Venue News & Notes: Vikings’ Wish for New Stadium Is No Secret

Lester Bagley is gearing up for the big push, which is really nothing new: he and the Minnesota Vikings have been pushing for the better part of a decade. “We’ve been talking about this for eight to 10 years: it’s not like we’re sneaking up on anybody,” said the Vikings’ VP of Public Affairs and Stadium Development. “It’s fundamentally the conversation we’ve had for a number of years.” But this time, Bagley and the Vikings are optimistic that their push for a new stadium has enough traction that it might finally win approval in the waning weeks of the 2010 Minnesota legislative session…

…As the Tampa Bay Rays remain conspicuously silent on a new stadium site, signs are growing that no location in St. Petersburg will satisfy the team — not downtown, not mid-county. City Council member Leslie Curran put the question to a test at a recent public meeting. Spotting Rays VP Michael Kalt in the audience, Curran invited him to the podium and asked him point-blank: “Do you want to stay in St. Petersburg?” “I don’t think that’s a question we are prepared to answer at the moment,” Kalt said. “We want stay in the Tampa Bay area. We haven’t ruled out any locations”…

…A group pushing for a new A’s baseball stadium along the Oakland waterfront unveiled this week a set of proposed locations near Jack London Square. The organization, Let’s Go Oakland, said that building the stadium could be a boon to the local economy. “Once the ballpark is built, over $2.6 billion of economic activity will occur in and around the baseball stadium,” said Let’s Go Oakland co-founder Doug Boxer. The group commissioned a study to show the benefits a new ballpark would bring to Oakland. That study, presented at a news conference in Oakland Wednesday, found that the project would create more than 1,600 construction jobs and the saving of almost 900 current jobs at the Coliseum…

…Reverently bathed in spotlights, its concrete walkways and stair steps kept tidy, its prim interior virtually untouched, Philadelphia’s Spectrum looks as if it could reopen tomorrow, even though it played host to its last event six months ago and its future is doomed. Soon, the 43-year-old brick, concrete, and glass arena near the corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue will be razed, joining Veterans Stadium, which stood across the street, and John F. Kennedy Stadium, once across the parking lot. An entertainment complex will be built on the ground where the Spectrum hunches. Millions who went to “America’s Showplace” to watch hockey and basketball games, the Ice Capades, tennis matches, roller derby, rock concerts, and the circus will have only memories…

…Back in January, fans of mixed martial arts, aka MMA, cheered when New York Gov. David Paterson included a provision in his budget proposal to legalize the sport, which has been banned in the state since the late ’90s. And in March, some 17,000 people showed up to watch an Ultimate Fighting Championship title bout in Newark. New Yorkers purchased more than 30% of the tickets, while New Jersey residents purchased just 22%, according to the UFC, the sport’s leading promoter. And roughly 2,000 more New Yorkers attended a simulcast viewing party at Radio City Music Hall. Unfortunately for MMA fans, the sport is still embroiled in the state’s budget wrangling. A provision to legalize MMA is currently in the state senate’s version of the budget bill but not the state assembly’s, and it remains unclear how the process will unfold.