One veteran state senator and one rookie state senator told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Thursday that we should not expect to see a Vikings stadium bill get addressed in an upcoming special legislative session.
Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, who has been a state senator for 35 years, and Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, a freshman senator, said the battle to get the state's budget taken care of will be difficult enough, and may not leave any time for debate on a Vikings stadium.
So, Vikings fans, if indeed Cohen and Thompson are correct, that a stadium bill won't get done this year, then we're left to assume that we'll be watching a lame-duck NFL team this fall (assuming an NFL season even occurs in 2011).
If that's the case, and the Vikings become intent on leaving Minnesota, who's to blame? Even with my purple-colored glasses taken off, I can't understand how the blame would fall anywhere other than on those lawmakers in St. Paul.
This isn't about whether or not the state should pay for part of a Vikings stadium. This is about who's at fault if it doesn't get done.
The Vikings have done everything the state has asked them to do. They sat patiently and waited while the Twins and the Gophers football team had their new stadiums built, with plenty of taxpayer help. The Vikings -- as they should have -- halted their push when the I-35 bridge collapse occurred and the state obviously had much bigger and more important concerns to deal with.
Then, state leaders told the Vikings to find a stadium site, and bring the proposal back to them. The Vikings did exactly that, reaching an agreement with Ramsey County and Arden Hills. When the team and Ramsey County brought that proposal forward, our state's leaders panicked because, whoa, whoa, whoa ... that's not a stadium site in MInneapolis or St. Paul!
Minneapolis dragged its feet, then scrambled at the last second and threw its own proposal together after the Arden Hills news broke, even though the city had months -- if not years -- to work out something with the Vikings.
So, take your pick. If the Vikings leave Minnesota, blame it on the state legislature, blame it on the city of Minneapolis. Just don't blame it on Zygi Wilf.
— Jason Feldman