Gov. Mark Dayton met with three members of the Minneapolis City Council this morning to talk to them about their support for a stadium.
Dayton said Mayor R.T. Rybak, council president Barb Johnson and two other city council members attended. City officials identified them as Sandy Colvin Roy and Kevin Reich, although neither has returned a phone call to their office seeking confirmation.
"There are a couple that are carefully considering their position," Dayton said of council members.
Reich said earlier this month that he believes city's voters need to approve the proposed $975 million stadium plan in a referendum. Rybak, though, said the same day that he didn't consider Reich a "no" vote.
Colvin Roy last month cited similar reasoning in voicing her reluctance to supporting a stadium plan: that 1997 charter amendment that requires a referendum on stadium spending over $10 million.
The two are part of what are reported to be a majority "no" bloc on the council, and part of the reason Rybak has said he hasn't been able to offer tangible proof of the city's support for his stadium plan. And if Reich and Colvin Roy are in fact the swing votes on the plan, Dayton offered little indication that he'd swung them.
"Well, they're open to considering their position," Dayton said. "I don't know that either of them have taken a firm position. I don't know that for a fact one way or the other. But they both indicated they were willing to consider their position."
Dayton touched on another facet of the stadium debate as well: whether the council can vote on a stadium before the Legislature acts.
"I'm not a lawyer. Some say the council can't actually by law vote definitively until after the Legislature enacts the legislation. So I think what the Legislature's looking for is a letter, that's clear that at least a majority of the Minneapolis City Council support the project, and ultimately assuming that the terms stay relatively the same, would support it."
But Dayton also added that he still considers the stadium alive. "I'm still hopeful," he said. "We didn't get any final commitments, but we didn't ask for any final commitments, either."
This bill, if passed without a referendum, very sadly disenfranchises Minneapolis voters. One has to ask, why do we even vote anymore? Isn't voting one of the most sacred privileges we as a nation fight for? This bill clearly denies the will of the majority.
Taxpayers do not want to pay for a new stadium. I love the NFL but it should be the responsibility of the owners and the league to build new stadiums. If one is to be built, millions could be saved by not putting a roof on the stadium. The Vikes were better when they didn't play in a dome anyway.
I don't mind INVESTING in a new stadium if the public gets proportional ownership and profit sharing. It's the bribing, er, sorry, LOBBYING of public officials in order to GIVE taxpayer money to billionaires that is unacceptable.
go stadium supporters
If this stadium must be built, please remember the common people and make it user friendly to everyone. Make the new stadium runner and Rollerblade friendly. Indoor activities are a necessity in Minneapolis in the winter and the Rollerdome and indoor running are excellent activities worth preserving. They are not expensed to the taxpayer and bring a small income to the facility when there are no other paying activities happening. There is a 21 year old tradition of Rollerblading at the current dome that has many loyal adherants, please make certain that any replacement stadium is also user friendly!