By Baird Helgeson

Gov. Tim Pawlenty probably thought he could get out of Osseo without letting this little nugget fly.

Talking with reporters after a Tuesday speech to Osseo business leaders, Pawlenty said he and Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf had coffee together at the governor’s residence in the morning.

Wilf reiterated that the Vikings won’t play in the Metrodome after the team’s lease expires in 2011, Pawlenty said. The Vikings owners have begun making their public push for a new stadium, dismissing talk of retrofitting the Metrodome.

“I would just characterize the meeting as a good exchange of concerns, both from the Vikings standpoint and from my standpoint, and an agreement to keep talking,” Pawlenty said in characterizing the hour-long meeting.

“(The Vikings) are a tremendous part of our Minnesota fabric, but with these economic times, it’s challenging to find a way to deal with their stadium needs,” said Pawlenty, who is trying to resolve a projected $1.2 billion state deficit over the next 19 months.

Pawlenty and Wilf seem to be getting rather chummy.

“Zygi and I talk, either by phone or in person, every few months,” Pawlenty said. “This was part of that pattern.”


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