Reporting Pat Kessler
Filed underLocal, News, Politics, Sports, Syndicated Local, Syndicated Sports, Vikings, Watch + Listen
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – It was a day of twists and turns for the Vikings stadium at the Capitol on Wednesday.
The bill got a going over by the Senate Finance Committee, and some star Vikings players made their own push for a new stadium to play in. Yes, Vikings players, namely John Sullivan, Adrian Peterson and Chad Greenway showed up to the Capitol.
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And while they lobbied lawmakers upstairs, the stadium bill got roughed up downstairs.
The Vikings lobbying trip to the Capitol was unannounced, but within minutes they were surrounded by fans who are pleading for a stadium bill to pass.
They greeted lawmakers and thanked them for what will be a tough political vote.
The blitz by the team’s star players underscored the importance the Vikings place on the impending stadium vote.
The players said they aren’t involved in politics, but know it’s a tough vote.
“We’re holding out hope it’s going to get done here in Minnesota. This is where everybody in this group wants to be. This would be huge for Minneapolis, the state and all the fans in general. We’re holding out hope,” Sullivan said.
Skeptical lawmakers fought over stadium funding for hours. Over bitter protest from St Paul, they removed a special subsidy for Capitol city projects, with the mayor complaining it could kill the Capitol city development.
“If you feed one twin and starve the other, one of them is going to die. They don’t both succeed,” said Chris Coleman.
The committee also added Racino to electronic pull tabs to fund the stadium. Supporters are calling it now or never.
“If you are a Racino support this is it. If you are a Racino supporter this is it,” said Sen. Sean Nienow.
For the Vikings, it’s not quite a victory, it’s more like Adrian Peterson grinding out the yardage.
“To be quite honest, it’s time. I’m sure these guys would agree. It’s time for a new stadium,” Peterson said.
A Senate Finance Committee approved the Vikings stadium bill by a 9-5 vote Wednesday afternoon following the addition of Racino to the bill. Sen. Julie Rosen says having Racino on the bill will kill any chance of it passing, and wants it removed.
That could happen when the bill goes to a Senate Taxes Committee on Thursday morning. What we know now is the stadium saga is far from over.