Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said Tuesday he met with Sen. David Senjem, the new Senate majority leader, and said the Vikings “feel that a deal is going to be in the works shortly” to build a new stadium.
Wilf met with Senjem a week after Senjem was chosen to replace Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, who resigned abruptly last month as Senate majority leader after acknowledging she had an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staff member.
"It was just a real good meet and greet," said Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, the lead Senate stadium legislation author, who also attended the meeting. "I think the Wilfs wanted to just talk with the new majority leader and get a feel for what kind of man we have in place there -- a good, steady hand at the steering wheel."
Wilf agreed that the meeting went well. “This morning we met with Senators Senjem, now the majority leader, and Senator Rosen,” said Wilf. “And they’re very encouraged on the progress we’re making.”
Senjem has in the past been a supporter of exploring ways to help build a new Vikings stadium.
Ted Mondale, Gov. Mark Dayton’s lead stadium negotiator, said last week that stadium supporters hoped to have a stadium site chosen by mid-January. While the Vikings want to build a new $1.1 billion stadium in Ramsey County’s Arden Hills, Minneapolis officials are pushing three sites in the state’s largest city for the team’s new home.
The Legislature is scheduled to begin meeting Jan. 24, and stadium supporters have promised that legislation outlining a public funding package for the project will be unveiled soon.
More from Hot Dish Politics
Former state Rep. Jim Abeler is likely to run for an open state Senate seat next year in the northwest Twin Cities suburbs.
Gov. Mark Dayton again acknowledged the tough times for Lake Mille Lacs walleye fishing industry with the end of the season today due to severe population decline.
DNR Commish Tom Landwehr calls it a “dark day for anglers in Minnesota.” Walleye season ends tonight at Lake Mille Lacs due to the walleye population decline, the first time this has ever happened mid-season. Dayton to hold morning news conference.
A spokesman for Melanie Benjamin, chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, said tribal leaders would halt the netting of walleye next year.
Gov. Mark Dayton has selected his former budget commissioner, a former state senator and others as members of a new state task force on the future of Minnesota's public healthcare programs.