Fans will have to wait a little longer for a resolution on the Vikings stadium issue. Legislators have decided the stadium isn’t important enough to warrant inclusion in the upcoming special session planned to deal with lingering budget issues.
Did I say “a little longer?” It actually looks like the wait may be a long one. Through his spokesperson Katie Tinucci, governor Mark Dayton said he won’t consider a second special session to deal with the stadium until the fall. This after Zygi Wilf reportedly met with Dayton on Friday to force the issue.
The majority of Minnesota lawmakers are in agreement with Dayton about the state’s priorities, including those who have so far been behind the stadium bill. Representative Michael Nelson, a co-sponsor of the stadium bill, made clear his reasons for not going to the wall on behalf of the plan at this time. “There’s not a lot of support for cutting people off health care, cutting jobs, then turning around and authorizing bonding for a stadium,” Nelson explained.
The bill’s chief sponsor state senator Julie Rosen was even more blunt, saying, “We will have a vote and we’ll work to get it passed. But if I tried to get a vote on it right now, I’d be strung up.”
In other words, politics has gotten in the way of a stadium resolution. Politics and the reality of Minnesota’s staggering budget issues.
Fans must now derive reassurance from promises that the bill will be considered later. The big question is, how many times can the matter be put off before Zygi Wilf starts exploring other options, including moving the team to L.A.? For all we know Zygi is already exploring this option. Hopefully, by this fall, things will have calmed down enough in Minnesota for the stadium to once again become a front-burner issue. For now, politicians have made it clear the stadium is not a priority.