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Vikings stadium supporters, opponents post dueling online petitions

After Shoreview city councilman Blake Huffman posted an online petition asking government officials to block plans for a new Vikings stadium in Arden Hills, the online backlash was swift and angry.

"It's insulting to me that Blake Huffman has gall to call himself #Viking fan," tweeted @VikesStadium.

Now there is a rival petition up online asking for support for the pricey new stadium. Both camps have plans to present the petitions to the Ramsey County Commissioners, and a lot of digital ink is being spilled.

It's insulting to me that Blake Huffman has gall to call himself #Viking fan. #NewMNStadium @rochelleolsonThu Jun 23 16:39:23 via Echofon

A week ago, Huffman posted the petition "Viking Fans Against the Arden Hills Stadium Proposal." Huffman has been vocal in the past about his skepticism over the plan, and laid out his concerns once more in the petition. In particular, he's concerned with the use of $350 million worth of Ramsey County taxpayer money as well as the $173 million price tag for infrastructure.

"To date there has been no official votes on this issue and only one scarcely attended public meeting," Huffman writes. "The biggest development in several generations is certainly worthy of a series of public conversations before decisions are made."

As of Wednesday, the petition had less than 90 signatures. But about a day after local papers ran stories about the petition, signatures skyrocketed. As of this writing, the count is over 1,500. Huffman said he plans to present the signatures to the Ramsey County Commissioners.

But Huffman awakened some angry dogs with his petition's success, including the guys behind SaveTheVikes.org. Fans of the new stadium plan lashed back on Twitter at any media outlet who posted a link to the Huffman petition, from Star Tribune to ESPN's Kevin Seifert.

@espn_nfcnblog How many times have you mentioned our fan advocacy groups or plugged our events? Though we wouldn't ask you to take sides.Fri Jun 24 03:28:54 via Echofon

Finally, late yesterday afternoon, Josh Hewitt, the man behind @VikesStadium, created his own online petition called "Say 'Yes' to Vikings Stadium."

"True Viking fans are open to compromise and don't take a '100% private financing or let them leave' stand on this issue," the petition reads. "We feel as though the current proposal is a fair proposal."

As of now, the petition has 434 signatures. We'll keep you posted to see who wins this bowl game.

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