As the Minnesota Vikings began the 2011 regular season in San Diego Sunday, supporters rallied for a new stadium back in Minnesota.
Meeting at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., for the final day of live racing, many said they'd like to see casino gambling legalized there to help fund an NFL stadium.
This fall, supporters are battling an effort to put a stadium tax on the 2012 ballot. Ramsey County has offered to host a stadium and help pay for it.
Stadium bill sponsor Morrie Lanning, a Republican representative from Moorhead, doesn't believe lawmakers are willing to block a local stadium referendum.
Ramsey County commissioner Tony Bennett told supporters at the park that he didn't think a stadium plan would survive a referendum.
He also doubts there are enough votes on a county citizens' panel to force a referendum on an agreement reached with the Vikings in May.
The Ramsey County Charter commission plans to take the matter up in the next month.
The chairman of the House transportation committee says legislators, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Vikings are working to trim the costs of building roads around a proposed new football stadium.
During the legislative session, critics questioned the project's affordability because of necessary road improvements that were originally estimated at about $130 million. But Republican Mike Beard of Shakopee says he thinks the project is now feasible.
"I think I heard somewhere in the 80-to-90-million dollar range now," Beard said. "I think that's in a zone of reasonableness we can all work with." Beard spoke to dozens of Vikings fans rallying at Canterbury Park Sunday.