"I don't know what more we can do," an exasperated Lester Bagley, long-tenured head of the Minnesota Vikings' stadium push, offered, clearly conflicted with facing the prospect of having job security for yet another year.
When suggested that the Vikings might want to change game plans and employ the persona of the party seeking gifts rather than that of one bearing gifts, Bagley's eyes opened wide as if such a suggestion were impossible to fathom. "We waited our turn," he gruffly intoned. "It's our turn, now. The Twins got a golden goose from the City of Minneapolis. The U got a golden goose from the State. Now it's our turn!"
Quickly exiting the Capitol rotunda, Bagley and Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf fumed out of the building, with Wilf instructing one of his aides to bring around the limo parked diagonally across several handicap spaces in front of the Capitol.
Before tucking into the luxury of his vehicle, Wilf curiously pumped his fist in the air, smiled beneath his bushy mustache, and began offering his now oft-stated refrain, "storied franchise . . . ," pausing only after being nudged by brother Mark. With that nudge, the smile also disappeared and Zygi immediately brandished a combined look of despair and contempt.
Two hours after pulling away from the Capitol, Zygi offered some terse words, apparently for the benefit of the metro area legislators on whom he had made frequent recent calls lobbying for largely metro-area funding of a new stadium. "We will now consider our options," he railed.
Less than one hour later, news "leaked" from Winter Park that the Vikings were making their move. "We have informed the Mayor of Mobridge, South Dakota and Topeka, Kansas that we can no longer wait," Bagley is said to have stated.
Pressed for clarification, Bagley would neither directly confirm nor deny the statement, noting that the Vikings had "never threatened to move." Bagley quickly added, however, that the Vikings "have been just as patiently waiting our turn in Mobridge and Topeka--and lots of other places, and we are tired of waiting."
A seemingly anxious Bagley, no doubt stressed by his failure to secure a new Vikings' stadium despite more than a decade of compensation to do nothing but that, immediately opened up. "We have sent written notice to the Honorable Kyle Jensen of Mobridge, South Dakota, that we expect to be next. The new legion field is done, the outdoor public pool has been resurfaced, and we have had people standing in line in that town for some time. In short, our time is now. Mobridge either needs to step up and play ball or we will look elsewhere." Bagley offered the same stern warning for Topeka and noted that "there are many other towns in which we have had people waiting."
Bagley was quick to note that the Vikings were not threatening to leave either Mobridge or Topeka.
There was no word on whether these recent revelations would prompt a revote on the Vikings' stadium proposal at the Minnesota Capitol.
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