NCAA

Minn. gov.: No plan to redo Vikings stadium plan

Minn. gov.: No plan to redo Vikings stadium plan

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday downplayed the sluggish start of a statewide gambling initiative being counted on to help fund the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, saying doesn't plan to redo the financing package during the upcoming legislative session.

Dayton told reporters the early revenue projections are worth watching but shouldn't cause alarm about the merits of the electronic terminals that are only starting to appear in bars and restaurants. Relatively few establishments now offer the iPad-style machines that patrons to play low-stakes games, but the availability has as much to do with vendors working to clear regulatory hurdles.

The bill to finance a $975 million stadium that will be built in downtown Minneapolis won approval last spring. The legislation authorized electronic pull-tab and linked bingo games, making Minnesota the first state to permit that form of gambling statewide.

The novelty of the games and the challenges of constructing a new gambling system from the ground up take time, Dayton said in arguing against revisiting the financing plan next year.

``I certainly wouldn't favor it unless it becomes absolutely necessary and I don't think it is at this point,'' Dayton said.

Republican state Sen. Julie Rosen, who sponsored the stadium plan, also warned against jumping to early conclusions. She said she favors a public relations campaign to market the games to the public before dwelling on whether an alternative money source is needed.

``It's too early to do anything to correct it,'' Rosen said. ``Let the entire program work like it should.''

Since September, one company has been cleared to provide terminals but others are in the pipeline. Others potential vendors have background checks pending or are hanging back to see how robust the Minnesota market is.

That's meant the proceeds flowing to a special account don't come close to the benchmarks established when the bill was approved. The projected tax revenue had been $34 million, but this week state finance officials trimmed it to $16 million. Expected revenue for future years has also been scaled back a bit.

The state is depending on the expanded gambling to pay off debt from its $348 million share. The city of Minneapolis and Vikings owners are coming up with the rest. Aside from the stadium, a portion of the new gambling money goes to the charitable organizations that sponsor the games in bars and restaurants.

The governor plans to meet next week with his revenue commissioner and the top gambling regulator to determine future steps.

The Vikings hope to break ground next year after environmental reviews are complete. If all goes as planned, the stadium would be ready for the 2016 season.

Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

With Wrestlemania 36 underway this weekend, Maryland football coach Mike Locksley sat down on Instagram Live with former Terps defensive lineman and current WWE superstar Mojo Rawley to talk about his new career path. 

Rawley's real name is Dean Muhtadi, and he played for the Terps in for two years as a Division III transfer. He finished third on team in sacks that season and despite going undrafted in 2009, found his way to an NFL camp with the Packers. 

Muhtadi spent 2009 with Green Bay and 2010 with the Cardinals before suffering an injury that landed him on injured reserve. It was then where Muhtadi found a new career path thanks to two of his best friends. 

"Dan Gronkowski and Chris Gronkowski played with me at Maryland, two of my closest friends," Rawley said on "Late Night With Locks". "Their dad was one of our coach's roommates in the WWE, so it seemed like a natural fit. We were watching together, and I kinda made a comment like, 'this would be awesome if I could be one of [the wrestlers]. Mr. Gronk made the call and the rest was history."

Rawley has been a WWE superstar and currently stands as Rob Gronkowski's hype man. The former Patriots tight end is WWE's most recent signee and is Wrestlemania 36's host.

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The Rock's cheat day, what the Watt brothers are up to, Marcus Stroman get his reps in

The Rock's cheat day, what the Watt brothers are up to, Marcus Stroman get his reps in

First up in Saturday's round-up of the best sports moments on the internet, everyone is trying to stick to as normal of a routine as they can while at home. Quarantine wasn’t going to keep Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” away from his “cheat day”. Have you ever seen french toast this big in your life? 


Next up, the Watt brothers have been staying in shape working out together and they even have a football field coming soon. Check out JJ Watt painting the lines. He says he has a new respect for groundskeepers now. The stage is set for the Watt brothers!


Finally, no bullpen, no problem! Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman sets up a makeshift bullpen on his boat dock and it even has a mound. Now that is a beautiful place to get your reps in! 

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