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Key Meetings Set For Next Week On Vikings Stadium

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Next week is shaping up as pivotal in the Minnesota Vikings’ bid for a new football stadium partially financed by the public.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday he’ll hold meetings on successive days with leading legislators, National Football League officials and team owner Zygi Wilf. The meetings are planned for Monday through Wednesday.

“Now is the time. Turn your cards face up on the table. Tell us what it’s going to cost, tell us what you’re going to do,” Dayton said.

The first-term governor said he spoke Thursday with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who is dispatching league officials to St. Paul for talks on a Vikings stadium. Dayton said the commissioner brought up interest from Los Angeles suitors to lure a team to that city, but the governor stressed that there have been no relocation threats from the Vikings.

Dayton is considering whether to call a special session for votes on a Vikings proposal. But he wants a firmer grip on the stadium’s site and financing first, and he’s seeking indications from lawmakers that they have the necessary votes to pass a plan.

The Vikings are pushing to build a new stadium in Arden Hills, but others are keeping Minneapolis in the conversation. Some estimates for the suburban stadium plan top $1 billion; Vikings owners have offered to put up more than $400 million while Dayton has capped state participation at $300 million.

The team’s Metrodome lease expires after this season.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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