Vikings stadium talks now involve Goodell

by Nickalas Tabbert

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will meet with state leaders Friday to discuss the Vikings stadium deal.

The meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders from both parties follows a Thursday telephone call in which NFL officials told Dayton it was urgent to resolve the stadium issue this spring, the Star Tribune said.

"They didn't issue any threats or anything, but it was more of a warning" that the Vikings might leave Minnesota, Dayton said Thursday.  "It was very clear that they see that the Vikings will be in play [to move] if this is not resolved or unfavorably resolved in this session."

Talks appear to be underway again in the Senate after more than a month of silence, the Pioneer Press said.  The Senate's Local Government and Elections committee was scheduled to hear and vote on three stadium bills Friday, Senate GOP spokesman Steve Sviggum said.

If a stadium bill were to reach the Senate floor, it would be reasonable to expect democrats to put up 12 votes, Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk said.  That would mean 22 Republicans would need to vote in favor for the bill to pass.

Adding to the drama is a Los Angeles Daily News report that team owner Zygi Wilf's private plane was spotted at an airport in Southern California and that Goodell recently met with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to talk about league relocation.

Two stadium sites are in development in Los Angeles, the city which has often been mentioned as a new home if the Vikings cannot make a deal happen in Minnesota, the Press said.