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singersp
10-03-2006, 07:24 AM
Posted on Tue, Oct. 03, 2006

Canterbury Park hopes to lure Vikings (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/football/15664129.htm)

Racetrack president-CEO proposes Shakopee stadium

BY SEAN JENSEN
Pioneer Press

Canterbury Park, home to a racetrack and card club, wants the Minnesota Vikings to consider building a stadium on its land in Shakopee.

Randy Sampson, president and CEO of Canterbury Park, told the Pioneer Press on Monday that the park has the space and resources to develop a unique entertainment complex with the Vikings.

"I think it's an exciting development prospect that could potentially work," said Sampson. "I think there's enough synergy with what the stadium and racetrack would bring."

Although the National Football League has strict rules about its relationships with gambling interests, a spokesman for the Vikings and NFL said there are not any initial concerns about Canterbury Park becoming a home for a football stadium.

"We know the Sampson family, and we're very impressed with that family and that business, and we think it could be a viable partner," said Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development. "But does that mean we're going to drop everything and run down there? No. We've got a lot invested with Anoka County.

"We're doing our best to move the project forward in Anoka County, and that's our focus right now."

Added NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, "There's nothing to preclude any discussions from taking place."

The New York Giants and New York Jets share Giants Stadium, which is part of an expansive entertainment complex at The Meadowlands, also home to a racetrack, a theater and a basketball arena that houses the NBA's New Jersey Nets.

Sampson said he and other executives have for years discussed making Canterbury Park an even larger entertainment option within the state and the region.

"I saw the development that was envisioned for Anoka County, and that's an exciting prospect to look at something like that, with retail, residential and offices, and development surrounding the stadium," Sampson said. "The Wilfs are experts in that field, and we would welcome an opportunity to work with them. For years, we talked about how a football stadium could work here."

Although the card club is open year-round, the racetrack season ends on Labor Day, which provides a smooth transition to the NFL season.

As for land, Sampson said they own 380 acres, 150 of which is available for development. Sampson estimated another 200 acres neighboring the land they own could be purchased.

Sampson envisions building the Vikings' new headquarters at Canterbury and hosting training camp there.

For now, Canterbury's parking lot has about 10,000 spaces. But Sampson said they have accommodated several concerts with more than 30,000 people. Still, he acknowledged that 60,000 people for a football game would be a significant challenge that would require upgrades to the infrastructure. Another challenge: U.S. Highway 169 is the only major highway that leads to Canterbury.

"I haven't done any studies to figure out how much that would cost," Sampson said of the transportation expenses.

In terms of funding the project, Sampson said Scott County could not implement a sales tax like Anoka County. But he said Racino, which includes slot machines and video poker, could provide the state's contribution. In previous years, however, gambling legislation has been defeated by conservative Republicans morally opposed to gambling and liberal Democrats who wanted to keep gaming as an economic development asset for Minnesota's Indian tribes.

"The intent was not to make a huge profit for Canterbury," Sampson said of Racino. "It would be to improve horse racing and improve our property. The majority of the profit would go to the state, and the lottery would get a portion."

Meanwhile, Sampson said he would prefer a retractable roof, although he said that wouldn't be a "requirement."

"It would be up to some kind of stadium commission," Sampson said. "It wouldn't be Canterbury's decision. But my personal opinion would be the same as the Anoka County folks. Having a retractable roof makes the facility more useable on a year-round basis. It's more versatile."

Bagley said owner Zygi Wilf was not "aware" of Sampson's interest. But Bagley added, "It doesn't mean that he wouldn't take a harder look at some point."

Sean Jensen can be reached at sjensen@pioneerpress.com.

singersp
10-03-2006, 07:25 AM
Shock would probably love that. It's only a few miles from his home.

NodakPaul
10-03-2006, 09:04 AM
I was wondering when the southern suburbs would throw something into the fight.
Frankly I am surprised it took this long for Canterbury to make their intent known.

Their biggest issue would be improving 169.
I think it would need to be expanded from just north of 494 all the way down to the Downs.
I would rather see it in Anoka County because it shortens my drive by an hour, but at this point I just want to see it built!

AngloVike
10-03-2006, 09:09 AM
Not being too familiar with the area - where is it in relation to downtown Minneapolis, MOA, airport etc - just to get my bearings on the place

NodakPaul
10-03-2006, 09:15 AM
It is south west of the Metro Area, about 25 miles from the airport.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&saddr=7150+Humphrey+Drive,+minneapolis&daddr=1100+Canterbury+Rd+S,+Shakopee,+MN&ie=UTF8&z=11&ll=44.804737,-93.34259&spn=0.344437,0.644073&om=1

shockzilla
10-03-2006, 10:58 AM
"singersp" wrote:


Shock would probably love that. It's only a few miles from his home.


;D ;D ;D ;D

Zeus
10-03-2006, 10:19 PM
"shockzilla" wrote:


"singersp" wrote:


Shock would probably love that. It's only a few miles from his home.


;D ;D ;D ;D


Dood - 169 traffic sucks now!
Imagine the cars for 70,000 people there for a night game!!

=Z=

BadlandsVikings
10-03-2006, 10:23 PM
"AWZeus" wrote:


"shockzilla" wrote:


"singersp" wrote:


Shock would probably love that. It's only a few miles from his home.


;D ;D ;D ;D


Dood - 169 traffic sucks now!
Imagine the cars for 70,000 people there for a night game!!

=Z=
Traffic is manageable, the vikings moving away is not.

Zeus
10-03-2006, 10:39 PM
"WVV" wrote:

Traffic is manageable, the vikings moving away is not.


The Vikings aren't moving away.
A stadium will get done, of that I have no doubt.
Zygi Wilf made millions by building strip malls in New Jersey where you deal with the mob, crooked politicians and women with big hair domes.

The guy's barely had a year and got farther than anyone else has ever gotten in the effort to get a new stadium.
The timing was wrong what with the new Twinkies park and the Gophs.
I'm not worried at all.

And, no, traffic is not always manageable.
If you don't have the roads already in place, then you'll have to build them, which just makes the deal that much harder to do.
That's why a downtown stadium is so good.
After the game, traffic leaves in 4 directions.

=Z=