The Vikings issued a very interesting statement on Tuesday afternoon about the fact the Governor and State Legislature failed to move the stadium issue forward during this year's session. The last line of the four paragraph statement is the most interesting, especially since the team's lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season.
Here it is:
"The Minnesota Vikings want to thank the tens of thousands of Vikings fans for their tremendous support for a new stadium. We appreciate the army of fans who stand with us at this watershed moment for the future of the franchise in Minnesota.
"The Vikings organization is extremely disappointed that the Governor and State Legislature did not move the stadium issue forward this year. While we greatly respect the challenges and priorities faced by the State of Minnesota, resolution of this issue has now been pushed to the final year of the lease. This lack of action will only increase the costs of the project for everyone, plus we missed the opportunity to put thousands of Minnesotans back to work.
"The Vikings and the NFL have made significant commitments to this market -- commitments that cannot be sustained at the Metrodome. In 2006, the Vikings were asked by Governor Pawlenty and State leaders to step back and allow the Twins and Gophers stadium issues to be resolved. Those State leaders committed to work with the team to resolve this issue. More than four years later, those commitments have not been honored.
"We appeal to our State’s leaders to join the bi-partisan group of legislators who have stepped up to work on securing the long-term future of the Vikings in Minnesota. This group of leaders has acknowledged that having an NFL team in Minnesota requires a stadium solution. This solution must be finalized in the 2011 Session."