The Minnesota Vikings are nearing the 11th hour on a new stadium deal, the only sure thing that will keep them located amongst the 10,000 or so lakes scattered about the great state.
They’re throwing in the towel on a deal getting done during this legislative session and are trying to build some momentum for next year. The club released the following statement this afternoon:
"The Minnesota Vikings want to thank the tens of thousands of Vikings fans for their tremendous support for a new stadium. We appreciate the army of fans who stand with us at this watershed moment for the future of the franchise in Minnesota.
The Vikings organization is extremely disappointed that the Governor and State Legislature did not move the stadium issue forward this year. While we greatly respect the challenges and priorities faced by the State of Minnesota, resolution of this issue has now been pushed to the final year of the lease. This lack of action will only increase the costs of the project for everyone, plus we missed the opportunity to put thousands of Minnesotans back to work.
The Vikings and the NFL have made significant commitments to this market -- commitments that cannot be sustained at the Metrodome. In 2006, the Vikings were asked by Governor Pawlenty and State leaders to step back and allow the Twins and Gophers stadium issues to be resolved. Those State leaders committed to work with the team to resolve this issue. More than four years later, those commitments have not been honored.
We appeal to our State’s leaders to join the bi-partisan group of legislators who have stepped up to work on securing the long-term future of the Vikings in Minnesota. This group of leaders has acknowledged that having an NFL team in Minnesota requires a stadium solution. This solution must be finalized in the 2011 Session."
With the team’s lease at the Metrodome running through the 2011 season, it would seem imperative that a deal get done next year. Team officials have maintained they will not sign an extension unless a plan is in place for a new stadium.
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