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Opposition to special legislative session could force Vikings’ hand

Vikings Back Home Football AP

It’s been a bad week for the proposed Vikings stadium in Minnesota.  On Tuesday, Governor Mark Dayton announced that the proposal won’t impose a sales tax on the community hosting the project without a public vote.  On Wednesday, House Speaker Kurt Sellers voiced opposition to a special legislative session, which would push the issue completely into 2012.

The team’s lease at the Metrodome expires on January 1.

“The strategy of avoiding a stadium issue has not worked.  It only gets more costly and more difficult to resolve, especially if they allow the lease to expire with no action,” Vikings V.P. of business affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley told the Associated Press.

Bagley previously has said that the Vikings won’t sign a new lease at the Metrodome without a plan in place to build a new stadium.  He also has told PFT Live that multiple communities have contacted the team about relocation, and that the Vikings have decided to defer such discussions until January 2012.

Some of the politicians in Minnesota could be thinking that the Vikings are bluffing.  If the Vikings aren’t bluffing, however, the politicians will lose their chips — and the citizens of Minnesota will lose their football team.

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56 Responses to “Opposition to special legislative session could force Vikings’ hand”
  1. medtxpack says: Nov 2, 2011 2:11 PM

    Save money, no roof! Keep them in MN!

  2. Peter Venkman says: Nov 2, 2011 2:15 PM

    A bad week for the Vikings = a bad week for the author of this article, who is one of their biggest fans.

  3. bnwillard says: Nov 2, 2011 2:16 PM

    This clearly puts Minny in front of Jax and SD in the “race to LA” sweepstakes. Funny how Goodell’s earlier pledges to help keep the team stay put have vanished

  4. alldayvikings says: Nov 2, 2011 2:17 PM

    Just give them the damn stadium!!!

  5. nflfan101 says: Nov 2, 2011 2:17 PM

    Vikings need to stop looking at the government to solve its’ stadium problem. It is not the job of the taxpayers to pay for the place of business for a private business.

    The Vikings need to sell PSLs. They have a big fan base and would sell all PSLs within days. Problem solved without government.

    Wow, what an idea. Stop depending on the government for everything, including your place of business.

  6. lpd1964 says: Nov 2, 2011 2:18 PM

    I’m a life long Vikings fan….insert joke here,but seriously it seems the only thing left is will the state of Minnesota be allowed to retain the Vikings name? The state doesn’t seem too concerned if the team leaves therefore say hello to the Los Angeles Vikings.

  7. cmill119 says: Nov 2, 2011 2:21 PM

    Get it done! Minnesota wouldn’t be Minnesota without the Vikings.

  8. clivus63 says: Nov 2, 2011 2:22 PM

    The Vikings need to sell PSLs. They have a big fan base and would sell all PSLs within days. Problem solved without government…

    Too simple for all those legislators up there to comprehend.

  9. sleepsoncouches says: Nov 2, 2011 2:23 PM

    Well, MY vote will be going against every politician who let them slip away. 100% turnover in elected seats will be the big story next November.

  10. trbowman says: Nov 2, 2011 2:25 PM

    Toronto!

  11. benh999 says: Nov 2, 2011 2:26 PM

    LA Football Lakers has a nice ring to it.

  12. PanchoHerreraFanClub says: Nov 2, 2011 2:27 PM

    Since their lease expires on Jan 1 the day the Vikes host the Bears the Vikings would have no place to play. Why not play that last home game in the LA Coliseum? I think that might get some attention in Minnesota.

  13. ammarradhi says: Nov 2, 2011 2:29 PM

    Enough is enough, MN already lost the Lakers to LA, we shouldnt lose the Vikes as well, Dayton better get these other plans going or else no more NFL in MN

  14. bjorntorock says: Nov 2, 2011 2:30 PM

    all i know is minnesota has the worst fan base in the nfl. one time i went to the vikings website and they gave corporate sponsers the chance to buy groups of 2-300 tickets for games….wish tickets were that easy to come by at lambeau

  15. pattersonconsulting says: Nov 2, 2011 2:36 PM

    Vikings “fans” seem to think they are in the majority that the state should use public money or new taxes to pay for this private business. But they simply are not. Why do you think the Vikings don’t want a referendum and a tax increase to pay for the stadium? Because it won’t pass! I’d say the elected officials have a better chance of keeping their jobs by requiring a referendum than they do by doing mortgaging the future of our state for a football team. It wasn’t long ago that the state of Minnesota was shut down due to budget problems. But vikings fans must have a short term memory because they already got the credit card out and are ready to spend.

  16. gdeli says: Nov 2, 2011 2:37 PM

    It seems like baseball is OK but not the NFL. Correct me if I’m wrong with these MN politicians in the house and senate.

  17. pappavike says: Nov 2, 2011 2:40 PM

    They think the public is against paying for a Viking stadium, I say put it to a vote, Now! not later lets see where it stands

  18. dragynj says: Nov 2, 2011 2:50 PM

    Dear Interim Governor Dalrymple of ND,

    Want to be the ND Governor for life? Propose a plan to open up the coffers and spend some of that moldy Oil money ND is raking in. I hate Fargo, but I bet the Vikings would have no problem relocating 4hrs from MPLS for the right deal. Plus, you retain 90% of the fan base/season tix holders. Only people that would drop out are the ones that typically don’t go to the game and scalp their tix to packers fans.

  19. The Phantom Stranger says: Nov 2, 2011 2:53 PM

    The good news is that everyone is working to find a solution, which is the first time that most people have paid attention to this issue. If one solution has been determined to not be viable, they can focus their energy on another solution. There are ways to get this done if they want to do it. This will go down to the wire, but something will come through. No politician wants to come out in favor of anything right now, but no politician wants to be associated with the Vikings leaving, either.

  20. vikingsinla says: Nov 2, 2011 2:57 PM

    I think the North Stars won a championship only a couple years after leaving, and obviously the Lakers had a lot of success since leaving. Its too late for the Twins, but the Vikes and the other MN sports teams ought to look at history and realize how leaving Minny has been very advantageous.

  21. btg1911 says: Nov 2, 2011 2:59 PM

    While there have been a few fans (mostlyPacker fans) that have come on here and stated that while they hate the Vikings, they do not want to see them leave, there have been 10x more that have spouted off about how they are so happy the Vikings could be gone and reveling in the state of fear Vikings fans have to live in these days

    Disgusting. Walk a mile in a Vikings fans’ shoes. I despise the Packers, but I would be the 1st in line to try offer support if their franchise was in danger. It’s a game on the field, but a life experience for fans of each team, and openly cheering for the Vikings or any other team to be ripped away from their communities because of a combination of greed and impotent legislators is sub-human.

  22. 7ransponder says: Nov 2, 2011 3:00 PM

    All part of the process. You have to eliminate potential solutions to zero in on one and make it the best possible solution with the best possible outcome.

    That being said, after the stunt Zellers, Koch, and Dayton pulled on the MN people last summer with the shutdown and lack of true budget solution, confidence for us Vikes fans shouldn’t exactly be riding high. By far one of the worst state governments out there right now.

    It’s really starting to look like they are going to have to threaten to move to get any side to really kick this in to high gear.

  23. keeley2 says: Nov 2, 2011 3:12 PM

    btg1911 -

    If bashing Packer fans makes you feel better, than have at it. But you do sound awfully pathetic in the process.

  24. vikesfansteve says: Nov 2, 2011 3:18 PM

    You should be ashamed people of MN.

    That’s what I always hated about that state. Cheap people. That’s why building look so old, the roads are shot & potholed. Sad really.

  25. vadog says: Nov 2, 2011 3:18 PM

    The powers that be “may” be working on a solution, however, time is drawing nigh. It’s time to poop or get off the pot!

    The Vikings lease at the Metrodome runs out 1 January 2012. While the NFL may not “desire” for the Vikings to leave Minnesota, at the same time, they’ve never had a “homeless” franchise before. The NFL will not oppose the Wilf’s leaving Minnesota under those conditions. The State doesn’t have much time. Every delaying tactic the state has placed in front of the Vikings, the Vikings have called their bluff. The Vikings and Zygi Wilf will not give into political blackmail and bullying by Zellers, Koch, Dayton or the Mayor of Minneaopolis.

    Make your decision Minnesota. Make it now.

  26. ruvelligwebuike says: Nov 2, 2011 3:19 PM

    Bagley and Wilf need to think outside the box.

    Just put the cover letter of the bill as follows:

    Prosposal to Build: 10209

    “Museum of GLBT, Somalian and Hmong Art and Culture.”

    Dayton and those jokers would pass it without reading it and probably throw in the infrastructure changes on the arm.

  27. texfan13 says: Nov 2, 2011 3:33 PM

    As a Houston resident and having gone thru losing a team I can tell you it sucks. We got lucky that LA didn’t have their sh*t together when the NFL awarded the 32 franchise. Houston is the 4th largest city and has a very large corporate base. Minnesota is a much smaller market. I hope you Viking fans vote yes on the sales tax issue that is the only way you’re going to get a new stadium built and keep the Vikings. Vikings go to LA, you’re not going to get another team.

  28. kcrobert10 says: Nov 2, 2011 3:33 PM

    How is it the twins got a new stadium and the vikings can’t. Smells bad to me. Guess the don’t want the tax revenue these NFL teams bring to there cites anymore.

  29. sirdrinksalot says: Nov 2, 2011 3:40 PM

    Here come the Los Angeles Vikings…..

  30. goofer11 says: Nov 2, 2011 3:49 PM

    If the Vikings leave I don’t want to see another dime of tax dollars going to the arts. More people benefit from having the Vikings here than any arts program

  31. gb4mn0 says: Nov 2, 2011 4:02 PM

    This is almost to good to be true to log in day after day and conger up the vision of all you lavender Larry’s twisting in the wind. Ain’t life great?

  32. jokendave says: Nov 2, 2011 4:10 PM

    Dear Minnesota,
    If you haven’t figured it out yet. January 1 2012 is before November 2,2012 and the lease is up January 1st. A vote in November is only to replace you.
    Sincerly
    Viking fan

  33. garyman1 says: Nov 2, 2011 4:13 PM

    This is getting serious….
    Don’t think that the team won’t move without a new stadium. It’s happened before.

    The Packers will welcome the old Vikings fans with open arms….as long you bring Jared Allen with you (but Ragnar goes).

  34. stavreafavre says: Nov 2, 2011 4:18 PM

    gb4mn0 meant to say “conjure” of course. And most of us are enjoying the Packers too much to gloat about the Vikings. At least too much. Most weeks. Hate the Vikings, am incredibly irritated by their annoying fans. And hope it continues with the Vkings in MN for the rest of my days.

  35. david7590 says: Nov 2, 2011 4:25 PM

    So will they play next year in the Rose Bowl or the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

  36. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Nov 2, 2011 4:26 PM

    Don’t fret, vike fans. There is another option –Come cheer for the Packas! The stadium issue is out of your control, so why worry about it? Control what you can and come see what it is like to cheer for a champion!

  37. btg1911 says: Nov 2, 2011 4:32 PM

    stavreafavre-

    Fair enoguh and well said.

  38. granadafan says: Nov 2, 2011 4:33 PM

    The Wolfs are extremely wealthy. The NFL with its massive TV contracts is extremely wealthy. The state is near broke and there’s high unemployment in the state. Let the NFL/Vikings fund their own stadium. Stop holding cities and communities hostage. I’m an LA resident and would hate to “steal” a team from another community. I grew up in Oakland when greedy Al moved the Raiders to LA and saw how devastated people were.

    No taxpayer’s money for billionaires!

  39. fargovikesfan says: Nov 2, 2011 4:49 PM

    dragynj says:
    Nov 2, 2011 2:50 PM
    Dear Interim Governor Dalrymple of ND,

    Want to be the ND Governor for life? Propose a plan to open up the coffers and spend some of that moldy Oil money ND is raking in. I hate Fargo, but I bet the Vikings would have no problem relocating 4hrs from MPLS for the right deal. Plus, you retain 90% of the fan base/season tix holders. Only people that would drop out are the ones that typically don’t go to the game and scalp their tix to packers fans.

    ————————————————–

    I had sent correspondence to the North Dakota Economic Development Committee on this very subject, their response was “North Dakota is open for business, we’d be more than happy to discuss this issue with the team should they be interested”. The Fargo metro area is around the same size as Green Bay, you’d retain the fan base, and probably get the same stadium built at a lower price. Mr. Wilf, Mr. Bagley, all you need to do is initiate a conversation with the state of ND, I bet you’d have a stadium solution in no time. ND will soon be the #3 oil producing state in the nation, and one of the few states actually operating in the black.

  40. bozosforall says: Nov 2, 2011 4:53 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Nov 2, 2011 4:26 PM
    Don’t fret, vike fans. There is another option –Come cheer for the Packas! The stadium issue is out of your control, so why worry about it? Control what you can and come see what it is like to cheer for a champion!

    __
    My guess is that Vikings fans would rather not become bandwagoners like you are, Carl.

  41. snarkzilla says: Nov 2, 2011 4:54 PM

    btg1911: Absolutely correct, one of the best comments I’ve ever read at PFT.

  42. gdeli says: Nov 2, 2011 4:57 PM

    hey packer fans…butt out and mind your own biz… your problem is they gotta repeat or WE laugh at you! good luck…

  43. gb4mn0 says: Nov 2, 2011 4:58 PM

    stavreafavre says:
    Nov 2, 2011 4:18 PM
    gb4mn0 meant to say “conjure” of course. And most of us are enjoying the Packers too much to gloat about the Vikings. At least too much. Most weeks. Hate the Vikings, am incredibly irritated by their annoying fans. And hope it continues with the Vkings in MN for the rest of my days.

    ———————————-
    Thanks for correcting my grammatical error. Although I agree with you about seeing the Vikes leave I disagree about not gloating to much. They tee themselves with their unmerited insolence and I’m more than willing to smack it down the middle with my R11. I’ll be some of them are scared to turn the lights off at night.

  44. blackbug99 says: Nov 2, 2011 5:01 PM

    It’s getting too easy to blame everything on Goodell, Or the NFL, sometimes justly, but not so in this case. Man up, or shut up, Minnesota! 2012 has been coming for a long time. That the powers that be opted to start talks so late gives the team leverage over the area and fans. I’m from Buffalo and would hate to see any area lose a team to L “f’n” A, but the rest of the country has to wonder why so late!!

  45. theduuuuuuuuuude says: Nov 2, 2011 5:04 PM

    btg1911 says:
    Nov 2, 2011 2:59 PM

    It’s a game on the field, but a life experience for fans of each team, and openly cheering for the Vikings or any other team to be ripped away from their communities because of a combination of greed and impotent legislators is sub-human.

    —————————————————-

    Kinda like what happened to us in L.A.?

  46. isu1648 says: Nov 2, 2011 5:05 PM

    Vikings need to stop looking at the government to solve its’ stadium problem. It is not the job of the taxpayers to pay for the place of business for a private business.
    —————————————————-
    Too many people just dont understand how this works…

    The Vikings bring money to the state via taxes. LOTS OF MONEY. From income tax on players/staff, sales tax on tickets/merch/etc, and from the business it creates in the local economy such as bars/restaurants/hotels/etc. Therefor, the state benefits VERY MUCH from the Vikings being in Minnesota. To the tune of $26 mil per year just on the income taxes and stadium revenues alone.

    That is why the state/county should want to partner with the Vikes to get this done, because that HUGE lump of cash will be gone if the team leaves. So how does the state get the money to drum up its portion of the costs? they tax you. the money doesnt go to Zygi, or to the Vikings. it goes to the state/county, so they can pay their fair share.

    On top of those losses, think of the other tax dollars not being considered. Think of every single one of the 10,000+ bars/restaurants in MN. Lets compare their sales numbers during this bye week, to every other week during the Vikings season. You think that isnt a decent chunk of change, that strung out over the next 50 years that the state/counties will miss?

    It will cost this state more to run the Vikings out of town than it will be to build them a stadium.

    People need to learn about this topic before spouting of their nonsense opposing this stadium.

  47. threed61 says: Nov 2, 2011 5:05 PM

    stavreafavre, the rest of America outside Wisconsin regards Packer fans as the most incredibly irritating .

  48. yaddatt says: Nov 2, 2011 5:09 PM

    Let them leave. Sick of giving billionaires millions of dollars. Love the Vikes, but love my kiddos more.

  49. fritz1218 says: Nov 2, 2011 5:29 PM

    Fargo and Green Bay may be about the same size but look a little closer at the area’s. Fargo area has no where’s near the population. They would never be supported in ND.

  50. bcknights says: Nov 2, 2011 5:34 PM

    And I thought Iowa was stupid! State of MN just don’t get it!

  51. The Phantom Stranger says: Nov 2, 2011 5:39 PM

    granadafan says:
    Nov 2, 2011 4:33 PM
    The Wolfs are extremely wealthy. The NFL with its massive TV contracts is extremely wealthy. The state is near broke and there’s high unemployment in the state. Let the NFL/Vikings fund their own stadium. Stop holding cities and communities hostage. I’m an LA resident and would hate to “steal” a team from another community. I grew up in Oakland when greedy Al moved the Raiders to LA and saw how devastated people were.

    No taxpayer’s money for billionaires!
    ________________

    That’s easy to say but if your answer is to let Wilf build the stadium himself, the Vikings are gone. Wilf didn’t get rich by making bad business deals and he can’t make enough money from the stadium and surrounding development to make a $1.1 billion investment worthwhile. A public/private partnership is the only way to make it work here, and probably anywhere. I hear Jerry Jones is losing money on his football palace. It would be nice if there were a federal law against public funding of sports stadiums, but there isn’t so you can’t just tell somebody to build their own stadium because another community will help them out.

  52. purp4lyfe says: Nov 2, 2011 5:51 PM

    They may have failed to post my last comment on this but I hope this one gets through……Let me just tell ALL you people who say that us Viking fans can root for GB if they leave….THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!! If god forbid our team does relocate I think I speak for ALL real Vikings fans when I say my favorite team will be whoever plays the Pack that day!! SKOL 4 LYFE! A real fan can’t switch the blood running through their veins and damn sure wouldn’t want to.

  53. andrewfbrowne says: Nov 2, 2011 5:55 PM

    How strange would it be if you had the LA Lakers from Minnesota originally and the LA Vikings from the same place.

    Minnesota 0-2

    LA 2-0

    The people of Buffalo are breathing a huge sigh of relief if this falls through and the Vikes get moved somewhere.

  54. 12is3times4 says: Nov 2, 2011 6:59 PM

    Re: granadafan @ 4:33 PM: The “build your own stadium” argument only works in cases where the team owner either (a) has a genuine attachment to the community, or (b) doesn’t have the opportunity to move/sell the team to someplace that will build the stadium for him or whoever buys the team from him.

    Alas, neither of these is the case with Wilf and the Vikings, which is why they are as good as gone. That’s bad enough in itself, but it will also set a chilling example for fans/taxpayers in other markets who might otherwise be inclined to resist public stadium funding. As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “Hang one, warn a thousand.”

  55. fmwarner says: Nov 2, 2011 8:26 PM

    vikesfansteve says: Nov 2, 2011 3:18 PM

    You should be ashamed people of MN.

    That’s what I always hated about that state. Cheap people. That’s why building look so old, the roads are shot & potholed. Sad really.
    ===================================

    Yeah, Steve! Minnesota needs to get up off that giant state surplus and stop being cheap!

    Oh right…the state is bankrupt. That’s why the roads are shot. But they’re cheap!

  56. purplebleeder says: Nov 2, 2011 8:59 PM

    OK Packer fans can be annoying, but they do own the team. I think we should try the same thing. I would pay in. At least offer it to us. I’m starting to feel like Mark Dayton can’t keep his word because he doesn’t really have one to stand behind. I honestly will be severely depressed if we lose my team. With all the destruction we’ve faced in the last few years we need something to cheer for. I know this is a joke to fans of other teams, but at some point they will face something similar and no matter how much you love your team someone will strip it away.

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