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Don't let stadium vote be delayed

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Developments involving the Minnesota Vikings’ push for a new stadium continue to pile up faster than points in an NFL Pro Bowl.

In other words, a lot.

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So as Minnesotans try to follow all the new ideas, potential progress and plentiful pitfalls of the stadium talks, there is one point to remember: The Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton need to reach a decision this session on whether the state will help the Vikings build a stadium.

Why? The ever-so-patient Vikings deserve a clear answer and, oh yeah, they don’t have a lease. Equally important: Legislators, notorious for procrastination that benefits them politically, should have to decide the issue before Election Day.

Dayton is doing his part. The day before the Legislature convened Dayton took arguably his biggest step to force a decision when he said that for this session the Metrodome site is the only viable site.

Of course, that triggered a rush of related developments.

By week’s end, the Vikings had met with Dayton to hear more details. They remain less than thrilled with the site, especially because they would lose revenue by having to play at the University of Minnesota’s TCF stadium during construction. However, they did not reject it.

Leaders of the Republican-led Legislature were largely silent — an approach they’ve mastered and a tactic that increasingly seems indicative of political procrastination.

Meanwhile, some of those new ideas and plentiful pitfalls arose.

One new idea, which seems more like a pitfall, is the suggestion of another site in downtown Minneapolis.

The apparent selling point is it allows the Vikings to keep playing in the dome during construction. The drawbacks, though, are it would require moving several high-tech businesses out of one building plus massive reconstruction of I-94 exits and entries.

As for pitfalls, the Minneapolis City Council could be the next one. About half its members last week spoke against Mayor R.T. Rybak’s basic plan for that city to fund its share of the stadium. Rybak said he is confident the council will support the plan eventually.

Remember, though, “eventually” means in time for a vote by the Legislature this session. The Vikings deserve an answer, as do voters before they head to the polls Nov. 6.

— St. Cloud Times

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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