ST. PAUL, Minn. — With a proposed Minnesota Vikings stadium deal foundering, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell headed to Minnesota on Friday in a bid to persuade state legislators of the peril of putting off the issue for one more year.
Goodell and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney were scheduled to meet with legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton on the $975 stadium plan, which would replace the Metrodome but suffered a potentially fatal defeat in committee this week.
For Goodell, the personal touch follows phone conversations earlier this week with Dayton, a stadium booster, to underscore the urgency the league sees with the legislation.
“A failure to bring this to the floor is going to be perceived by the ownership and other cities as if it came to the floor and it were voted no,” Eric Grubman, the league’s vice president for operations, said on Thursday.
The group will meet in Dayton’s office.
“If it isn’t passed this session, the league itself — beyond the Vikings — the league itself has serious concerns about the viability of the franchise here and the future of it here,” Dayton said after a 20-minute phone conversation with Goodell and Rooney on Thursday.