MN Legislators Give New Life to Vikings Stadium Proposal

By KBJR News 1

MN Legislators Give New Life to Vikings Stadium Proposal

April 20, 2012 Updated Apr 20, 2012 at 9:18 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The Minnesota Vikings Stadium Bill was resuscitated and moved out of intensive care Friday by the Senate's local government and elections committee.

The action follows a visit to St. Paul by NFL brass in an attempt to put pressure on the legislature to finish a stadium deal.

Both sides said today's meeting was productive, but a decision is the crucial factor.

It's a last ditch effort to keep the Purple and Gold in Minnesota.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Governor Mark Dayton met Friday at the Capitol. There was no decision, but rather both sides agreed time is running out.

"We believe that after many, many years that the time has come to pass the legislation to move forward," said Goodell.

"It was more of a warning that if it isn't passed this session, the league itself beyond the Vikings, the league itself has serious concerns about the viability of the franchise here and the future of it here," said Governor Dayton.

A number of proposals for a new stadium have been drafted, but none have sold quite yet in the Legislature.

Just this week, a legislative committee voted down the current plan requiring city and state taxpayers to pay for 56% of the costs of building a $975 million stadium on the Metrodome site.

"We expected and hope that after today's meeting that there's a general commitment to do that in this session and that will ensure the fact that the vikings will be here for a very long time which is our objective," said Goodell.

There are fears the Vikings to move to another city, possibly Los Angeles. Art Rooney, The NFL Stadium Committee Chair, echoed Goodell's message during Friday's visit to St. Paul.

"We just came to see what we could do to encourage the legislature to move the ball across the goal line," Rooney said.

As soon as the meeting wrapped up, the Senate's local government and elections committee went to work.

On an 8 to 6 vote the funding proposal for a Minneapolis stadium was referred to the Jobs and Economic Growth Committee without recommendation.

Two other proposals, one putting a Stadium in Arden Hills was laid over at least for now. Another involving a private stadium bond wasn't heard.

The Vikings were not involved in Friday's meeting.

Kevin Jacobsen
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