Legislature Leery of Stadium Plan

After getting hopes up for a new stadium, legislators wasted no time shooting down the proposed plan on the Legislature's opening day.

Jan. 29 was a busy day in St. Paul, as the Minnesota Legislature convened for its off-year session.

Due to redistricting that will alter many legislative districts, as well as the fact that 2002 is a year where every representative and senator is up for re-election, the session is expected to last only until March 20.

One legislative insider told VU Tuesday that "when March 20 comes, you're going to see nothing but tail lights on the cars of legislators heading back home to try to win their elections in their new districts."

Reaction to the legislative task force's 16-1 vote recommending the state build two stadiums was not good from the Vikings perspective. Ranging from Gov. Jesse Ventura to state senators and representatives, the recommendations were being shot down at every turn.

With Minnesota facing a $1.94 billion budget shortfall this year and a projected $1.25 billion deficit in 2003, multiple stadiums have taken a back seat.

Just a couple of days after so much promise coming from the task force, it looks unlikely that Legislators, especially since all are facing re-election, will act on anything in the short session -- especially in light of the pressing economic hardships facing the state.

* Louisville coach Scott Linehan is interviewing today for the vacant offensive coordinator position. After interviewing Linehan, Tice is off to New Orleans for the Super Bowl and may delay a final decision until after he returns, but VU is hearing Linehan is the top candidate for the position and may get an offer as early as today.
* The Vikings reorganized front office met Tuesday to discuss the roster heading into free agency. The Vikings are convinced that they will be able to keep every player they want to remain with the team.
* Tice is still trying to lock down a special teams coach and continues to conduct interviews. Recent candidates that have surfaced are Seattle's Johnny Holland, Baltimore's Russ Purnell and Hofstra special teams coach Paul McCord.
* Teams have until Feb. 21 to name franchise players, but VU has been told the Vikings will not slap that tag on Griffith in an attempt to sign him long-term.

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