Government shutdown ending, Vikings eye more stadium talks

The Minnesota Vikings are ready to move forward with a stadium plan when lawmakers return for a special session to end the state government shutdown.

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley told The Associated Press the team has been "respectful" and "patient" during budget talks. But now that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP leaders have agreed to end the budget impasse, Bagley said "we're ready to move forward with the stadium issue."

Bagley said the team is "very close" to an agreement with the governor's office and the bill's author.

The proposed stadium would be built in suburban Arden Hills.

The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season. The arena's Teflon-coated fiberglass ceiling collapsed during a snowstorm seven months ago, forcing the Vikings to play their final two home games of the 2010 season elsewhere.

On Wednesday, stadium officials and construction workers inflated the roof as a test. No problems popped up, so the roof of the 29-year-old stadium will stay up while the finishing touches are put on a rebuilding project that began in March.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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