Vikings stadium won't get a special session
This stadium will have to wait until the legislature's New Year's hangover wears off.
The Minnesota Vikings are, putting it kindly, not a very special football team right now. Fittingly, the team won't get a special session from the legislature to rule on its new stadium(s?), and will have to wait until January 2012, when the regular legislative session comes back.
And when we mean they have to wait until January, we mean they have to wait until May, when the legislature ends, and lawmakers are up against a deadline.
And when we say May, we mean July 20, the unimaginably late date this year's Minnesota budget was finally signed in to place.
Oh, great. What in the name of the Los Angeles Laker-Vikings could possibly go wrong here?
The doubtfulness of a special session comes as a result of a leaked e-mail from Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers, who sent a dismissive missive to his Republican colleagues, one of which then shared it with Minnesota Public Radio.
The crucial part of the e-mail goes like this:
"I have repeatedly told Governor Dayton that I will not support a special session for a Vikings stadium. This issue can be addressed during the regular session. I will continue to communicate this message to the governor, legislative leaders, the public and media."
Mark Dayton, Kurt Zellers: Wait, what did I just agree to?
All of the snappiness in Zeller's e-mail blast came as quite a surprise to some people in Governor Mark Dayton's office. Like, to name one, Mark Dayton. The governor was getting all geared up to meet with Vikings officials on Friday, and was set to release his own plan to fund the stadium on Monday. (Pity the poor staffers in Dayton's office who spent weeks crunching numbers and researching zoning regulations, only to have their homework assignment canceled at the last minute.) Dayton now describes the negotiations for a new stadium as being in "limbo," the Pioneer Press reports.
"I'm disappointed," Dayton said. "We were making progress, I thought, until today."
Zellers' e-mail is a bit curious in its insistence that he's "repeatedly" rejected the special session, and will "continue" to tell everyone, including the media, that he's opposed to it: As MPR pointed out, the first time Zellers issued a public statement like this was... well, it was this e-mail, which was leaked yesterday.
At this point, the Vikings are pretty much disappointed in everyone who doesn't wear No. 7, No. 28, and No. 69 for them. The team issued a statement yesterday, firmly reminding everyone that the team's lease on the Metrodome runs out in "less than 90 days" -- that is, before the legislative session even begins, on January 24.
"The Vikings stadium issue," the team's statement read, "has been heavily debated in the public for over 10 years."
So, 10 years, what's another three, or six, or eight or nine months? Tell you what, Vikings, why don't we both just spend the holidays with our families. Reconnect a bit, get ourselves grounded, you know?
Then, when your miserable season is over, and our legislature's miserable season has stared back up, they'll get in touch, and see exactly how miserable you can make each other and everyone else. It seems like you've all done enough damage for now.
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