Vikings, NFL want legislative vote on stadium bill

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The Vikings’ stadium situation has reached critical mass this week, after a key House committee in Minnesota killed the bill that needs to be turned into law before the stadium can be built.

Now, the league has gotten more directly involved.  Commissioner Roger Goodell and Steelers owner Art Rooney II, chair of the NFL’s stadium committee, will try on Friday to revive the deal that was previously struck between the team, Governor Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak (but not City Council), and legislative leaders (but not the full Legislature).

NFL executive V.P. Eric Grubman joined PFT Live on Thursday to talk about the status of the effort to get the stadium built.  Currently, the Vikings and the league want to know whether the politicians are willing to move forward with the deal that was struck among the folks at the highest levels of state and city government.

At a minimum, the Vikings and the NFL simply want a full vote by the legislators on the proposed deal.  “[S]tanding back and looking at it you have to begin to wonder whether this is just going to be forever stalled,” Grubman said.  “And that’s really what we have to find out, as soon as possible.”

Grubman explained that a failure to vote will be regarded as a vote against the proposal.  “[O]ne way or another, the legislators own this process,” Grubman said.  “They own the outcome.  I just think they shouldn’t be afraid to vote ‘no,’ if that’s what they really want to do.  But if they want to vote ‘yes,’ they shouldn’t let it die in a committee.”

The sudden insistence by the Vikings and the league on getting an answer comes after years of patience.  The patience has now been exhausted.  Right or wrong, yes or no, up or down, the Vikings and the NFL believe that the time has come for the people in Minnesota to decide whether they want to build the stadium, or not.  “You have an ownership without a lease, an ownership that is without patience, questions from the rest of ownership, people have designs on the club from places outside Minnesota,” Grubman said.  “These things are all boiling to the top.”

So with no lease and with the situation “boiling to the top,” what if the deal falls apart and the Vikings decide to leave in 2013 and an acceptable deal can’t be worked out to play in the Metrodome in 2012?

“I don’t want to get into that, and I haven’t prepared an answer for it,” Grubman said.  “I will say simply that the Minnesota Vikings are going to play a full season in 2012 on this schedule that was announced two nights ago.  And I hope and expect that they’ll be playing in the Metrodome.  If for any reason they can’t, they will still play their games. . . .  That’s a sideshow to the sideshow.  Let’s keep our eyes focused on the goal line.  The goal line is let’s get a reasonable stadium deal done for all parties, and let’s get it done as soon as possible.  And if it can’t be done, then we’ll turn to alternatives.”

Those alternatives likely include selling the team to a local buyer, selling the team to a buying who would move the team, or moving the team with its current ownership.

Later tonight (ideally), I’ll put together a list of questions and answers aimed at helping folks in Minnesota and elsewhere understand how things got to this point, and where things could go from here.

None of this should be viewed as an opinion on whether it’s “right” or “wrong” to use bargaining power to secure public money.  The NFL views the fact that other cities and/or states will contribute to the construction of a stadium not as leverage (or, as some call it, “extortion”) but competition.  Though the process can be unsavory when a sports team that is viewed as a public asset can be moved to a new place, a location that hosts an NFL team sometimes has to ask itself whether it wants to continue to host an NFL team, and what it’s willing to contribute financially in order to do so.  If the choice is made not to contribute enough public money to get a new stadium built, that’s fine.

The reality, when it comes to the NFL, is that someone else always will.

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77 responses to “Vikings, NFL want legislative vote on stadium bill

  1. note to viking fan who live around the metrodome or in eden prarie (practice facilities) the beep….beep….beep your hearing is just the moving trucks!!

  2. Am I the only one that doesn’t give a flying horn about the Vikings stadium woes? I’d almost rather get more Tebow updates or delusional McNabb quotes. At least those are funny.

  3. “The NFL views the fact that other cities and/or states will contribute to the construction of a stadium not as leverage (or, as some call it, “extortion”) but competition. ”

    Hold on there Tanto. The Giants and Jets built a stadium without extorting money from the townsfolk. If those 2 teams could combine for a 1.6 billion dollar complex, why can’t the Vikings build an 800 million dollar stadium on their own?

  4. Steeler Nation lolz at this one’s inferiority.

  5. it could be worse vikes fans, you could have been lied to like the maloofs did to the sacramento kings fans, the vote was passed & money granted for a new arena, and the maloofs still are trying to weasel out of the deal!! CLASSY

  6. The Minnesota Vikings are going to take a nap. When they come out, if there’s a deal on the table, they’ll know they have a partner. If there isn’t, they’ll know they don’t.

  7. I hate it when a team holds the public hostage so they can get what they want. See exhibit ZZZZZZZ N.Y. Yankees. But, I think the Vikes have done as good a job in working with the state government as any team that I can remember. Good luck Minn residents. I hope you don’t lose your team because of stupid politicians and their petty differences.

  8. I hate when they say people in MN. Like the fans have something to do with these clowns we have running this state!

  9. Comming from MN and Bleeding Purple I would be heartbroken to see the team leave. I now reside in ND and assure you that with far less people in ND they would find a way to get it done. MN is to deep in politics to talk about real issues. They need to find a way to get this done. Lets start passing the hat and find some cash. Move the team further north in MN where the citizens care deeply about the team and are not as wrapped up in the politics of the Twin Cities.

  10. As a lifelong Vikings fan I will be very sad to see the Vikings move to Los Angeles, San Antonio, Salt Lake, Oklahoma, or Omaha or some other place.

    By waiting years to get this deal done Minnesota has seen the price of this thing go up and up. Shows you what kind of idiots run that state. I’m sure the crooked politicians are all trying to line their own pockets.

    If Minneapolis doesn’t want the jobs the construction of the stadium will bring and all of the jobs the franchise will bring. I say let another city or state benefit from having an NFL franchise.

    I will sadly burn 40 years of Vikings merchandise I collected and try to find some other team to root for.

  11. With all this, L.A. still can’t seal the deal. Must be a great opportunity, huh?

  12. I’ve been a Vikings fan my entire 1/4 century of a life.

    I believe the Vikings should move, they’ve been snake bit their entire existence and it’s time for a fresh start in a community that respects having an NFL franchise.

  13. I wish the vikes would drive 5 miles to the East over the river into Hudson Wisconsin and build a stadium there. Still have all the fans and everything that goes with it. Plus, it would be shoving a big pile of dog crap in the faces of the Minnesota legislature.

  14. dtrb10 says:Apr 19, 2012 7:10 PM

    I hate when they say people in MN. Like the fans have something to do with these clowns we have running this state!

    I don’t. The fans (MN Residents) voted these clowns into office. They are now getting their just reward for being stupid.

  15. watch it vikes fans this is what the stupid politicians in Baltimore did right before the Colts left.
    They moaned and moaned about how the rich owner should pay for it (which may or may not be a good point) but after the team left the city and state went thru hell and back to get a another team .

    My point is that it is cheaper to keep the team you have right now then it will be IF you ever get another chance to get another one.

    Of course if you don’t care if the vikes stay and don’t care if you have an NFL team then save your money and buy some cheese heads.

  16. The Vikings have been trying to get a stadium for years. The Twins got one. It’s time to cut bait.

  17. I hate when they say people in MN. Like the fans have something to do with these clowns we have running this state!


    Say what?!? If the fans don’t have something to do with the “clowns” running your pitiful state then shame on the fans for not exercising their right to vote.

    This is one of the stupidest remarks you could make in regards to this matter and the fact that you’re receiving a number of thumbs up for it only further illustrates why the state of MN has “clowns” running it. Its a state of Bozos!

  18. Being a Vikings fan is hard but I will easily become a fan of wherever they end up. Hope it’s someplace with warm weather. I don’t live in the State of Minnesota and go to one home and one away game each year. I could definitely live with LA for one weekend a year.

  19. MN residents need to inundate Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) and Amy Koch (R-Buffalo) these are the stubborn GOP’ers that are stonewalling the efforts to get your stadium built.

    Go Pack.

  20. Stupid packer fans for buying that worthless stock. Those idiots will have a team in there state as long as there is an NFL. What a bunch of idiots.. Creating jobs, ensuring franchise, all while letting the real fans decide.

  21. I can just picture the trucks rolling out of Minneapolis…and the stupid looks on the faces of the politicians as they realize the tax revenue that they will be losing.
    There will be no recovering from this.
    I really miss Metropolitan Stadium.

  22. dtrb10 says:
    Apr 19, 2012 7:10 PM
    I hate when they say people in MN. Like the fans have something to do with these clowns we have running this state!
    Well the people of MN did elect the clowns.

  23. Vote on a “proposal”? How come you don’t mention this proposal is an end around the current state law requiring a public vote?

    I’m all in favor of letting the community decide but let the community decide not the legislature especially since the law says thats the way it should be.

  24. @gb4mn0
    “Say what?!? If the fans don’t have something to do with the “clowns” running your pitiful state then shame on the fans for not exercising their right to vote.”

    You haven’t heard a politican say one thing before election day then do another once in office?

  25. Seems to me that if wilf really wants to keep the Vikings in minnesota he would shoulder more of the cost to get a deal in place…I think he’s leveraging this situation so that he can move to LA and not look like the bad guy…

  26. As a lifelong Vikings fan I will be very sad to see the Vikings move to Los Angeles, San Antonio, Salt Lake, Oklahoma, or Omaha or some other place.

    Being from the Omaha metro area let me be the first to say.
    We DONT want them here, let them go to LA please.

  27. docintherock says:
    Apr 19, 2012 7:18 PM
    As a lifelong Vikings fan I will be very sad to see the Vikings move to Los Angeles, San Antonio, Salt Lake, Oklahoma, or Omaha or some other place.

    Being from the Omaha metro area let me be the first to say.
    We DONT want them here, let them go to LA please.

  28. Come see me haters when the Vikings get their stadium,,,never seen such a bunch of jealous pretend fans

  29. “The NFL views the fact that other cities and/or states will contribute to the construction of a stadium not as leverage (or, as some call it, “extortion”) but competition.”
    Look at the key point folks. “Other cities and states will contribute.”

    EVERY recent stadium built for the NFL has had and will require public dollars from the city or state. So why are the boneheads in MN, and idiot posters on this board, always bent out of shape when public money is involved ONLY with the Vikings?

    Maybe the Vikings do have to leave MN in order for MN to build a modern NFL stadium. Lakers leave, T-Wolves and a new staduim. North Stars leave, the Wild and a new rink. New Field for the Twins. New stadium for the UofM. But the Vikings? Nope. crying and moaning about paying for a stadium for a team that has sold out virtually every game in the last 20 years.

    What a bunch of bafoons.

  30. zaggs: To answer your question ‘Why can’t they build one for 800 million when the Jets /Giants combined paid 1.6 billion…simple math if the Jets/Giants paid 1.6 billion that would leave another 800 million needed to build a stadium. Todays stadiums cost over 1 billion to build so even if the owner put up 800 million they still need help and if the owner pays for the whole thing the city gets nothing from taxes or profits.Plus they can leave at anytime if another city makes them a sweet offer they can’t refuse.

  31. South Dakota will take the Vikes and all the Revenue that comes with them, and oh by the way stay out of the SD parks when all yours are shut down this summer, and dont move here when you can afford to live in Minneapolis.

  32. The public has to stop needlessly paying for stadiums. The NFL is incredibly lucrative and we don’t need to continue this absurd corporate welfare. The owners and the NFL manipulate the public and feed off of our love of the sport. States, counties, and cities need to stop the insanity. I live in LA and life continues just fine without a team. In fact there are NO blackouts in LA and I can watch any game I want thanks to not having a team.

  33. I feel bad for the good Vikings fans out there, not the stupid “*” people or the “taints” or the “we were robbed” crowd, but the true fans of NFL football. Saints fans were in the same boat as you, much worse really, but hey we feel your pain.

    For the true Vikings fans, those with functioning brain cells, I hope something gets worked out for you and a new stadium deal gets done. I really do think that absent a new stadium deal, the Vikings are going to leave and move to Los Angeles. If that happens, the only chance to get a team would be to “steal” one from another NFL city. I just don’t see any other city ever getting the type of deal Cleveland was given by the NFL ever again.

    You can say all you want about billionaire owners and taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay, but the brutal facts are that the Metrodome blows and a new stadium is a must in order for the team to stay in Minnesota. Playing at a half-assed small college stadium is not an option. Good luck.

  34. The heat is on the house now. What will they fear more? Being voted out of office that could be forgotten in 5-10 years or a lifetime being labeled as the fools that let the Vikings move?

    LIke a dog who got their nose shoved into the pile they laid in the house, the house legislators will be shamed enough to get the bill thru.

    Just watch………..

  35. I applaud the city. It is about time taxes quit paying for this stuff. It is lose lose to the citizens as Stadiums are like boats. More money in than out of. Let’s hope more cities in the future do this as teams make all the money and the people pay for it.

  36. Massive extortion in the name of corporate welfare at a time when the taxpayers absolutely cannot afford it.

    After the strike last year I boycotted the nfl till very late in the season before I got sucked back in because the greed of the players and league is beyond disgusting.

    They are fast losing me again. There are so many other ways to entertain yourself I certainly don’t need to support these mega greedy scumbags.

  37. In my opinion, the instant public money is used to fund private enterprise, the private enterprise becomes property of the public proportional to the amount invested and the public must have a voice in the operation of the “franchise” and more importantly: a share in the profits.

    e.g. If the public sector puts in 50% for a stadium, then the public sector should get 50% of the GROSS profits (e.g. before taxes).

    It’s disgusting that the NFL needs “bailout” money to build stadiums.

    Don’t think it’s bailout money? What else would classify it as? If the government doesn’t pay, the entity dies (leaves). It’s a bailout!

    Actually… it’s worse than a bailout! It’s like your wife saying if you don’t buy her that $2000 Balenciaga bag that she’ll leave you to marry your richer neighbor! If you pay, you lost $2000 and keep your wife… if you don’t, you keep $2000 and get to see your wife having an affair with your neighbor!

    At the most basic level, it’s wrong and immoral for private enterprise to profit so grossly off the government, in my opinion.

  38. Florio, I’ve never been more depressed in my life. I am so fed up with the leaders of Minnesota outside of Dayton who I believe is doing a lot to get the stadium situation solved. I am upset with the people who don’t want a stadium and who don’t understand why one is needed. This is just awful. I keep praying that something will happen, but at this point, I’ve lost almost all faith.

  39. There’s no way in this economy that legislators with brains are going to spend public funds on an NFL stadium. This thing will host 10 events a year, plus the occasional concert. So unlike a baseball park or basketball/hockey arena there’s really not even a basis for claiming it will bring any net economic benefit to the state.

    The NFL isn’t exactly struggling financially. Let them build their own damn stadium.

  40. This is great!! I despise the ViQueefs and their panty waste loser fans. I would be more than willing to help load the moving vans.

  41. Los Angeles this, Los Angeles that . . .


    BAH! Here’s something creative that leapt to my attention at the mention of Rutherford, NJ.

    Zygi can find a market and share with somebody. Come to Denver, our season ticket waiting list is still twenty something years. Sellouts, even when we try to inflate tires (read as: blow nothing but air) dating back to . . . well, at least my lifetime and I’m thirty-one.

    Forget Los Angeles. California does not need a fourth football team. Go somewhere with an untapped market or share with one that’s undertapped.

    HA! Go underachieve in Indy, the city would pay out the nose to sign another lease on the Lucas Oil Thousand Gallon Drum. Move down to Saint Louis, perhaps, since Kroenke can’t decide what he wants to do (being upset in having to give his boy the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche).

    Either do one of the above, or tiptoe through the tulips and shut the hell up about it. There is no room to cry when you don’t even try.


  42. On any given Sunday in Football Season, 8 out of 10 television sets are tuned into the Vikings game. These fu*kers in St Paul don’t represent us, they represent what’s happening all over the nation. Politics is a national civil war. It has nothing to do with whether people here want the team or not. It has nothing to do with Football. It’s about their little fu*cking selfish bickering. We love our team as much as anybody. I’m asking anybody who cares to take the time to rip these motherfu*ckers to pieces with your comments. Go after the politicians for what they do to us all. Stadium or no stadium, none of them work for us anymore! The “people of Minnesota” are no part of this equation.

  43. I’ve spent the last 25 years paying taxes for welfare, refugees, light rail trains, and schools that have food courts that rival the Mall Of America. None of it has generated any kind of worthwhile return. This is a project that will actually generate income for the state and God forbid a little entertainment. The stadium will bring other events here which everybody benefits from. Having an NFL franchise makes your State a destination. Who the crap would go to Green Bay Wisconsin if it weren’t for the Packers. No one would know there was a city called Green Bay. Just sayin’

  44. All Vikings fan can help save Vikings and even if some of you non Vikings fans want to help the NFC north wouldn’t be the same with out the Minnesota Vikings!!!


  45. It’s evil to rip a sports franchise away from fans who’ve supported the organization for more than half a century. But if the NFL/Vikings can’t get cooperation from Minnesota politicians, they might not have a choice. Obviously the politicians are terrified of approving a stadium expenditure during an election year … but they don’t want to be blamed for driving away the Vikings. The best option for fans is to bombard them with letters and e-mails demanding they stick to their agreement with the league–or at least put the thing to a full vote of the legislature. If you want to keep the team, let these clods hear from you.

  46. For the people who say we voted for these clowns and we get what we deserve, that’s just ignorant. No politician gets asked whether they will or will not build a stadium. Has the National Debt been paid off? No! Because apparently were all the idiots who voted for that. Right?

  47. We have been listening to the Minnesota legislature discuss the Vikings Stadium for a least 10 years. I am tired of talk; either find a way to fund a new stadium this year or let them go. I am an NFL fan and will be happy to watch the LA Vikings on TV while cheering for my fantasy back Adrian Peterson. I have been a Vikings fan for over 40 years and I am now endorsing the move. Thank you Mr. Wilf for at least attempting to remain in Minnesota during your ownership without ever threatening to leave (in the past). Our legislature will spend the money whether a new stadium is funded or not. What people forget is that the Wilf’s also own the local Major League Soccer rights which would also be played in a new stadium so it is not just for football…… or is it??

  48. YO!!!!!….. Minnesota Legislature Politician Weasels!!!!……. Stop acting like slippery non-committal weasel-snakes for just one day and try to actually do something that you’re supposed to do on behalf of “The People”….. VOTE!.

    Stop being weasels!!!! S*** or get off the pot!!!


  49. Well put in the last couple paragraphs, Mike. Good to see some unbiased journalism (even though it’s your team) explaining where things stand. I was of the opinion that Zygi Wilf should pony up the dough to get the stadium built because clearly he wasn’t hurting for money and this franchise is a cash cow, but at the end of the day it’s a free market and he has every right to pursue a better deal.

    It’s perfectly understandable that the politicians would vote against it, especially if the reason they’re voting against it is that the public doesn’t want it. Nobody is in the wrong here, it’s just the free market economy at work.

  50. PSLs suck but it’s a way for Viking fans to put up or shut up. PSLs could cut a nice chunk out of what Ziggy is begging the state for.

  51. Its funny to see people that like other teams post on this blog stating what Vikings fans should or shouldn’t do or feel…Those of you should feel fortunate enough to respect those of us who are Vikings fans. The Vikings, for years, have tried to get a new venue, only to be left out in the cold. They were tied to a bill for the Twins and Gophers Stadiums a few years ago, yet, got dropped. The Humpty Dome was once a glorious place (circa the 1980s) but it lost its luster at least 15 years ago. I have been crying purple tears for 39 years, and I never hide from the four super bowl losses or the five consecutive NFC championship game losses, when it comes up in conversation with fans of other teams. I’m a Vikings fan.

  52. harrisonhits2

    the majority of the professional sport complexes that we enjoy were built, in part, with taxpayer money…

  53. The vikings are not my “favorite” team but they have been one of my top six teams to cheer for. I would hate to see them leave Minny but I could cheer for them wherever they end up. I will say kudos to the citizens of Minny for having the courage to say that while football is fun to be a fan of, there are more important things in life, like education, infrastructure, healthcare, roads, etc. etc. Kudo’s for trying to become the first NFL city/state to not give into the blackmail attempts of the NFL. The other 30 NFL cities have all caved into the NFL . Maybe the Queens could petition the NFL for the right to print funny money (fake stock) like their neighbors to the east.

  54. politicians are afraid to vote because they don’t want to lose their cushy government benefits.

  55. Minnesota fans might have to endure a season or two without football, but the Vikings would probably be replaced with the Chargers, Jaguars, Raiders, Bills, or Rams in the near future.

  56. I was feeling a bit sad over this mess and the possibility of witnessing the team I supported for over 40 years leave Minnesota. Then. Suddenly. A calm came over me as I realized their leaving might free me of the chains I forged in life following them through every miserable super bowl loss, but holding on, believing the Lombardi was within reach the next year. Next year….next year…next year…

  57. You have to remember that its an election year and this is their jobs they are talking about. Every seat is up for grabs, that means everyone’s jobs are on the line. Those legislators are not going to vote on something against the will of their representative constitutes this close to an election. I love Football, but I sure as hell would not commit career suicide for it.

  58. I agree with the Vikings here, they have been patient for almost a decade now only to see both the Twins and Gophers get new stadiums, only to get told to sit tight. Their lease is now up, and they still haven’t threatened to leave. The reality is exactly as the NFL said: Vote one way or another and as politicians show your true colors. No more hiding behind election year politics and not getting anything accomplished. If you agree then vote yes, if not then vote no. Either way people will hold you accountable for your vote, as they should. You are elected to represent the state, not to cower and not vote on any potentially controversial issues.

    The really stupid part is just like when we let the North Stars leave they’ll refuse to build a stadium and the Vikes will leave town. Then after a year or 2 they’ll complain about no football, and will come up with the money for a stadium that will cost more (labor and materials will rise in cost), and try to get an expansion team. All that, or they could just keep the Vikings and all that history here. We’ve already lost the Lakers and North Stars to this crap, and nearly lost the Twins a few years back. Enough is enough already.

  59. So At a minimum, the Vikings and the NFL simply want a full vote by the legislators on the proposed deal ?

    Really these jerks think they can tell a State governing body what to do! What unmitigated gall

    WE should tell them to shove it up their Rooney’s

  60. “You have to remember that its an election year and this is their jobs they are talking about. Every seat is up for grabs, that means everyone’s jobs are on the line.”


    That’s precisely the problem. They are more worried about re-election then they are about doing what they believe in or what they feel is best for their constituents. They were elected to represent their constituents and to fight for what they believe in, not to say and do whatever they need to in order to get re-elected. Simply vote Yes or No, it’s not too complicated. Real politicians aren’t afraid to cast an unpopular vote if it is what they believe in and they have a backbone. They weren’t elected to sit back and not do anything for fear of a coming election.

  61. why is everyone hating on the vikings so much. if your not a part of this stay out. imagine if this was your team and your own state was holding them back.

  62. When its all said and done, the Vikes are going nowhere, the stadium will get built. Everything else is BS.
    What people forget or don’t understand is there is no land available in LA, no money is being talked about and a stadium there is five years away at best so why would the Wilfs or anyone esle be interested.

    If you build it they will come but no one has the money to build it so LA is out of it.

  63. As a lobbyist myself, I’ve got to hand it to the NFL–they know how to call the legislature to task and get a vote. That’s usually the hardest thing to do. Those legislators don’t want a “tax increase” vote before elections, nor do they want to be seen as lining the pockets of a millionaire. But I will say this–when the fans pack up or throw away their Vikings gear, they’ll look back and wish that the MN Legislature followed the way of some others and recognized the public-private partnership between MN and the Vikings is good for the State. Maybe Wilf could sweeten the pot, maybe they could use bond proceeds? He could pay the interest. They could work a deal.

  64. Baltimore, LA, and Anaheim went over a decade without replacement NFL teams. Houston and St. Louis also had long dry spells. Cleveland was an exception because the NFL was ripe for expansion. All six cities lost their teams due to stadiums which NFL owners deemed inadequate for financial objectives, plus lack of public funding for replacement stadiums.

    The Minneapolis situation is totally consistent with these, and, unlike Cleveland, if the Vikings relocate, Minneapolis is more likely to go to the bottom of the list of serious far out future expansion sites, behind some combination of LA, San Antonio, Toronto, and London.

    Regardless of the “fairness” of public funding for a privately owned NFL team, there will continue to be many more eligible cities willing to cough up the funds. It’s now or never (or, at least decades) for Minnesota to take the NFL more seriously than did the mayors of Baltimore, Cleveland, Houston etc., all of whom had ultimately spend hundreds of millions more while their NFL fans were impacted.

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