Minnesota Awarded Major League Soccer Franchise -- As Long as New Stadium Is Built

Szapucki via Flickr
The New York Red Bulls' stadium on its opening night
UPDATE: While Minnesota's potential MLS franchise hangs in the balance until a decision is reached regarding the new soccer stadium (before July of 2015), we took a look back at what other stadiums around the Twin Cities actually cost and what part of the check was picked up by the public.

Major League Soccer is coming to Minnesota. The jubilant atmosphere at yesterday's announcement at Target Field and statewide celebration of another major professional sports franchise slated to debut in 2018 proved soccer has come a long way in Minnesota.

Before the celebration was even over, however, MLS Commissioner Don Garber issued a not-so-subtle ultimatum: Get a stadium deal in place by July or we'll take our business elsewhere.

See also:
Bill McGuire Joins Zygi Wilf as Next Shady Businessman to Own MN Sports Team

More »

Bill McGuire Joins Zygi Wilf As Next Shady Businessman to Own MN Pro Sports Team

Categories: Crime, Sports

Screenshot of Voice Media Group video
He had to pay back nearly $500 million in shady stock options and is still banned from running a public company

Today Major League Soccer is expected to announce it's awarding a new franchise to an ownership group led by a man whose prior corporate misconduct was bad enough to get him banned from running a public company for 10 years.

Former UnitedHealth Group CEO Bill McGuire saved professional soccer in the state when he bought the Minnesota Stars in 2012 and has used his personal fortune for a number of worthy charitable causes, like creating a scholarship fund at the U of M, and donating land for Gold Medal Park downtown. But let's not forget he became the poster child for shady CEO payouts and outrageous golden parachutes after he resigned from UnitedHealth in disgrace in 2006.

See also:
Bill McGuire Buys Minnesota Stars

More »

MLS Officially Rules Out New Vikings-Owned Franchise

Minnesota Vikings
This rendering will never be realized
UPDATE:The MLS Commissioner gave Minnesota the go-ahead on a new MLS franchise, but only if the state secures plans to build yet another stadium by July of 2015.

Zygi's dream of bringing professional indoor soccer to his half-built, $1 billion palace is officially dead.

Yesterday the Vikings announced Major League Soccer told them "thanks but no thanks," turning all of the attention toward whether or not former United Health CEO Bill McGuire and his partners can build a soccer-specific outdoor stadium in the North Loop.

See also:
New Minneapolis Soccer Stadium Could Come With a Hefty Welfare Tab

More »

New Minneapolis Soccer Stadium Could Come with a Hefty Welfare Tab

Categories: Sports

Courtesy of D.C. United
The future D.C. United stadium, which will cost Washington D.C. taxpayers upwards of $140 million
UPDATE: MLS officially ruled out a Vikings-owned franchise on March 17, 2015. Weeks later, the commissioner announced that Minnesota could have an MLS franchise, but only if Minnesota could get a new soccer stadium deal in place by July.

As taxpayers choke down that $498 million welfare bill for the Vikings' new Bird Killer Stadium, the thought of funding a Major League Soccer stadium in downtown Minneapolis might go down like a wafer-thin mint.

And yet, an MLS team seems imminent, and with it, a large-scale stadium.

See also:
How The Commons Became "the Worst Development Deal" in Minneapolis History

More »

U of M Has Shiny New Renderings of Its $190 Million Athletics Village

University of Minnesota
This is going to change everything

The University of Minnesota is in the home stretch of fundraising for its $190 million plan upgrading its athletic facilities.

Nothing gets wealthy donors more excited than cool new renderings (except winning), so yesterday the Gophers athletic department released a new batch on the project's website: nothingshortofgreatness.com.

See also:
Sid Harman's Report About New $70 Million Football Practice Facility Is Wrong, U of M Says

More »

Dear Minnesota Vikings: Please Don't Make Me Root for a Child Beater This Fall

Categories: Sports

Would it not be prudent to employ running backs who don't enjoy whipping small people?
Dear Vikings:

We need to talk about our relationship.

Specifically: That child beater you wish to welcome back to our semi-happy home.

See also:
Adrian Peterson's Agent Tells Vikings AP Will Never Play For Vikings Again

More »

When a Pickup Hockey Game Becomes a Son's Gift to His Dad

Categories: Sports

Dean Jarvey
Amidst the day of sweat, sunshine, and spongy puck snapshots, something happened.

There aren't enough dollars to pay for the gift I received last week. I suspect it will yield its residual bounties in memories over time, and when I'm in hospice care hopefully some decades down the road, I have a funny feeling it will revisit me in all its textured, multicolored glory as I breathe last.

For now, though, it remains fresh.

I feel kind of fruity just writing it, but I don't know how else to describe it: This past weekend I witnessed my son feel hockey for the first time. I watched him exert himself to exhaustion, joy percolating up through him as only can happen when playing this young man's game through a child's new eyes.

See also:
The Assault on the State of Hockey: How Minnesota's Amateur Game is Turning Ugly

More »

Amanda Zahui B Is the Best Minnesota Sports Star You've Never Heard Of

Categories: Sports, U of M

Screenshot of Minnesota Gophers on YouTube
The 6-5 sophomore from Stockholm is breaking records and taking names

It's time Minnesota sports fans got to know Amanda Zahui B. The 6-5 sophomore center from Stockholm, Sweden has been an absolute monster for Gophers women's basketball as it makes an unlikely push toward its first NCAA tournament berth in five years.

On February 17 she put up an eye-popping line of 39 points, 29 rebounds and four blocks, carrying the U of M to a victory over 13th-ranked Iowa. Four days later, it was 27 points, 27 rebounds and five blocks in a double overtime win over Michigan. After a down game at Nebraska (12 points, six rebounds), she returned to form yesterday, registering another 22 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocks in a Gophers loss at Iowa.

See also:
Powerhouse: How Lindsay Whalen Resurrected the Lady Gophers

More »

The State High School Dance Competition Had Some Serious Drama

Categories: Sports

MN Prep Photo
Who would've expected such cattiness at a high school dance competition?
When Faribault won the state high school high kick dance championship on Saturday the five other teams it competed against refused to line up for the awards ceremony.

Instead, they all held hands at the opposite end of the Target Center floor, silently protesting Faribault's routine, which anonymous tipsters say was plagiarized from a dance team in Utah.

As Deadspin noted, this is almost the exact plot of the American cinematic masterpiece Bring It On.

See also:
Wisconsin Dance Coach Fired For Performance of "Blurred Lines"

More »

Ex-Viking, Current Packer Letroy Guion Arrested with Gun, Big Pile of Weed and $190,000 Cash

Starke Police Department
That's a lot of drugs and money
Former Viking Letroy Guion thought maybe the old "don't you know who I am" trick could get him out of a routine traffic stop in Starke, Fla. Tuesday night.

According to a report released by the Starke Police Department, the former Florida State football star tried the line while leaning out of his brand new Dodge Ram pickup truck with a "strong odor of marijuana" emanating from within.

The line didn't play, and it went south from there for Guion.

See also:
Meet the Minnesota Vikings All-Arrested Team

More »