Minnesota's state Legislature will vote Monday on a bill to construct a new stadium for the Vikings, so this weekend, four-time All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen is rallying Minnesotans for the cause.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, state Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, and state Rep. Terry Morrow also appeared Saturday in the Sears Courtyard at the Mall of America to thank Vikings fans for their support and, in the team's words, "encourage increased activity heading into Monday's House floor vote."
"I don't want them to be the Los Angeles Vikings, or the Tucson Vikings or the Vancouver Vikings," Dayton, who wore a Percy Harvin jersey, told a cheering crowd of hundreds. "I want them to be the Minnesota Vikings the rest of my life."
Rosen, the bill's chief sponsor in the Senate. urged fans to contact legislators and press them to vote for the stadium agreement.
"You have a voice at the Capitol -- you do make a difference," she said.
The crowd chanted, "Remember in November!" in reference to politicians who don't support the stadium.
The nearly $1 billion plan includes $427 million from the team, $150 million from Minneapolis and $398 million from the state, paid for with an expansion of charitable gambling. Critics think it is a bad deal for taxpayers and don't approve of the gambling expansion.
It's unclear whether the bill for the bill has enough support. House Speaker Kurt Zellers has said he won't vote for the plan and also said doubts it will collect enough votes to pass.