Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Setback in Minnesota’s Fight to Prevent State from Giving Football Team Hundreds of Millions for Stadium

NFL Commissioner Threatens to Allow Team to Move – Proper Response, Don’t Let the Door Slam on Your Way Out

Minnesota, the state that shut down vital services last summer because Republicans would not pass a tax increase to avoid massive cuts in education and social programs has been under extreme pressure to give the Minnesota Vikings hundreds of millions for a new football stadium.  And just when it looked like common sense prevailed and the proposal would fail in the state legislature, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell waltzed into town and said he was absolutely not saying he would allow the team to move if the new stadium were not approved.

Goodell said there were no threats by the league or Vikings owner Zygi Wilf to move the team should legislators fail to pass a bill before they adjourn. "There were no implied threats, or any threats at all," he said. "What we talked about is the importance of creating a solution here."

Another NFL executive said earlier this week, however, that the lack of action on a stadium was creating "ripe'' conditions for the Vikings to be sold and moved. Dayton had characterized that message as a warning.

As a result of the non-threat threat, the Minnesota state senate has found a committee to approve the deal.

Only hours after Goodell and Gov. Mark Dayton pressed legislative leaders on the issue, a Senate committee voted 8-6 to advance the plan for the nearly $1billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

So it may be that the state that couldn’t find enough money for things like health care, law enforcement and special education may miraculously find $400+ million to build a facility that will cost $1 billion and be used at least 8 days out of the 365 days in a year.

The disabled children who lost many benefits and support services must be very proud.

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