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Editorial: Finally, leadership on Vikings' stadium

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opinion Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/all/themes/wctrib_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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Editorial: Finally, leadership on Vikings' stadium
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Finally, a Minnesota politician is showing some leadership on the stadium needs for the state's most popular professional team -- the Vikings.

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The Vikings' ownership and the National Football League have long been patient with the lack of leadership by Minnesota politicians on the stadium issue.

Visiting NFL executives talked Tuesday with Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders and emerged "encouraged" concerning the $1.1 billion stadium proposal.

Dayton on Wednesday asked for information from the Vikings, Ramsey County and others as soon as possible. He plans to release a Vikings stadium proposal Nov. 7.

The GOP legislative leaders are not participating in the plan development. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said the plan development is the governor's job.

Dayton is quickly acting on the stadium issue and is displaying leadership. We commend him for his efforts.

Minnesota has twice failed to act on stadium/arena efforts for professional sports team.

The Minneapolis Lakers failed to have a suitable arena in the 1950s, despite five NBA championships. In 1960, the Lakers moved west to Los Angeles and it took 30 years for the NBA to return to the Twin Cities in the form of the Timberwolves and later the WNBA's Lynx.

The North Stars joined the Minnesota professional sports scene in 1967 and played at the Met Center in Bloomington. After failing to reach new arena deals in Minneapolis or St. Paul in 1993, owner Norm Green, still disliked across the 'State of Hockey,' moved the Stars to Dallas. It took nearly a decade for pro hockey to return to Minnesota.

After several decades in the Metrodome, the Minnesota Twins opened their 2010 season at Target Field. This field now is one of Minnesota's jewels and considered the best in Major League Baseball.

There are few critics of Target Field today, despite the public funding role in that stadium project.

The possibility of the Vikings moving to Los Angeles is real. Vikings' ownership has worked hard to maintain its focus on building a stadium solution in Minnesota. We appreciate their efforts, but there are stadium as well as owner possibilities in California ready to move on the Vikings.

We hope Dayton and legislative leaders can find a workable solution for the Viking's stadium needs by Thanksgiving.

If they do not, the politicians risk becoming the turkeys as citizens will hold them responsible for the loss of the Vikings if the team moves.

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