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On Eve Of Vote, Union Rallies In Support Of Vikes Stadium

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Right now, it’s 4th and goal, the 2 minute warning or any other sports cliché you want to try. But a vote on the Vikings stadium is coming up Monday.

Union members who represent the construction trade are hoping their voices are heard, they want jobs so a new stadium is in their best interest.

While they push for fans to call their lawmakers there is also some push back from those who feel the price tag is too heavy for Minnesotans to carry.

Union members who are looking for jobs and Vikings fans who want to make sure the team stays in Minnesota came together to make noise about Monday’s vote. They hope their solidarity is enough to pressure lawmakers to vote yes for a new Vikings stadium.

In south Minneapolis, their message resonated throughout Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar: Vote yes on a stadium bill so construction can begin.

Hundreds showed up in their Viking’s gear, hoping to get the word out that it’s game day at the Capitol Monday, the day Minnesotans will learn if lawmakers support a stadium.

“You’re the ones that count this is for you this is for the people of Minnesota,” said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.

Dayton, Mayor R. T. Rybak and union officials took the stage to rally supporters, all say this is more about jobs, than anything else.

“Thirteen-thousand jobs are hanging in the balance, 7,500 building trades jobs and with 20 percent-plus unemployment in the trades certainly that would be a boost to our brothers and sisters who are in the construction trades,” said Bill McCarthy, president of the Minnesota Regional Labor Federation.

“A billion dollar payroll in this community we are about to make an investment to make sure another generation can do that,” said Rybak.

But there are those who feel this stadium bill is not in the best interest of Minnesota tax payers.

“It increases taxes number two, it does use general fund money that could be better appropriated for other needs within the state education, health care, public safety, these are all areas of budget reduction over the last couple of years,” said Phil Krinkie, president of The Taxpayers League of Minnesota.

Krinkie believes the bill should be more Minnesota taxpayer-friendly than a Vikings-friendly financial proposal.

Stadium supports say even it the bill isn’t perfect, it’s time to settle the issue.

The House meets in session at 10 a.m., the Senate at 1 p.m.

The rally for stadium supporters begins at 9 a.m. at the Capitol.

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