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May 16, 2006

Blah, blah, blah

Greetings and salutations, Greet Machine reader! Well, this post will be a little more of the same from your's truly. Man, I can't wait for this Saturday to come. After that this will be all over and I can start thinking about other stuff. Although, the only reason you are here is probably to get some stadium news. Well, I will try not to disappoint.

• Let me just say, I love the Vikings. Just love them. Sunday afternoons in the fall are a pure joy for me just because I know the Vikings are playing football. Truth be told, I grew up just across the border in Wisconsin. River Falls, Wisconsin to be specific. But my Minnesota born Mom brainwashed me to be a Vikings fan, and I have been in pain ever since. Growing up in Wisconsin as a Vikings fan was not very easy. I was definitely in the minority, and I even got into a couple of scuffles over it. It is probably for that reason that I am so rabid about the Vikings today.

Having said that, it is time for the Vikings to stop what they are doing and let the Gophers and the Twins finish off their stadium plans. The Vikings plan is at best a little messy, and during the conference committee yesterday it became clear that Anoka County and the Vikings haven't even agreed on whether or not there should be a roof. Zygi, please, give it up for now so we can move on. The Twins have been at this for much, much longer than you and they are rounding third on their way to home. Please let them get out of the way and then you can have the full attention of the legislature. Mr. Cheer or Die writes about this issue today as well. We are running out of time Zygi, and it is time to get this done.

The only good that could come out of this is that possible delays in stadium construction could convince Zygi to build one himself without a roof. I know, this is very unlikely, but if he wants to go down that route I think it is clear that he will do it without the assistance of Anoka County.

• Today or tomorrow a second stadium conference committee, this one for the Gophers stadium, will begin meeting. And if you haven't read Doug Grow's column on Larry Pogemiller, it is eye-opening. Pogemiller really screwed the pooch with all of these "shenanigans."

• I have been given some information about an old Strib Minnesota poll from 1978 that asked if people were in favor of building the Metrodome. 42% said no and 38% said yes. Hardly the difference in opinion that there is today, but had the legislature listened to the "will of the public" back then we wouldn't even have that building. In the case of the Metrodome, and the Xcel Energy Center for that matter, the legislature went against the will of the people, they showed some leadership, and the state became a better place for it. Does anyone regret these decisions to build these buildings now? No. Of course not. The same thing will happen with a Twins stadium. I guarantee it.

And more recently, we have yet another example of the legislature going against the will of the people, and this example still has me steamed. I am speaking of "conceal and carry." Really, how in the world did the "conceal and carry" law pass? According to a May 2003 article in the Star Tribune, there was nearly two-thirds opposition to this bill and yet after 6 years of trying the legislature still passed it. Check this out from the Strib:

"At least three-fifths of college graduates, DFLers, liberals, Twin Cities-area residents and those in the lowest income bracket also believe the state will become more dangerous. The view of a safer Minnesota is most prevalent among Republicans and conservatives. But even in those groups, more think it will be more dangerous than safer."

Everyone was against this bill, and it still passed. Like I said, I'm still not in favor of the bill, but I will concede it hasn't turned Minnesota into the lawless wasteland that I thought it would. And I dare say not one legislator lost his or her job over it. Perhaps the stadium issue riles people up a little more, and perhaps the stadium issue is a little more bi-partisan, but I am almost certain that most people will be indifferent to this issue come November.

David Howe writes in a comment to another post:

So, even though the poll shows more people are opposed, legislators may lose more votes by voting against the stadium. Those of us in favor, are strongly in favor, and will vote against a candidate if they oppose it. Where the majority of those saying 'No' are really indifferent when it comes right down to it.

I absolutely agree with this. Most people, while they voted no in the most recent poll, won't care that the Twins are getting a new stadium. They won't even notice. However, one thing they would definitely notice is if the Twins left Minnesota. And that is when you would see the fur fly.

Oh well, it has been argued, dissected, and discussed ad naseum at this point. The end is coming, and I for one can't wait. Zygi, get out of the way so we can get this done! According to the Legislative Television web page, the committe will begin meeting at 8:30. Hopefully they make a little more progress today.

UPDATE: The conference committee just adjourned after spending most of their time talking about the Vikings stadium situation. Paul Tagliabue, the NFL comissioner, spoke convincingly about the need for a new Vikings stadium and the benefits of not waiting to build one. However, towards the end of the meeting it became clear, at least to me, that the committee will begin leaning towards dropping the Vikings off the bill and focusing on returning it to a Twins bill once again. Brad Finstad, author of the Twins bill in the House, said that he will be talking with House leaders today during the session to gauge the feasibility of splitting the two stadium needs and how likely it is that a Vikings stadium bill could move through the House in the remaining days of the session. My guess would be that isn't very likely or feasible. Regardless, I think the committee is finally moving in the right direction.

The committee will meet again today, a half an hour after the Senate and the House ends their respective floor sessions.

Posted by snackeru at May 16, 2006 7:37 AM | Stadiums 2006


As I said in my post yesterday the Vikings said
yesterday they aren't moving,so let's get on with
it and save the TWINS for Minnesota! Unfortunately
the SENATE won't have the gavel (chairmanship)of
the conference until tommorrow,so don't look for
anything to be accomplished until Sen.Steve Kelley
gets at least one more day of posturing under his

Posted by: jimj at May 16, 2006 10:48 AM

Does anyone know when the Senate and House are supposed to vote on the stadiums this week?

Also when will they announce what they will be sending to a vote?

Posted by: Mojo at May 16, 2006 11:46 AM

Interesting article in strib.com. Vikings reiterated they aren't paying for a roof and Anoka County is saying that they have no interest in a stadium with no roof. I'm guessing this kills a Vikings deal this session.

The article also says the conference committee comes back in session later this afternoon, perhaps with a vote.

Posted by: freealonzo at May 16, 2006 11:55 AM

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