Reporting Pat Kessler
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — There’s frustration at the Capitol over a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Gov. Mark Dayton is accusing key lawmakers of dragging their feet.
Dayton forcefully raised the stadium stakes Tuesday, accusing key lawmakers of deliberately slowing down the stadium push for political reasons.
And the Vikings? They’re losing yardage at the Capitol right now.
The Vikings stadium push in Lakeville featured the pony-tailed defensive player Brian Robison.
Their stadium fight in political limbo, the Vikes are making their case across the state.
Meanwhile Dayton called out lawmakers for focusing on their careers, rather than the task at hand.
“Their No. 1 job is more important than providing several thousand jobs to Minnesotans who are currently sitting on the bench and want to work,” he said.
The Vikings are preparing a statewide media campaign to “educate” Minnesota about the stadium, with a possible preview now running on the team’s website.
Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley says the team is frustrated.
A stadium bill appeared to be moving once, but then stopped when GOP leaders backed off.
“We had momentum toward a deal. We had people with their sleeves rolled up moving forward, you know we gotta get this done,” he said.
Attending the Chamber of Commerce event was one powerful Republican who says no stadium session until someone actually writes a bill.
“We might as well buy a 1,000-piece puzzle and work on that ’cause that would probably be a lot more fun,” said Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville.
Dayton also accused key anti-stadium lawmakers of leaking reports to the media that a loophole in the Metrodome lease will force the Vikes to play at the dome next year.
Both the Governor and the team called it ridiculous.
Regarding a special session and work on an actual bill, both are still possible. Dayton said he would still like to call a special session soon.
Republican leaders say they’re caught in a political Catch-22 — nobody wants to lose the Vikings but no one wants to pay for them, either.