Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, a key player in any Minnesota Vikings stadium deal, got a firsthand look at the situation Sunday, going onto the field at the Metrodome before the Vikings-Packers game to talk with team owner Zygi Wilf.
Koch and Michael Brodkorb, the Senate Republican spokesman, were on the field before Sunday’s game. Brodkorb said it was Koch's first-ever Vikings game.
"It'd been communicated to the Vikings that she was going to be there, so she was afforded a field pass," said Brodkorb. Brodkorb, who said his family has had Vikings season tickets since 1961, said it was also his first time on the field.
Koch, R-Buffalo, has said that she wants a voter referendum before local sales taxes are increased to help build a stadium – a move the Vikings oppose -- and last month said she could not recall ever meeting Wilf.
Brodkorb said that Koch paid full value for her ticket, and during the game sat in the corner of the end zone on the lower level. He said the Senate majority leader also met with members of SavetheVikes, a group pushing for a new, publicly-subsidized stadium.
“That’s not necessarily a rare occurrence” for the public to be on the field before a game, said Brodkorb. “She spoke with Zygi Wilf, she spoke with [team president] Mark Wilf, she spoke with Lester Bagley,” the teams vice president for stadium development and public affairs.
The team wants a new $1.1 billion stadium in Ramsey County’s Arden Hills. Gov. Mark Dayton said he wants a special legislative session by Thanksgiving to resolve the stadium issue, including how the state would contribute $300 million to the project.
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