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Dayton does not think stadium special 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 2 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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