We're Black and Blue All Over:
Minnesota state legislators who plan to introduce a stadium financing bill released a summary of the proposal late Thursday night, and it closely mirrors the report we examined Thursday morning. The bill will expect roughly equal contributions from the state, the local county that hosts the stadium and the Minnesota Vikings/NFL.
The Vikings have posted a PDF of the summary on their website. A few highlights:
A lease won't be signed and construction wouldn't start until after the NFL's "current labor conflict is resolved."
The state would contribute up to $300 million through taxes on stadium-related entities such as luxury suites, memorabilia, a lottery game and player incomes.
The unnamed county that hosts the site would be authorized to implement a 0.5 percent sales tax increase to fund its share.
The Vikings/NFL would fund the rest, specifically $1 for every $2 submitted by public sources.
As we noted Thursday, all legislation is open to debate and negotiation. At this point, no total cost has been released. This bill could be introduced next week, and at that point we'll see whether it will engage state leaders, who are currently in the process of closing a $5 billion state budget deficit.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley termed the bill a "workable framework to negotiating a deal to secure the team and resolve the [stadium] issue. We're encouraged, and we're appreciative of state leaders bringing the bill forward." Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune has more.
The Green Bay Packers likely are studying Ohio State defensive end/linebacker Cameron Heyward, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The Chicago Bears haven't done a good job of drafting elite talent in recent years, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears tailback Matt Forte will throw out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game on April 9, notes ESPNChicago.com.
The Detroit Lions will have defensive linemen on their mind during the draft, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.