ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings fans have long been accustomed to the refrain "Just wait 'til next year," and they heard it again Tuesday amid the fallout from a House committee's vote against the team's long-sought public subsidy to build a new stadium.
With the state's legislative session likely to wrap up in the next two weeks, Gov. Mark Dayton said that resolving the stadium issue, which has lingered for about a decade, would probably have to wait until 2013. That's likely to create angst for Minnesota pro football fans worried that the team's long-term future in the state hangs in the balance.
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"We can't not do a new stadium and have the Vikings remain here very long," Dayton said. But he was not optimistic about chances for reviving the bill this year, following its defeat Monday night. A state House committee voted 9-6 to reject the $975 million plan to build a replacement for the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.
Despite Dayton's comments, Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said waiting until next year is "not an option."
"There's no next year," Bagley said. "Our state leaders know that if we want an NFL team in this market we have to resolve this stadium issue."
The Vikings have no option but to play in the Metrodome in the 2012 season, but the team's lease in the 30-year-old facility is expired and officials have said they don't plan to renew it.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press