Need to know:
The Minnesota Vikings are a step closer to … staying put.
State lawmakers advanced a bill on Monday that would build a $975-million stadium to replace the aging Metrodome. The 73-58 vote doesn’t put shovels in the ground, but it does develop an issue hanging over the Vikings for a decade.
There is still more voting to come, and the Vikings have to pay an extra $105 million. Under the new plan, the NFL team would have to pay $427 million for the project. The state and City of Minneapolis would contribute the remainder through gambling revenue and tourism taxes.
The Vikes are obligated to play one more season at the 'Dome, but that’s it. The debate took eight hours, and fans outside the chambers shouting, “Build it!” often interrupted the proceedings. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Vikings players helped whip them into a frenzy.
Want to know:
Cole Hamels is taking his lumps.
Major League Baseball suspended the Philadelphia pitcher five games on Monday after he admitted to intentionally hitting Washington’s Bryce Harper with the ball on Sunday. In baseball, you gain nothing from honesty, it seems. Well, that, and you can’t go around plunking a person with a 93 mph fastball.
“It’s something I grew up watching,” Hamels said after the game, The New York Times reported. “I’m just trying to continue the old baseball.”
Old baseball? Check him for spitballs.
It was that same Sunday night game that Washington Nationals’ outfielder Jayson Werth broke his wrist diving for a catch. According to MLB.com, doctors needed a steel plate to stabilize the wrist Monday, meaning Werth is out for 12 weeks.
Dull but important:
Hockey pundits joke about the Phoenix Coyotes winning an NHL championship this year and planning a Stanley Cup parade route that runs straight north to Quebec City, Canada.
That’s because the team is for sale, and the NHL is stubbornly trying to keep it in Arizona despite numerous failed deals. It makes ironic sense, then, that Phoenix wins it all this year, those pundits say. The Coyotes beat Nashville 2-1 on Monday night and advanced to the league semifinal against the Los Angeles Kings.
Just before the game, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman updated media on a (another?) possible buyer, this one led by Greg Jamison and some anonymous moneymen.
Now they need the City of Glendale, site of Jobbing.com arena, to agree. City councilors have a meeting to discuss the issue tonight. What’s the asking price? About $170 million – before they win a Cup.
“You may choose to be cynical on the point, so you’ll just have to wait and see like everybody else how successful we are,” Bettman told reporters.
The city of Quebec City, building its own new rink, can't wait.
Babies can now attend most London Olympic events provided a sling or carrier attaches them to mom or dad. For many parents, that’s probably not an issue, but Games organizers had to backtrack quickly after saying everyone needs a ticket to get into the events. Everyone.
The rule outraged one woman who bought tickets to equestrian events months ago and then gave birth, hence the “babes in arms” compromise.
“Anyone who purchased a ticket ... and did become pregnant, had a baby and wants to take the baby to the Games will be able to do so,” LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton told Reuters.
Event organizers everywhere should take note: don’t tick off mommies, they mobilize and support each other with the efficiency and speed of a Marine amphibious first-strike team.
The mother who posted her complaint about needing a 95-pound ($150) ticket for her three-month-old received 302 sympathetic, outraged responses on a Mumsnet.com forum.
Strange but true:
Police said Monday a woman who walked onto the court during Sunday night’s Denver-Los Angeles basketball game asking, “Where’s Kenyon?” wasn’t a stalker, Yahoo! Sports reported.
No, but she was suffering from heightened anxiety, her father said. No kidding, Kenyon Martin now plays for the LA Clippers.
Someone was stalking Nuggets’ forward Kenyon Martin in Denver last year, police said, and they believed it was Savannah McMillan-Christmas when they arrested her for trespassing. Her father, Chris Christmas, was watching the game on TV and said he knew immediately it was his 20-year-old daughter. She had gone to the game with her mother.
“She is a young person going through life’s transitions and challenges that have psychological implications,” Christmas said.
I’m sure that makes Kenyon feel very safe.
Around the world:
Someone snapped candid shots of Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane partying in Wisconsin. It’s the second time someone has photographed the 23-year-old hockey player with young women. You can see the first, famous photo embossed on Kane’s T-shirt in Wisconsin. Vanity, thy name is Kane. … Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul’s son, 2-year-old Chris Paul Jr., is more famous for the “Blake face” (below) than most of the actual Clippers. … Hockey irony part 1: the New York Rangers scored with 6.6 seconds remaining in the game, then 1:35 into overtime to beat the Washington Capitals on Monday. Both came after Joel Ward took a high-sticking penalty. Oops. … Hockey irony part 2: the NHL suspended Philadelphia forward Claude Giroux for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils for elbowing Dainius Zubrus, who later scored.