Dayton's angry letter to Wilfs means "Vikings could be back in play for L.A.," NBC writes
Dayton is not cool with the Vikings' idea of funding the private portion of the stadium cost by bilkling fans.
Think the Vikings stadium drama ended last spring when the Minneapolis City Council signed off on a stadium bill? Think again, apparently.
Last week, the Vikings sent emails to season ticket holders gauging their interest in paying for personal seat licenses (PSLs) -- a payment that merely gives holders the right to buy season tickets. Today, in response, Gov. Dayton wrote an angry letter to Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf that says, "The [stadium]'s strong support came from many regular Minnesotans, not just rich Minnesotans, because they believed the Vikings are also their team... If a new stadium were to betray that trust, it would be better that it not be built."
Here's Dayton's full letter:
Dayton's harsh tone prompted NBC Sports' Mike Florio to wonder whether "The Vikings could eventually be back in play for L.A."
Dayton "has threatened in a roundabout way to nix the project," Florio writes. "Unless they work this out, it could end up being 'No People's Stadium.' And the Vikings could be playing at Farmer's Field [in L.A.]."
But ESPN 1500's Tom Pelissero argues that Dayton's letter "sounds like a lot of gobble gobble turkey." Pelissero also suggests Dayton "should do his job and read the damn thing" before signing bills into law.
Here's a chronology of Pelissero's stadium controversy-related tweets from this morning:
Gov. Dayton writes "some details were not fully understood" in the stadium deal. Dude, I had funding charts that showed PSLs as a mechanism.-- Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 13, 2012
I believe this falls under the important political umbrella "no givesies-backsies."-- Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 13, 2012
If Dayton didn't know Vikings planned to use PSLs, then that's an indictment of him as governor. Can't play dumb after you sign it into law.-- Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 13, 2012
In fact, there are two express references to PSLs in the stadium legislation. Maybe Dayton should do his job and read the damn thing.-- Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 13, 2012
Here's the pertinent passage from the Vikings stadium bill:
• Subd. 2 - NFL Team/Private Contribution; timing of expenditures - (a) The NFL team/private contribution, including stadium builder's license proceeds, for stadium costs must be made in cash in the amount of $477,000,000.
• Subd. 14 - Stadium Builder's Licenses. - The authority shall own and retain the exclusive right to sell stadium builder's licenses in the stadium. The authority will retain the NFL team to act as the authority's agent in marketing and selling such licenses.
On international games, the bill states:
• The NFL team must agree to play all preseason, regular season and postseason home games at the stadium. However, the team may play up to three home games outside the United States during the first 15 years of the lease or use agreement and up to three home games in the next 15 years of the lease or use agreement.
I'd hate to sell something to Mark Dayton at a garage sale.-- Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 13, 2012
The Wilfs haven't yet responded to Dayton's letter. We'll keep you posted if they have anything interesting to say to the governor -- or if their private plane is spotted anywhere in the Los Angeles area.
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