By Mike Kaszuba
Add the Minnesota Vikings to the list of those who are disappointed with Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the DFL-controlled Legislature.
And add this in too: The team, despite pledges that it had no plan to move the franchise because it was not getting a new stadium, Tuesday issued a statement that included some interesting wording.
The team's drive for a new stadium, the statement said, was a "watershed moment for the future of the franchise in Minnesota."
Coming a day after the Legislature adjourned for the year, the team's statement reminded fans, voters and politicians that four years have passed since team officials said the governor and legislators pledged to help the Vikings build a new stadium. The latest proposal by legislators to use public subsidies for a new stadium failed to clear a House committee earlier this month -- just two days after the plan had been unveiled at the State Capitol.
"While we greatly respect the challenges and priorities faced by the State of Minnesota," the team said, referring to the state's budget deficit, "resolution of this [stadium] issue has now been pushed to the final year of the lease."
The Vikings have played at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis since 1982, but have indicated that they will not renew their lease at the facility when it expires after the 2011 season.
"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 team said.