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Dayton does not think stadium session will happen

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ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton does not think a special legislative session to approve a Vikings football stadium is likely.

"I am doubtful there will be a special session," Dayton told reporters Tuesday.

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While the Democratic governor said he has reached out to stadium bill authors Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, and Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, they have not received cooperation within the ranks of Republicans who control the Legislature.

"There has been no receptivity to their activity," Dayton said.

Dayton suggested that legislative leaders set a deadline to complete stadium work before the regular session begins on Jan. 24. But he said that he has not heard back on the idea.

Without a deadline, Dayton said, it is unlikely that a stadium construction bill will be ready before the end of the regular session, probably in May. Some folks in the Capitol say that a stadium vote is not likely at all next year because of election-year politics.

While stadium work looks to be stalled in the Capitol, the Vikings have launched a month-long campaign to reach the public.

A commercial that aired during Monday night's Vikings-Packers game was the first step.

"This team is followed by over two million Minnesotans every week and is an important piece of the fabric of this state," team Vice President Lester Bagley said. "We have a great story to tell, and it's time for us to take the case for a new stadium more directly to the public."

Besides television, the Vikings say they will promote a new stadium on the Web and radio, as well as visiting Minnesota communities.

The team's Metrodome lease runs out Feb. 1, and Vikings officials say they need a new stadium deal reached by then.

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.

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