapolis City Council, Vikings, NFL and the Minnesota Facilities Sports Authority that oversees the stadium construction project), all regarding the Vikings (“people’s” “no new taxes”) stadium, stand up for fairness in employment and equity or hide behind the skirts of a “best effort” calendar? January 15, 2013: The Sports Authority is to file its first annual report to the Minnesota State Legislature’s super-commission. Report only. No public hearing. No public comments. Continue Reading →

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Vikings stadium officials promise 32 percent diversity hiring!

But no one seems to have a copy of the equity plan 
 

 

At a small, special meeting I attended at the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Wednesday, October 10 that included MSFA Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen and Executive Director Ted Mondale, we discussed the so-far nonexistent equity plan for the Vikings stadium that would include African American contractors and workers. The Met Council people present said there was one, online. We noted that is just not true. During the meeting we were told that 32 percent of the hours in stadium construction in the eventual plan will go to minorities and women. Really? Continue Reading →

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