Dayton: Vikings stadium bill needs to be approved this session, or it's too late

Monday night, the Vikings stadium bill seemingly died an anticlimactic death in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee, where it was defeated in a 9-6 vote.

Following the bill's defeat, the chief author of the House bill, Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said it would require someone to "pull a rabbit out of a hat for this thing to stay alive."

Now, it appears legislators may indeed have to come up with some magic in order to keep Minnesota's cursed but beloved NFL franchise in town.

As Politics in Minnesota reports, during a "hastily scheduled" news conference this morning following a conference call with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Dayton said the commish sent a "very strong, very clear" message that next year will be too late.

"The reality is that there are other cities looking for a franchise," Dayton said, adding that the likelihood of a fall special session is "extremely slim and extremely none."

Dayton's remarks refute those who thought that with the bill seemingly dead for now, the best chance to get a stadium deal done would come during a special session next November, after the election. With the Vikings already committed to playing in Minnesota this season, a special session with a lame-duck legislature next winter looked like a possible last chance to keep the Vikings in Minnesota for 2013 and beyond.

But based on Dayton's remarks, either Goodell is bluffing or the legislature will have to get something done before lawmakers' hoped-for end-of-April adjournment.

Otherwise, football fans may have to content themselves with the Minnesota Valkyrie for the foreseeable future.

Previous coverage:
-- Stadium bill deader than Vikings' postseason chances, but Dayton hopeful for another shot
-- Majority of Minneapolis City Council now supports Vikings stadium
-- Pro-Vikings stadium group releases pro-stadium poll, sparking Twitter controversy
-- Vikings, Rybak, Dayton, pro-Vikes legislators finally unveil stadium plan
-- NFL: No Los Angeles Vikings in 2012

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