Vikings disappointed by Zellers' opposition to special session

Budget deal reached
House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Gov. Mark Dayton in a July 2011 file photo. The Vikings say they're disappointed that Zellers told Republicans that he doesn't want a special legislative session this fall.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

The Minnesota Vikings say they're disappointed that House Speaker Kurt Zellers is telling his fellow Republicans that he doesn't want a special legislative session this fall.

The Vikings had hoped to strike a stadium deal with lawmakers in a special session as part of an overall funding plan for a new home in Arden Hills — as the team's lease on the Metrodome expires.

Team vice president Lester Bagley said Wednesday that the Vikings front office doubts the wisdom of putting off legislative action until next year.

"Ultimately, it's up to legislative leaders and the governor to put a package together and determine the timing," he said. "We're going to push hard to get it done yet this fall, because it only goes up in cost, and it gets harder once the lease expires, and we're trying the best we can to get that package into focus."

The team has proposed a $1.1 billion, three-way partnership with Ramsey County and the state for the new facility. But the plan was thrown in doubt Tuesday when state leaders said they likely wouldn't sanction a sales tax to pay the local share. Ramsey County officials say they don't think they can win local approval for the tax, either.

"The [Metrodome] lease expires in less than 90 days, and at that point we will be the only NFL team without a lease," he said.

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