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Minnesota Vikings stadium bill stuck in political tussle

The big push at Minnesota's Capitol to pass a public subsidy for a new Vikings stadium stalled Tuesday, as the proposal got snared in the partisan politics.

The prospect of impending House and Senate floor votes on the $975 million stadium plan appeared to dissolve after Republican legislative leaders unexpectedly debuted a brand-new financing plan that differs significantly from the proposal negotiated by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's administration, the Vikings and the city of Minneapolis.

GOP leaders called for shrinking the proposed $400 million state contribution by an unspecified amount, eliminating the stadium's roof and paying for it with state general bonds rather than tax money from an expansion of legal gambling.

"Vote on the proposal that's been worked on for the last eight months, that's before the House and the Senate," Dayton said at a news conference. "That's been vetted by seven legislative committees, and that is a sound package, has been worked out, has support of the Minneapolis City Council and the Mayor, and is a go."

There are concerns in Minnesota that the Vikings could move or owner Zygi Wilf would sell the team if the stadium problem isn't resolved this year.

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley denied the team worked covertly with Republicans to craft an alternative. He said team officials merely provided information at the request of House leaders and said that a reported "secret meeting" shouldn't be seen as an endorsement of an open-air stadium.

"The time to consider the site or the design has passed," Bagley told reporters. He added, "Make no mistake: the Vikings stand with the agreement we negotiated."

Republican leaders also have said they don't want to pass a stadium bill unless they can reach a larger deal with Dayton that includes tax cuts for businesses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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