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The Vikings Stadium Plan Is In Trouble

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UPDATE: I know there are many Packer fans who aren't Viking fans (myself included) but I recognize that some Packer fans are fans of both teams and don't want to see Minnesota lose the Vikings. The key player who is blocking the stadium plan at the moment is Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers. If you want to take action, here's what Ted Glover wrote at Daily Norseman:

Ladies and Gentlemen, if the Minnesota Vikings leave Minnesota, I will blame it 100% on Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers. Go go ahead and read, and know that there was real hope, and a good shot at getting a plan together, before Zellers pulled the rug out from the Governor and the Minnesota Vikings--Ted

ANOTHER NOTE: This is the number to Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers: 651-296-5502

The news this week is that the Minnesota legislature is not going to exempt Ramsey County from a referendum on the sales tax increase proposed to fund their $350 million contribution for a new stadium. It's doubtful the referendum could pass, but the bigger problem is that the vote can't be scheduled until 2012 (AKA after the Vikings lease at the Metrodome expires).

The Vikings haven't ruled out returning to the Metrodome in 2012, but it "opens the possibility" they'll leave town next year. I thought the possibility was already open? Are the Vikings crying wolf?

Tom Powers: Vikings stadium issue enters crisis mode - TwinCities.com.

It could turn out that Tuesday's announcement really was the death knell for the Vikings in Minnesota. But at least the politicians will spend their last days working toward the common goal of trying to keep the team instead of lining up on opposite sides of the fence and trying to torpedo one another.

Arden Hills Stadium In Big Trouble...Expect Vikings To Be Forced Into A 'Take It Or Leave It' Deal With Minneapolis - Daily Norseman. From Ted Glover:

In my opinion, this isn't about what's best for the state of Minnesota, the fans of the Vikings, or the team. This is about the local Minneapolis power players 'beating' Wilf at this point. Wilf out smarted them and found a willing partner outside of Minneapolis, that pissed them off, and they're going to make Wilf take a bad deal or try and take the blame as The Guy Who Moved The Vikings.

Vikings stadium sales tax is dead; other options still on table - TwinCities.com.

The option that "probably has the most promise at this point in terms of broad enough support in the Legislature" is electronic pulltabs, he said. "My sense is that that's probably the most immediately available and plausible source right now."

I've been wondering how the state of Minnesota was going to pay for it's share of the stadium cost (i.e. most of it) for months. Instead of coming up with a solution, the situation has gotten worse. The "electronic pulltabs" is a lottery game, which is another political nightmare in itself as they have to work it around all the gaming interests in the state. And the Vikings lease expires in a matter of months.

Teams can move, just as Cleveland, but unlike that situation, Wilf has been up-front about the entire matter while infamous owner Art Modell negotiated his move to Baltimore in secret from the politicians in Ohio. I still think the state of Minnesota will find a way to keep the Vikings, but it's clear the Vikings don't have enough friends in the state legislature.