The Vikings got lucky with an approval for a public subsidy to build their football stadium. The subsidy was approved by The Senate committee of Minnesota. The team had put in a struggling effort to spark the stalled debate just a few hours after Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, had paid a visit to the Capitol of the state.
The bill was passed on an 8-6 vote by the Local Government as well as the Elections Committee of the Senate. The hearing stretched as long as four hours. The bill has still a long way to go, but the vote gave a new start to the proposal of a $975 million arena.
“We are definitely pleased that the bill has progressed and moved forward,” said Leger Bagley, the Vikings’ in charge for stadium development, immediately after the vote. “It has been a high and low week.”
The setback regarding the bill is what prompted Goodell to visit on Friday. Art Rooney II, the owner of Pittsburg Steelers and Goodell met Governor Mark Dayton on Friday morning along with other legislative leaders. The aim of the meeting was to point out how important it was to resolve the decade long pursuit of the Vikings for a replacement of their ground Metrodome. However the Vikings are slated to play there the next season as well, but their lease at the dome has already expired. This gives rise to the fears that some other city like Los Angeles, who want to have their own football team, could buy out the franchise and Goodell was not at all pleased by the prospect.
“They came to say that this is high time,” Dayton said after his meeting with the two.
The Vikings owners Zygi along with Mark Wilf were absent from the meeting. After the meeting was over, almost everyone present in the room agreed that the matter needed to be pursued with a sense of urgency.
“It is not that we are acting now because of the threats that have seemed to arise,” said Goodell, “We have talked about the priority of having a solution that will be beneficial for both the team and the community. It has been discussed for a number of years now. I feel that the leaders and Governor have understood that the time to act has arrived.”
Dayton had already been pushing for the deal to be passed for several months.