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Viking stadium proposal in ‘limbo’ after meeting

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Associated Press
November 3, 2011
— The Minnesota Vikings’ chances for getting a decision this year from state lawmakers on financing for a new football stadium plummeted Wednesday, pushing resolution of the issue past the date when the team’s current lease binding it to Minnesota runs out.

Gov. Mark Dayton emerged from a late afternoon meeting with legislative leaders to declare the stadium push in “limbo,” complaining that leading lawmakers wouldn’t get on board with his plan to call a special legislative session in late November to vote on financing for a stadium to replace the Metrodome.


“My timetable has been rejected by the Legislature,” said Dayton, a Democrat. “Now the question is, what’s their timetable?”


Earlier in the day, as word spread that House Speaker Kurt Zellers opposed a special session, a Minnesota Vikings executive warned that delaying the issue until next year’s regular session would increase the project’s already hefty cost. Vice President Lester Bagley stopped short of saying the team would pull up stakes, but noted that after this season the Vikings “will be the only team without a lease.”


“The strategy of avoiding a stadium issue has not worked,” Bagley said. “It only gets more costly and more difficult to resolve, especially if they allow the lease to expire with no action.”


Following the afternoon blowup, the Vikings released a statement calling the turn of events “very disappointing.”


Benson ready to go

Cedric Benson was back at practice with the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday, ending a two-week layoff that was shorter than he’d expected.


The running back went home to Texas for the Bengals’ bye week, then stayed there to serve a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s conduct policy. The Bengals (5-2) won without him, winning at Seattle 34-12.


Benson was added back to the 53-man roster Wednesday and expects to get most of the carries at Tennessee (4-3).


Suh discusses meeting

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh shed more light on Wednesday on his meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.


Suh, who has been fined three times for hard hits on quarterbacks, has three personal fouls this year.


“You look at Tom Brady,” Suh said. “When he gets hit, you always wonder if there’s going to be a flag. It’s the sort of things that may be called for him that may not be called for other quarterbacks. That’s just because of his stature.


“That’s the same thing with defensive players. I think my hits may look a little different because of the type of strength and athleticism I have, compared to some other defensive linemen.”


It’s just the way the world works.”


The two-hour meeting included video review of Suh’s play. Suh received explanations for some of his personal fouls, although he did not sound entirely satisfied.


“We looked over them, talked about them,” he said. “We had our opinions about them. Nobody in this world agrees on everything.”


Still, Suh said it was “a good meeting; I enjoyed it” and that Goodell was “very appreciative” of his desire to meet.


“I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to repeat mistakes, and that was the main thing that, more or less, he was emphasizing,” Suh said. “I haven’t really made any of the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past and continue to follow that trend, and (I’ll) be fine.”



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