Wizards

Lagging Vikings stadium funds concern lawmakers

Lagging Vikings stadium funds concern lawmakers

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) A leading Democratic state lawmaker said Wednesday he is growing more concerned about the reliability of tax revenue from electronic gambling machines that is supposed to help pay for construction of a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

``I'm more concerned than I was before the hearing,'' said Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, after the House Commerce Committee - which he chairs - met to review the recent rollout of the electronic pull-tab games in bars and restaurants.

Tax revenue from those games is supposed to fund the state's $348 million share of the $975 million Vikings stadium slated for downtown Minneapolis. But the tax revenue from the games, which started to become available in September, fell short of projections by $18 million through the end of 2012: while $35.2 million was projected to come in, the games returned only $17.2 million in tax revenue.

Backers of the new games said they need time to get more popular and expand to other bars.

``We would ask for your patience,'' said Allen Lund, executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota. Legal gambling in bars is operated by Minnesota charitable organizations, from youth sports clubs to veterans groups. ``When all the distributors who want these products have it to sell, those numbers will go up exponentially. If we could get some patience, we would appreciate it.''

Atkins, who voted for the Vikings stadium plan when the Legislature approved it last spring, pointed out that lawmakers have only a few months if it becomes necessary to retool the bill. He said it was still too early to make that call, pointing out that the stadium bill did include backup revenue sources in the form of a sports-themed lottery and a stadium suite tax.

But Atkins also said he believes that even recently downgraded revenue projections on the games are still too optimistic.

State gambling regulators had initially projected that the games would be available at 2,500 sites around the state by October of last year. But today, they are only available at 120 sites; the 2,500 goal has been pushed back to this coming July.

``I think at this point that 2,500 by July seems very aggressive,'' Atkins said.

Tom Barrett, executive director of the state's Gambling Control Board, said charitable organizations have been slow to sign on to the electronic games because they are faithful to longtime distributors of paper games. He predicted that interest would accelerate once his agency approves more distributors to distribute electronic games, beyond the two that have been approved.

So far, the availability of the electronic games has not lessened the popularity of traditional paper pull-tabs, which some had predicted. Barrett said sales of paper games rose in the last fiscal year and are on track to rise another 8 percent in the current one.

Barrett also pointed out that little has been spent so far on marketing the new games and he predicted a boost in gambling activity when the first distributors are approved to offer an electronic bingo game that charities believe will be popular.

The groundbreaking for the new stadium is supposed is tentatively set for October 2013, with a hoped-for opening by 2016.

Atkins instructed Barrett to apprise lawmakers on a regular basis of revenue collections on the games. He pointed out that the current session will end in May.

``Our window of opportunity, if changes become necessary, closes in four months,'' Atkins said.

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How to watch Pistons at Wizards ‘Predict the Game’ broadcast

How to watch Pistons at Wizards ‘Predict the Game’ broadcast

The Washington Wizards return to Capital One Arena to host the Detroit Pistons on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at 2 p.m. 

The Wizards are hoping to not only bounce back after suffering from a tough 140-111 loss in Toronto Friday night but also to snap their losing streak at home. Monday’s game will be the Wizards last home, before hitting the road until they return home on January 30th. 

The Wizards currently lead the series 2-1, the Wizards won both matchups against the Pistons on Nov.4 and Dec. 16. However, most recently the Wizards fell short 132-102 on Dec 26th. Will the Wizards be able to win the season series on Monday?

Take your Wizards experience to the next level and get involved in the action with NBC Sports Washington's newest Predict the Game contest.

'PREDICT THE GAME' HOW TO WATCH

What is this broadcast? Predict the Game is an easy-to-enter, free contest that allows fans to predict various game and player performance outcomes through a series of approximately 12-15 questions per quarter that will appear on-screen during the alternate telecast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Predict the Game leaderboards will be displayed at select times, and the winner of each contest will be revealed throughout the game and during NBC Sports Washington’s postgame coverage.

Where can I find it? Contest questions and leaderboards will be displayed on NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder).

Additionally, the broadcast can be streamed on desktopiOS and Android devices. 

The NBC Sports Washington Plus presentation will, for the first time, feature special hosts, who will appear at various times to address Predict the Game participants and provide contest updates, information and results. The enhanced experience will contain the majority of the same video and audio (including announcers) as the primary live-game coverage, which will be available simultaneously on NBC Sports Washington.

How do I win? Fans will earn points for both answering questions (1 point) and correct predictions (1 or 2 points, depending on the question), with the top eligible scorer at the end of each game earning or splitting the $500 prize.

Each quarter will be its own contest, with an entirely new leaderboard starting from scratch, so even if fans miss out on the start of the game there will still be plenty of time to play and win. 

Fans must enter Predict the Game, which is open to join throughout the entire game, and submit their predictions at www.nbcsportswashington.com/predict.

WIZARDS vs. PISTONS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 2:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Pistons will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Pistons on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. PISTONS TV SCHEDULE

1:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

1:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

2:00 PM: Wizards vs. Pistons (LIVE)

4:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)

5:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

5:30 PM: Wizards Talk (LIVE)

WIZARDS 2019-20 'PREDICT THE GAME' SCHEDULE

January 6: vs Boston (7 p.m.)

January 20: vs Detroit (2 p.m.)

January 26: at Atlanta (6 p.m.)

February 3: vs Golden State (7 p.m.)

February 11: vs Chicago (7 p.m.)

February 21: vs Cleveland (7 p.m.)

February 26: vs Brooklyn (7 p.m.)

March 3: at Sacramento (10 p.m.)

March 10: vs New York (7 p.m.)

March 18: at Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)

March 15: vs Phoenix (7 p.m.)

April 1: vs New Orleans (7 p.m.)

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Former Raven Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl-bound

Former Raven Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl-bound

Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans 35-24 Sunday to advance to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. 

Suggs, who spent 16 seasons with the Ravens, will look to cement his Hall of Fame candidacy with a victory in his second Super Bowl appearance (Won SB XLVII) this time as a member of the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Suggs departed from Baltimore before the 2019 season, signing a one-year deal with his hometown Arizona Cardinals before being waived mid-season. 

The Ravens were rumored to be interested in a reunion with their all-time leader in sacks but did not put in a claim, being last in waiver priority, and Suggs was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs.



While the Ravens' 2019 season ended prematurely at the hands of the Titans, fans in Baltimore can take solace knowing that Suggs and the Chiefs helped bring the Titans' magical season to an end.

Suggs' accolades (2011 AP Def. Player of the Year, 2003 AP Def. Rookie of the Year, 7x Pro-Bowl, 1x All-Pro) will stand the test of time, but adding a second Super Bowl ring to his resume would make his Hall of Fame candidacy that much greater. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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