Governor, Goodell call visit to Minnesota productive
The Minnesota Vikings do not want to wait another year to have a stadium measure passed by state lawmakers.
The NFL doesn’t want to wait, either.
Commissioner Roger Goodell completed a lobbying trip to the state Capitol this morning, sharing his message that the situation has reached an urgent point. Now, it will be interesting to see what transpires in the coming days and weeks and if state lawmakers are moved to take action.
Gov. Mark Dayton called the visit by Goodell and NFL officials “productive,” according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Earlier this week, a measure to fund a new stadium near the Metrodome was virtually killed by lawmakers. Whether or not it can be revived during this session remains to be seen as anxiety mounts over a possible move in the future by the franchise. The NFL confirmed Goodell made a recent visit to Los Angeles, but said it was not related to a move by the Vikings, according to Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network.
Goodell said no threats were made to the folks in Minneapolis.
“I think our presence here is a signal of how important it is to the National Football League that the Minnesota Vikings continue to be here in this community and continue to be successful,” he said. “We believe that after many, many years that the time has come to pass the legislation and move forward. We expect and hope that after today's meeting that there's a general commitment to be able to do that in this session and that will assure the fact that the Vikings will be here for a very long time, which is our objective.
“There were no implied threats or any threats at all. What we talked about is the importance of creating a solution here. I think the legislative leaders and the governor understand that the time is now. Let's get this addressed."
Dayton remains hopeful progress can be made quickly.
"The writing's on the wall," Dayton said. "I think it's imperative this Legislature act."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune