No special session: Vikings are 'concerned about turn of events'
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Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that he will not call a special session before Thanksgiving or release his own plan next week to get a stadium built for the Minnesota Vikings because of a lack of progress regarding a solution for the issue.
Dayton added he is disappointed in the lack of progress by legislative leaders. This came after Kurt Zellers, the Minnesota House Speaker, sent an e-mail Tuesday night to his fellow Republicans saying he would not support a special session to consider the stadium bill.
Zellers, rather, wanted to see a specific plan for the stadium before he gives his support to a special session.
Failure to hold a special session to attempt to get the stadium deal complete would mean the Vikings would have to wait for the regular session. That delay would take the stadium issue into the spring and force constructions costs to go higher. There also is no guarantee a stadium would gain approval at that point.
The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome expires on Feb. 1 and the franchise has the right to inform the NFL and the state of its intention to relocate by Feb. 15. The Vikings' hope has been to get a stadium built in Arden Hills, although Minneapolis also has expressed interest in continuing to be the team's home city.
The club issued a statement on Wednesday night that read: "The Vikings are concerned about the turn of events surrounding a stadium solution in Minnesota. While we have been encouraged by the efforts of Governor Dayton and the four caucus leaders to seriously discuss this issue, these recent developments are very disappointing.
"The Vikings stadium issue has been heavily debated in the public for over 10 years. With less than 90 days left on the team's lease, the urgency to act is on us. The Vikings continue to stand ready to work with State leaders on a stadium solution that works for Minnesota and the team."
Dayton had planned to meet with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf on Friday but the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the Governor now says he will cancel that get together.
Without a stadium, the Vikings are one of the NFL teams considered as candidates to relocate to Los Angeles.