In another sign that a deal for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium may be fracturing, House Speaker Kurt Zellers has told legislators that he does not think a special legislative session is necessary this year to approve the project.
“I have repeatedly told Governor [Mark] Dayton that I will not support a special session for a Vikings stadium,” Zellers, the leading House Republican, said in a message to his House colleagues. “This issue can be addressed during the regular session” beginning in late January.
Zellers' message came shortly after Dayton, who wants a special session by Thanksgiving, said Tuesday that he would not pursue a legislative exemption for a voter’s referendum in order to increase local sales taxes to help build a stadium.
The DFL governor said he came to the conclusion after meeting with state officials, including Zellers, last Friday and determined there was not enough support for an exemption.
The Vikings want to build a $1.1 billion stadium in Ramsey County’s Arden Hills. Although the team insisted after Dayton’s announcement Tuesday that the project could still move ahead, the governor’s decision appeared to scuttle a plan to have Ramsey County raise $350 million for the stadium through an increase in countywide sales taxes.