Governor Mark Dayton took a more conciliatory stance towards personal seat licenses at the new People's Stadium this morning. Sort of.
Speaking after keynoting an education conference in Plymouth, Dayton said he's actually okay with PSLs, to a point.
"To me, this process is working," Dayton said. "This will happen with other issues that we're probably not even aware of right now that are going to come up. They'll be little glitches, we'll work it out. I'm still confident we have the right system in place."
Here's the full press conference audio:
Note, though, that in it, Dayton suggests the Vikings may have been the problem:
"The legislation is 70 pages long, but it didn't cover every detail, and not every card was face up on the table," Dayton said. "Fortunately, we have a system where we have the stadium development authority responsible for issuing these stadium builder licenses ... They're the ones who now can decide, and should decide, what level of these seat licenses are appropriate, if any at all."
He also took some direct shots at the Vikings owners, Zygi and Mark Wilf.
"It seemed to be trying to do something under the radar screen, which is what happened with this extra overseas game. It's just a pattern that frankly, I want to put a stop to of sort of how can we cut this corner, and how can we finagle this advantage. Its just not the way we operate here in Minnesota, and it's not the way this project should be developed..."
Asked if the Vikings were not being forthright, Dayton went on:
"They play their cards close to the vest, I mean a lot of business people do that. they've obviously been very successful developers in New Jersey and that area. And maybe there's one style of doing business there that's effective, and I think there's a different style here, that's more straightforward and more mindful of the need for good relations with the community that I think is inconsistent on their part."
Nonetheless, Dayton said he wasn't going to ask the Legislature to reopen the stadium bill -- as he'd threatened in a letter earlier this week. He also defended his objections to elements of the stadium law that he signed in May, and that his administration played a key role in crafting over the last two years.
"I know no one in my organization knew, and I don't believe anyone else in the Legislature knew the magnitude of what were then referred to as personal seat licenses," Dayton said.
The Vikings? That's not the way THEY remember it. Here's team vice president's Lester Bagley's recollection:
"My understanding is that the governor was personally aware of pro formas laying out various options on personal seat license opportunities," Bagley said in an interview today. "But we certainly worked very directly with the governor's negotiators, and the governor's office, legislative leaders, bill authors over a period of months and years and were highly scrutinized every step of the way."
So, there you go.