Zellers backtracks, now opposes Vikings stadium bill

Stadium concept
The Minnesota Vikings released this concept of a new stadium in downtown Minneapolis, April, 2, 2012. This illustration show non-game day activity and the proposed Winter Garden light rail train station.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

Republican House speaker Kurt Zellers says that he doesn't want the Vikings stadium bill to pass after all.

In an interview with sports talk radio station KFAN on Thursday, Zellers said that he would vote against the measure, but then said he wanted it to pass and hoped to join the governor on the field the opening game at the new stadium.

"My head got ahead of my mouth. Sometimes I'm amazed I actually talked my wife into marrying me," he said Friday. "I misspoke. I've always said I think the Vikings are an asset and I want them to stay. But the bill in the current form is what I was talking about. And again, I said very clearly the other day. I can't support it in the form that it's in. So I misspoke. It was an interview, going fast and furious, made a mistake."

The speaker said Thursday that the House will vote on the stadium bill on Monday. He also denied reports that he told the NFL that the GOP may have enough votes to pass the measure.

Gov. Mark Dayton said that league officials reported hearing of solid support among legislative Republicans last weekend.

It's rare for a major piece of legislation to pass without the speaker's support. The last time it happened in Minnesota was in 2005 when the House passed a transportation funding bill without then-Speaker Steve Sviggum's vote.

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