Minnesota political leaders vowed to give a compromise plan for a $1 billion stadium one more shot before the end of the legislative session. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell flew to the Minneapolis Friday morning for a meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton, who spearheaded the stadium bill, and legislative leaders from both parties. Goodell was joined by Steelers owner and stadium committee chair Art Rooney.
At press conference laced with football analogies following the meeting, all sides acknowledged the importance of the stadium issue and the dire possibilities of not settling the matter this year.
Asked about getting a vote on the stadium bill to the House floor, Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers said, "we'll have an answer on that in the next couple days."
"I believe they served us a reality check," said Senator Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont. Rosen said that she expects the bill to go to the Senate floor for a vote before the end of the session.
Senate Minority Leader Tomm Bakk maintained the urgency of the project, telling the press "I would like a decision on the issue this year." Bakk also said that his party had decided to do "heavier lifting" in order to get the bill moving again.
Goodell echoed sentiments from the Governor and others, calling the meeting "productive."
This was the first time that the Governor and legislative leaders were all in the same room to discuss the bill.
Details of the discussion were few and far between, and neither side Goodell and others stressed that no threats were made, but the realities of the situation were discussed, including an open and waiting market in Los Angeles.
"There was no ultimatum, but we did clearly talk about Los Angeles -- that it is an open market," Senator Rosen said. "And I do believe there is some feeling among some legislators that the Vikings would never leave. So it was good to hear from the NFL that they do have the right to move or (sell the team)."
The end of the Minnesota 2012 legislative session is scheduled to end on May 21, 2012.
"If we all work together, it will pass," Gov. Dayton said in a matter of fact tone. "If we don't work together, it will fail."