A finalized deal for a new stadium – minus the needed approval from the state and local governments – could fall into place for the Minnesota Vikings within the next week.
There are only small hurdles to clear as owner Zygi Wilf closes in on a project that will call for his team to spend more than $400 million on a stadium that will be built very near the site of the Metrodome. Gov. Mark Dayton remains hard at work to see the issue to the finish line, and it also must meet approval of the Minneapolis City Council.
“There are still matters to be negotiated, particularly with the city of Minneapolis," Dayton said following a meeting with Wilf, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "The number of issues that remain are limited and can be overcome if all parties are willing.
"I don't use the word 'optimistic' with this project any longer, and I don't specify timetables any longer. If I were guessing, I would guess sometime next week. But it might be sooner, it might be later. Everybody knows the clock is ticking in terms of the legislative session, so everybody feels that sense of urgency to get it resolved."
The team has already reached a tentative agreement with the University of Minnesota to play at TCF Bank Stadium during the construction phase. Wilf estimates the Vikings could need to be there for one or two seasons.
Now, it’s about the small details. The Vikings thought they were close to a deal before in suburban Arden Hills. This one appears close to being finalized.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune