In case you’ve been living under a rock this past week, the Vikings stadium situation took a dire turn for the worst this week.
After a bipartisan group of Minnesota state legislators worked together to come up with a stadium financing plan that would rely almost exclusively on user-based taxes to finance building the $791 million stadium, the bill is in jeopardy of falling by the wayside only a few days later.
After passing the first committee it faced in a late night vote on Monday, the bill was defeated in its second House committee by a narrow margin on Tuesday. The Chairman of the House committee, Rep. Gene Pelowski, acted as though he were insulted that he even had to discuss the bill.
Other committee members, such as Rep. Ryan Winkler, spent more time grilling the Vikings about their intention of moving the team, than they did discussing a solution to the stadium issue.
Only the night before, Rep. Mark Buesgens made it be known to the entire House that he wasn’t pleased to be having to discuss a stadium solution for the Vikings, either.
And the House sponsor of the stadium bill, Rep. Loren Solberg, was forced to remove some of the key components of the bill, because Gov. Tim Pawlenty didn’t approve of parts of it. Among the content that was removed, was the user-based taxes, such as a tax on Vikings jerseys, which had gotten such wide praise only days before.
Despite all this bad news, there is a group of Vikings fans who refuse to give up hope, and are demanding that Gov. Pawlenty call a special session of the legislature this summer to get the stadium issue resolved once and for all.
They feel as though the Minnesota legislature owes it to the voters and taxpayers of Minnesota to properly work with the Vikings to find a resolution to this issue, and not just sweep it under the rug or make excuses.
Cory Merrifield, founder of SavetheVikes.org, has pledged to hold a press conference at the Minnesota State Capitol building on May 13, if he can get enough people to sign a petition asking him to do so.
There are two ways in which you can show your support for Merrifield's effort online: By “liking” a Facebook page that he has setup, or by signing an iPetition. Several news outlets have been notified, and are ready to cover the press conference— he just needs to get 10,000 combined signatures on the petitions.
To “like” Merrifield's Facebook page, click here.
To sign the iPetition, click here.
Merrifield encourages all Vikings fans to spread the word.
E-mail your friends and family, post to your Facebook profile, post it to your Myspace page, hand out flyers, hang signs on bridges— do whatever it takes! This may be the last chance to keep the Vikings in Minnesota.