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Vikings VP: Delaying stadium vote would free team from lease, add to project's cost

Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers sent an e-mail to colleagues saying a vote on a plan to finance a new stadium should wait until the 2012 regular session. But Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley says putting off legislative action could leave the team operating without a lease and add to the project's already hefty costs.
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Vikings vice president Lester Bagley says delaying legislative action on a Vikings stadium until next year would add to the project's already hefty costs and leave the team operating without a lease, according to a report in the Associated Press.

Bagley's comments come after House Speaker Kurt Zellers told colleagues that a vote on a plan to finance a new stadium can wait until the regular session convenes in 2012. "I have repeatedly told Governor (Mark) Dayton that I will not support a special session for a Vikings stadium," Zellers said.

Meanwhile, Governor Dayton and leading lawmakers have taken a stadium tax off the table. They announced Tuesday that the Legislature will not agree to a local tax increase without a public vote. That apparently quashes a plan to use a Ramsey County sales tax hike as the key to funding an Arden Hills stadium.

Reaction came quickly, as the Vikings, Minneapolis, and Ramsey County all put the news in a favorable light. Minneapolis insists it's the cheapest and best option, while the team and Ramsey County hope a new funding method will keep Arden Hills in play.

But what might that new source of money be? Don Davis of Forum Communications says Tuesday put the whole stadium funding question firmly back on square one.

Then again, maybe we're not starting over. Perhaps, as MinnPost's Doug Grow suggests, we're just entering another chapter in a stadium saga where the wheeling and dealing is never done.

Speaking of done, Pioneer Press columnist Tom Powers thought that might be the state of things between the Vikings and Minnesota. Until he found some hope in the prospect that Tuesday's development could be the crisis that finally produces a stadium solution.

So what's your take? Square one, another twist, the end of the line, or the door to the answer? Let us know below.

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