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Stadium bill approved; awaits signing

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- Lawmakers are on their way back to their districts following a historic legislative session.  The Vikings stadium bill has been approved and is on its way to the governor's desk.

Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome will be coming down to make way for the $975 million stadium.  Whether or not it has a retractable roof is still up to the owners.  For better or worse, today is the day lawmakers have been waiting for.

"We had our highs and our lows throughout the process and there was a lot of lows," said bill author Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont.  "But whenever we had those, we'd always go back, right governor, and talk about what was best for the state," she said.

Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, says he has stayed positive throughout the process.  "I never had a doubt that we were going to build a stadium, but it was just what year and what team is going to play in it," he said.  "So it's good that it's now and it's great that it's our Minnesota Vikings."

At 3:30 a.m. Thursday, the financial backing was in question so Vikings ownership picked up the tab.  "And last night when we came up $15 million short, the Wilfs stepped in in just a heroic way," said Gov. Mark Dayton, R-Minn.  "And without their willingness to take that last step, we wouldn't have crossed the goal line."

Owner Zygi Wilf expressed the importance of keeping the team in town.  "The passage of this bill also proves long term stability for this franchise. And as owners of the Vikings, our goal has always been, to resolve the stadium issue in Minnesota," he said.

With the dust settling, the bill awaits the pen of Governor Dayton.  "And after we get this done we'll make sure we work just as hard to bring a championship to Minnesota," said Wilf.

The Governor has not yet announced when he will sign the bill.

When it's complete, the Minneapolis City Council will have to approve but have noted previously it will.

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