No talk of new stadium in special session

Vikings fans cheer
A fan cheers before an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears Monday, Dec. 20, 2010, in Minneapolis. The game was played at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium because of damage to the Metrodome roof. Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is asksing Gov. Mark Dayton for a stadium bill to be considered in a special legislative session expected to begin next week.
AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

A key backer of the Vikings stadium bill is ruling it out of a special session called to fix Minnesota's budget stalemate.

Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, said passing a stadium bill would be "completely insensitive," given the hard financial choices state leaders have to make.

"It's not this special session," Rosen said. "If there is another special sesson that the governor wants to call, I think there is agreement that people are open to that.

"There are some things that still need to be worked out in the bill that aren't quite done. It has to go through the proper hearing, with public comment."

Gov. Mark Dayton voiced a similar sentiment earlier.

"I want to make sure the Minnesota taxpayers are protected for the life of the bonds, by a secure revenue source, and make sure that the operating details are worked out," Dayton said. "So there are still some big unanswered questions that I have before wanting this to go forward. And I think something of this magnitude should have a good public vetting before it's acted upon."

Republican Doug Magnus, the Senate's assistant majority leader, said he will also oppose a stadium bill for the special session.

"We've got to sort out this budget. Let's get this budget done, get people back to work," Magnus said. "There'll be another day we'll talk about the Vikings."

The Minnesota Vikings say they talked with Dayton on Friday afternoon, formally resuming talks over a proposed NFL stadium.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf spoke with Dayton on Friday, according to team vice president Lester Bagley. Bagley said the team was hoping to get a deal done during next week's expected special session. The issue has sat idle for weeks through the state government shut down.

With a tentative deal to end the shutdown, Bagley said the team hopes lawmakers can put the budget acrimony behind them.

"We know that the budget agreement has been bruising on both sides, and we understand that. We acknowledge that. And to try to fit a stadium solution in that environment is difficult." Bagley said.

"By the same token we need to deliver jobs. Here are 7,500 construction jobs, 3,000 ongoing jobs. Here's an issue that's virtually buttoned down."

Dayton said he is willing to consider a stadium bill as early as next week's expected special session, or in a second special session in the fall.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.