Monday, May 7, 2012
Vikings stadium: Unique scene at capitol
By Kevin Seifert
By all accounts, it's been a raucous day at the Minnesota state capitol, where an unlikely intersection between state lawmakers, Minnesota Vikings fans and unemployed union construction workers is taking place.
Tailgaters have been on site since early Monday morning, and the Vikings held an early afternoon rally with Gov. Mark Dayton and four players, including quarterback Christian Ponder. (Video here from 1500ESPN.com's Tom Pelissero.) The state House of Representatives formally took up the bill at 3 p.m. ET, but debating the stadium bill has proved difficult given the volume of chants from fans just outside the chamber walls. Eventually, according to onlookers, House Speaker Kurt Zellers asked that the doors remained closed so the debate could be heard by all members.
If you're following the play-by-play on Twitter or via the House's closed-circuit feed, you know that members approved an amendment that increased the Vikings' share in the $975 million project from $427 million to $532 million. It's doubtful the Vikings would go for that change, but it's important to note that amendments are always subject to negotiation when a final bill is drafted. It wouldn't be surprising to see the bill changed in other ways as well.
In the end, however, the goal for stadium supporters is to continue to push the ball down the field. In the end, that would mean approval in some form from the House and moving on to the Senate. Again, the House could be hours and hours away from a final vote. Stay tuned.