Vikings’ players visit State Capitol to talk stadium

by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol reporter

Some 760 pounds of persuasion visited the State Capitol on Wednesday, April 25, to make a sales pitch for a new Vikings’ stadium.

Minnesota Vikings' (left to right) center John Sullivan, linebacker Chad Greenway, and runningback Adrian Peterson spent about an hour at the State Capitol Wednesday, April 25, meeting lawmakers, fans, and visiting Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. The trio spoke in support of a new Vikings' stadium. (Photo by T.W. Budig)

Accompanied by Vikings’ officials, Vikings’ star running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Chad Greenway, and center John Sullivan spent about an hour at the State Capitol, visiting a few lawmakers, meeting fans, visiting with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, according to a Vikings’ official.

“The people in the Metrodome are some of the best fans in the NFL,” said Greenway, speaking before a gaggle of media outside of the House Chamber.

Greenway spoke of his visits as a child to the Metrodome as a “life changing experience.” And a new stadium will only make the experience better for the families coming to Vikings’ games, he explained.

Sullivan styled the prospects of a new stadium as “huge” for the city of Minneapolis, huge for the state of Minnesota.

“We are here to support our (team) owner Zygi (Wilf),” said Peterson.

Peterson credited the Vikings’ owner as doing a good job.

The players weren’t the only outreach of the National Football League (NFL) making an appearance.

Eric Grubman, NFL executive vice president of business operations, explained that he sensed progress has been made on the Vikings’ stadium initiative and that he wanted to be close by.

NFL Executive Vice President of Business Operations Eric Grubman was also mixing with lawmakers at the State Capitol on Wednesday. (Photo by T.W. Budig)

Grubman compared the stadium debate to the hard-fought football game going down to the final minutes.

He feels they’re very close, he explained, but that it’s also time for people to pull together.

And pulling together sometimes requires doing things that are hard, Grubman explained.

“That’s the way I feel,” he said.

Grubman compared a delay or non Vikings’ stadium vote as being the equivalent as a “No” vote.

At least that’s the way some NFL officials will view it, he explained.

And it puts the Vikings in a tough spot, he said.

Grubman acknowledged that he has met some lawmakers who tell him that they will not support the stadium bill.

But Grubman also indicated that he did not consider it his job to try to persuade the lawmakers to change their minds.